I know I’ve ranted about unfriendly bike riders before, but the situation seems to be getting decidedly worse and needs addressing before we simply ignore each other as a matter of course.

There’s no need to go over the top, but just a nod or a slight lift of the hand is enough to let the other rider know you’ve seen them. It’s called being polite.

There’s too much anger directed at us by other road users, so when we see another bike rider it’s good to acknowledge a kindred spirit.

On Sunday I encountered seven riders and got five complete blanks. It would be easier to take if it was personal – if it was a slight against me or the magazine I would accept it – but I reckon I’m far too anonymous in Lycra for this to be the case.

There was a time when everybody on skinny tyres would have belonged to a club. Now ordinary people are bike riders; there’s virtually no distinction between the newbies and ‘proper’ cyclists.

It was OK to acknowledge someone who was ‘one of us’, but now our ranks have been infiltrated by outsiders, and rather than make the mistake of nodding to a newbie it seems it’s better to put your head down and just keep riding.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly


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