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  1. #1
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    Why must folks beep at me?

    I get over as far as i can i have lights on my bike so you can see me.But people always beep at me.WHy do they do this are they just rude?As i said before im the only biker in this town.I realy never saw another biker

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    Move left, assert your position in the lane, then you'll know why they beep!

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    Randomhead
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    if someone honks at me and I'm not very far over in the lane, I move left a little. And wave. That lets them know I'm doing what I'm doing on purpose and I know they are there. I have had people honk at me when I'm in the right lane of a 4 lane road where we are the only two vehicles in sight. They just don't know how a bicycle should be safely operated. If they see you riding a lot they'll get used to it.

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    I usually interpret it as the drivers way of letting me know they are there. I just give a wave. I am happy that they noticed me!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windhchaser View Post
    I get over as far as i can i have lights on my bike so you can see me.But people always beep at me.WHy do they do this are they just rude?As i said before im the only biker in this town.I realy never saw another biker
    The drivers have never seen another biker either. Face it, you're unique! A beep usually means "hello! I'm behind you!" and may be interpreted as a positive acknowledgement. A longer honk usually means "get the hell outta my road!" (At least where I live)...
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  6. #6
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    Some folks will beep just to give you some "well intentioned" notice they are there. Funny thing happened on my ride home last night on the MUP. I was ringing my bell now and then if I saw pedestrians likely to veer out. But a guy on a bike in front of me pulled over. I think is was because he disliked my bell ringing. Now I'm wondering if it was annoying to him.

  7. #7
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    I got used to lots of beeping when the entire county of other school bus driver co-workers started recognizing me on my bicycle!

    I got the occasional irritated honk during my commute last year (mostly in winter when I was in the right tire-track instead of the icy bike lane). I usually just stiffen in surprise and then they are past, no worries. At least I don't jerk the handlebars, that would be a dangerous reaction. It is true that they just usually don't know that you have every right to be there on the road with them. I'm wondering if honks will lessen now that I'm in a town which seems to have lots more cyclists.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chandltp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etw View Post
    I usually interpret it as the drivers way of letting me know they are there. I just give a wave. I am happy that they noticed me!
    Despite the fact that I have told my dad that this can scare the heck out of a cyclist, he still wants to let them know he's there. Just a couple short little taps. If it's a long "angry" honk, I still wave. I like to think it's pretty hard to feel hostile toward someone who is being friendly.

    Although I've had people going the other way honk at me, usually in inclement weather. I wave, hoping they're a fellow cyclist saying "keep it up!"
    There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary and those that don't.

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    I am not sure why people beep. I interepet it as someone who wants to make me aware of their presence. I usually will make sure I am as to the right as I can possibly be while still feeling comfortable riding. Other than that I do nothing.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator making's Avatar
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    When I first started commuting they honked all the time. Now, I dont think I ever hear one. I think locally they are more used to having bicycles around and I am good at ignoring stuff. It's a little off topic but there are so many fine points that can make a big difference in commuting. If people honk at me are are coming too close it is because I am too far to the right, the dont realize I have the right to the lane, they can come close to fitting through then they try too. So take the first tire track and stay there, motorist seem to do better with that than a bike that is too far right. Another thing I noticed last year during the hot part. I sometimes have calf cramps when it is real hot out, aggravated by sitting at a light for a long time on my toes. So I started pulling over close to the curb, that extra few inches made it a lot more comfortable. What started happening was the motorist would right hook me all the time because I looked like I pulled over and stopped I guess. I quit doing it and the right hooks from stopped stop immediately.
    Good Night Chesty, Wherever You Are

  11. #11
    Senior Member locolobo13's Avatar
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    Some people are in a hurry.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1c4QZGQw5o

  12. #12
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    Despite the fact that I have told my dad that this can scare the heck out of a cyclist, he still wants to let them know he's there. Just a couple short little taps.
    When I pass I cyclist, that's what I do.... but *after* I've made my pass.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  13. #13
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    Start wearing a jersey that says "Beep If You Are A Pervert" in really big letters on the back.

    Start watching for pretty girls who beep.

  14. #14
    I am a caffine girl colleen c's Avatar
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    I had many car giving me a "beep beep" as they pass me. Those folks are usually waving at me and some even has young child in the back seat waiving. My bike with the pannier, cargo box and whatever else setup make it obvious that I am a commuter. So most beep I get are just friendly gesture.

