Why don't Seattle area riders wave?
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  1. #1
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    Why don't Seattle area riders wave?

    I know this might sound like a troll given my post count and the title but it truly isn't. I'm trying to understand the culture.

    I'm from Tahoe but relocated to Bellevue WA 4+ years ago. I was mostly a mountain biker but recently took up road and commuting since it's a little easier to get rides in. Mountain bikers pretty much universally wave, say hi, chat or at least nod when another rider goes by.

    As I've started more and more road, I always smile and wave to riders going the other way but it seems almost always ignored. I thought this might just not be a roadie 'thing' but last week I was on a road ride on vacation in San Diego and almost everyone smiled and waved.

    I got back the other day and just did a 40 mile mixed gravel/road ride. Almost to a rider the MTBers I passed waved, nodded, etc. but the trend was opposite with the road riders.

    I'm not saying it's good or bad, but should I just stop waving since it appears to be a regional cultural thing? After so many years of MTB and motorcycling not waving feels like I'm being a dick.

  2. #2
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    lot of wasted keystrokes on this topic.

    you just added to the total.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    lot of wasted keystrokes on this topic.

    you just added to the total.
    I like to see new topics raised here
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_slacker View Post

    I'm not saying it's good or bad, but should I just stop waving since it appears to be a regional cultural thing? After so many years of MTB and motorcycling not waving feels like I'm being a dick.
    Not at all. Look at a political map of the area and you'll see that these folks fancy themselves as victims of an unjust world and they're angry. Just 20 miles from the center of Lake Washington (in any direction) you'll find that people wave.

    It is a cultural thing but not indicative of the PNW.

  5. #5
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    Maybe with only so many rain-free days available to ride, there's just no time to waste on any extra movement... or maybe due to being used to riding in wet conditions, it's always both hands near the brakes at all times...

    Seriously, though, I noticed similar when I ran on the Burt Gilman trail a few times visiting family over the last couple years. And Green Lake is so crowded (runners, rollerbladers, dogs, strollers, etc) nobody has time to do anything other than avoid collisions, or hit on each other the other way... Who knows. BTW I grew up on the Eastside and Shoreline/LFP areas.

    Hey, at least this thread is posted in the appropriate sub-forum. It's regional, so it's new!

  6. #6
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    I rode a big loop around the area today (Bothell, Seattle, Renton, Issaquah, Redmond and back to Bothell - a little over 100 miles). I find that the more casual the riding environment, the more people will wave and chat. Riding on a stressful busy city street in Seattle or Bellevue is not conducive to extending friendly greetings. At least not for me. I'm too focused on trying to not get killed.

    OTOH, on the trails (BGT, SRT, Centennial, Cedar River, Inter-Urban), I find people are far more likely to greet and chat. In fact today, I stopped on Magnolia Bluff and ended up having a nice long chat with a couple of dog walkers about how crazy the real estate market is in the area. I also stopped at Magnussen park and watched a little pickup Rugby. A nice lady was riding and stopped and asked what the game was, and I ended up explaining the rules and scoring to her as best I could.

    I will sometimes go out of my way to be friendly with dog walkers and families with strollers and young kids on bikes. Sometimes the trail can get pretty stressful, and I like to extend a friendly greeting or hello, especially to the young kids just learning the trail etiquette.

    Anyway, I'm not sure where you are riding, but I don't find people all that unfriendly, except in the urban centers, and anywhere around the hipster crowd in South Lake Union, Capitol Hill and Downtown.

  7. #7
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    I will acknowledge on other rider but it's generally an eye contact paired up with a head nod kind of thing. No waving though. I probably would be more into it if I were out doing a leisurely ride but it's my time to get away from everything and get in a work out. Not being snobbish just focused usually.
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  8. #8
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    Nobody said it's because of the Seattle Freeze?
    ha ha ha!
    I haven't actually noticed our fellow Seattlites being any less friendly than other places. Maybe more head nods than waves but that's fine.
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