A recent Google search for road cyclists gave me some very interesting autocomplete suggestions. After the pages based on my earlier browsing history, the first two autocomplete suggestions were “road cyclists are snobs” and “road cyclists arrogant.”
Why would these show up first? Probably because there are a lot of previous searches for those phrases. Here’s what Google says about autocomplete:
“How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches.”
Are we arrogant snobs? Even if we might not think so, it appears that a lot of other people searching on Google do.
In my experience, riding both mountain and road bikes since the late 80s, I’d have to say that mountain bikers (and more recently, gravel riders) are generally friendlier and more inclusive than most road riders I run into.
Group rides for new road riders can be very unwelcoming, with other riders looking down their noses and judging you for your bike, your pedals, your apparel, your weight, and sometimes whether or not your legs are shaved.
It’s also not uncommon for roadies to yell at new riders who join a group ride about things like holding your line, whether or not you pulled through correctly or sped up or slowed down the pace, or called out a pothole. These issues are actually important, because we are riding at speeds over 20 mph, inches away from each other, and unpredictable riding can cause a dangerous crash. But new riders have to learn these rules, and angrily yelling is not exactly an inclusive way of teaching.
I still remember clearly about 12 years ago, when I was coming back to cycling after taking a few years off. I was still overweight, and was riding my road bike with mountain biking shoes and pedals. A few months in when I would show up for some of the faster group rides to try to improve my fitness, other roadies would pretty much act as if I were invisible and not acknowledge my existence at all.
That said, I’ve also experienced plenty of road riders stopping or calling out and asking if I needed any help or a spare tube when I have been on the side of the road changing a flat. I’ve seen a friend come up on a bike crash that had just happened, leap off his bike and use his skills as a former EMT to check the rider who crashed for concussion and call an ambulance for her and wait for it to arrive after he determined she shouldn’t ride home.
It’s also difficult to have a casual conversation when the pace picks up on a bicycle because of wind noise and the physical effort involved. How much perceived unfriendliness is just a side effect of hard riding?
What has been your experience? Do you think that road cyclists are any more or less snobbish than other types of cyclists? Or are we all about the same?
When I started mountain biking in the late 80’s the crowd was very laid back and easy going. I would even run into “hippies” in cut off jean shorts and sandals and they always had time for chat, and sometimes even a smoke. Back then I was afraid to try road cycling because roadies were considered snobby and elite. Now, more than 30 years later I seem to notice a shift. It seems the road guys are more mellow and MTB guys seem to judge my ten year old mountain bike as antiquated and a dinosaur, it has 26″ wheels, “long” stem and “narrow” handle bar, these were the trend. I’ve been razzed about it and told to get with ‘the times’ and get a bike with bigger wheels and more suspension, I ride hard tails exclusively. This would never had happened 10-20 years ago. We did not care what you rode as the name of the game was having fun, good conversation and being with nature. The road guys and groups I ride with now remind me of the MTB guys of 20 years ago, they never judge, yell or berate anyone, not even newbies. When I read MTB forums these guys talk like they are an elite group and if you’re not riding the latest gear and parts then you shouldn’t be mountianing biking as roadies did years ago. My view may be skewed do to my advancing age. I don’t believe in putting down anyone for the gear they use or their level of skill, I’m happy just to see more people riding, no matter their budget or skill level. I love teaching and giving tips to new riders, I want them to fall in love with cycling as I did and continue to love it live it and hopefully it’ll change their entire life for the better as it did mine.
Road Bike Rider says
I think you make an interesting point. I agree that mountain biking has gotten very equipment focused over the last five or more years, and people are a lot more obsessed with which type of wheel / bike / suspension you are using. The changes have also come so fast with so many fads coming and going with fat bikes, then 29er, then 27.5 and back to 29, and now 1x chainring setups, etc.
I just typed in mountain bikers to see what autocompletes and it was “mountain biker chased by bear” and “mountain bikers smoother pedal stroke” as the first two suggestions. !??
Don Gee says
Started roadcycling in the 1950’s and returned about 10 years ago. I now just go off road on a mountain bike. Unfortunately I have to say that I find the vast majority of road bikers totally ignorant and unpleasant. I pass road bikers, on a road, miles from anywhere, look over to pass a word or two, and get totally ignored, some even spit. Pig ignorance….
