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After getting honked at, I was just thinking...

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After getting honked at, I was just thinking...

Old 06-07-16, 07:26 AM
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mgw4jc
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After getting honked at, I was just thinking...

Got honked at on my ride home yesterday. I always wonder what they're hoping to accomplish with honking. The driver was the third or so in a series of cars passing me. It's not like I held them up that long even.

I assume that if I was able to ask why he or she honked, they would say something like, "Bicyclists shouldn't be on the roads. They get in the way and slow down traffic." And from that selfish point of view, they are right. But luckily that point of view hasn't changed the laws and cycling is still legal.

Then I thought I could ask that person if they think smoking should be legal. When I smell it or breathe it from someone else's smoke, I don't like it and they shouldn't do it in public. This is my selfish point of view.

Then I thought wouldn't it be fun to make a video: "If non-smokers treated smokers the way some drivers treat cyclists." Perhaps I could walk by a someone smoking and shout, "Heeeeyyyy! Put that thing out!" as I walked by. Or maybe I could break out an air horn.

I've always liked the No Smoking sign that read, "If you are smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

Anyway, I was just thinking after that driver honked.
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Old 06-07-16, 07:41 AM
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Meh, I just picture them as ******bags with no brains. I actually painted a real good picture of someone who cut me off to my girlfriend to which she replied "you didn't even see him". Well no, but isn't it funnier that way?

Anyway, that guy is probably the same guy that honked at you.
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Old 06-07-16, 07:46 AM
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I got honked at yesterday for the first time in weeks. Same as you, the car was about third in a line of seven cars. She had room to pass, just needed to wait a moment. Younger woman, looked really stressed.

I felt sorry for her stress-filled life, and went back to enjoying my ride. Life is good.
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Old 06-07-16, 07:49 AM
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Don't give people like that another thought.

Once a driver honked at me before passing me in a long line of cars. We all came to a stop a few hundred meters at a red light. I "politely" asked him what he was honking for. He gestured that he was actually honking at the driver ahead of him. I have him a wave and then continued on my way. So maybe that guy was honking at something else and not you.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:02 AM
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There are friendly honks and rude honks. Friendly honks are when drivers tap their horns to make you aware that they are passing or to just acknowledge you. Unfriendly honks are when drivers lay on their horns and pass real closely or accelerate real fast around you. I would estimate that about half of the honks I get while commuting are friendly ones, but perhaps I'm just optimistic.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:04 AM
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What do people incessantly honking at other drivers ever accomplish, either? Sometimes it's a safety thing...like, hey you're drifting into my lane. Most of the time it's just venting frustration
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Old 06-07-16, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by andyprough View Post
I felt sorry for her stress-filled life, and went back to enjoying my ride. Life is good.
That's how I see it too.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:18 AM
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Almost run over by a woman texting while driving this morning, with a giant Bernie sticker on the back of her car. She must think we already have free universal healthcare, as she seems to have no issue endangering my life. I strongly took the lane at that point, and a block later, was almost run off the road by a woman in a Prius who decided that passing while barely moving over and coming within an inch of clipping me with her mirror (while I was already solidly in the middle of the lane) was a better option than changing lanes (even though no other cars were present which would have prevented her from doing so).

Interestingly, the closest calls I've ever had on the road were have been Prius drivers. Coincidentally I seem to have rather good experiences with pickup drivers, who generally move all the way over. I assume this is because around here they probably also own motorcycles, and are somewhat sensitive to the dangers of traffic.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:38 AM
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My commute is 10 miles each way, almost entirely on busy urban streets. I get a few cars honking at me, apparently feeling that bikes don't belong on the street. My thinking is that bikes don't belong on the sidewalk. Leave the poor (and unpredictable) pedestrians alone!

I also get lots of cars who are reluctant to move into the next lane to pass me. I hate that! They've got plenty of room to go around, but they find it necessary to crowd me.

