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Old 06-16-08, 08:50 PM   #1
rck
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disquieting experience

Went out for a short ride a couple of weeks ago on a route I use quite commonly. While approaching a bit of a bump in the road I drifted out in to the lane to let the car well to my rear see me and then pulled back to the side and went over the hill. As the driver went by, giving me plenty of room, I waved as I usually do. He pulled over and I rode up thinking that it was someone I knew. It wasn't. He wanted to know if I had just flipped him off. After a moment of confusion I explained what I had done and noted that I always wave. He then spent a couple of minutes venting about a negative experience he had recently had with some bikers. I might point out that I would have been upset as well. However, we parted on polite terms.
What I find disquieting is the fact that I no longer feel comfortable waving at people passing me by, at least those coming up from behind me. It offends the midwesterner in me.
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Old 06-16-08, 08:53 PM   #2
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I have an opinion on this matter. However, it is now my bedtime, so I'll have to get back with you tomorrow on that.
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Old 06-16-08, 09:07 PM   #3
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Keep waving. I just refuse to surrender the field to the jerks.

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Old 06-16-08, 09:18 PM   #4
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Keep waving. I just refuse to surrender the field to the jerks. ...
Just be careful how you form your hand when you wave.
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Old 06-17-08, 10:53 AM   #5
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Keep waving. I give drivers a wave and/or a thumbs-up if they go out of their way to keep me safe.
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Old 06-17-08, 10:56 AM   #6
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If he didn't see you flipping him off, then he's waaay out of line.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:03 AM   #7
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When I wave at a motorist I always make sure all my fingers are visible.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:15 AM   #8
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You need to wave and communicate positively with motorists to counterbalance the negatives that they get from others. It will always be easier for cyclists to get respect if we continue to give it.
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Old 06-17-08, 11:40 AM   #9
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I sometimes wave, if circumstances allow (such that I won't lose control of the bike), but ordinarily I give a deep nod and smile- that gets the grateful point across, and most drivers recognize it as such.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:06 PM   #10
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I always wave with a smile ... even if they blow the horn, yell or give the 1 finger salute. ... it always confuses the people who are looking for a fight
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Old 06-17-08, 12:17 PM   #11
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Interesting experience. You handled it well. Guess I go along with those who say keep waving.
I try as well to give a smile and wave to drivers who yield the right of way. After encountering so many who refuse to yield, I feel I need to acknowledge those who do.
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Old 06-17-08, 12:40 PM   #12
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Anytime I wave at a passing car I worry about a possbile miscommunication. I always wave to thank the driver for bike-friendly moves, like letting me pass, or letting me go ahead at a 4-way stop. I'd say that waving just to be friendly has a greater possibilty of miscommunication, because there is no apparent reason for the rider to be waving (friendliness is, of course, the exception rather than the rule). I suggest more of these signs along the road.

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Old 06-17-08, 12:56 PM   #13
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+1 to 'keep waving if there's reason to wave'.

I do. Doesn't make any difference if I'm on a bike or in a vehicle. I acknowledge courtesies extended or perhaps an unusual circumstance like the shared experience of travelling isolated and little used roads. Like Kerlenbach, though, I think that waving purely and only for the sake of appearing friendly has more chance of being misinterpreted. Not many drivers do extend those courtesies. I don't often ride isolated and little used roads. So I don't really wave all that much. Not all that many people wave at me, either, even when I extend those courtesies
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Old 06-17-08, 01:52 PM   #14
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After a good night's, sleep, I have concluded that I really have nothing relevent to say on this topic one way or the other. So:

--
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Old 06-17-08, 01:57 PM   #15
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Round our twisty country lanes- I often wave at cars behind me- Its OK to pass or arm out to tell them not to pass. Never had a problem- but I have noticed that there are fewer courteous drivers about. Rarely get a thank you back from them. But some drivers just don't get it. Give them a wave to say it is OK to pass and they sit there- Till another corner comes up and then they have to pass. Or stick your hand out to warn them that a car is coming and they ignore it.

I have only had one driver have words with me on a ride- And he got an earfull back. And a warning that he is just about to get knicked as the Other rider on the Tandem was a policeman.
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Old 06-17-08, 02:00 PM   #16
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Did somebody mention PIE?
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Old 06-17-08, 02:17 PM   #17
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Rck, that guy sounds like a psycho, good thing he ask if you flipped him off. I wonder what he was prepared to do about it?

Around here many drivers are carrying guns.
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Old 06-17-08, 06:33 PM   #18
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I always wave with a smile ... even if they blow the horn, yell or give the 1 finger salute. ... it always confuses the people who are looking for a fight
We do too. I refuse to let them ruin my mood.
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Old 06-17-08, 06:59 PM   #19
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I noticed you were not waving at folks the way you usually do. I figured it was for the reason you mentioned above.
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Old 06-17-08, 07:25 PM   #20
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I wave at a lot of people and I don't use the peace sign or any other thing besides my big hand. About the only ones that don't wave back are the roadies.
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Old 06-17-08, 07:39 PM   #21
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I wave to just about everyone, motorists and cyclists, or I give them a nod like MTBLover. That may be a function of growing up in LA (lower Arkansas). I gratefully acknowledge good manners by motorists.

Although I have been severely tempted, I do not respond to utterances by those who think with the little head instead of the big one.

Drivers who carry guns should be circumspect in their behaviors.
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Old 06-17-08, 09:12 PM   #22
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Just be careful how you form your hand when you wave.
This is why I always use a fully open palm with casually spread out fingers so it looks as big as it can look.

Years ago I used to use the two finger (index and middle sort of in a casual Peace V) sort of wave. But one day I realized that it could easily be mistaken for "that finger" so I schooled myself to break the habit and use the big and much more visible full fingered palm deal.

Even with that I try to make sure my palm or the back of my hand if I can't wave with the palm facing them is aimed right at them so they don't see my hand edge on. Edge on could again be mistaken for "that finger" from a quick glance.
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Old 06-18-08, 09:33 AM   #23
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Happened to a friend of mine as well. Riding through a wealthy area near us he is passed by a $100K Porche (however you spell it) He give the driver a big thumbs up.

Car immediately stops and conversation goes like this

Driver: Did you just flip me off.
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Old 06-18-08, 09:35 AM   #24
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Sorry dropped computer

Did you just flip me off??

Cyclist No I gave you a thumbs up , nice car

Driver Now thats embarassing, thanks.....off he goes
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