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View Poll Results: The drivers honked because --
They approved of my neon yellow jersey. 2 7.69%
They wanted to make sure I was alert. 7 26.92%
They're just like dogs-barking to say "Hello" 9 34.62%
I'll post a desrciption of these drivers below 8 30.77%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-10-03, 08:04 PM   #1
Richard Cranium
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Why are you honking ?

I recently completed a very long bike ride. So long, that I cycled right through a Saturday night into Sunday morning.

I traveled a mix of midwestern rural backroads and state routes.

I wore bright neon clothing, had reflective materials and several lights, so I assume I was fairly visible to anyone I met on the road.

Just after dark, many oncoming drivers took to "honking" their horns as they approached me. Sometimes, shouts and other noises could be heard from the cars.

Since most the drivers had their "highbeams" on --and did not lower them in most cases I assume they could makeout that I was riding a bicycle along theopposite edge of the road.

What was the purpose of their "signaling" me by horn and yelling?
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Old 06-10-03, 08:13 PM   #2
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The drivers that honked were average thoughtless lamebrains living lives so pitiful that they have to annoy strangers along the roads to "enjoy" themselves.
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Old 06-10-03, 08:25 PM   #3
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maybe they thought you were cool but couldnt exactly give you the thumbs up

edit..error in sentence
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Old 06-10-03, 09:03 PM   #4
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I think when I am riding (I find that I get more honking on my pleasure rides than my commute) they are upset that I am taking up so much valuable space, those guys I always just wave at them like I know them (unless of course I am making a left turn then I give them my favorite 1 finger left turn signal I don't think most of them even notice the finger) then there are the few that think they have to honk so you know they are there. Rarely do I get the thumbs up honk and that is usually when I am doing an organized ride of some type.
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Old 06-10-03, 09:06 PM   #5
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Actually, before I started riding, and before I asked my LBS owner, I would honk to let the cyclist know that I approaching from behind. Not everyone who honks is trying to be a jackass. I can't tell you how to do it, but you need to learn to tell the difference between the honk of a jackass, and the honk of an ignorant jackass, who means well.

As to the honking from oncoming cars at night, I would guess that they would be just plain jackasses, but then again, they may have had good intentions. You know how hard those highbeams are to see at night, especially when coming right at you. Best -
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Old 06-10-03, 09:11 PM   #6
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You wanted another description:

Around here, honking at/abusing cyclists seems to be a popular recreational activity, partularly amoung groups of males. It is my belief (although I haven't bothered seeking any proof on this one) that they are trying to compensate for... um... "other deficiencies."

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Old 06-10-03, 09:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Terminator
the difference between the honk of a jackass, and the honk of an ignorant jackass, who means well.

Best -
I agree, I think once in a while you’d know if it’s a honk of a redneck or not. If ever it’s of courtesy or plain dumbness. A thing or two on the bright side though “Every man is a fool for at least 5 minutes each day. Wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit”. Just for the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 06-10-03, 09:49 PM   #8
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That's the only way they can express their disapproval of you being different...
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Old 06-10-03, 09:54 PM   #9
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Last Saturday, this one car didn't just honk the horn, it just started into a honk from about 300 yards back and just sat on the horn!!!!
At first it realy made me angry, then as the caddy passed, it was a blue hair (little old lady) driving! I couldn't be angry at her. I think she was trying to warn me.
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Old 06-10-03, 10:26 PM   #10
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Lets see, its Saturday night out in the sticks. I think the popular pastime is to drink beer and drive around. So you probably were riding your bike on the highway with a bunch of cars full of drunk high school kids. Lucky you weren't run over.
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Old 06-10-03, 10:35 PM   #11
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That's right. Officially, most dangerous time to be on the road, is from around 9 pm Saturday night to sometime on Sunday. (I forgot exactly, possibly till noon). Older people going to and from churches, also create certain risk.
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Old 06-11-03, 01:24 AM   #12
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I think they are blowing their noses at me!
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Old 06-11-03, 05:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Cranium
The drivers that honked were average thoughtless lamebrains living lives so pitiful that they have to annoy strangers along the roads to "enjoy" themselves.
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!?!

What's with you people? What's with the constant "we're better than they are" attitude I see here every day? Yes, people do stupid things. Don't you ever do anything stupid? I'm sure the anwser is yes... does it make you a stupid person? NO! People have moments of stupidity. Most time it's just ignorance so instead of coming here whining on a Bike forum, you should try to teach to the ignorant.

Nothing personnal, Richard. I see these sort of comment all the time here. Yours was just one drop too many.

BTW, I've been honked three times that I can remember. Once because I was "in the way" (that would be a jackass), once to warn me (trying to do good but ignorant) and once while struggling up-hill, I turned around and saw bikes on the roof rack and people giving thumbs up and cheering me up.
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Old 06-11-03, 06:02 AM   #14
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Richard Cranium: If the majority of them were honking at you when they approached from the front perhaps they were trying to tell you that one of your lights was too bright or perhaps misaligned and it was blinding them??

When someone honks at me I just give a friendly wave and pedal on.

