One thing about commuting on a bike. There’s a lot of other people doing the same thing. I have been a regular bicycle commuter for about a month now and I am starting to recognize other people who are out at the same time I am. I have no idea who these people are, I only know them by some unique characteristic that they have.

Dobie Lady – young, she always wears a hat and big sunglasses. She is training a doberman to walk with her without a leash. She has a fannie pack that is filled with dog treats. She stops, the dog stops and sits and she give him a treat. Never any expression as we pass. All business. Gotta get the dog trained. Dog’s gonna get fat from all the treats.

Strider – Always on schedule. He walks and has a really unique stride — bobbing head, swinging arms. I’ve never seem him face to face, I always come up on him from behind. He always has a backpack. I wonder how far he walks and how come he doesn’t have a bicycle.

Green Jacket – another rider, coming in the opposite direction. Rides a recumbent (reclining bike) had a dayglow green jacket and dark sunglasses. Never (and I mean never) nods, says hello or has any reaction when we pass.

How To Greet Other Bicycle Commuters

And a bit more words on greeting other riders….

It must be part of human nature or some sort of social thing that you have to greet someone coming in the opposite direction — doesn’t matter if it is a walker or a rider. I can see that it is the friendly, polite thing to do. After all, is it really proper to ignore another human being when you are face to face with them — no matter for how short a time?

The question is what do you say when you have about three seconds of eye contact? Do you grunt, wave, or smile?

The answer is simple. All you say is “howyadoin”. It’s not a question, it’s a statement and because of this, it requires no answer and none is expected.

See, “howyadoing” is the universal “coming the other way” greeting. It’s almost like it’s built into everyone I pass and that there is some primal urge in everyone to say “howyadoin”.

Howyadoin doesn’t need a response but, to properly do the greeting, it is essential that “howyadoin” is accompanied with a slight head nod. So, your ride becomes a series of (practice with me) head nods and howyadoings. Howyadoin…howyadoin…howyadoin. Well, by now, you get the idea. A perfect howyadoin is when you and the person you are greeting do it at exactly the same time. Perfect synchronization.

You can’t do this in a car. That’s because there’s no human interaction when you commute in a car. Nothing. Void empty… alone.  Not good for the human race.

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