I have recently taken to the idea of a Sunday morning ride.
For the last three Sundays I have ridden one of my bicycles around 22-25 miles on one of a variety of loops in the area. I am not the only one, there are a lot of people out riding. I often catch up with a group or a couple of riders and tag along until we go different ways or I run out of legs, or they drop back. Regardless on my previous couple of rides on my road bike there has been a level of camaraderie among the riders. We all speak to each other and often wave.
What I did not realize is that you need to be a part of the clique. If you are riding a road bike or in my case a ‘bitsa’ Tri-bike, then fellow roadies will wave and smile and encourage you to join them.
Now try exactly the same ride on a mountain bike, albeit one with city tires.
On Sunday I rode a slightly different loop, my usual loop sees me riding north, then east, then south and then west to get home, this time I followed the north trail and it took me towards the cost (west) before I eventually turned left and headed homeward. At about the twelve mile point I encountered a group of riders, they were all in their 30’s and 40’s and all riding multi-thousand dollar road bikes. They were all dressed in various team replica gear, cycling shoes, ‘sponsored’ helmets, the works. As I moved through the pack I said ‘good morning’ to the rider that I was alongside. They pretty much all look away, or straight ahead or otherwise ignored me. At one set of lights I turned to the rider that pulled up alongside me said ‘I guess I am the odd one out huh ?’ He said ‘you could say that’ and looked away.
The reason that they ignored me is simple, I was not conforming to the rules.