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Old 09-04-09, 07:08 AM   #1
eshvanu
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So, this car pulls up...

...next to me in a left-turn lane while I'm waiting for the light to change. The passenger rolls down the window, and says something like, "Sir, you're really brave riding in traffic."

I give him my standard "I'm following the laws" blurb, and he says, "Oh, no, I'm not giving you a bad time. It's a compliment".

We chat for a bit while waiting at the light, and the two young gentlemen were quite impressed. They told me I had no fear, and I politely let them know I have a LOT of fear while riding, and am quite careful in traffic, especially. We laughed at that one, and they went on their way as the light changed.

Was a very cool moment, and a good reminder that most people on the roads are respectful of cyclists, and some even admire us.
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Old 09-04-09, 07:14 AM   #2
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Sure. You're right and it's good to keep on reminding ourselves.

The "buzzers" annoy and even enrage me. They also make it too easy to forget that somewhere around 95% of the cars that pass me move all or part of the way into the left lane. They are showing consideration and respect.

It's not such a terrible world out there....
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Old 09-04-09, 07:15 AM   #3
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Very cool Some drivers don't forget they are human too...
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Old 09-04-09, 08:41 AM   #4
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Very cool Some drivers don't forget they are human too...
Most drivers don't forget they're human. One bad experience colors our perceptions to an unreasonable degree; reasonable people get past that, although it's not always easy.
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Old 09-04-09, 08:51 AM   #5
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Heh I don't really have "fear" when riding. Just more adrenaline now and then if there are close shaves. But I'm still young (25) so I haven't learnt the meaning of fear yet

One thing to note though; Cycling looks more unappealing and scary from inside a car than when on the saddle.
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Old 09-04-09, 10:43 AM   #6
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When I see another commuter I want to shout "he** yeah!" at them, but I'm always afraid they'll think I'm harassing them.
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Old 09-04-09, 06:26 PM   #7
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I had a truck pull up in the next lane while I'm riding down a normally pretty busy 5 lane road (2 each direction plus turn lane) during a snow storm. Passenger rolls down the window and yells out 'You're f***ing INSANE, man!'


I'm not sure if it was a compliment, but I'll take it as one.
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Old 09-04-09, 09:18 PM   #8
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Sure. You're right and it's good to keep on reminding ourselves.

The "buzzers" annoy and even enrage me. They also make it too easy to forget that somewhere around 95% of the cars that pass me move all or part of the way into the left lane. They are showing consideration and respect.

It's not such a terrible world out there....
Yeah, I was just thinking this a couple of days ago while riding my daily. While I grumble inwardly and complain sometimes about cagers it hit me that per volume of traffic I'm harrassed very little. Maybe one case every 5-6 months or so. We need to remind ourselves of that fact from time to time. Good call, eshvanu.
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Old 09-04-09, 10:03 PM   #9
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I get more nods, waves, and thumbs up than malicious honks and yells.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-04-09, 10:17 PM   #10
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Most folks anymore are getting a bit more used to bikes in the road in my town. There are always a few, though; they just don't get it, that the road isn't their personal domain. I like the ones that give me space when they pass, and at a reasonable speed. I will say, though, that most don't speak at all, good or bad.

ONE time, I received a compliment from a driver; it had to do with my taillight. She thought it was a good idea (in Indiana, in January, at 7AM -- I agree!), and told me so, with a smile.
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Old 09-05-09, 01:50 AM   #11
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Nice story. I've also found that most motorists tend to be respectful, especially of cyclist who know what they are doing.
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Old 09-05-09, 03:37 AM   #12
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Wow, cool!.... I wish that happened here on my planet.
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Old 09-05-09, 04:22 AM   #13
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Nice. Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:40 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
I had a truck pull up in the next lane while I'm riding down a normally pretty busy 5 lane road (2 each direction plus turn lane) during a snow storm. Passenger rolls down the window and yells out 'You're f***ing INSANE, man!'