I started riding an ebike last year for the first time. I haven’t been on any kind of bicycle since I don’t know when. I’m 66 and enjoying my ebike immensely. I have noticed road riders in single file as I thought you should ride a bike on the road. However, I have also seen far too many riding side by side with no regard for cars and trucks, and basically holding up traffic, so vehicles can’t pass without taking the biker out which Is riding in the vehicle lane. So the ones riding side by side and flipping the bird at drivers are arrogant and very disrespectful in my opinion.
Tom Waugh says
Comments here tend to confirm my views that some bikers are exclusionary of other cyclists who do not fit their paradigm. I am a former motorcycle rider (Honda 750, Triumphs etc ) who returned to bicycle riding in my late 70s. Also rode a Gitane 10 speed in the 1970s just about everywhere roads and paths. When I was 8 overseas in the early 1950s I started with a Raleigh 3 speed. Now ride a Trek Verve 2 disc which is a “fitness bike” which I ride gravel, road, trails just for fun and fitness. I don’t fit in the trail ride group nor do I fit as a roady. I do wear bike underwear or pants but just a regular T shirt — gloves etc. The roadys snub me generally because I suppose I am clothing ignorant. No flash! Anyway, they ride for a different reason so I could care less. My opinion is just to ride because I love to explore and get out — as a solo rider.
I’m pretty much a solo road biker, and I’ve found others generally friendly. I almost always greet people I meet or ride along with and it is usually reciprocated. Indeed I’ve had some great conversations with strangers who I find myself riding with. That said, at times I’m certainly guilty of not being real chatty with other riders when I’m in a bit of a groove. I get that – I also run and I never talk when running. And I’ve received an occasional snarky comment, usually when I’ve made a mistake or done something wrong. Seems a few roadies can be pretty quick to correct others, but I don’t take it personally.
I own and work in a shop. Been in the industry and riding for over 40 years. The one customer, out of all of them, that we hate to see come in the shop are the roadies. Far too much arrogance and entitlement. Just ride what ya got and have a good time Judgy McJudgerson.
I love your statement it’s right to the point . Road bike riders think there a cut above any other type of cycling. I basically ride for exercise since I had my knees replace I can’t run no more cycling is the next best thing to me . No fancy tight girly clothes just shorts with a pad the rest is just casual and relaxing.
RICHARD Y GINGRAS says
A snob will always be a snob. Doesn’t matter which sport they ingage in.
I am a roadie and ride mostly in Michigan and Florida and I have found that most Michigan riders will not wave back when I wave, however, when I ride in Florida, the vast majority will wave back.
20-25 years ago when I was doing triathlons, the triathletes were the ones wearing T-shirts that would wave and say hi. The pure roadies were wearing lycra jersies and wouldn’t make eye contact. (especially if you were wearing a T-shirt!)
I think it’s just like any other sizable population, some are jerks & some aren’t
You’re right. It’s just disappointing and can be frustrating.
We, my husband & I, ride road bikes and I think roadies are snobs. They are rude, all about “l00k-at-me-I’m-so-great” or “my-equipment-is-better-than-yours”, ‘I spent $15K on my bike & you only spent $3K.” They do not announce when they are passing, do not give space when passing. Oh! Some of the bike shops are even more snobby.; we won’t patronize those places any more. I always acknowledge a rider with a wave, nod or flick of the hand, announce I am passing, stop when I see rider off their bike to be sure they are okay. I don’t ride w/a group for the reasons mentioned above about members being rude. All this negativity, I thoroughly enjoy riding! These experiences are in Tucson & area.
I have to agree with you. I ride in North Florida and have been back in road cycling for a year now after a long hiatus. Just today I passed two groups and a couple of individual road cyclists, none of whom would return a greeting, nod or wave.
John Benkert says
I find that Roadies in general are great with a few boobs thrown in. MTB’ers are genrally more friendly. One thing I do have to comment on is that many Roadies should look in a mirror both front and back before they go into the public. The reason I say that is Lycra looks great on the right body type but most of us would be better served and save money by wearing something else. This goes for men and women. Just my opionion!
I agree and I have found female cyclists to be much more road friendly and considerate.
