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Exploring the Kickstand Kingdom


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You’re riding along and wave to a passing cyclist as is the custom.
And they ignore you.

Snubbing is a fact of cycling. Do you ever wonder, like me, how these rebuffers interact with the rest of the road? Do they spurn stop signs? Run red lights? Or maybe they just think they’re God’s gift to the bike? I couldn’t find any studies on the subject so I’ve gotten the wheels rolling with some highly technical classifications based on 20 years of field observation and some research on the Google.
Here are the five Snub Species:

The Big Deal—Easily spotted in colorful team kit, this agro amateur racer has usually just upgraded to Category III. The Big Deal lives for training, racing and talking about training and racing. He also won’t deign to acknowledge you on the road. Occasionally, even teammates get snubbed. The Big Deal’s cycling dreams and cycling ego are dashed after a few seasons racing sandbaggers.

The Warrior—Nothing wrong with being a weekend rider unless you’re oblivious to your surroundings. The Warrior is typically ill-attired—shorts and jersey when it’s 40 degrees, tights and jacket when it’s 75. And some force of the universe holds the Warrior back from acknowledging you. He doesn’t realize cycling can be social even between passing strangers. The Warrior needs a mentor.

Smuggie—One of the most experienced cyclists on the road, Smuggie knows better. But Smuggie thinks too highly of himself (or herself) to acknowledge a fellow cyclist. Smuggie’s bike is expensive; his kit is understated (unless he’s a master’s racer) but of the highest quality. And don’t expect idle chitchat or even a return “hello” at a red light, let alone a passing wave. Smuggie is beyond all that. And that’s just too bad.

The Goggler—As common as the prairie dog, The Goggler flashes a penetrating Secret Service glare when you wave—no nod, no smile, no indication of life beneath the shades. The eerie ogle of The Goggler gives you an uncomfortable feeling like he’s gawking at a large hole in your shorts. Try making a goofy face at The Goggler. If he continues his gaze, he’s legit. If he turns away quickly, he’s an evolving Warrior and just needs some guidance.

The Situation—It’s all about The Situation—the coldest, loneliest, windiest, snowiest, nastiest ride imaginable—and a big fat snub. As you pass The Situation you’re so excited to see another human on this harshest of rides, you add a “Hey man!” to your wave. The Situation keeps on going. You can only shake your head, ridding yourself of the stinging offense.

Author

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Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google

4 comments

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    I know what you mean. I experience the same thing while walking my dog. What is up with these people? My biggest pet peeve though is cyclists who do not announce themselves when they come up behind you. I have almost been hit a couple of times and then they act as if it is my fault. Next time that happens I will lasso them with my dog’s leash.

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    Chris,
    If that is you in the picture, I can see why you have so many “snubbing” experiences. Try smiling. Cycling is supposed to fun and a great source of excercise. Or try turning off the judgmental BS and not putting anymore of your preconceived crap out to the cycling community. As a “The Big Deal” rider who spends most of my free time on my bike,I have not suffered the persecution you have. We have enough trouble with angry and ignorant motorist, don’t turn us on each other!

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    jhoese,

    So you’re a Big Deal? Congratulations! Try leaving the attitude at home before you jump on the bike. Or maybe try getting off the trainer in your parents’ basement and start riding on the road. Or just lighten up, Francis.

    But seriously, if you are like 90% of cyclists–friendly to other cyclists–good for you. You get it. Like you say, “cycling is supposed to fun.”

    If you’re friendly and considerate to pedestrians, now you’re really gettin’ it.

    And if you’re friendly and considerate to gasp….drivers….you’re really starting to mature. That was and still is a tough one for me.

    Good luck with your racing career!

    Chris

    p.s. that rider isn’t me. I try to wave, nod and smile to everyone out there, even motorists on occasion. It goes against my general nature, but it’s part of the gig.

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    If this is all you think about when you ride, I think you should find another sport. I ride to get rid of the daily stress and could care the least if I don’t get a wave back. Some riders have more on their mind like what their watts output or other training regime than making you happy. I think Harley riders are good at that low side finger point as a wave. Now that’s a sport you should check out.

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