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Old 06-21-18, 05:02 PM
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Colorado Kid
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What People Are Saying

I was very tired from work today. As I rode home, I started up a small hill. There wasn't much power left in my body and it must have showed. A car slowed and a man leaned out and started to yell at me. Go, Go! You can do it. I stood up on the pedals and as I passed the car, I yelled back. "I'm going for the Yellow jersey"! This prompted the man to yell and cheer even more. What have people been saying to you as they pass you by on your route?
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Old 06-21-18, 06:45 PM
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Two days ago I had a Harley biker tell me to "share the road". He did this while him and I were sharing the lane.

He also told me he had to get to work and that I slowed him down... yet he found the time to pace me and tell me his version of the rules of the road.
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Old 06-21-18, 07:53 PM
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I tried to encourage a cyclist from my car that same way once, hoping that someone would one day return the favor. He ignored me. 'Reminded me why I hate all cyclists other than myself.

Anyway, that's a good story.
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Old 06-21-18, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I was very tired from work today. As I rode home, I started up a small hill. There wasn't much power left in my body and it must have showed. A car slowed and a man leaned out and started to yell at me. Go, Go! You can do it. I stood up on the pedals and as I passed the car, I yelled back. "I'm going for the Yellow jersey"! This prompted the man to yell and cheer even more. What have people been saying to you as they pass you by on your route?
Get off the f*ing road!

Happy to hear a good story.
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Old 06-21-18, 08:34 PM
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Two years ago, as I was climbing a hill, someone was waiting on top of that hill for his friend to finish his climb, they were in their late twenties and I was 53. As I reached the top before his friend, he said to me: "You have lot of puff old man". Found it a bit insulting and completely ignored him. That was the first year I started riding after many years of sedentary. I climbed that hill at 13-15 km/h then. Now I climb it at 21-23 km/h. What would he say then! I'm 8th over all out of 122 Strava rider and 1st in my age group on that climb.
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Old 06-22-18, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
I was very tired from work today. As I rode home, I started up a small hill. There wasn't much power left in my body and it must have showed. A car slowed and a man leaned out and started to yell at me. Go, Go! You can do it. I stood up on the pedals and as I passed the car, I yelled back. "I'm going for the Yellow jersey"! This prompted the man to yell and cheer even more. What have people been saying to you as they pass you by on your route?
I was riding home and waved a guy around me when the road cleared. He pulled up beside me and said you are going fast enough! Good job! He then slowed down and rode patiently behind me until he turned off. I thought for sure he was going to yell at me.
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Old 06-22-18, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I tried to encourage a cyclist from my car that same way once, hoping that someone would one day return the favor. He ignored me. 'Reminded me why I hate all cyclists other than myself.

Anyway, that's a good story.
I can easily see someone interpreting what happened to the OP as the car driver being sarcastic...
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Old 06-22-18, 10:27 AM
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It's hard to communicate between bike and car. @Papa Tom, it's possible the guy didn't hear you, and it's even possible he thought you were saying something nasty. Or his effort didn't allow him to respond. And as @lostarchitect says, stuff can be misinterpreted but either as nicer as intended or less nice. I had some rowdy 20-somethings yell at me from a car. There were four in the car, and it was Saturday night, so you get the picture. We stopped beside each other at a light, and I asked them what they were saying. One said, "We said we love your muscles." And either they thought I was some doofus riding a bike or I was a cool dude. I decided to take it in the best light possible and laughed loudly and waved back to them.
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Old 06-22-18, 11:41 AM
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noglider: I ran that possibility through my head a few times. Maybe he had been heckled so many times that he'd learned to just ignore people yelling stuff at him from cars. Who knows. But I find that many people on bikes ignore simple greetings, let alone words of encouragement, even when I am also on a bike. It could be that they are self-conscious, or maybe they just hate me at first sight. Perhaps they see my tricked-out mountain bike with all its bells, whistles, and speakers, and assume I'm some kind of bike psycho that should be avoided. In any event, it's a shame that a sport that opens the door to social interaction in so many ways often ends up with participants ignoring - and even disrespecting - one another.
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Old 06-22-18, 12:04 PM
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In the winter when I ride home after Dark and I'm all lit up sometimes people will pull up alongside me and say something like, "now that's the way to do it".