I'm not sure if it was a compliment, but I'll take it as one.
First time I was bicycle commuting, in the mid-90's back in Oregon, someone did the same thing to me. I was too tired to flip them off, which turned out to be a good thing. It was my new boss, whose car I hadn't yet seen.
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Old 09-05-09, 08:42 PM   #15
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When I see another commuter I want to shout "he** yeah!" at them, but I'm always afraid they'll think I'm harassing them.
I just try and stick my hand out and give a thumbs up, if I'm on the appropriate side of the car and can get the window down in time.
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Old 09-07-09, 04:09 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by eshvanu View Post
...next to me in a left-turn lane while I'm waiting for the light to change. The passenger rolls down the window, and says something like, "Sir, you're really brave riding in traffic."

I give him my standard "I'm following the laws" blurb, and he says, "Oh, no, I'm not giving you a bad time. It's a compliment".

We chat for a bit while waiting at the light, and the two young gentlemen were quite impressed. They told me I had no fear, and I politely let them know I have a LOT of fear while riding, and am quite careful in traffic, especially. We laughed at that one, and they went on their way as the light changed.

Was a very cool moment, and a good reminder that most people on the roads are respectful of cyclists, and some even admire us.
I wish all motorists were like him.
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Old 09-08-09, 08:43 AM   #17
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ONE time, I received a compliment from a driver; it had to do with my taillight.
Happened to me once. A bus driver, no less. They were admiring my SuperLeds semi truck taillight. Alas, it was too big for my homemade steel mounting bracket (or was it the reflector bracket? I forget), and the mount broke, and I got a much smaller PB SuperFlash. Appreciated the comment though.
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Old 09-08-09, 12:41 PM   #18
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nice!
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Old 09-08-09, 01:39 PM   #19
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You gotta love it when that happens.
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Old 10-04-09, 10:19 PM   #20
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How are things going in The Twilight Zone?
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Old 10-04-09, 11:08 PM   #21
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Good story. I find that most drivers are pretty good -- they give lots of room on the lane and when the lane is excessively narrow, they wait until they can pass by going into the oncoming lane and are generally respectful to bikes. There's the odd exception but that's the way it seems to work most of the time.

I had a fellow on a Honda Goldwing pull up behind me as I was stopped at a red light, with my foot on the curb. His right turn signal was on and as I looked back over my shoulder at him, I indicated by pointing that he could go ahead and turn in front of me on the red. He pulled up beside me and thanked me for giving him the go ahead and said "us two wheelers gotta look out for one another". I thought it was cool.

I live in a rural/suburban area outside Vancouver, BC and have noticed a huge improvement with respect to motorists being courteous to cyclists over the past two or three years. Perhaps it's that there's more bikes, or perhaps it's just because in my part of the world there is a lot of growing exposure and acceptance of bikes on the road. There's still a long way to go before I could say it's really good, but it's definitely heading in a positive direction.

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Old 10-05-09, 04:59 AM   #22
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lil brown bat is right in the fact that we sometimes color our views of motorists who do wrong. However it does make us vigilant even though we don't always wish to be so.
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Old 10-05-09, 06:09 AM   #23
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Heh I don't really have "fear" when riding. Just more adrenaline now and then if there are close shaves. But I'm still young (25) so I haven't learnt the meaning of fear yet

One thing to note though; Cycling looks more unappealing and scary from inside a car than when on the saddle.
Often it is not "fear," but anger that others cannot share the road with the same respect that we might have.

I do have to agree that most of the time there are no issues. But it really chaps my hide when someone does intentionally go out of their way to make your life a bit miserable.

The motorists I "fear" are the ones that aren't paying attention.

I do however quite enjoy the rare and occasional praise. I remember one Thanksgiving morning I was out for a bit of a leg stretch and had taken the lane on this narrow winding downhill road. As I approached a stop sign and moved over to let one car pass, I noticed the passenger window rolling down... and I braced for some onslaught. As the car stopped the passenger let out a "Happy Thanksgiving," and they then drove on. Made my day.
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