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Snot rocket etiquette for cyclists

It's very rude to expel your mucus onto your ride companions

Riding through a mist of someone else’s snot is very unpleasant. It’s gross and you could be spreading nasty germs around so you definitely should do everything in your power to avoid spraying a ride companion with your booger bullets. Having a stuffy nose on the bike is common for cyclists especially during allergy season or when the temperatures are a little cooler. That’s no excuse for lacking courtesy and getting your mucus on the people you are riding with, even if they are your competitors in a race. So here are must-follow tips for all cyclists to not be that rider who shoots snot rockets towards those they are riding with.

Work on your technique before unleashing in a group

A snot rocket should be precisely executed and not recklessly sprayed. You not only need to work on your technique to avoid your own body but have the expelled mucus land away from those you are riding with.

A common method is holding one of your nostrils shut with your hand and forcing air through the other nostril while leaning towards the shoulder of the road or way out in the middle of the road away from other riders. Aim down, instead of sideways or upwards, so the trajectory of the snot is towards the ground. You can also lean over and aim under your arm ensuring the substance issued from your nose is directed towards the ground. Don’t start indiscriminately doing blowing snot rockets without some practice. Once you perfect your technique, then you can be more confident to do it around people.

Position yourself strategically

Before issuing a snot rocket, consider moving from your position in the group you are riding with. The back of the group is the best place to be because, without anyone behind or beside you, you are free to bungle your snot rocket and still only get boogers all over yourself instead of the people you are riding with. Alternatively, you can pull out of a paceline towards the middle of the road to take care of business.

Regardless, shoulder check before blowing snot all over the place. With good technique, some practice and smart positioning, you should be free to expel mucus away from the people you are riding with.

Take note of the wind direction

When planning to blow your nose while on the bike, it’s not only important to have your technique and position dialled in. You’ll also want to make sure you are aware of the wind. Your snot could blow in a breeze and ruin someone’s ride if you don’t take the wind direction into consideration. Try and find a direction to blow your snot rocket in that will carry your mucus away from the group rather than into the wind where it risks getting all over you and anyone unfortunate enough to be close by.

Look for prime opportunities

There are some times that are better for blowing your nose clear than others. Descents, when people tend to spread out on the road a bit more, is a good chance to blow a snot rocket. Climbs can be a good opportunity as well when the group you are riding with may separate because everyone is riding their own pace. If you are going full gas in a paceline, it’s harder to find a good opportunity to blow your nose. After you take a pull and move to the back, you may have a chance.