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-   -   It's honesty time - How many times have you used the finger to express your feelings (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/941528-its-honesty-time-how-many-times-have-you-used-finger-express-your-feelings.html)

walrus1 04-05-14 07:06 PM

Only three times. First time taxi cut me off as he swerved into the bike lane forcing me to swerve into another lane. Another cyclist saw this yelled at him and he yelled at out with such a thick accent I couldn't understand him. He got the bird. Second time was during this incident. I've been good since then. But a couple weeks ago a guy in a minivan with reggae blaring out of it pushed me over the edge. I was in the middle of sharrows on a two lane one way avenue. This guy gets right behind me tail gates me honks a few times realizes I'm not going to give him the lane. So he decides to split the two lanes and passes mere inches from me and then proceeds to slow down so yeah he got a **** you and the finger. Sometimes people just deserve the finger but I try to be reserved with it.

Walter S 04-06-14 07:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EnsitMike (Post 16643336)
I'm 24 and at the end of my immaturity prime. Now is the best time in life to throw up the finger, but I never have and never will.

If this is an honesty thread, I think it is a terrible way to represent cyclists. On the other hand, I'd never talk someone down from doing it. Everyone can do what they damn well please. Personally, I find it to be overly emotional… and I have some twisted pride in being rational.

To each their own. If you want to throw up the finger, you flick 'em off hard. Having pride in control isn't so bad either, if anyone wants to try that out too.

In other words, let your freak flag fly right? If you're going to flip a bird, at least do it well. :)

Walter S 04-06-14 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick (Post 16643645)
Isn't the giving the finger considered an acceptable, or at least tolerable, form of communication in some area's? (Usually high density metropolitan area's)

You flip someone off, they flip back, and everyone goes on their merry way? 30 seconds later all is forgotten.

No. It's also possible that a violent conflict happens first. Or more likely, that you've contributed a little bit more to the lasting impression that bicyle riders are a-holes that don't deserve consideration or respect in terms of their right to share the network of roads.

Bovice 04-06-14 12:08 PM

At this point, my finger goes up out of reflex every time I hear a horn, since it's generally people honking at me when I'm doing nothing wrong/in the right of the way, but they don't know how to drive or deal with a cyclist, so they try to herd me onto the sidewalk.

I've flipped off my friends who have honked at me (to say hi/wave/get my attention) out of reflex and when I realized who it was I just wave at them and keep going lol

FBinNY 04-06-14 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bovice (Post 16646656)
At this point, my finger goes up out of reflex every time I hear a horn,....

I suspect that says more about you than the drivers that upset you so much.

Bovice 04-06-14 12:33 PM

Eh, I get honked at fairly often, cut off (followed by slamming their breaks so they can turn when they could have just waited for me to pass their turn), people who don't use their signals, so begin to turn while I'm in the middle of a pass. Then the people who pass way too close.

I do about 120 miles a week, and I see another cyclist on the road maybe once a month tops. Everyone is used to cyclists being on the sidewalk here and don't really know how to handle someone on the road.

noglider 04-06-14 04:40 PM

I never use that gesture. Never felt the need.

Fizzaly 04-06-14 04:56 PM

In the winter time none, as I wear mittens and flipping people off is near impossible. I have been known todo it in other seasons though I try not to as it doesn't really help to improve any situation and usually just makes things worse. Generally I feel a head shake and an over pronounced shrug generally shows my disapproval.

FBinNY 04-06-14 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fizzaly (Post 16647373)
In the winter time none, as I wear mittens and flipping people off is near impossible. ...

In NY the four finger or whole hand salute has come to mean the same thing. I wonder if it got started by an angry mitten wearer. In any case, mittens shouldn't stop you.

AlmostTrick 04-07-14 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 16646045)
No. It's also possible that a violent conflict happens first. Or more likely, that you've contributed a little bit more to the lasting impression that bicycle riders are a-holes that don't deserve consideration or respect in terms of their right to share the network of roads.

Does anti social motorist behavior contribute to the impression that they too don't deserve consideration or respect in terms of their right to share the network of roads? Seemingly it does not.

This is a double standard. I can understand it coming from motorists, but not when a supposed cyclist buys into it.

Dave Cutter 04-07-14 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjspiel (Post 16639516)
I'll be honest here.
..... I can't say they've ever improved my perception of the sender in any way, - usually the opposite. It also won't cause me to change my behavior.

By the same token, I don't think my giving somebody the finger is going to make them less likely in the future to do whatever it is they did that set me off. It'll just make me look like an ass or I'll get some lip or a bird flipped right back to me.