Holy crap! On behalf of all the people who you would feel are those who should not be wearing Lycra… F-off! You think Lycra is our fashion choice!? You think we’re trying to look cute while biking? Damn! Go try to long distance bike or run in loose shorts, and when you can barely walk due to the chafing, come back and comment again. Even with SportGlide, Lycra is just a smarter choice. Shout out to all you “shouldn’t be wearing Lycra” men and women out there for just getting out there and caring about your health enough to do something about it! Go get your Lycra and get to it!
Johnny J says
Sheesh! So touchy about your Lycra. And you do probably wear it to look good. A good old pair of compression shorts under some gym shorts works just as well and costs a heck of a lot less. The fact that you get offended at someone’s opinion of your peacockery isn’t laughable and pathetic.
amen Jess! the person who replied below clearly hasn’t a clue what they’re talking about. stick to what you know, Johnny j…which probably isn’t much
My LGBTQ bike club is all about inclusivity and won’t put up with snobby behavior. Some of us are fast, some not. We schedule rides with clearly stated distance and speed and yet all are welcome. On occasion we need to tell a slower newcomer that we are no-drop, but maybe another one of our rides would be more enjoyable for them next time out. I find most road bikers to be friendly (don’t have a mtb) and the small percentage of arrogant ones is about equal to my office colleagues.
San Fran says
How nice Alphabet People being inclusive for once.
The mentality that you describe in your article is not, as we are aware, not exclusive to cycling. It’s even more extreme with scuba divers. This “us vs. them” mentality leads what I call “incestuous thinking.” Riders that act and think like that eventually isolate themselves in small subgroups populated only by riders that think and act just like them ONLY. All of the “others” are then looked down.
Admittedly in a large group of riders (or divers) riders will eventually ride with those of our abilities.
So there. 😉
Michael Bookey says
Riding A Bicycle Is A Something We Learn And As A Child, Divers Are Not For Most!
I’ve been riding road and mountain bikes for 40 years starting in California and now Indiana, I’ve also ridden a fair amount in Texas and a little in Colorado and Michigan. My experience has been that with mountain biking I ran into very few snobs, usually the only ones that were snobby were the ones that had the high end gear with high end kits; however road cycling is a different matter, in California in particular there were a lot of snobs, unless you belonged to their cycling group they thought they were better than anyone else, and really looked down on you if you ran with medium to lower priced gear, or didn’t wear high end kits, or didn’t belong to the right cycling club, and even then they would ignore you. When I first started racing in California all I could afford was a mid level bike, the attitudes I got was incredible even among my own team members, it almost made me quit racing, they were so bad that even when I bought a high end American brand with high end Japanese components (back in the early 80’s) I was made fun of again because it wasn’t all Italian made gear! This sort of snobbery (though the Japanese and Italian thing ended about the late 80’s when Shimano came to the forefront as well as bike brands from the US, though I have found those that ride high end Italian stuff to this day still have some attitudes) continued the whole time I lived in California till I left there in 2003. Parts Texas, Michigan and Indiana toned down the snobbery to some degree, probably about two thirds as much but it’s still there, but some places in Texas it’s really bad like in Austin, not sure if that’s because of the Lance Armstrong bragging rights fame or not, but around Kerrville and Fredericksburg area it’s rather peaceful even though it’s only 100 to 80 miles from Austin; Denver Colorado is another bad place for bad attitudes, not sure about other areas of Colorado. I have not mountain biked in Texas, Michigan or Colorado so not sure if the snob thing increases in those areas especially in Colorado with all the mountain bike riding that goes on through there. Of all the places I ran into moderate to heavy road cyclist population south central Texas, Michigan and Indiana was the least on the snobbery scale, but still you’ll find some guys who ride the high end gear and kits will have attitudes. I also found out something weird as time has gone on, those who will strive to ride the same bikes and kits that the pros ride during the TDF seem to have major snob issues anywhere I’ve been!
I’ve also ran into a lot snobby bike shops, I won’t do business with those types, plain and simple, I also will stop to help others broken down on the road or trail while others have past them by, not so much trail where a lot of trail riders will stop to offer help, which I think kind of makes those that I help feel like someone in the cycling community, especially the road community, cares about them and that we’re not all jerks.
