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Old 10-27-08, 11:57 AM   #1
ROJA
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What do you do when someone honks at you?

From time to time, I get honked at even when I'm riding safely and legally. I think the car driver is just angered at losing a few seconds of his or her precious time stuck behind a "toy" riding on the street. This seems more common in cities and towns with fewer cyclists. It's easy to be a bully when you are encased in steel and the object of your aggression is some person poor, silly, or stupid enough to ride a bicycle on the street.

Getting honked at is often starting and can be very dangerous. I suppose that the best response is to just ignore it and not let it bother you. How many of you race to catch up with the driver at the next light to yell or explain our rights to the driver? Does it do much good? Do you just smile and wave? Any advice on how to handle this without making my blood boil???
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Old 10-27-08, 12:14 PM   #2
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Are you taking the lane or close the curb where it is unclear to the driver if they can safely pass you without overtaking?

I think the best thing is to ignore the honks. Ride like you know what you are doing and make sure you are equipped with mirror, helmet and bright tail lights. Your presence should be enough to convince motorists you are far more knowledgeable than they are .
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Old 10-27-08, 12:17 PM   #3
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I don't react at all. I prefer to think they are just letting me know they are about to overtake me. I don't find the honking of a horn on a public street/road startling at all, if I were seated at a booth in a restaurant, and some joker blew a car horn behind me, then the gloves are off!
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Old 10-27-08, 12:24 PM   #4
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some people honk as a precaution, which usually comes off rude. some people honk just because they are a-holes.
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Old 10-27-08, 12:27 PM   #5
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Depends on the honk. The quick beep-beeps may be ignored, or at best glanced at just to ensure that some dunderhead isn't driving out of control right at you. (this may actually be a long lost friend... talk to them later about honking at cyclists)

The longer honks should be responded to... give the driver a long "haven't seen you in a long time old friend" wave. Freaks them out. Remember to use all fingers in this wave... lest it be mistaken for some form of hand sign.

The really long annoying honks... well again, is the driver headed right at you with an out of control vehicle... if not, consider the "old friend" wave. I like to go one further on these too... provided the driver doesn't reek of pure hate... I tend to confront the motorist to find out if their horn is broken or what exactly their problem might be. Now this is dangerous, as road rage could be a factor, or they could just be stupid. In the latter case, I want to gently educate them, and for this I happen to carry cards that specify the laws of my state with regard to cyclists.

Now the only other honks I can recall are the "you are in my way" either at a right turn opportunity or while waiting at at a red light. The right turn situation of course should be clearly indicated by a signal, usually in the form of a blinking light on the vehicle. And of course I have already positioned myself in a way to permit right turning motorists the ability to go past me... so this driver is either a dunderhead or needs glasses. And the honker at a red light... indicating you should get out of their way... (so they can advance closer to the red?) clearly a dunderhead. Best to ignore them... obviously their shirt collar is too tight or something like that.

Oh, one more, the drive by close pass honker... they get "the long lost buddy" wave with me sitting right on their tail at the next light... gazing right at their rear view mirror.

Did I cover everything?
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Old 10-27-08, 12:29 PM   #6
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I make a Friendly wave and Yell:
I LOVE YOUR _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Fill in with your word.
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Old 10-27-08, 12:30 PM   #7
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Are you taking the lane or close the curb where it is unclear to the driver if they can safely pass you without overtaking?
I am riding as far to the right as reasonably practicable, which is the Calif. Vehicle Code standard. Sometimes that means taking the lane, but usually it means riding in the right quarter of the lane. Due to narrow lane widths, an overtaking car will almost always need to move slightly (but not completely) into the next lane over to pass.
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Old 10-27-08, 12:30 PM   #8
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I always assume they're honking out of appreciation for my incredible ass. I didn't realize how vibrant and well represented the homosexual population is here in my town.
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Old 10-27-08, 12:31 PM   #9
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I like to wave and smile at them. If I'm feeling a bit obnoxious I might even yell "I love you too" at them, especially if I think the honk was due to the driver being angry at my presence on the road.
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Old 10-27-08, 01:06 PM   #10
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If they honk and pass me, I just wave and say something like, "Hi, howya doing?" If they are behind me, I ignore the first honk. If they honk again, I turn my head and have a confused look on my face.

Once, a lady honked at me and as I turned to look back, she gave the shoulder shrug, hands up gesture. You know, the "What are you doing?" gesture. I just did the same thing back to her.

If they honk, pull up next to me and roll down the window and start yelling at me, I know I shouldn't, but I yell back. I can't help myself. I am working on it though. For example, the other day I was riding on a road to work. I take the lane on this road because it is too narrow to share the lane. I am on this road for about 8 blocks. A SUV decides to pass me, crossing over the double yellow about 50 feet from the one stop sign on the road. I start to think to myself, "This person isn't really trying to pass me this close to the stop sign?"

