The cold weather is almost upon us we cyclists know what that means.
It means that snot rockets will soon be flying through the air. Straight from the nose of a cold cyclist… And hopefully not onto the unfortunate rider behind him.
Snot rockets are a necessary evil of cold weather riding. They come from people who have spent the majority of their days indoors, breathing dry, forced air heat, coping with household allergens and pet dander, and spending their time around people with colds. You take such a person, put them on a bike in the chilly weather, and you have a perfect scenario for a stuffy nose.
When a cyclist rides, he or she needs to breath freely. Stuffy noses are a bane to a bike rider’s existence and as such, they must be taken care of quickly and frequently.
Now, some polite cyclists may carry a tissue for just this purpose, but the majority I’ve seen simply blow a snotter forcefully out of their nose. When you’re trying to stay on another rider’s wheel, you need a clear nose and you need it immediately. There’s usually no time to wait and pull out a tissue.
Etiquette would dictate that the blowers of snot rockets should pay attention to who is nearby before launching one of these beauties. When I plan to blow a snot rocket, I wait until I’ve gone to the back of the pace line. Another good time to let one loose is when the group has stopped at a light.
One of my friends told me that he can’t blow snot rockets, but he’d like to. So here is a quick instructional section incase there’s anyone else in his shoes.
- Look around to see who is near by. Do not blow a snot rocket if someone is directly behind you.
- Cover your left nostril with your left hand.
- Look over your right shoulder.
- Forcefully blow a snotter out of your right nostril. The wind will take it away.
- Repeat on the other side, with the other hand, for the other nostril.
- Wipe your nose to get rid of any clingers.
- If you decide to blow a snotter when stopped at a light, bend over the side of your bike, cover a nostril as instructed above and blow the snotter slightly outward from your feet.
- If someone blows a snotter near you, tactfully give him or her privacy by averting your eyes.
Snotters may offend other riders from time to time. If anyone ever says, “Oh man, Angie!” I just tell them that it had to be done. Usually, the comment I hear from other riders is, “Good one!”
So, don’t be ashamed of your snotters. If you’re out there in the cold, braving the elements, shoot your snot rockets with pride. By expelling them, you are marking yourself as a serious cyclist, one who doesn’t let a little cold weather stop you from enjoying your bike.