So my experience has been that road bike riding is much more susceptible to having snobs, and where a person lives can reflect on what degree of snobs you’ll have to contend with. If that sort of thing bothers you don’t give up on cycling like I almost did, keep at and ignore the snobs, whatever you do don’t go out and buy the most expensive bike and kit just to try to fit in because you’ll discover that even then you may not fit in!! So just be yourself, buy what you can comfortably afford without going into debt, and ignore all the pressure to do differently, and have fun riding by not reducing yourself to their level because if you become a snob cycling is no longer fun.
Bill Brettschneider says
When I first started riding my original “10-speed” in 1971, and then joined the local club – if you saw someone else on a multi-speed bike you always greeted and welcomed them. Bottom line – there weren’t that many riders out there so all were welcome in the group. Nowadays, it seems too many road riders act like “roosters in the barnyard” trying to re-inforce some self-important pecking order. Fact is – there is always someone faster and someone slower . . . and one day we will all be the “Lanterne Rouge.” Relax – we’re just riding bikes.
Michael Bookey says
I road and mountain bike in Durango, CO, and I find both communities amazingly friendly and inclusive. I think the road scene can be a little more snobby, but there really are riding groups for every level of riding. Sometimes I think the idea of snobby can be a projection. I say ride confidently and FEEL friendly and inclusive! It’s great to be out on the road, have Ned coming from the other direction, and there’s always a big smile and wave! Same goes for the Fort Lewis cycling team when they’re out. It could be the small town vibe, but I don’t find cyclists snobby. It’s all about the fun!!
Robert Brandenburg says
Might it be suggested that “snobbery” reflects as much on the observer as the observed.
Big Bob says
I think your statement can be just as incorrectly applied to any situation really and is nothing more than a quick, tidy answer.
Rick / OCRR says
Either I’ve been lucky or I’m immune to snobby-ness but I’ve been riding road bikes since ’68 and mountain bikes since ’88 and all of the riders I’ve met and ridden with have been very friendly. I started in Missouri, was in California from ’76-’80, then back to Missouri until ’95, then moved back to California. Sorry to hear so many riders have been on the receiving end of snobby-ness!
I ride a hybrid with straight bars. I always acknowledge riders as they pass. It is my experience that many road bike riders won’t respond to me while most other riders will. My husband who rides a road bike gets acknowledged much more often.
I was with my husband on a very busy bike lane in Mallorca last month when I had a flat. Only one fellow out of probably 50 actually inquired if we needed help. Luckily my husband is very adept at tire changing.
I’m in Western Colorado. Snobbishness on bikes varies with locale just like other snobbishness. In Denver or Boulder lots of snobs (or just plain rudeness). In the small mountain and farm/ranch towns, friendly folks. Could it be the California influence on the East slope?
ML Ten says
Same in Western Montana. They have destroyed the peace of the trails, woodlands and mountains. They are always ready to yell, scream or threaten if their Strava timer might tick up even one second due to sharing the trail. Have nearly been hit multiple times. No warning approaching downhill from the rear. Been on these trails on the MTN Bike and running and hiking when it was rare to see a cyclist. I raced to 14th in the USA National Championships over 43 miles in 1976 and have a running Marathon PR of 2:46 (I am a female) Now, I won’t even go to the trails on weekends and holidays which is a great loss. These 20, 30, 40 and 50 somethings will eventually hit 70 as well, but, my bet is they won’t still be out there. I switched from road racing on the bike in 1977 when I ran my first marathon in 3:25 and qualified for Boston. Runners really were nice! Cycling is dangerous so primal instincts are aroused, however, it is a stupid hill to die on. Cyclists can be “dead right.” I just want to be able to go on trails and not be screamed at, yelled at, cursed at and threatened because I am not as fast as they are. You can bet at one time I was faster than they will ever be.
Steve T says
To see roadies at their snobbiest visit the Bovine Bakery in Point Reyes Station, CA on any weekend.
John Supan says
Being a roadie since 1971, I ride roads & trails (gravel & paved). A roadie deals with all the challenges of riding in traffic with other vehicles, with defensive riding becoming second nature, which means being skilled at handling sometimes dangerous situations. Such situations can be less dangerous when respecting the rights of others, including riding to the right with traffic, obeying traffic laws and riding single file in groups with approaching traffic. An experienced roadie uses a rear view mirror to know what approaches from behind, uses hand signals when stopping and turning, is prepared to fix flats and minor repairs for not just one’s self, but for other roadies as well. A roadie believes to be operating a legal vehicle and knows the rules of the road. To me, it doesn’t matter what type of ride or how many wheels are ridden to be a roadie.
