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  1. #1
    Senior Member jowilson's Avatar
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    Do you look behind you when someone honks?

    I've gotten way too used to not responding at all when someone honks or yells at me when I'm riding. In fact, I've had many friends from my high school call my name when I'm riding, and they get no response. The next day, they ask me if I heard them, and I say yes. "Well, why didn't you look at me then?" they ask. I'm not really sure how to answer to that, honestly, and I usually make something up. The same happens for just about everyone who yells or honks at me on the road, whether I know them or not, and I don't want to give the impression to drivers that I don't hear or care for their problems with me being where I am (although the latter is somewhat true). I'm curious if any of you have formed this habit of not responding to yells and honks, and if you've had any negative consequences of doing so. Fire away...

    Josh
    The sun'll come out tomorrow.

  2. #2
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    I generally follow the 'kill them with kindness" rule..

    I waive and smile even if they are flipping me off..

  3. #3
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    yes, with a mirror. The last thing I'd want is to look at the jackass behind me and have it cause me to miss an obstacle ahead.

    J.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    no wutz the point?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  5. #5
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raqball View Post
    I generally follow the 'kill them with kindness" rule..

    I waive and smile even if they are flipping me off..
    This, and it only takes a momentary lapse in concentration to have a problem. Someone honking can be when you need it the most. My ideal of the reaction is to look just enough to figure out what's going on, and if someone is trying to get my attention for any reason just wave.

  6. #6
    Senior Member andyprough's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    yes, with a mirror. The last thing I'd want is to look at the jackass behind me and have it cause me to miss an obstacle ahead.

    J.
    Yup. Mirror is my way of looking. Can't always turn enough to look over my shoulder in every riding situation.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    It's not My ringtone .

  8. #8
    Senior Member westrid_dad's Avatar
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    Ditto to use of a mirror. Plus, a "startled" glance behind you can potentially cause you to steer in the direction you're looking, causing you to veer out of your lane into another.

  9. #9
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raqball View Post
    I generally follow the 'kill them with kindness" rule..

    I waive and smile even if they are flipping me off..
    I've recently adopted that technique. Sure give me peace of mind.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  10. #10
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    Of course I do... It could save my life, or tell me that someone noticed something wrong. IMO if you get ssoo many honks, that you start to ignore them, then maybe, just maybe, you are riding like an "A" hole and you should stop riding like that... JMO...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  11. #11
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I am deaf in one ear, and thus have no directional hearing. I look all over when someone honks.
    --Ben
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  12. #12
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    I don't get a lot of honks, as a general rule, no, I don't look. Most of the honks are a quick beep, which is generally a driver trying to alert me to their presence as they pass. I appreciate the gesture, but it is generally useless. I am usually aware of them already, and as a cyclist on the road I am expecting to be passed often and ok with it as long as it meets the three foot rule. The other situation, far more rare, is the long, angry honk of a driver who is unaware of the legality of my riding style. These I very much ignore as any other response seems to encourage their ******baggery and likely only endangers myself.

  13. #13
    Member
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    I don't respond to any honks, but that is sorta expected around here. If someone asked about it later, I would explain how concentrating on the road and staying alive >> being social.

  14. #14
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    Sure, why not?

  15. #15
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    I'm not sure I've been honked at outside of a bike lane. Trucks seem to honk at me most often, and I've never known why. I just assume it's a moment of hostility they feel the need to indulge in. But how can you ever know who they're honking at? I'm not going to take my eyes off the road, nor give the satisfaction, when I'm just minding my own business on the shoulder or in a bike lane. If I thought I was being honked at for any kind of real emergency, I would certainly look.... but once again, how would you ever know?

  16. #16
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Nope, focus on the terrain ahead and my chosen path. Sounds deep, but really i dun wanna crash.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  17. #17
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    I've had friends honk and wave after they pass me. Or, in the case of a motorcyling friend, a rev of the engine. This makes the most sense as I can see who it is at that point and quick wave back is easy enough. They'll see it in their rear view mirror.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    I've instructed friends to only honk after they pass me. That way I can safely look and see who it is, and usually wave back.

  19. #19
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    I know what horns my friends & family's vehicles sound like, and they would never beep behind me, so i usually see them & no beep from them unless they are hidden from my view at an intersection.

    What really bothers me is people intentionally revving the engine right next to me. I wonder if going to jail if i crashed would help their ego, or would bubba do that? Distracting a vehicle operator intentionally = you usually get the book thrown at you in these parts.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
    What really bothers me is people intentionally revving the engine right next to me. I wonder if going to jail if i crashed would help their ego, or would bubba do that? Distracting a vehicle operator intentionally = you usually get the book thrown at you in these parts.

    - Andy
    I wouldn't rev while beside you, but note I would rev as I approached you from behind. I have to downshift if I am slowing down before going around you and I would be rev matching to downshift. There are still a handful of us manual transmission drivers.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  21. #21
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    It depends on the situation. I also use a mirror, so I can usually judge if it is someone approaching beside me or behind me.

    I used to shoot the bird, but that doesn't really help any situation.
    Now, it's one of several options.
    1. Wave
    2. Shrug
    3. Direct them by pointing into the next lane
    or
    4. Ignore them
    That's gonna leave a mark.

  22. #22
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    I wouldn't rev while beside you, but note I would rev as I approached you from behind. I have to downshift if I am slowing down before going around you and I would be rev matching to downshift. There are still a handful of us manual transmission drivers.

    Most of the ones i deal with fall into 2 categories, kids in their hoopties with fart cans & then the over-compensating midlife crisis-having guys in their midlifecrisismobile.

    - Andy
    I can't wait for the next pint of good chocolate milk after a long ride.

  23. #23
    Member xixiviii's Avatar
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    I try to be aware of what is around me, but since I dont have a mirror I have to do it the old fashioned way and turn to look.

    Although I commute on a generally non-bike friendly road for about a third of my ride (I say this because there is zero shoulder - just a curb) and three lanes of 45mph traffic, I rarely get honked at (or anything else for that matter directed towards me). Perhaps they are confused about what they are actually seeing and have passed me by the time it registers.

    One thing that does happen regularly though is motorists tend to accelerate hard to pass me, I never really understood it, it's not like they arent already traveling at over twice the rate of speed I am.

  24. #24
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    The only honks, intended for me, I get are from someone in the oncoming lane of a route I take and, since it happens almost every morning, I believe that it is a "Good cycling, buddy!" kind of honk. I wave if I can but I'm not sure what the car looks like (I think a light gray Honda or Nissan) so I'm not looking for it or prepared for it.

    What bugs me are the kids (and this has happened only a time or two) who roll down their windows and when they're right beside me (but travelling faster that me so I can't catch them), yell obscenities at the top of their voices at me. Intended to make me jump, and it does, every time.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
    The only honks, intended for me, I get are from someone in the oncoming lane of a route I take and, since it happens almost every morning, I believe that it is a "Good cycling, buddy!" kind of honk. I wave if I can but I'm not sure what the car looks like (I think a light gray Honda or Nissan) so I'm not looking for it or prepared for it.

    What bugs me are the kids (and this has happened only a time or two) who roll down their windows and when they're right beside me (but travelling faster that me so I can't catch them), yell obscenities at the top of their voices at me. Intended to make me jump, and it does, every time.
    I can never understand what they're saying, but by the way they tear ass to get away, I suspect it's unfriendly. I have about 20 miles of country road between the town I live in and the one I commute to, and when I get harassing from kids it's usually in the evening when I'm about a mile or two from home town. There's a traffic signal that serves as a gateway into the town, and I've damn near caught up to them at the light before.... just a matter of time, one of these days I will.

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