I first encountered the existence of this polite exercising etiquette whilst walking along the coastline of South East England - random folk out with their dogs or out walking for fitness would voice this greeting to me as I passed in the opposite direction.
To start with I was so flummoxed that before I'd managed to utter a mirrored response they'd already passed by and now I looked like a mumbling fool who uttered polite abuse at strangers backs.
Call me cynical (though please refrain from doing so while I'm out walking - that'd just freak me out) but as a shy and retiring Brit who used to work in retail I think people who say hello to folk they don't know are after something for their own gain.
4th Grade Jack explains it better than me - but then I'm a cynic and believe this clip to be the marketing tool of a corporate machine rather than a smoothly edited home video posted on YouTube by a well meaning seven year old:
Before I could control myself I'd joined the 'hello movement' and was busy saying hello! to virtually everyone I could when I was out on one of these fast walks - I'd greet all and sundry, be they fellow fleet-footed fitness fanatics, people on their way to work or the paper shop, or even happy drunks on their way to bed after a cracking night out.
I was like a polite man possessed! And to this end I didn't really pick up on why some folk would respond and others would simply blank this twatful greeter.
It was only when I started The Running Challenge that I noticed the differences between the respondies and the non-responsive and only when I used my wheels for The Cycling Challenge that I realised the hierachy to the Hello Culture!
Here's how the Hello Culture! works:
- People just out walking as a means of getting from A to B DO NOT say hello! to Walkers
- Dog Walkers often DO say hello! to Walkers, though it's not a given
- Walkers DO say hello! to other Walkers, unless they're rude or new or too shattered to say hello
- Joggers DO NOT say hello! to Walkers unless they look like they're actually Joggers who are just taking a break
- Joggers DO say helllo! to other Joggers (see No.3 for reason's that some don't)
- Cyclists DO say hello! to other Cyclists but only respond if they are in the same category of Cyclists (rules of Cyclists to follow)
- Cyclists DO NOT say hello! to Joggers or Walkers
- Cyclists DO NOT say hello! to other bike users who are simply cycling as a means of getting from A to B
- Cyclists seeking fitness but not part of a club DO say hello! to other Cyclists of the same nature
- Cyclists seeking fitness but not part of a club DO sometimes say hello! to Club Cyclists but DO NOT often get a response
- Club Cyclists DO say hello! to other Club Cyclists, it would be impolite not to wouldn't it?
Next time you see me out exercising DO say hello! but only if we are both Walking, or Jogging, or Cycling and we're of the same standard - otherwise I'll blank you, you mumbling fool.