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Old 11-15-11, 04:15 PM   #1
Driver111
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Crazy Biker?

Hi guys. I have not biked since I was a kid but I wanted to get some opinions on this situation: I am sitting in my car in front of a stop light at a confusing five way intersection in the middle of a three lane road with traffic backed up for almost two miles when a biker pulls up alongside me in the left turn lane. Everything is fine but then the biker pulls out of the lane into the crosswalk, right in front of and perpendicular to my car and sits there waggling his wheel around. As you can probably understand, I, non-biker that I am, was more than a little confused. I could not tell which way he was going to go once the light turned green because he was both in the middle lane, in which you can turn whichever way you want, and he was perpendicular to the road. I waited a bit to see if he was going to stop, but when he didn't, I tried to get his attention many times just so I could ask him what he was planning. He did not seem to see me and so, with the light about to turn green and his bike still directly in front of and perpendicular to me, I honked so I could ask him what the hell he was doing (pardon my language). At this point, he turned around and started repeatedly cursing at me. Can anybody tell me what he was doing because it was kind of frustrating to be shouted at without knowing why.
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Old 11-15-11, 04:20 PM   #2
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Cool story, bro. You googled up a bike forum and joined just to share it with us?

Nobody in here can tell you what that guy was doing, unless he happens to be a member of the same forum you found. People do all sorts of weird things. I heard about a bear who was a member of the Polish army; I wish someone could tell me what he was doing.
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Old 11-15-11, 04:51 PM   #3
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One time this bear was on my lawn and I was like, "what are you doing bear?" and he didn't answer me, in fact he looked mad.
So I joined a bear form to ask them why bears got to be so crazy.
And they all rushed in to explain to me why bears are crazy, and apologized for bears everywhere for being so crazy and how right I was to think that was oooonnne crazy bear.
The end.

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Old 11-15-11, 04:55 PM   #4
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Also: Paragraphs weren't humanity's single greatest invention, but they're a pretty useful tool.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:02 PM   #5
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Don't honk unless it's an emergency.

To find out what the guy was doing, wait. When he goes, you'll see what his plan was.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:30 PM   #6
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Wait a second... I'm confused. Was the bear riding the bike or driving the car?
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Old 11-15-11, 05:35 PM   #7
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Don't honk unless it's an emergency.

To find out what the guy was doing, wait. When he goes, you'll see what his plan was.
+1

OP discription was lacking.

Rolling or swinging a wheel over the traffic signal sensor will help signal detect a bicycle when the sensor is set too low.

Or the cyclist may have just been track standing on the up slope portion of the road.

Just wait and see how the cyclist proceeds.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:36 PM   #8
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Also: Paragraphs weren't humanity's single greatest invention, but they're a pretty useful tool.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:42 PM   #9
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The bear was writing without paragraphs while track-standing at a congested, five-way intersection.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:08 PM   #10
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... I honked so I could ask him what the hell he was doing (pardon my language). At this point, he turned around and started repeatedly cursing at me. Can anybody tell me what he was doing because it was kind of frustrating to be shouted at without knowing why.
Don't know where you are so I don't know the details of the vehicle code there, but California's is pretty typical and wrt horn operation it states:

"27001. (a) The driver of a motor vehicle when reasonably necessary to insure safe operation shall give audible warning with his horn. (b) The horn shall not otherwise be used, except as a theft alarm system ..."

Since neither you nor the cyclist were moving, there was no safe operation concern to justify use of your horn. Seems reasonable to surmise that the cyclist may well have felt that 'it was kind of frustrating to be honked at without knowing why'. Cursing at you in response may not have been the ideal reaction, but then you find yourself asking us to 'pardon my language' here as a result of your feelings of frustration. So it would seem reasonable for you to at least have some understanding for the cyclist's use of inappropriate language.

If I read your rambling paragraph correctly, the cyclist was initially in the left-most, i.e. left turn only, lane but in a situation where the middle lane is also allowed to turn left. That can result in problems when the cyclist turns left and then has cars turning left from the middle lane passing him on the right and making it hard for him to move over after the turn. He probably realized that and repositioned himself at the front of the middle lane. That gives him a safe place to make his left turn and end up on the far right side of the road without conflicts with other traffic.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:02 PM   #11
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Don't honk unless it's an emergency.

To find out what the guy was doing, wait. When he goes, you'll see what his plan was.
That was my first thought.

Then I remembered what the OP had said about the traffic being backed up for some distance.

Since that cyclist was first next to the OP then, he moved from beside the OP in the lane, to getting perpendicular in front of the OP, in the crosswalk and cursing when the OP honked at him, says to me that the cyclist was not in charge of his mental faculties.
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Old 11-15-11, 08:44 PM   #12
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Don't honk unless it's an emergency.

To find out what the guy was doing, wait. When he goes, you'll see what his plan was.
This. I don't react well to the horn and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
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Old 11-16-11, 07:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Driver111 View Post
Hi guys. I have not biked since I was a kid but I wanted to get some opinions on this situation: I am sitting in my car in front of a stop light at a confusing five way intersection in the middle of a three lane road with traffic backed up for almost two miles when a biker pulls up alongside me in the left turn lane. Everything is fine but then the biker pulls out of the lane into the crosswalk, right in front of and perpendicular to my car and sits there waggling his wheel around. As you can probably understand, I, non-biker that I am, was more than a little confused. I could not tell which way he was going to go once the light turned green because he was both in the middle lane, in which you can turn whichever way you want, and he was perpendicular to the road. I waited a bit to see if he was going to stop, but when he didn't, I tried to get his attention many times just so I could ask him what he was planning. He did not seem to see me and so, with the light about to turn green and his bike still directly in front of and perpendicular to me, I honked so I could ask him what the hell he was doing (pardon my language). At this point, he turned around and started repeatedly cursing at me. Can anybody tell me what he was doing because it was kind of frustrating to be shouted at without knowing why.
Welcome to the group, Newbie, I hope you enjoy it here.