............ If my intended goal was to escalate the situation, then I might, but that's not really me either.

+1 Threads like this make me wonder about the ages of some of the posters here at the forum. Although I am sure there are some out there..... I don't know of even ONE adult that makes such gestures. I would think if someone was so fearful about cycling on the roads and streets... instead of acting out that fear... they would just ride the MUPs.

Walter S 04-08-14 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick (Post 16650092)
Does anti social motorist behavior contribute to the impression that they too don't deserve consideration or respect in terms of their right to share the network of roads? Seemingly it does not.

This is a double standard. I can understand it coming from motorists, but not when a supposed cyclist buys into it.

I'm not sure I understand you. I have a lot more concern for whether bicyclists vs. motorists are unnecessarily viewed as a nuisance. The negative attitude towards bicyclists has a bigger potential impact on my personal life.

AlTheKiller 04-08-14 11:02 AM

I don't think I have on bike. Almost did yesterday, but glad I didn't. Took the only lane for a whopping twelve seconds so I could turn left at the stop sign, lady behind me couldn't fathom this and started honking. I highly doubt I delayed her more than the seconds, plus she was turning right anyways.

Turns out she was a customer of ours. A clueless roadie who constantly breaks spokes because she is built like a linebacker and doesn't understand how bikes work.

fietsbob 04-08-14 11:07 AM

I raise my index finger when I want another Round :beer: and my thumb to confirm this desire :thumb:

rnhager 04-08-14 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjspiel (Post 16639516)
I'll be honest here.

As the recipient of a few birds in my life, I can't say they've ever improved my perception of the sender in any way, - usually the opposite. It also won't cause me to change my behavior.

By the same token, I don't think my giving somebody the finger is going to make them less likely in the future to do whatever it is they did that set me off. It'll just make me look like an ass or I'll get some lip or a bird flipped right back to me.

So I rarely give people the finger. If my intended goal was to escalate the situation, then I might, but that's not really me either.

I rarely give the middle finger. Maybe once every six months or a year, when I rode downtown everyday.

But, your exact thoughts were running through my head when my toes were shattering the passenger side fog light of a late model Volvo SUV that nearly creamed me and another vehicle while it was very nearly running a light in downtown Seattle. I thought it would give Mr. I'm Better Than Everybody Else Because I Drive A Nice Car a chance to think about how his business calls could wait until he got to the office, or the links, or the men's club.

tjspiel 04-08-14 10:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rnhager (Post 16654644)
I rarely give the middle finger. Maybe once every six months or a year, when I rode downtown everyday.

But, your exact thoughts were running through my head when my toes were shattering the passenger side fog light of a late model Volvo SUV that nearly creamed me and another vehicle while it was very nearly running a light in downtown Seattle. I thought it would give Mr. I'm Better Than Everybody Else Because I Drive A Nice Car a chance to think about how his business calls could wait until he got to the office, or the links, or the men's club.

I'm not going to give somebody the finger because they passed a bit too close or didn't stay completely behind the crossing line at an intersection. But I've been hit once and nearly hit a couple of other times. Once the adrenaline is flowing all bets are off. The incident where I actually got hit I was pretty calm. The driver was extremely apologetic and I was just so happy I wasn't seriously hurt. It was one of the times I was just a hair width away from getting flattened that I wanted to kick the side of the car in. Anyway, I'm not going to second guess what anyone else might do in a similar situation.

Interestingly enough I got into a long discussion with somebody else about judgements people make about others based on the kind of car they drive. In this case it was Priuses and Smart Cars instead of Volvos. Apparently some folks hate people who drive Smart Cars and there was an outbreak of Smart Car tipping in San Francisco one night recently. ;)

Personally I think talking on a phone while driving is inconsiderate, unsafe, and it doesn't particularly matter if you're doing it in a Chevy, a Kia, a Volvo, or a BMW.

NoviceJohn 04-08-14 10:57 PM

I'm more verbal than signaling. Of course, I do not do it in front of the a-hole I usually talk to myself to release steam.

rnhager 04-09-14 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tjspiel (Post 16654663)
I'm not going to give somebody the finger because they passed a bit too close or didn't stay completely behind the crossing line at an intersection. But I've been hit once and nearly hit a couple of other times. Once the adrenaline is flowing all bets are off. The incident where I actually got hit I was pretty calm. The driver was extremely apologetic and I was just so happy I wasn't seriously hurt. It was one of the times I was just a hair width away from getting flattened that I wanted to kick the side of the car in. Anyway, I'm not going to second guess what anyone else might do in a similar situation.

