If you don’t want the answer…

A reasonably active recreational bicyclist, i am quite comfortable with rules on the bike path.  Ride on the right, except to pass.  Signal (ie: say “on your left”) when overtaking others.  Bicyclists yield right of way to all others.

There’s also an informal set of “etiquette” guidelines.  A key frustration occurs when encountering oncoming cyclists – riding two by two.  Etiquette (if not safety) says that given the relatively narrow path, it is wise to drop into single file until clear of oncoming cyclists, and it’s safe to ride two abreast again.  Not everyone does this, and i am often found playing a gentle game of “chicken” with the cyclist failing to yield… moving out toward the center to drive them to do what is right!  Perhaps teaching them a valuable lesson.  Generally, the lesson falls mute to the asphalt, leaving me grumpy and ready to clothesline the next “violator”…

But that’s not my rant du jour…

There is also another informal rule.  When encountering other cyclists, either oncoming or from behind, it’s polite to say “Good Morning”, or “Good Day” or just “Hi”.  As a minimum, a nod of the head….  Yesterday, all was going according to the natiural order until i encountered a goober who asked the dreaded “rhetorical question in passing” – “How are you?”.

Not the fastest cyclist in the world, i was still clipping along at at 15 mph.  Does he really expect me to answer?  Am i supposed to shout a reply?  Share information about my latest gynecological issues?  An update on the “boy toy” situation?”  Let him know about Mom’s bypass surgery?

Feeling a bit crotchety, i was tempted to make a u-turn, wheel along beside him, and start telling him about my week… in graphic detail.  It’s bad enough when you pass one of these goombahs in the hallway at work, but on a BIKE?

Look, Nimrod… unless you are genuinely interested in the answer, don’t ask how i’m doing.  You’re liable to get a lot more information that you want, not to mention a swift sandal up your pasty little nerd-ass…