    Then there are those car that are right behind me not willing to pass although there is plenty of room. Those folks are the one who likes to "beeeeeeep, beeeeeep". They are the annoying folks who believe they own the road.
    "Difference between a well dressed cyclist riding a two wheeled bicycle and a badly dressed cyclist riding a Recumbent is only a-tire"
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    Some people got their head so far up their butt such that the only thing they hear is muffle when trying to explain anything to them! I only wish they take it out sometimes to smell the roses.

  15. #15
    Senior Member kevmk81's Avatar
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    Just wait till you get the folks that honk, yell and shake their fists, coming from the opposite direction, with a median in the middle of the road. They *really* want to let me know that I shouldn't be on the road. However, I can almost bet that if they saw a salmoning ninja rider going 5-10 mph in that same spot, they wouldn't do anything about it. Or, honks when you have waited and waited at a red left turn light, nobody is around except for a vehicle that's half a mile away from the intersection, by the time you are headed down the road you wanted to turn on, you hear a loud, loooong, honk of the horn from the car that was half a mile away. Strange people. I bet if I were driving my car, they wouldn't have honked if I would have ran the red left signal.

    Some people just don't like to see bicyclists riding in the morning, it just rubs them the wrong way.

    Life must really suck to feel the need to act the way some drivers do. You almost feel sorry for them.

  16. #16
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windhchaser View Post
    I get over as far as i can i have lights on my bike so you can see me.But people always beep at me.WHy do they do this are they just rude?As i said before im the only biker in this town.I realy never saw another biker
    They beep because you're the only biker in town and they never saw another biker.

    Also they're more prone to beeping if you weave instead of holding a really straight line - I don't know if that applies in your case of course.

    Give it time and they'll get used to it. Just wave; it might be a neighbor or coworker saying hi.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevmk81 View Post
    Life must really suck to feel the need to act the way some drivers do. You almost feel sorry for them.
    No.

    Not really.

  18. #18
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I remember when I was a teenager taking drivers ed. (1970's) that they taught us to beep the horn when coming up on a cyclist to let them know we were there. I do find it redundant and unnecessary, as I can usually hear the car coming up behind me, but I understand the reasoning. To be fair, though, there have been a couple of time that I haven't heard the car coming up on me due to wind noise.

    It's the rednecks who think it's funny to lean out the window and yell "YAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" as they blow past that I hate. But we all do. Not that I don't expect it by now. I've long since gotten past something like that surprising me.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

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    If it is a lady then I figure it is that they like my rear end and are doing the car equivalent of a wolf whistle.
    Tailwinds make me feel like Superman and headwinds make me feel like Lois Lane.

  20. #20
    MAK
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    I agree that some people are letting you know that they are there.

    BTW...I grew up on Long Island and when I was learning to drive (admittedly a long, long time ago) New York State Law mandated that a car overtaking a bicycle was required to honk and warn the cyclist that a car was approaching. I'll bet some states still have some sort of similar law that is simply not enforced and not widely known about.

    As for the cyclists above who "move to the left" when honked at...Do you really think it's wise to intentionally move into a lane in front of a car on purpose???

  21. #21
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    I remember when I was a teenager taking drivers ed. (1970's) that they taught us to beep the horn when coming up on a cyclist to let them know we were there.
    Quote Originally Posted by MAK View Post
    BTW...I grew up on Long Island and when I was learning to drive (admittedly a long, long time ago) New York State Law mandated that a car overtaking a bicycle was required to honk and warn the cyclist that a car was approaching.
    Same place and era as myself.
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  22. #22
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    Originally Posted by MAKBTW...I grew up on Long Island and when I was learning to drive (admittedly a long, long time ago) New York State Law mandated that a car overtaking a bicycle was required to honk and warn the cyclist that a car was approaching.

    Same place and era as myself.
    Must have been a regional thing. As a teen in TX in the 70's I never heard that, although they did teach us to slow down behind and wait for a clear pass, and to never squeeze the cyclist. I sometimes wonder if there are some lost decades where drivers ed students weren't taught anything at all about cyclists on the road.

  23. #23
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    When people beep at me, I assume it is because I'm famous, so I wave. If you aren't famous, maybe you need to pull up your pants?
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    walk right in and punch the first guy you meet in the head
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  24. #24
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    It's been a while since I've been honked at, but not using their horn doesn't make some motorists less aggressive, just more covert in their actions.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    maybe they've had to read some of your posts on bf...

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