I’ve been riding for over two weeks now and have made it a point to wave, smile, or nod at as many people as I can. While doing this I’ve noticed some patterns. This is purely anecdotal and my thoughts lack any scientific research on my part but I think it’s interesting.

For the most part people tend to return the gesture that I give. There seems to be three exceptions: hardcore cyclists, the elderly who appear unhealthy, and the “overweight”. I think the reason for the latter two are related. The cyclists appear to be absorbed in their sport and probably indifferent to the rest of the world but I think the elderly and overweight’s reasons for ignoring my waves may be more socially induced.

In our culture the elderly and overweight are often looked down upon and may not be used to young and healthy people being overly friendly. It is outside the norm for someone to wave to a stranger as it is. It is no secret that our society tends to look down on the elderly and “sick”, I’m if people in this category are simply surprised by kindness or if they are actually suspicious.

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