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Old 06-11-03, 06:16 AM   #15
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Around here it's the motorist coming at me from behind that honks.
It seems that many of the locals have at least three bad driving habits in regards to cyclists.
1. They follow you for six blocks without passing because thay don't know how to pass a cyclist.
2. They shoot past you way too close and way too fast.
3. They honk and then do #1 or #2.
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Old 06-11-03, 02:53 PM   #16
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I don't like people honking, period, but it just grates on my nerves when they honk as their coming up from behind as if to say "hey, guess what? There's cars on the road, and I'm one of them and I'm right behind you!". As if I didn't know better already. They act as though I'm totally unaware that cars are behind me.

Oh, there's CARS on the road? Dang, when did that happen???

Just keep driving and leave me in peace. I know you're there. Don't distract me. I already have to deal with enough idiots out there on the road.

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Old 06-11-03, 04:58 PM   #17
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Good Honker: Last Friday we went out camping, the bike was loaded great weather. Were ridding along and we get a little toot, not rude just a little toot. An older couple out for a drive, they even wave as they go by us. We later meet them at a store when buying dinner. They tell us that they had ridden across the US in 64. They still have there bike, but havent ridden it in five years. He's 92 she's 87. Such sweet people, I hope I can ride as long as they did.

Bad Honker: Later were ridding and I see a large brown car or SUV in my mirror, then I hear an air horn. I'm thinking great I have to deal with this. The horn is blowing as they drive by, somebody is yelling something out the window.... A brown Rolls Royce! Then I see the plate, Florida! I should have known. When I lived in Florida I found the drivers to be the rudest, far worse then any other drivers anyplace. I was hoping to find the car parked someplace....
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Old 06-11-03, 07:29 PM   #18
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In addition to the cars that honked -- there was one Dodge RAM pickup with grill-mounted speaker system that made some remarks I couldn't understand.

Yes, some drivers were just "thoughtlessly honking" not realizing how annoying or disturbing it is to someone in quiet effort. Yes I think I am better
than them.

Yes many drivers left their high-beams on, even while seeing me with my head down, and yes I think I am better than them also.

Yes, I took a chance and rode a bike all night on dark country backroads by myself, and I'm glad I had the balls to do it. It's been several years since I've pulled such a stunt.

I guess the real weirdness of the whole 9pm to midnight ride time was -- I probably traveled 35 miles, only saw a hundred cars -- but had at least 10 honk at me.

I had no near misses......except one drunk, I anticipated so well I got far off the road. Of course, I guess he could of gotten me on the shoulder.........
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Old 06-11-03, 07:47 PM   #19
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I'm glad when I hear them.

The one that'll get me, I won't hear.
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Old 06-11-03, 08:32 PM   #20
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I would say to that driver:

You honk in a way that makes slugs and other invertebrates look like Nobel Prize winners. Your honk is an orgy of stultifying cacophonous verbal depravity; an exercise in literary impotence, and an offense to all of good taste and decency.

If brains were gasoline, you wouldn't have enough to drive an ant's Go-cart around the inside of a bottle cap. You're just another automobile-addicted idiot suffering from diarrhea of the horn and constipation of the mind. However, I'll consider letting you have the last beep if you guarantee it will be your last. How true is Stanislaw J. Lec's famous remark: "Every now and then you meet someone whose ignorance is encyclopedic."

Most repair manuals are far more interesting than you, and far less turgid to hear. You are the kind of person who, when one first meets you, one doesn't like you. But when one gets to know you better, one hates you. Maybe you wouldn't honk like such a pathetic loser if you weren't so dumb that even blondes tell jokes about you; if your weren't so grossly fat that you have to put your belt on with a boomerang, or if you didn't have a face that could be used as an alternative to a stomach pump. Nah, of course you would.

(i didnt write it, adaped from one at:http://www.insultmonger.com/generators/index.htm)

ta,

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Old 06-12-03, 05:51 AM   #21
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Was riding down a 3 lane road, well really it's 6 lane divided, anyway the right lanes are wider than the other lanes. So I'm riding along and "honk, honk, honk, honk, honk, honk" I mean wtf. Some 50ish woman in a BMW. Guess when she's at the mall they roll out the red carpet and expects no less on the road.....
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Old 06-12-03, 08:28 AM   #22
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"enough to drive an ant's Go-cart around the inside of a bottle cap"

Good writing is hard to ignore !

yeah the gist of the post was "proportion of a-holes in this time period" not that everyone doesn't already know they exist.....curiously, drunks after midnight DO NOT honk......guess they're too tired.....
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Old 06-13-03, 08:36 AM   #23
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I'm with Koffee.....enough with the honking already....whatever the reason. I mostly ride on rural roads of an evening(and on weekends) when there really isn't that much traffic ....BUT.....I do get a few honks from behind now and then. I think they mostly are just warning me that they are back there, I'm really not sure though. I usually just point left and down, as to say "I know you are back there but I'm riding in this lane, so howz-about you pass me in the left lane". I'm not "better" than they are, but I do think they should respect my right to be on the road. I mean if they came up behind a little old lady driving her Buick 20MPH, do you think they would be honking at her?? I doubt it. I make every effort to make room for car/truck drivers since I AM going much slower than they are. But D@MNIT at least let me have my 6 inches of road to ride on over here!!!!
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