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Old 03-15-02, 03:04 AM   #1
hunterseeker
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My Goodness!

Okay -- this is hardly news, but

someone made a rude gesture at me today! It was the one involving the middle finger, and I was riding home from work, rather lateish, on a fairly unbusy main road.

I heard one of *those* honks, so I turned slightly and did a little friendly hihowareya wave. Except the driver, who I presume was the honker, pulled up beside me and flashed me a very deliberate finger before he pulled away. Goodness!

I wonder what prompted that? Do you suppose he felt I'd insulted him? Do you suppose he perceived a hot steaming mass of fragrant affection behind the wave? Or did he take my riding in the lane as a big eff-you all by itself? (I don't think he was ever even in my lane, though.) I am disappointed that I was wearing a balaclava at the time, as I was tempted to either flash him a big smile or the appropriate look of shocked sensibility, but it's probably just as well. I was more interested in getting home, anyway, and pursuing the opportunity for mockery might have worked against that.

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Old 03-15-02, 03:18 AM   #2
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I'd think nothing of it. The angry dude was probably lacking some bran in his diet and was a little backed up or something. When I was rideing in Vancouver I felt like I was in bicycle utopia of course that was last summer during the transit strike. Every other street felt like a critical mass ride.
I've always had difficulty differentiating the "angy opressed motorist" honk and the friendly "good day" honk. I think it's time cars had more than one kind of horn installed though I fear car horns would quickly become like those annoying nokia cel-phone ring tones.
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Old 03-15-02, 03:37 AM   #3
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Yeah, I wasn't actually all that bothered...somewhat amused, and quite puzzled, as no-one's ever done that before when I've been riding. Mind you, I was just off reading the "Overreaction to a perceived threat" thread and I guess getting gestured at is very common. But I think you're right, MadCat, riding a bike in Vancouver is pretty deluxe: I don't get bothered very much, so those that are rude really stand out.

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I've always had difficulty differentiating the "angy opressed motorist" honk and the friendly "good day" honk. I think it's time cars had more than one kind of horn installed though I fear car horns would quickly become like those annoying nokia cel-phone ring tones.
Yes -- I'm trying to be a little more discerning about the language of honks. There are some obvious obnoxious ones (the ones where someone is obviously leaning on the horn for some time), but there are also the "watch out, I'm behind you" or "are you paying attention? the light's changed" honks. I actually decided to do the friendly because I heard something that was bordering on the possibly obnoxious, but it was ambiguous enough that it could have just been a badly executed "hello" or "watch out". I'm sure there's a thesis in it for someone. Urban ethology, anyone?
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Old 03-15-02, 03:43 AM   #4
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I wouldn't worry about it! There's a lot of Raging Hormones -- Especially --- TESTOSTERONE -- Pity to waste it -- But without Male Bashing -- If I had a dime for every time a male flipped me the bird -- I'd be as wealthy as Trump & Gates! It seems as though men talk of PMS -- not taking stock and a introspective look into their own lives -- when they seem to be the most frustrated of the two! I've had PLENTY experience -- I would with men --- in Law Enforcement. I see both sides of the spectrum! I just shrug it off!
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Old 03-15-02, 05:26 AM   #5
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Don't take it to heart Cathy,

you get weirdos like that all over....they're just people with pea brains!

Ride on!

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Old 03-16-02, 07:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by hunterseeker
I heard one of *those* honks, so I turned slightly and did a little friendly hihowareya wave. Except the driver, who I presume was the honker, pulled up beside me and flashed me a very deliberate finger before he pulled away. Goodness!

...and pursuing the opportunity for mockery might have worked against that.

Cathy
I would just like to say that I think one should grasp every opportunity for mockery. The trick is to mock without the mockee realising they are being mocked.

For example: For me, the most satisfying mockery in the situation described abovewould be to catch up and pass them again in traffic if it's at all possible. It's especially satisfying if it takes them a long time to catch up with you again, or you never see them again.

So I always make note of the cars that honk me or worse, just in case I see them again. I can then spot them as I approach, and am ready with a gracious wave, or a provocative bum-wriggle, or a squirt of the water bottle, depending on my mood and/or the heinousnessness (sp?) of the 'crime' and/or the opennessness (sp?) of the driver-side window.
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Old 03-16-02, 07:55 AM   #7
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It seems that when someone honks their horn at me they fall into one of two categories:

1. They are driving a pickup truck or SUV and are in a big hurry to get somewhere and they feel I'm in their way. Along with the horn I get a few expletives and/or the finger.

