Friendly nod is a no no ?

Mar 2, 2011
Minami Urawa (南浦和)
So today the weather was effing gorgeous and I decided to make the most of it by riding from my apartment in Minami Urawa to my girlfriends house in Fukaya. Anyhow, on route I passed one or two other cyclists who were also out enjoying the amazing weather. I was disappointed however, when all but one of the people i passed refused to acknowledge my nod. I kinda felt it was nice bike etiquette to give a polite nod as you pass a fellow enthusiast. Just like in england when mini drivers beep when they see another mini. Is the friendly nod a no no ? Should i maybe belt out a loud Konichiwa ? Whilst riding I've had old ladies say hello and old men give the nod, but the cyclists I passed all ignored the nod.

I used to go hiking a lot in Japan and whenever we passed other people we would always get a nice "konichiwa" from those we passed.

I say more nodding cyclists. Next time you go for a ride, drop a nod and see what happens..


Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
I nod sometimes, but not in the city or cycling paths, where cyclists are sometimes so abundant I'd end up bobbing my head all the time, don't expect a nod back.

Try to nod in response too, if not concentrating too much on a downhill
I have had mixed results too. Sometimes I get a nod and other times I don't. When I'm on the cycle paths and I hitch on to a group normally if I help out with the work and don't hide in the back they will give me a nod or a small wave when we split but when on the streets I usually get ignored.... Maybe the nodding thing isn't part of Japanese cycling culture? maybe try giving a small bow next time? (JUST KIDDING of course!!!)
Jan 14, 2007
My rules of thumb:
Nod at people riding road bikes only.
If more than one:Yell out an appropriate greeting. hayouuuuuuuu. chiwaaaaaaaaaa, etc.:bike3:
Only give nods to other cyclists if they nod first.
Always smile.
Don't nod at people riding on the wrong side of the path/road or if they are breaking any other rules. You yell at them. :cop:


Aug 12, 2010
Out of the city limits it is all about nodding, at least 50 percent do it. The further away the more rare to not get it in return (or have it hit you before you even thought of doing it yourself)


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
Ok.... actually it is a no-no and I was brought up in the UK riding scene that you only nod or acknowledge a rider if you know them. The reason for this is that nodding or waving can cause an accident especailly if the rider thinks they or you actually know them and they are craning thier necks or twisting around to see who it actually was waving at them, im sure you've all done that double take when a rider has whistled past in the oposite direction and waved.

I normally show a greating by lifting my fingers off the hoods in a small wave.If you and they are stopped at lights then a wave or a nod is perfectly fine.

To put it simply its like the Gaijin nod.... you don't nod at every single westerner you see on the streets. Same really applies for our hobby, yes great you're a cyclist but "this doesn't mean we will be swapping spit in the showers"


Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
For me, right hand off the handlebar to acknowledge all "serious cyclists".

Also, always exchange a few words when passing someone.

I try not to be botherd by cyclists who don't do the same. The Keirin lot rarely let on for some reason....



Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
To put it simply its like the Gaijin nod ...
Gosh, i haven't had the Gaijin nod for ages now. Seems like nowadays it's more of an 'eyes down, I haven't seen you' type thing. I don't mind this; the gaijin nod was always a bit embarrassing.

On the road, yep I nod to people. Typically only roadies, or those with drop bars.


Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
Wow, there are still some Gaijin left in Japan...... :eek:

I thought they all few away home :rolleyes: :p

I ride mainly in the city, sometimes I'll talk to others at a light but I never get a nod, I guess I'm not thought of as a "Cyclist" :D
Mar 2, 2011
Minami Urawa (南浦和)
Well today was all countryside, up through kawagoe and right out in the sticks and nods were only to people who where oncoming. In the city it might be a different story, but then i nod at old ladies in town by me and they always nod back!

maybe my merida was too outclassed by all the classy bikes i saw
Sep 2, 2009
They all take themselves a bit too seriously over here. You will get used to it.

Just train yourself up so you are fast as a bastard, overtake them and say hello at the same time. They hate that.


Maximum Pace
Sep 3, 2009
I nod sometimes, but not in the city or cycling paths, where cyclists are sometimes so abundant I'd end up bobbing my head all the time, don't expect a nod back.

Try to nod in response too, if not concentrating too much on a downhill
Same here. Don't expect a reply.

Since I'm on the roads early (5-ish am now since its not dark anymore) I try to nod to some cyclists who I recognize on the cycle paths. Recognize their bikes, I rarely recognize their face its the bike that I recognize first.

If the other rider is on the drops I don't bother nodding. If the other rider is riding against a headwind I don't bother nodding too. When another person or cyclist gives way I definitely nod, I also nod when over taking. No chit chat with me due to my limited vocabulary.

It is weird because sometimes I nod without making eye contact. I know they're there, I recognized the bike, but I nod while still looking/scanning the road straight ahead. Maybe too impersonal...