There are also a fair number of very kind drivers who do stuff like cede their right of way to me (even if that's not always a good idea).
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Old 06-07-16, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
Got honked at on my ride home yesterday. I always wonder what they're hoping to accomplish with honking. The driver was the third or so in a series of cars passing me. It's not like I held them up that long even.

I assume that if I was able to ask why he or she honked, they would say something like, "Bicyclists shouldn't be on the roads. They get in the way and slow down traffic." And from that selfish point of view, they are right. But luckily that point of view hasn't changed the laws and cycling is still legal.

Then I thought I could ask that person if they think smoking should be legal. When I smell it or breathe it from someone else's smoke, I don't like it and they shouldn't do it in public. This is my selfish point of view.

Then I thought wouldn't it be fun to make a video: "If non-smokers treated smokers the way some drivers treat cyclists." Perhaps I could walk by a someone smoking and shout, "Heeeeyyyy! Put that thing out!" as I walked by. Or maybe I could break out an air horn.

I've always liked the No Smoking sign that read, "If you are smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."

Anyway, I was just thinking after that driver honked.
Your post reminds me of a commute home a few years back and I was able to talk with the "honker". She honked at me because should couldn't see me It's not dark, I have two rear lights, a hi-vis yellow jacket with reflective accents all over it. Oh and we're approaching a red light, she's not getting anywhere faster in front of me than behind me. It appears to me that she thought biking on the road was dangerous and she wanted to make the point a little more clearly, by being dangerous (or obnoxious)

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Old 06-07-16, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Don't give people like that another thought.

Once a driver honked at me before passing me in a long line of cars. We all came to a stop a few hundred meters at a red light. I "politely" asked him what he was honking for. He gestured that he was actually honking at the driver ahead of him. I have him a wave and then continued on my way. So maybe that guy was honking at something else and not you.
Exactly and it's hugely embarrassing to react to a honk and then realize they were honking at someone passing you, or even something completely unrelated to you.

I had a lady honk at me a while back and I had no clue what it was about. But she was smiling and waved at me on the way by. I still don't know why, maybe she knew me, but I can't really tell the difference between "friendly" and "angry" honks unless they lay on it for a couple of seconds. I wish that all cars came with two horns, one that sounded calm and melodious.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
There are friendly honks and rude honks. Friendly honks are when drivers tap their horns to make you aware that they are passing or to just acknowledge you. Unfriendly honks are when drivers lay on their horns and pass real closely or accelerate real fast around you. I would estimate that about half of the honks I get while commuting are friendly ones, but perhaps I'm just optimistic.
But that would mean you also assume half the honks are unfriendly, so equally pessimistic?
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Old 06-07-16, 09:21 AM
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Sometimes honks kind of startle me to where my shoulders tense up real quick. I try to anticipate honks by thinking, "HOOONNNNK," to myself when cars are passing.

Last week I had a couple of honks that were from a car further back who was irritated that the car immediately behind wasn't passing the slow cyclist. Those folks are just mad at everybody.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:27 AM
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There actually are other types of honks. One I would call the "safety" honk. That's when someone honks to hopefully prevent someone from turning in front of them, merging into them in a lane, etc. Another is the "wake up and drive" honk. That is reserved for drivers who don't notice lights turning green at intersections because they are texting, daydreaming, asleep, etc. Another is the "you're an idiot" honk for reckless drivers who run red lights, cross multiple lanes in traffic, etc. Although some might consider such honking unfriendly, I consider it useful in reminding certain drivers that they are driving recklessly and endangering others.
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Old 06-07-16, 11:14 AM
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I figure being mad at drivers for being stupid is like being mad at the rain for being wet. It does no good, it doesn't make the water less wet and it just riles you up for no purpose.

A few months back when riding home in a fog (with very bright strobing taillights) in a rural/farm area (very little traffic) I had a woman who was about the 40th car to pass me, all of which gave me an entire lane. She was giving me a whole lane too. She slowed, rolled down her window and almost screamed "YOU KNOW NOBODY CAN SEE YOU**********"

I'm not sure why she and every single other car that passed me moved into the other lane well before they went past me if they couldn't see me.

