Tomorrow morning I’ll hit the tracks with my buddies. We don’t spend much time on the bitumen but when we do I always smile and way at every other bike rider. I always have. I’ve made more friends this way than I can remember but sometimes my intentions aren’t entirely pure. I usually get a laugh from my riding buddies every time a roadie goes past and they point blank ignore my friendly wave. Its not a one off, its been happening for so long we often have post ride conversations about why roadies never smile or say g’day. Here are some of our favourite theories:
- Road riding just isn’t much fun. Whats your least favourite part of any mountain bike adventure? Yep, riding on the road. It doesn’t take any skill, there’s no challenge, no fun and Its just plain boring. Imagine if this was all you ever did. You be a bit twisted and chances are you wouldn’t want to way, smile or say g’day to anyone.
- Road riders don’t have good bike skills and they need to concentrate much harder. Its true, if roadies had bike skills they’d ride a mountain bike. So they need to fixate on the bit of tarmac 3ft infront of them and every second is a scary experience. They’re worried if they look up to say “hello” they’ll wobble and if they take a hand off the bars to wave they might splat on the road.
- Roadies are Strava slaves and haven’t got time to look up and say hello. We were waiting on the side of the road when a buddy rides past on a roadie. We all know him and would consider him a good mate. We all said hello but he just grunted and kept riding hard. He was on a Strava mission and couldn’t even raise a hand to say “hi”.
- Roadies are miserable gits. This isn’t very generous but some of my mountain bike mates are convinced that road riding attracts miserable gits and that’s the end of the story. I don’t want to be seen sticking up for roadies but I know lots of roadies and while one or two are miserable people most of them are great guys and girls who I enjoy spending time with off the bike.
- Road riding is the new golf and golfers are miserable gits. A bit harsh but maybe it could be true????
- A lot of Roadies are pretty new to riding and don’t understand riding etiquette. You wave, you say g’day, you always stop to ask a stranded rider if they’re OK. It doesn’t matter if they’re on a roadie, a mountain bike or a penny farthing.
- Roadies have hard uncomfortable saddles which always puts them in a bad mood. Imagine you became a shaolin monk and one of your training regimes involved hours of being hit between the legs with a wooden bar wrapped in a thin layer of leather. You’d be pretty cranky, right?. Guess what? That’s whats happening to roadies every time they go for a ride. They have hard tyres, hard saddles, no suspension and every bump hits ’em where it hurts.
- Roadies look down there noses at mountain bikers. … Ha ha , Im only kidding, as if. They can only ride where some council shovel leaner has laid a perfectly smooth tarmac trail. ha ha ha. 7% is a steep climb hahaha, -10% descent give them a severe case of brown pants, and any small bump on the road is a near death experience. HaHaHa. Oh dear, thats funny.
- Roadies are jealous of MTB’rs because we have fun and they don’t. Picture this, if you will, …You’ve put the golf clubs away and you’ve taken up a new hobby. Several of your old golf mates ride bikes so you’ve decided to join the fun. They helped you buy a bike and without too much trouble you dropped $5k on a light weight carbon flyer the skinny tanned bloke in the bike shop said was fast. 125psi 23mm tyres, steep head angle and a seat like the spine of a book. You bought some lycra, shaved your legs and feel like one of the cool kids. You’ve had a couple of rides but its actually not that much fun. You ride in a bunch and the other riders are always telling you what to do; “watch your wheel, take a turn, don’t cross wheels”. Its long and boring and at the end of a ride you drink black coffee and something healthy. You think about quitting when you notice some other bike riders. They ride funny looking bikes with wide handle bars and fat tyres. They laugh and smile and encourage. At the end of a ride they drink beer and eat burgers. They don’t wear lycra, they don’t shave they’re legs and they don’t slavishly follow the wheel in front. And when the road ends they just jump off and keep riding. It looks like fun but you’ve just spent all your dough on a torture machine that won’t even ride on gravel let alone that exciting looking track they’re riding. You find out its called mountain biking and you wish that you’d bought one of them. You become bitter and when one of those free wheeling smart alecs gives you a friendly smile and a wave you clench your jaw and curl your lip. You might even tell you road riding mates “What a loser” but that night, alone in a dark room, you mark in your diary, at a date in the future when your other half will have forgotten how much you spent on your roadie, “Buy new bike ( mountain bike this time )“
What are your theories why roadies aren’t very friendly?