Most people who read my blog are fairly active and either walk, hike, ride a bike, ski, or are thinking about perhaps doing something active. Nothing hard core. Just doing or thinking about being active and getting out there. One of the social aspects of the active life is the simple act of being friendly or acknowledging someone who is out there doing the same thing as you. Perhaps you have noticed particularly friendly people who always say “Hi” on their way to you and past you. Others who choose not to do so and are engrossed in their own world of Podcasts, music or just plain unfriendly. Maybe they are concentrating on a family issue, school, or thinking about something in particular. It takes all kinds and they are out there on the roads,trails, and slopes. Lets look at a few of them:
The Walker- some walkers come by you and greet you perhaps because they recognize you as one who walks regularly. Others just are friendly and smile and say”Hi.” They make you feel good and if you see enough of these folks, the walks go well and you have a general sense of well being. Others have the earbuds on, look straight ahead, ignore your greeting and are intently listening to their Podcast or the latest on NPR. Maybe they are having personal problems and are walking for some solace. In either case, does it take that much to just say…………Hi?
The Runner- these folks are usually a little more intense and have the same issues with the earbuds and the Podcasts or music. Or perhaps they are either really fit and concentrating on their heartrate and their minutes per mile. They concentrate and use this time as training for some event or for personal fitness. Some runners look like they are in some state of pain. It takes everything they have to run at their pace and the contorted looks on their face say to you in an unstated way,” Hey- I am just trying to get through this run and it would take too much energy to acknowledge you.” Others just say, “Screw it, I am not talking to anyone.”
The Cyclist- casual cyclists tend to be more friendly than the serious road set. Now I am not putting down the serious rider because I ride the road bike myself and in my day, did my fair share of training on the road. But why does it seem sometimes that road riders either ignore you or when they are with a group, they look over like they want to chew your face off? You know the kind. The individual with the club jersey and shorts, or the wannabe Euro Dog with the expensive team kit who vicariously lives through his clothes and bike and pretends to be a Tour De France contender. “How dare you say hello to me you road cretin with your touring bike and no team kit.” These guys make a specific note of not saying hello or waving because they are too cool for school. I laugh at these guys because I have seen them too many times before. What is wrong with a smile or a slight nod of the head to acknowledge your presence as a rider? Tsk Tsk.
The Skier on the Chairlift- they guy who looks down and doesn’t talk for the whole ride. The wannabe racer who is too cool to talk. The snowboarder who thinks skiers are dorks and again is too cool to say hello on the chair. The good looking girl who definitely does not want to talk because she thinks it is inviting a hit on her. Let me tell you the days of hitting are over for most guys my age. We just want a hello and acknowledgement on what a beauiful day it is or how great the conditions are. Not…………” ski here often?”
The Mountain Biker- strong roadies turned mountain bikers or racers tend to blow by you and not even say hello. But for the most part, the mountain bike tribe is friendly and has a much better attitude than the chew your face off group. Riding in the woods is serene and these folks tend to be like the hikers who also are quite friendly. Must be something about being in the woods, not racing, and enjoying nature at its finest. Hikers are dog walkers and they all tend to be friendly. I have really never met a mountain biker or a hiker who doesn’t say hi. Only the jaded racers who train on the trail and can’t wait to blow by the hairbags in front of them.
If you look at my two videos up top, you will see both scenarios. See how you feel when watching them. Now I live in Catholic guilt ridden hell because that is my background. I say hello to everyone and always did. Even in races I was careful to announce my presence if I was passing or I kept it friendly with the group I was riding with. Not because I was not competitive, but I knew my place. I was not going to the Olympics and running, skiing, cycling on the road or in the woods is a social event as much as it is a training or racing event. You will never get a nasty look, or an ignored salutation from me. I believe we are all in the same boat. Enjoying the exercise, the environment, and the comraderie of being together enjoying the same activity together. So the next time you are out, make a mental note to see who and what types say hello and greet you and who are the jagoffs who ignore you. The people who need solace get a pass but the others, lighten up and say………”Hi.” Thanks for reading