A roadie also deals with other roadies, both experienced or not, either while alone on the road or with club or group rides. To me, every roadie deserves respect because of the shared experiences amongst us. Every roadie deserves a friendly nod or wave when passing by, a friendly call when passing left, and a cordial conversation when stopping at a store. I consider it an “esprit de corps” to be a roadie.
Roadies are not all the same, just as people are not as well. There are ***holes in all walks of life, just as there are on the road, although most are driving larger vehicles. You can’t let the b*stards win, especially the one in 2001 who left me for dead in a ditch after hitting me.
Michae Harding says
There are many “unwritten” rules with regular groups of roadies and it can be difficult for a new rider to feel comfortable. Over many years of riding with different groups I feel there are a number of options.
The simplest is when you find the group with whom you are riding obviously has little interest in the social aspect eg coffee after the ride, regrouping regularly, having a chat while riding (when appropriate),making new riders welcome etc, then leave that group.
Another option as a new rider is to find out how the group runs by asking. It is important for new riders to be aware of the safety issues. As Joe states unpredictable riding can cause a dangerous crash. Often having a new rider start at the back of the group with a more experienced rider works well.
Many rides have a “captain” who takes responsibility for the overall ride. part of his/her “job description” should include welcoming and introducing new riders. Actually a group having a designated leader for each ride is a good indicator of the friendliness of the group.
Unfortunately not all groups are inclusive and members forget what riding was like as a newbie!
Big Bob says
As others have intimated, I think the “snob level” is directly proportional to the recipient’s “adequacy level”. In other words, you’ll often find what you’re looking for, i.e., it’s in your head. For me, I’ve not found a more friendly, welcoming and happy bunch of folks than the cycling community in general, regardless of the surface they’re riding on. Yes, there are wankers in the group, just as in every segment of society. I am simply amused when I come across said wankers and will often laugh at them. Wait, does that make me a snob? And for what it’s worth, I NEVER say “on your left”, but prefer a “good morning” or “how’s it going?”. To me, “on your left” = “hold your line, you lowly slowpoke, someone important is about to show you his/her wheel”. Not very friendly. But let’s remember, we’re all in this together, our focus should be on the brain dead drivers coming up behind us.
Rick Gould says
I ride a 1981 Univega. Some say nice bike. some don’t wave. Just ride. Be happy you can.
joseph Stewart says
I rode bike in both Columbus, Ohio and Tucson, Arizona. For some inexplicable reason, Arizona riders are much less likely to tell you when they are overtaking you and going to pass. Apart from the obvious lack of courtesy, a passing rider who does not warn the rider that is being overtaken puts themselves at great risk should the overtaken rider move to the left and force the faster rider into traffic.
Hi there, nice article.
I think the search results you noted are not so much from other cyclists but from motorists.
You seem genuinely concerned and have given careful thought to why such results even exist and your article reads very friendly without any smugness, which is great. I think this means you are a friendly and considerate person and cyclist.
Certainly not the sort of person who would cause people to search those things on Google.
Before I go on, my girlfriend and I have 3 bikes each, an Electra cruiser, a dragster and a bmx.
We ride in a manner that basically gives way to cars because despite any laws, a car is going to kill us if it hits us and many drivers are not fit to be behind the wheel, some are just assholes tool, so we play it safely AND courteously.
We never get yelled at or beeped or abused ever.
So no fancy road racing bikes or lycra for us but we are avid cyclists all the same, so it concerns me too that cyclists out there are causing issues.
I have found the only cyclists that cause any issues on the road fit the competitive middle age, middle and upper class, often professional white men with multi thousand dollar bikes AND Lycra catagory.
The majority of this demographic are nearly always arrogant, entitled and selfish users of the road and part of cycling for them is to flex every right that have against everyone else near them as a bold statement of their rights and your obligations.
Absolutely no regard for their effect on traffic around them.
100% “this is all about ME”
I’m not saying that if a person is competitive middle age, middle and upper class, often professional white men with multi thousand dollar bikes AND Lycra catagory, they will be arrogant or entitled, many are lovelly people, it’s just that a large percentage are very much like that.
