What is the first thing you think of when someone mentions cyclists? Many people think of cyclists as arrogant spandex clad beings that are too busy pedaling to wave, smile or do anything to acknowledge fellow human beings. It is time for America’s perception of cyclists to change.

In all fairness, America’s roads are cramped. Conflict is bound to erupt when you add cars, trucks, pedestrians and cyclists on the same piece of narrow pavement. There is no question that many vehicles don’t give bikes the respect they deserve and vice versa. However, I believe it is certainly possible to improve the situation so we can all safely and happily share the road.

As a new cyclist, I hereby commit to utilize every ride as a diplomatic mission to heal the rift between the cycling and non cycling world. How will I accomplish such a feat? I plan to greet all fellow cyclists, pedestrians and runners with a smile, wave and/or a sincere “hello”. I think this is exactly what is needed to change the cycling world as we know it. People may be shocked at first. However, over time, this should help create a mutual respect that enables greater enjoyment of our outdoors.

As one man with one bike I can only do so much. I challenge you to join me in this quest to build some goodwill with the rest of the world. I assure you it is possible to smile, wave and say hi without breaking your pace. There is really no reason to not be friendly. It is completely possible to be safe and respectful while having a great ride.

Will you join me? I will see you out there and I will be saying hi.