Interestingly enough I got into a long discussion with somebody else about judgements people make about others based on the kind of car they drive. In this case it was Priuses and Smart Cars instead of Volvos. Apparently some folks hate people who drive Smart Cars and there was an outbreak of Smart Car tipping in San Francisco one night recently. ;)

Personally I think talking on a phone while driving is inconsiderate, unsafe, and it doesn't particularly matter if you're doing it in a Chevy, a Kia, a Volvo, or a BMW.

I agree with you completely. It was in the heat of the moment, and I was ready to come-to in the critical care wing of Harborview Medical Center. All because some guy had a call to make. I may, our may not have been making an example and/or relieving previous frustrations on this guy, be cause I was able to.

I don't hate on drivers of particular makes/models of cars, just the ones that about to kill me. I would I give the thank you wave at least 5-10 times a day. I believe more in in positive reinforcement, and I would hope others do the same. It makes bicyclists look bad when we're riding around yelling and flipping people off. Makes us ask look like a bunch of barbarians.

Manster 04-11-14 01:46 PM

Maybe once a year in 4 years of commuting.

Once I was approaching a red light, preparing for a left turn with a line of 3 cars approaching on the left. As the first car passed me then slowed to my speed about 15 car lengths from the light, I signaled left and moved over into the lane as I could see in my mirror a good gap of about 4 car lengths. Next thing I heard a reving engine and the small silver SUV behind me swung into the oncoming traffic lane and pulled even with me. She had no room to pass as we were stopping for the light. She proceeded to move around me on the right and swing her front bumper into the 4 foot gap I left from the stopped car in front. I slowly turned to look, and saw her shaking her head no, and presumably lecturing me, but I heard nothing; her window was up. I reached over and gave her the finger inches from her window.

In that situation I can't see myself smiling and waving and apologizing for using her road.

spare_wheel 04-14-14 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walter S (Post 16646045)
No. It's also possible that a violent conflict happens first. Or more likely, that you've contributed a little bit more to the lasting impression that bicyle riders are a-holes that don't deserve consideration or respect in terms of their right to share the network of roads.

that read like bike stockholm syndrome. also, please provide a link where a cyclist was assaulted specifically because they gave a motorist who did something dangerous/illegal the finger.

the finger is protected free speech. i have even given LE officers the finger a few times (and very deservedly so on both occasions).

hariharan85 04-14-14 02:51 PM

I did it once and immediately and since, continue to regret it. I usually don't even find the need to swear and cuss, but on this particularly hot afternoon, as i was riding to work after a long flight, I had been honked twice for no mistake of mine(Where I live, people seem to be particularly dense about the concept of bike commuting).The third time it happened, i just lost it and raised the finger without even turning back. When I did turn back, there was a 70 year old or so poor woman who had a horrified look on her face. Worse still, it looked like she honked only to let me know she was going to overtake me (the short sweet beep). I think she took about 10 seconds to pick up the nerve to even pass me after that.

I learnt by experience that I was too nice a guy to get any satisfaction using that gesture. I don't mind standing my ground and for my rights as a bicyclist though. I also don't see the reasoning behind the argument that one should not do it because that gives the undeserved impression of bicyclists being A-holes. I cannot imagine a bicyclist doing something like that unprovoked and a motorist has usually lost the right to judge the bicyclist as rude.

spare_wheel 04-14-14 09:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hariharan85 (Post 16670546)
I cannot imagine a bicyclist doing something like that unprovoked and a motorist has usually lost the right to judge the bicyclist as rude.

bingo.

when someone invents a sub 100 gm 100+ dB electronic horn that does not sound like a tinny buzzer i will likely almost never give the finger to a motorist. it's exclusively reserved for situations where motorists do something very dangerous.

Erick L 04-15-14 01:50 AM

I got the finger from a trucker once. He yelled "commuting by bike?" and showed his thumb.

I don't think I've ever used the middle finger while commuting. I did a few times while touring though.

TransitBiker 04-15-14 06:01 AM

One time. Soccer mom tried to illegally cut me off passing on left and turn right ahead of me while i was turning left. Both directions are follow-through, other traffic has a stop sign (T shaped intersection). They even had the nerve to beep at me. I guess i ruined their critically urgent trip to bed bath & beyond & are scarred for LIFE.

I may have done it another time, but i can't really remember.

It's actually illegal to flip someone off & you can be cited for simple assault where i live. I think it's along the same lines legally as no swearing in front of minors (citation).

- Andy

Reynolds 04-15-14 07:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spare_wheel (Post 16670461)

the finger is protected free speech. i have even given LE officers the finger a few times (and very deservedly so on both occasions).

Deservedly or not, you're playing with fire there.


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