I think that person's problem was that he didn't know if you were going to refer to him later on as a 'biker' or an 'idiot on a bicycle', when he was under the misconception that he was a 'cyclist'.
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Old 11-16-11, 09:14 AM   #14
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I read it that the guy was trackstanding (wobbling front wheel). Perpendicular? Maybe not to block the crosswalk too much? Who knows, maybe he too has recently joined this forum and misunderstood the "taking the lane" concept!

Did he manage to keep the trackstand together during the honk and ensuing discussion? Pretty skilled if so

Last edited by imi; 11-16-11 at 09:14 AM. Reason: needed to put a paragraph space in :)
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Old 11-16-11, 09:29 AM   #15
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That was my first thought.

Then I remembered what the OP had said about the traffic being backed up for some distance.

Since that cyclist was first next to the OP then, he moved from beside the OP in the lane, to getting perpendicular in front of the OP, in the crosswalk and cursing when the OP honked at him, says to me that the cyclist was not in charge of his mental faculties.
Huh? Sounds like he was waiting for the light, and got in front of the car to take the lane for his own safety.
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Old 11-16-11, 10:05 AM   #16
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Seems to me your question- as to the cyclist"s intention- was answered when the light turned green. As far as why the cyclist was perpendicular to the road he was probably "trackstanding" while waiting for the light to change. In any case, try as he might the cyclist will never take up as much space as a car would have so unless your intention was to squeeze by him as soon as the light changed I don't see the need for blowing the horn.

Now, why did the cyclist respond negatively to your blowing the horn?- Since when does blowing one's horn indicate, "Hey, I have a question for you."? Where I come from it usually indicates, "Watch out!" Or "Get out of my way!" Or occasionally, "Hey friend, haven't seen you in a while!" Once I saw it didn't indicate the latter I'd have responded in a similar fashion to the cyclist in question.
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Old 11-16-11, 10:39 AM   #17
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confusing five way intersection...

more than a little confused...

light about to turn green...

I honked...

he turned around and started repeatedly cursing at me

Can anybody tell me what he was doing because it was kind of frustrating to be shouted at without knowing why.
He was getting ready to move when the light turned green when a confused motorist distracted him by honking "with the light about to turn green," because the motorist decided that that would be an appropriate time to begin a conversation about what would happen when the light turned green.

I'd like to know why some motorists choose to start discussions just before the light turns green. It happens when I'm on bicycle, motorcycle, or truck. It hasn't been contentious, they ask for directions, or they're curious about some aspect of riding, but it's not a good place or time.
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Old 11-16-11, 11:15 AM   #18
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Sounds like Driver111 was sincere in his or her quest to gain an understanding into the minds of others with whom the road is shared. I wish more drivers were so interested. The answer is not easy as others have said. Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what other cyclists are planning to do (same for motorists). Best to wait and see.

Honking? Nobody likes to be honked at. I wouldn't curse at you though.

Whenever I am at a challenging intersection and I am concerned about how I will interact, I will try to signal (usually by hand) the other drivers to let them know what I will do. I have found that drivers generally appreciate this and I have an easier time.

Thanks for posting, Driver111, I hope you visit again.

-Gary
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Old 11-16-11, 12:01 PM   #19
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Which way was the bike aimed during the wheel-waggle before your honk?

Which way did the bike go after the light turned?

Next time you are stopped and want to ask a nearby cyclist something, roll down your window and try to get attention with a wave. If cyclist doesn't see this, say "Pardon. Which way are you going to go?"
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Old 11-16-11, 12:51 PM   #20
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Don't know where you are so I don't know the details of the vehicle code there, but California's is pretty typical and wrt horn operation it states:
Honking is free speech.
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Old 11-16-11, 01:40 PM   #21
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Dear Driver111,

Have you ever heard how loud a car horn is when you're not inside your vehicle? If not, you should have someone get in your car and honk the horn while you are standing directly in front of it. Therein your answer will lie as to why the cyclist got angry.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:50 PM   #22
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Ya gotta wonder about them one hit wonders.
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Old 11-16-11, 02:53 PM   #23
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A bare rider? Wait, was this in Madison WN?
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Old 11-16-11, 03:05 PM   #24
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Dear Driver111,

Have you ever heard how loud a car horn is when you're not inside your vehicle? If not, you should have someone get in your car and honk the horn while you are standing directly in front of it. Therein your answer will lie as to why the cyclist got angry.
Was walking along the front of REI once when someone who was pulled right up to the building let out two long blasts from her horn, to hurry someone up in the store or something, I don't know why. I do know that walking two feet in front of her horn was downright painful, and thanks to the echo of of the storefront I got in both ears. I jumped a few feet in the air from surprise, and when I came down I gave her the finger. She looked downright affronted, but frankly she's lucky I didn't put my foot through her grill, I was so mad.
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Old 11-16-11, 03:21 PM   #25
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Did he go straight when the light turned green? Just like in cars, no turn signal means NOT TURNING. Which wheel was he wiggling around? If it was the front he was track standing which helps get a quicker start when the light changes.

Don't use your horn this way, they are for emergencies. There is nothing a cyclist hates more than getting honked at for no reason. Just like you couldn't read the cyclists mind, he couldn't read yours, and 99% of the time when drivers honk at cyclists it means "GET THE **** OFF MY ROAD ******!"

Last edited by unterhausen; 11-17-11 at 12:13 AM. Reason: please don't defeat the censor
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