I believe such search results are absolutely the result of this kind of cyclist and we have all had to endure them when we are driving.
I live in Adelaide, Australia, on one of our states most popular, if not most popular down hill cycling roads, Greenhill road.
A dangerous, narrow two lane road in the Adelaide Hills.
Daily this is a hotspot for cyclists doing 10-15 kmh uphill who are totally at ease and content to hold up long lines of traffic behind them for as long as it takes for them to make it past one of three incredibly dangerous over taking sections where traffic then scrambles to get past as quick as it can.
With exception of two very courteous cyclists (who I complimented at the bottom) I have seen on the road here, none ever stop and let people past, pull closer to the side to allow traffic a better chance to pass or make any effort to acknowledge thier effect on the many people around them.
This is all about them and nothing else matters.
All around our city and main roads leading to the city is the same.
Two abreast, consuming a whole lane and holding traffic up or single file and way out in the cars lane. Groups spread out quite randomly, taking up nearly a cars width but slower than a car.
This is intentional recreational selfishness.
Sure, the bike path might be rough, so ride on a different road or a side street. Very few people here are forced to ride a bike out of necessity and only on main roads and when these bikes are easily upward of $10,000, they arnt riding to work because they can’t afford a car.
Some may believe it’s quicker to get to work on bike, maybe it is quicker…… for them.
Not quicker for anyone else around them as they have slowed down so many people along the way.
The laws surround bike use also gives a great avenue for arrogant people to flex themselves over others and do so legally.
So to conclude, it’s without any doubt that those search results are caused by this arrogant and entitled group of cyclist, for which there are many and it’s unfortunate that iall of us cyclists must endure their reputation.
Sent from my Android phone.
John Pickett says
Great summery Jasper – spot on!
I agree for the most part roadies are arrogant and snobbish. I ride solely road and mainly alone because it is hard to find roadies that just want to have fun and enjoy the air. The problem I believe is a lot of roadies think they are TDF contenders and want others to have that same impression. I have personally witnessed this mentality several times. Maybe if roadies were able to look in the mirror and realize they are mainy exercising and quit being posers then the attitude toward us would change. I do hate the attitudes of some of the schmucks I see.
Ronald Ballentine says
I didn’t start riding seriously until I turned 62 and partially retired . I did my first 50 mi ride on a Mongoose mountain bike I bought for $ 20.00 dollars , My Friend and His Wife were on Recumbents , At Breakfast People would talk about Century Rides . I did My First Century Ride on a Jamis Touring Bike I bought for $749.00 . I Lost a Companion of 14 years 18 days January 18 2019 , 1 Year later as a Tribute to Her Ironically I did My 18 th Century on the Same Bike I did My First Century The Jamis Touring Bike . I Also have a Litespeed Sportive I Paid $ 3500.00 for . I keep riding for the Cardio and the Independence ane Freedom . Keep Riding Fellow Bikers . With Respect Ron .
David Morgan says
i live in uk and yes there is Arrogant rider’s out there be it mountain or road young or old it is all about
money the same is happing to touring caraving /camping the fun has gone
i love riding whether on road or across field’s stated ridding at 12 year’s old back in 72
first big was Brighton to Bridport Dorset to stay with friend’s the good day’s not much traffic about
keep ridding do worry what others say just enjoy it for what it is
Ollie Jones says
We athletes and wanna-be athletes (that’s me) are all a bit self-absorbed. We’re pushing ourselves and paying attention to ourselves. It comes with the territory. Sometimes we can be oblivious, and that comes across as arrogant.
But we use public streets and we interact with others of our kind. So, from my perspective that means we need to take some care to pay attention to others.
And, this benefits everybody. I once had somebody hurl a full (!!!) beer can at me out a pickup truck window along with a few obscenities. The beer can went harmlessly into the woods. I don’t think I was in his way; I was riding on the white line at the edge of the road. But, it seems likely some fellow cyclist annoyed him. I was riding alone) in a community where lots of people ride in pacelines, so plenty of bicycle visibility.
We can only control our own behavior. And it’s worth doing in a world we’re hoping will become more bike-friendly.
