I had a fat old man pull over and get out of his SUV to flag me down and thank me for wearing bright clothing and having a bright Dinotte light on the rear of my bike (daytime riding with tree shadows). I thanked him for passing me safely and we both went our separate ways puzzled.
On my way home last night, about 6:30 I was coming up on an intersection, I noticed a car waiting at the stop sign. I briefly glanced at it to so my helmet light would get the driver's attention. After rolling past the intersection, I noticed the car turned in my direction. As the car pulled past me, the driver (I think it was the driver, though it could have been a passenger - there was a big dog hanging out the back window, so I didn't get a good look at the passenger side) yelled out "Good Job!" The tone was truly complimentary, so I don't think it was meant to be sarcastic. I've been trying to figure out why she (definitely a woman's voice) said it (or anything). Couple of theories:
This was the first rain of the season and I was decked out in full rain jacket and pants and she was happy to see anyone out riding.
When I ride at night I'm lit up pretty well (Niterider Lumina 650 on bars, Dinotte XML-3 on helmet, NR Solas on back of trunk bag, NR Solas on back of jacket, Dinotte XML-3 on left seat stay, cheap blinky on left wrist, reflective vest, reflective bands on ankles, etc.) - maybe she was happy I made it easy for her to see a bicycle was approaching.
Maybe she was being sacrastic, or talking to her dog
I guess I'll never know. I think I'll dismiss the third possibility and go on assuming it was one of the first two. At any rate, it gave me a good feeling knowing I was doing something right (even if I didn't know what it was).
I realize no one else here has any way to know that particular woman's motivation for yelling out at me, but I just felt like posting this.
She thought you were cute. She yelled "good job" to thank your parents for their good genes.
BTW- I often do the opposite. When a motorist or truck driver is unusually patient behind me, or otherwise extra courteous and I catch back up at a light, I'll often thank them for the courtesy shown. I want drivers to know that their good acts are appreciated.
Yes me too, I try to as often as possible not only make eye contact and use hand signals before making a move involving traffic, but also deliver a friendly wave or thumbs-up after a successful traffic negotiation, a kind of "Thanks for paying attention, being considerate to me, and not killing me!"
I figure it helps to throw some positive karma into the "global-car-vs-bike-attitude-bank", given how many cyclists think they are exempt from traffic rules and make undue withdrawals from that bank (including myself sometimes!)