Commuting is Serious Business

The nod. You know what I am talking about here, right. When you are riding along and pass another cyclist and you give each other the little nod; it’s the nod of acceptance and understanding. Kind of like “yeah, I see you are cool because you ride a bike. I too am pretty cool.” The nod that we each have that love for two wheels and are out there in the elements when others are sitting in their warm dry cars.

One reason I love this sport so much is the camaraderie that we have with other riders. The love that we have for our bikes, the trails, and the experience – all of that awesome stuff builds a bond between us.

Maybe I am used to the niceness of mountain bikers, but I find that when I am commuting the people riding by seem super serious and detached from anyone else sharing the trail. I have seen this with runners and roadies as well, they are so in their own little zone that they do not even realize that there are other people all around them out enjoying the world as well.

Is it even deeper than just being in the zone? Are we, as a society, just becoming less friendly and trusting of others, even those that share a passion like riding bikes? Are we pretending to be more social with social media while losing our connectedness to others in the real world, and is that making us more awkward towards people while out and about?

I wish I had an answer and that people would loosen up a bit and not be afraid to look a stranger in the eyes and say hello, or heck just even give a little nod. I started making a bit of a game of it; I have started nodding and saying hello to everyone on the trail on my way to work. Now, I will admit that this can get a little silly at times as the trail I ride to work on is the main artery for cyclists, runners and dog walkers in the little city I call home. Some days my neck is a little sore when I get to work, but if I at least brightened up one other person’s day with my smile and nod, well then it was worth it.

We are, after all, riding bikes – and that is fun right, even if it is to work. Next time you are riding along minding your own business and some kook rides past you with a silly smile and nods at you, maybe just throw a little nod back and let him know that yup, you too are cool.

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