This one should go without saying, but be nice to your fellow riders. Even if that simply manifests itself as a cursory nod of the head as they ride past on the other side of the road. Granted, you don’t have to do it, but that’s what makes it so nice that you do (you do, right?).
Plus, nobody likes that guy who doesn’t nod back, smile or raise a few fingers from the bars. The implication of that is that you think you’re too good to nod to that person which – unless you’ve been riding for two hours with a constant power output of 400 watts and are too knackered to even move your head (hint: you haven’t) – probably isn’t the case.
Last year, I went out to Belgium with a friend to watch some racing and get a bit of riding in to boot. It was a great trip, the weather was unseasonably good for that time of year and we had a really good time. On the Saturday morning we figured we have a big day and try and get in 100km+ and as many bergs as our legs could manage.
About 20km into the ride, as we were still on the way from Kortrijk heading into the heart of Flandrian riding country, we were passed by a rider in full Belkin kit riding a Bianchi. The figure turned, smiled and offered a ‘good morning’ as he eased past us. It took about 10 seconds to register that we’d just been overtaken by Sepp Vanmarcke, who’d come fifth at E3 Harelbeke the day before and would podium in the Tour of Flanders the next weekend. He could have sped past us, the two nobodies out for a morning ride, and not said a word. But he didn’t. He took the time to say hello, even though he was in no way obliged to.
The moral of the story is that no matter how good you think you are, you’re never too good to be nice to other riders. Or if you think you are, at the very least, you need to be better than Sepp Vanmarcke.