A pretty day out on an Iowa bike trail always puts me in a good mood. I make a point of greeting fellow riders with a wave. I feel it’s a polite and respectful thing to do. Plus, passing on some positivity never hurts.
If there was a closed caption for my wave it would read: “Hi!! Isn’t it a pretty day? Aren’t you glad you’re on your bike because I sure am! Have a great ride!!”
Usually I see only a few folks during my ride so offering up a greeting is no biggie. But busy trails can make me feel like I’m in a parade with all the waving. That’s when I use a more subtle greeting. Or just smile.
- Cyclists I meet typically use one of these styles:
- Subtle nod of the head or a smile
- Lifting fingers off the handlebar
- Verbal greeting “good morning, hi, hello, howdy”
- A peace sign toward the ground (aka the Harley wave)
The majority of fellow bike riders return the favor and wave back. My favorite was an older gentleman greeting me with a huge smile while doing the pistol shoot motion at me and saying “look at you go!” I was smiling for a good mile after that encounter!
Sometimes I get a double wave; a wave on the way out and one on the way back. There are occasions where riders choose not to acknowledge me. I try not to take it personally. Maybe I was riding past so fast they didn’t see me! The more likely explanation is they were lost in thought or perhaps trying to pedal their way to a better mood.
Sharing enthusiasm for bike rides is uplifting, and in my opinion, part of being a cycling steward. So, I’ll offer up a greeting and say hello when I meet you along the bike trail.