2. They are old (retired, over 65, etc.) and are warning me that they can't see very well (and they're still driving??) and I'd better be prepared for a close call or a direct hit.
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Old 03-16-02, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by RonH
It seems that when someone honks their horn at me they fall into one of two categories:

1. They are driving a pickup truck or SUV and are in a big hurry to get somewhere and they feel I'm in their way. Along with the horn I get a few expletives and/or the finger.

2. They are old (retired, over 65, etc.) and are warning me that they can't see very well (and they're still driving??) and I'd better be prepared for a close call or a direct hit.

I don't know why but this post just made me chuckle...maybe because I have experienced it many times myself
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Old 03-18-02, 07:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by hunterseeker
Okay -- this is hardly news, but--someone made a rude gesture at me today!
On another note: have you ever noticed how helpful cyclists often are when they notice you are "down" with a mechanical failure or flat?

I wager this motorist would kindly accept your help if he/she were on a bike with a flat.

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Old 03-27-02, 08:07 PM   #10
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I think it's funny when they think you are slowing them down, so they slow down, drive next to you, roll down their window and yell for you to "get off the #$%^&*@ road"...meanwhile slowing themselves and the traffic behind them. Had this happen on a dark road early one morning. No oncoming traffic so it would have been no big deal for the idiot to go around with plenty of room.
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Old 03-29-02, 10:58 AM   #11
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Originally posted by J.R.
I think it's funny when they think you are slowing them down, so they slow down, drive next to you, roll down their window and yell for you to "get off the #$%^&*@ road"...meanwhile slowing themselves and the traffic behind them. Had this happen on a dark road early one morning. No oncoming traffic so it would have been no big deal for the idiot to go around with plenty of room.
I had one of these last night. I was waiting for the guy to either get rear-ended or to hit somebody who was in front of him.

By the way, does anyone else notice that in almost every case of someone yelling at you for being on a bike, the word "******" gets used at some point?

andy
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Old 03-29-02, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by aturley


I had one of these last night. I was waiting for the guy to either get rear-ended or to hit somebody who was in front of him.

By the way, does anyone else notice that in almost every case of someone yelling at you for being on a bike, the word "******" gets used at some point?

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Old 03-30-02, 02:43 PM   #13
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Hey Little Big Man...
I will sometimes stop to check on motorists if the situation looks right. Last summer I came up on a car pulled off the shoulder, driver's door open and trunk up. There was an older fellow standing behind the door...looked normal enough, and the car looked familiar so I called out as I pulled up alongside. He jerked around towards me and very nearly missed pissing on my left leg.
Needless to say he had no help from me, whatever the problem.
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Old 03-30-02, 08:12 PM   #14
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Hey Little Big Man...
I will sometimes stop to check on motorists if the situation looks right. Last summer I came up on a car pulled off the shoulder, driver's door open and trunk up. There was an older fellow standing behind the door...looked normal enough, and the car looked familiar so I called out as I pulled up alongside. He jerked around towards me and very nearly missed pissing on my left leg.
Needless to say he had no help from me, whatever the problem.
Oh My Gawds!

So in the aspect of karma, is this better than flipping the bird? Or worse? Poor old gent.

-Rob
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Old 03-30-02, 08:25 PM   #15
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I haven't yet had an altercation with a motorist, but I've made up my mind to simply respond with a wide-eyed, toothy smile as I wheel away as artfully as I can manage. I imagine that would be insult enough.

Should the mouth-breather attempt to exit his vehicle to menace me...well, I'm a hefty guy and believe in Bernie Mac's approach: "Just act Cray-zay!". It does work more often than not.

-Rob
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Old 03-30-02, 09:44 PM   #16
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I just ignore them usually. I have total contempt for the motoring primate and like to express it as often as possible. If they want to get stressed out over three seconds and take about ten seconds of their life expectancy in the process, it's their problem -- not mine.
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Old 03-30-02, 11:46 PM   #17
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He jerked around towards me and very nearly missed pissing on my left leg.
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