Steve Smith says
Just before the lockdown I was driving along the coast. The cars encountered two road bikes who we respectfully stayed behind until it was safe to pass them. At the first set of lights they came inside us and went straight through. Again the cars caught up and waited until it was safe to pass. At the next set of lights they did the same thing. Both drivers sounded their horn I was second. Instead of just riding away they stopped and came back to confront. The first driver had stopped and was being abused by the rear cyclist. I pulled past and wagged my finger at the other one. Immediately he threw his bike under my car and put his hands on the bonnet. He then ran to my side and shouted “open the fucking window!” I managed to lock the doors and he moved to and grabbed the passenger door. When he could not open it he started Kung Fu kicking the side of the car. He then moved to the back out of sight so I tried to reverse to escape, but there was a car right behind. I turned full lock to get away but ran over the bicycle wheel. He claimed criminal damage with the police but when they saw the dashcam footage they told me I would be supported if I decided to pursue charges against him. I am a cyclist btw
Emma West says
I’ll take “Things that never happened” for $500, Alex.
Andy V says
It’s hard to find group rides for newbies or slower paced riders these days. If you’re not averaging 20+ mph, you won’t be included in these group rides. Some of the cycling snobs forget that they too were newbies once. It’s not what you get from cycling, it’s what you give back. On a Facebook group page and all the posters who are newbies looking for tips, group rides and ways to get better are literally ignored. Realized group riding is not for me any longer. Going solo – I can go at my own pace and not worry about others and pissing them off because of my speed. I’m more into bikepacking now and enjoy the journey and not the destination at cut throat speed.
Having many bikes, my venture into cycling as an adult started about 10yrs ago with a renewed interest in fitness &fun. Began on a mnt bike, &ended up purchasing a rd bike to participate in triathlons.. &the experience has been similar to many noted above. In my opinion, its the arrogance &rudeness of road cycists that in general, have caused the issue between motorists &cyclists. Of course there’s exceptions to the rule, but their insistence on riding in groups, several abreast &holding up traffic, gives motorists generally reason enough to curse anyone who rides a bike. Personally, ive found road riders to be obviously arrogant, &is part of the reason i gave up riding ‘on road’, & ride mnt bikes only now.. that &their superiority issues, &the fact of how they gather in groups wearing that ever so feminin lyra to the coffee shop making a display of themselves. The lyrcra should be banned for al but women or elite athletes in training or racing, cause the stupid looking stuff would only make seconds of difference in any race, &itd obviously be better for anyone riding just for fitness purposes to not wear lycra, &have slightly higher wind resistance.. i figure the look goes well with road riders attitudes generally, feminin, elitist & arrogant. But at least theyve mainly stayed out of the forests & bushes &leave the real trails to the intrepid &friendly
Read most of the comments and wonder about the possibility of a Lycra connection. (road only).:
Could it be that the self-consciousness of the form fitting Lycra creates a defensive attitude that contributes to this air of snobbery in some riders? When people feel scrutinized by others, whether real or imagined, they might create an aloof and distant attitude to contend with their fragile ego? No one in the comments is claiming that riders in shorts and t-shirt are demeaning or hostile. Just a thought.
DAVID STAN says
Arrogant snobs? That was in the 1980s. Now we’re total arseholes. It’s called evolution dotards.
I ride alone. Places i ride there’s no body else bike wise. Since the pandemic it’s really more like that! My favorite time of the pandemic was in the begginning, less or no cars,yeah! Air quality was better. All the decades of bike touring,i go by myself and always run into other tours, and we are friendly towards each other… like everything in life it takes all kinds. Say hello or wave,if not reciprocated, I’m still out on ride or tour in nature… I feel blessed during this weird time to be out and about every day….
Ravi Sahnan says
My sentiments precisely Wah.
Tim Paul says
I started to ride road bikes in the 70’s when I was in the navy stationed in San Diego. There were not many other riders back than. When I got discharged, I rode from San Diego up the coast to Seattle. I decide to keep going when I reached Seattle. I ended my ride in Portsmouth New Hampshire. I have been riding ever since. Even commuted into Boston on my bike.
My riding has evolved like the bikes have. Although,, the only thing that remains the same is my frame is steel and my saddle is a brooks.. i always smile when another rider tells me how fast his bike is because of this or that. I know what makes a bike fast are the legs that are turning the pedals.
