It's quite a thing among us cyclists: to greet or not to greet? There are plenty of reasons why you should. So here are the five best reasons not to.
Who prefers a vocal greeting, should better not do so if you have just finished eating a candy bar or a gel. Just like talking with your mouth full: it doesn't look good. You could also choke on it, which is not useful, especially if you are already a bit out of breath.
It's rude to pay attention to strangers in the middle of a conversation. Don't, your mate has priority!
Imagine you've just tucked your windbreaker away on your back, or put on your leg warmers and you're distracted by an oncoming car. There's nothing more embarrassing than (almost) running off the road and giving the impression that you're not in control. So focus on yourself and not on the other person. If it does go wrong: you can't do roadside training often enough.
You promised to do only a short ride. It turned out to be a bit longer and you find yourself thinking fiercely about whether the bridge was open, you had a puncture or you just got lost. These are important decisions that you really need to get your head around. If you go saluting then you can start all over again.
You're not a touring cyclist, but you're doing serious work. Only when you get home you can see from the graphs whether your mission was successful. A bit of a shame if it turns out there's a dip to be seen at the moment of greeting.
If you are not in any of these situations you could choose to greet. You can simply say hi or, more subtly, raise your hand. If you don't want to get too excited, a little nod of the head is always good. Or, of course, a raise a tiny finger. If the other person doesn't greet you back, it could be that this one meets one of the above rules of thumb.