Originally uploaded by Jrome.
While I was on my ride, I was dressed as any self respecting super hero (I no wear a cape however!) and I must report on the facts.
I said a friendly "Hello!" to everyone I came upon. Riders would wave or say "Hi!" back, but no pedestrians smiled or responded. This supports the belief that to non-cyclists, those who ride in the superhero getup are less likely to be thought of as people. More likely they are "serious guys" in "funny suits" or something of the sort. I know more than a few people who have seen me out riding, but never knew it was me because of my "costume." Dark sunglasses don't help (I wasn't wearing any on my Sunday ride however) but spandex and lycra aren't exactly what normal people consider normal attire. Even for specialized sporting events. (Look at skiiing. Even skiiing has moved from the spandex racer suits of the 70s and 80s to the snow pant look that any snow enthusiast might consider normal attire.)
I think I need to do more research. My next ride - I'm wearing normal clothes.