We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Results Are In ...

 ... and it doesn't make great reading. Sunday's 3-hour ride with some of the lads from the Old Portlians from West Wickham and out into the Kent countryside saw me conduct an admittedly less-than-scientific survey * into the responses I'd get to nods, waves and cheery 'hellos', as a follow-up to my last post on the Velominati 'Nod' rules **. Yep, it's quite probable that the Old Portlians is exactly the kind of group based on age I should be riding with, since I'm clearly a grumpy old git with moderate-to-severe Victor Meldrew Syndrome. To be honest though, I wouldn't even complain at the type of reaction pictured below - better than being totally blanked, eh?

Those all-important numbers you've been waiting for, and quite frankly, I don't believe it:

(a) Cyclists passed going the opposite direction: 72, of whom:
  • Were acknowledged by me (sometimes I'm unable to do anything but pedal): 68
  • Cyclists acknowledging us first, without prompting: 5
  • Out of all acknowledgements:
    Return nod: 7
    Return hello (or similar): 3
    Return wave: 1
(b) Cyclists passing our group going in the same direction: 24, of whom:
  • Were acknowledged by me: 24
  • Cyclists acknowledging us first, without prompting: 2
  • Out of all acknowledgements:
    Return nod: 2
    Return hello (or similar): 5
    Return wave: 0
Conclusion: as outlined in that previous post, is there anything that can be done to convince these cyclists that it's actually unacceptable to simply ignore their peers? Have we failed a generation, or is it down to some kind of snobbery, a class distinction based on the perceived value of your kit? Sure, sometimes it's impossible to be polite (riding hard, dangerous to take hands from bars, junctions etcetera), but these are quite damning stats - I almost feel like flicking the Vees back at some of these people: they may be riding bikes, but they clearly aren't riders.

*: I made the numbers up, but it's close
**: I take the Velominati Rules on reciprocal acknowledgement here and here in the spirit they are intended; too many riders out there seem to have taken them to heart - get over yourselves!