I encounter many riders now. They are a mix of snobs to very friendly. I think the same thing can be said for car drivers, golfers, runners ect. It comes down to the person. I ride because I like to ride. My equipment is what matches my riding style. As bob marley sang, don’t worry be happy.
Ravi Sahnan says
Totally agree with your comments and your experiences. There are snobs in all walks of life and to be fair it’s to be expected. It’s normal human behaviour and should readily accept it as such. The bottom line is to be able to ignore such it and not let it affect your ride or yourself personally. I ride for health reasons and not to impress anyone on the equipment or the speeds that I can ride. I am a plodder and I offer greetings to passing bikers and if they choose to ignore or blank me then that’s fine as they are not my keeper.
Finally Bob Marley what a legend. His evergreen songs will be listened to by many generations to come.
NH Joe says
I’ve been road biking for 40 years. I’ve never worn Lycra, nor have I (or would I) ever shave my legs. In the summer, I ride with sleeveless shirts because it’s summer. My current and most expensive road bike is a Trek FX 6 because my back pain is far less when I’m more upright these days yet I can keep pace with many of our local two-wheel-turd (as my wife now calls them) groups. However, they NEVER acknowledge my existence. My experience with most of these Armstrong clones over the last 5ish years has been to sadly expect that they will all completely ignore my friendly waves or “good mornings.” Only the older guys will offer a friendly hello back. Most roadies pompous, elitist attitudes have dissuaded me from ever contemplating joining a group. It’s sad but I’ve noticed that a good general rule seems to be “the more color matched you and your ride are, the bigger the a-hole you likely are.” Also, the phrase “share the road” works both ways. The “two-wheel-turd” Armstrong clones give the rest of us on two wheels a bad name.
ML Ten says
I completed the Denver Post “Ride the Rockies” 400+ mile ride in 2003. I had been a nationally ranked female road and track cyclist in the 1970s and I rode my 1970s full Campy road bike but I didn’t wear cycling shoes as my bike was geared for speed and not mountain climbs. No one even spoke to me for the first two days in spite of the fact that I was a riding Medic. Then, I got a top of the line demo bike as a loaner to complete the ride. Suddenly, everyone wanted to talk to me as I passed them, just as I had on my old road bike. It was totally disgusting. All about flaunting money and equipment along with thinness (which I had as a 2:46 marathoner.) I loved bicycle training but there was nothing about racing and bragging that attracted me. Nothing about the people either. I found my joy as a runner along with incredibly supportive co-competitors. Money has infected endurance sports and their participants.
Ravi Sahnan says
Firstly I totally concur with your comments.
I have been a casual cyclist from my teens in the ’70s to now averaging 4 times a week, 100 -150 miles per week since taking early retirement in 2012. my friend and I cycle 95% of the time in the country lanes where we come across Cycling clubs and small groups whose attitudes have deteriorated over the last decade.
You mentioned that one does not get acknowledged unless you have the matching gear. I’ll go as far as saying that the snobbery is fast reaching the level that unless you have the carbon or the high brand cycle you will be lucky if you are even seen. I am saddened to say that this deterioration in ettiquite is going to continue.
My training partner has adopted the attitude that we continue to greet the approaching cyclist even if they dont reciporicate.
Richard Tester says
I am in my early sixties, but have ridden road bikes all my life. By my own admission, I have always been a somewhat lazy rider – never quite pushing myself to the limit. When I started riding, cycling was by no means a stylish or trendy sport – but that does not hold today. As the middle class has become increasingly affluent and well heeled – and the technology of plastics and light metals has developed, marketers have done a wonderful job in turning cycling into a very snobby occupation. I have joined groups in the past – several in fact – and the best experience was leaving them. Smug, arrogant jerks who always want the people they ride with to be almost as good as them. Read ALMOST. Heaven forbid, they can’t be better. Anyone who doesn’t measure up in terms of either their apparel/bike or ability is very quickly side-lined. On my cycling profile on Strava, my tag line is … “proud not to be a conceited bike jock”
The best thing to do is be super fit and claim you are brand new to the sport of road cycling, have a high end bike, but a dorky helmet and completely mismatch everything that elite road cyclist would cringe over. The being super fit part is important because you can drop everyone on the ride, then wait up up for the better riders to catch you and ask them if your are doing it right,….. then drop them again……this will break their ego’s and then watch how the group treats you and other newbies in the future.