I said "Really? OK, I have more lights I will turn on." She pulled around me (last car around me in sight) and when she got about 100 feet in front of me I turned on the rapid strobe on my 800 lumen headlight, which made the entire fog bank light up like a disco. She actually swerved and braked a little, I think it scared her. I left it on until she went around the next corner then shut it off.
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Old 06-07-16, 11:34 AM
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"Think" (i.e. conjure what strangers might be thinking) less; enjoy cycling more.
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Old 06-07-16, 11:43 AM
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I had a Bus and motorcycle honk from behind on my commute recently. They were just a simple auto versions of "on your left" or "comping up" that I say on the bike as far as I'm concerned. I can appreciate them. The motorcycle was behind us and I was riding with another guy two abreast in a smaller side street. So perfectly appropriate, IMO.
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Old 06-07-16, 11:54 AM
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I just like to think they're honking to let me know how hot I look on the bike.
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Old 06-07-16, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Exactly and it's hugely embarrassing to react to a honk and then realize they were honking at someone passing you, or even something completely unrelated to you.

I had a lady honk at me a while back and I had no clue what it was about. But she was smiling and waved at me on the way by. I still don't know why, maybe she knew me, but I can't really tell the difference between "friendly" and "angry" honks unless they lay on it for a couple of seconds. I wish that all cars came with two horns, one that sounded calm and melodious.
In my video (above), notice I offer a friendly wave (maybe hard to tell with mittens).

I had a co-worker honk at me as she passed - not knowing who it was, my first reaction was a one-finger-salute, but I controlled this reaction and waved. It was a good reminder to me to always assume the best. At worst, I'm not going to give a friendly wave at an angry driver and fail to fall into the road rage trap.

I did reminder her that car horn are really loud when you're not in a car (a fact that is lost on most people).
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Old 06-07-16, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankJ View Post
I just like to think they're honking to let me know how hot I look on the bike.
How about this for the back of a shirt - car bumper sticker style -
"HONK IF YOU LOVE BIKERS"
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Old 06-07-16, 01:17 PM
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I always smile and wave even if they're screaming at me. If it's someone I know being friendly, no harm, if they're actually mad, it infuriates them when I smile and wave. Win/win.
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Old 06-07-16, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mgw4jc View Post
How about this for the back of a shirt - car bumper sticker style -
"HONK IF YOU LOVE BIKERS"
Perfect! Then whenever someone honks, I can yell "thanks for the love!"
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Old 06-07-16, 01:39 PM
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Whenever someone honks at me I have always said. "Thanks I know I'm sexy!"

Now I also just shake my head and think how society is degrading into a cesspool of impatience, self-importance & and ideas of personal grandiosity, and loss of general knowledge since, "Ohh I can just google (R) that."
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Old 06-07-16, 01:58 PM
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We usually get friendly honks from friends and workmates but last year we happened to take a different route back home and were angrily honked at by a guy who happened to be stopped by the next traffic light, so my SO caught up to him and asked him what was the problem. The guy, still angry, said that we weren't supposed to ride on the road and that, according to him, we should use the sidewalk. My SO politely informed him that legally bicycles are considered vehicles and should ride on the road to which the guy didn't have a reply, the light turned green and we all moved on.

I now avoid busy streets whenever possible, the stress of dealing with angry (and sometimes ignorant) drivers is not worth it for me.
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Old 06-07-16, 02:14 PM
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When I started driving in New York State (albeit many many years ago), it was actually legally required to honk at a cyclist as you approach them. Don't know if it's still the law or if any other states do this. As people above have said, sometimes it's a courtesy honk much like some cyclists ring a bell on a MUP. I don't think pedestrians look at a bell as a signal that they shouldn't be on the path.

Sometimes I'll tap my horn as a warning or courtesy if the space is tight or the road is winding. I'd be concerned if the honk was accompanied by shouting or throwing things.
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