But, the SUV doesn't pass me, he decides to roll down the window to yell at me. The first thing that enters my mind is "What a good looking Husky." I am a dog lover and his Husky was in the front passenger seat. Well, he starts yelling asking why I am on the road. I couldn't help myself. I had to reply, "What? I am obeying the law, you are the one crossing the double yellow lines!" He continues to ride next to me to the stop sign, still on the other side of the double yellow. I ask him, "do you want to pull over to discuss the traffic laws?"
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Old 10-27-08, 01:18 PM   #11
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I am riding as far to the right as reasonably practicable, which is the Calif. Vehicle Code standard. Sometimes that means taking the lane, but usually it means riding in the right quarter of the lane. Due to narrow lane widths, an overtaking car will almost always need to move slightly (but not completely) into the next lane over to pass.
I would suggest riding in the right one third of the lane. Cars should overtake you by moving into the next lane. My guess is you are riding too far to the right so drivers don't know if they squeeze by or not until they are right behind you. By then they have lost their opportunity to overtake you and are mad because they are stuck behind you. So they honk.
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Old 10-27-08, 02:09 PM   #12
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Nothing, unless a second lane to the left is clear, in which case, I'll make a motion for them to pass.

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Old 10-27-08, 02:35 PM   #13
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If they're behind me, I press the oil slick button.


... actually.. I don't do anything, other than check to see if i'm in danger, then continue on my way.
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Old 10-27-08, 02:40 PM   #14
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I usually give a look and a wave to show that I see them. If they were honking to warn me, then it comes off as friendly. If they meant to be *******s, then it shows that I don't give a **** about how much they honk, I'm just going to dismiss them with a quick wave.
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Old 10-27-08, 02:54 PM   #15
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If they're behind me, I press the oil slick button.
Followed by microjamming their brakes and turbo boosting, eh?

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Old 10-27-08, 03:48 PM   #16
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I've been given two light beeps by people passing me, one honk when I was in a crosswalk (way back when I rode on the wrong-way MUP), and three honks from jerks on the other side of the road. Kinda ironic, because I'd imagine I'd get more honks from people who I'm actually holding up, but nobody has ever honked while following behind me.

and no, I can't really react in any way because by the time the honker has my attention he's probably already next to or behind me.
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Old 10-27-08, 04:33 PM   #17
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Unfortunately in Ohio there is an old recommendation to drivers to honk when passing a bike.
Usually its an older person passing when I hear that.Sort of humorous.
Anyone out there have an Ohio driving manual from the 60,s?
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Old 10-27-08, 04:59 PM   #18
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I lift my shirt. That's what they want, isn't it?
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Old 10-27-08, 05:19 PM   #19
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Unfortunately in Ohio there is an old recommendation to drivers to honk when passing a bike.
Usually its an older person passing when I hear that.Sort of humorous.
Anyone out there have an Ohio driving manual from the 60,s?
Not just a bike. It's still the law that you are suppose to give an audible warning that you are about to pass another vehicle.
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4511.27 Passing Other Vehicles - A driver must audibly signal before passing any other vehicle and then he or she may proceed to pass on the left. The vehicle being passed must give way after being signaled and must not increase speed.
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Old 10-27-08, 05:51 PM   #20
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Lately the rides have been smooth, but before that I got a few and as a new-be it was really bugging me, so as soon as it happens I would swerve or get really tense for a moment so I started responding with F... off or a finger.....but

One time the honk was like three seconds long and there was plenty of space for cars to pass, so when the car was passing me I sead F... off and when it passed I noticed there was a baby in the back seat with windows open and a young lady driving. Well, that kinda made me feel bad and it was a warning sign that probably I should control what I do when the honk happens.

Most of the honkers are just people thinking that you can't hear them coming so they are trying to be extra safe without knowing how it effects you and some people know exactly what they are doing.

Well, lately I have become a lot more calm while riding so I learned how to just ignore it as I'm more prepared for it. My next assignment is to give one extra finger and give them a peace sign.

Now there are good honks, specifically the ones when a hot chick passes you and then honks a couple of times, then I just smile.
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Old 10-27-08, 05:54 PM   #21
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I always assume they're honking out of appreciation for my incredible ass. I didn't realize how vibrant and well represented the homosexual population is here in my town.


You're sick (LOL)
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Old 10-27-08, 05:58 PM   #22
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When I was a lot younger and stupid, I would give them the one-finger-salute. I also was attacked and ran off the road a few times as well. Now, being a bit more mature (ahem), I usually just bite my tounge and ignore them, but watch them out of the corner of my eye, to be safe.
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Old 10-27-08, 06:21 PM   #23
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Now there are good honks, specifically the ones when a hot chick passes you and then honks a couple of times, then I just smile.
Those aren't "honks," those are beeps. as in "beep beep."
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Old 10-27-08, 06:23 PM   #24
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I wave.

I usually remember to raise all my fingers. If the honk is particularly jarring, sometimes it's hard to coordinate raising all my my fingers, though. I find that the tallest one comes up the quickest, in cases like that.
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Old 10-27-08, 06:31 PM   #25
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I've never had the urge to flip someone off while riding. Then again, I don't get honks that often.
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