Greetings Along the Trail

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:
  • Wave
  • 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. 

Happy Riding!