My favorite encounter with a motorist was a few years ago when a car with for teenagers drove next to me with their windows down and waved or said something and I rang my bell. So the driver beeped the horn lightly, and I rang my bell. So he beeped again, and I rang my bell again. So then he honked " shave and a haircut" and I beeped out "two bits" with my AirZound air horn. They started laughing and cheering and I think we did it three or four more times after that before they had to turn off.
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Old 06-22-18, 12:37 PM
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I've never had anything that nice said to me.
The nicest thing I've been called is a dick, while I was waiting at a stop sign of all things.
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Old 06-22-18, 01:56 PM
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When the Tour of California came through town I signed up for a ride that covered about 30% of the miles and 20% of the climbing they did - we were a pretty big group. We had more than one car drive by cheering us on, cow bells and all. I wonder if they really thought we were the pros somehow separated from all the support cars and camera motorcycles?
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Old 06-22-18, 02:03 PM
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heartwarming

reminds me of one commute home. I was attacking one of two large climbs on the route. attacking is too strong, I was seated & just working it. not fast, just working it. I knew the hill well & it wasn't a problem, especially not on my roadified hybrid triple. but some girls in a car going down the hill, approaching their red light, shouted out: "woo hoo! keep going! you can do it! yeah!"

on a converse occasion, as I was passing a line of cars, someone yelled out: "FU Yuppie!"
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Old 06-22-18, 03:06 PM
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I had a cyclist on the road yell at me to get off the sidewalk. However, the sidewalk in question was a MUP. Can’t win.
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Old 06-22-18, 04:42 PM
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A cyclist called me "an Animal" this morning- we weren't going all that fast, so I wasn't quite sure how to take it.
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Old 06-22-18, 05:44 PM
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A pair of young ladies pulled alongside me and yelled 'We love your socks!'. Gave them a smile and a friendly wave.

90% of what I hear are people being angry, so I tune most of it out
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Old 06-23-18, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
In the winter when I ride home after Dark and I'm all lit up sometimes people will pull up alongside me and say something like, "now that's the way to do it".
My neighbors have mentioned how easy it is to see me with my lights and bright jacket on. Some say I look like a motorcycle, and I think I've gotten a compliment from people in a car too - it's too hard to tell what some of them are saying.
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Old 06-23-18, 08:14 PM
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In terms of positive interactions, the most common one I get is "I like your ink!" (I have quite a few tattoos.) I've also had a few positive comments on my lights.

My favorite is the motorcycle wave from the other kind of bikers.
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Old 06-24-18, 06:27 PM
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I haven't had much said to me when I'm on my bike, but then I'm an overweight, middle-aged white woman, so there's not much to say. I was climbing a very challenging hill once, and a young woman in a car encouraged me. Then there was the time I was just riding and some young man, passenger in the car that was passing me, shrieked at the top of his lungs about six feet behind me. I jumped about a foot, but managed to not let it show.

I like to smile and wave at other cyclists, and mostly get a smile and wave back. Sometimes we just trade nods.
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Old 06-24-18, 07:25 PM
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One of the first things I encourage new riders to do is to be prepared - and not overreact - when something startles you on the road. Inevitably, someone is going to honk really loud, yell something nasty, or even toss something your way. Although I do not obsess and let it ruin my rides, I am constantly tuned into what is happening around me and where there might be potential for somebody to do something stupid. I think one of the most dangerous things a cyclist can do in that moment is lose your cool, so I try to "train" newbies who ride with me to maintain calm by sneaking up on them while they are off the bike and scaring the bajeebas out of them. Then I'll say something like "that is going to happen to you on the road someday and you need to always be ready for it."

They usually hate me for it at first, but thank me later.
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Old 06-25-18, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
One of the first things I encourage new riders to do is to be prepared - and not overreact - when something startles you on the road. Inevitably, someone is going to honk really loud, yell something nasty, or even toss something your way. Although I do not obsess and let it ruin my rides, I am constantly tuned into what is happening around me and where there might be potential for somebody to do something stupid. I think one of the most dangerous things a cyclist can do in that moment is lose your cool, so I try to "train" newbies who ride with me to maintain calm by sneaking up on them while they are off the bike and scaring the bajeebas out of them. Then I'll say something like "that is going to happen to you on the road someday and you need to always be ready for it."

They usually hate me for it at first, but thank me later.
I don't agree with your "surprising method", but I do agree with you that "one of the most dangerous things a cyclist can do...is lose your cool". Besides shocking surprises, there are the natural human urges towards territorialsm, aggressiveness and confrontationalism to recognize and moderate as they can also lead to a loss of composure.
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Old 06-25-18, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I don't agree with your "surprising method", but I do agree with you that "one of the most dangerous things a cyclist can do...is lose your cool". Besides shocking surprises, there are the natural human urges towards territorialsm, aggressiveness and confrontationalism to recognize and moderate as they can also lead to a loss of composure.
Yeah, the "surprising thing" is kind of dickish and out-of-character for me, but it apparently works.

I'm not sure what you mean about the natural human urges...territorialism, etc Are these urges of the cyclist, or the motorist? Unfortunately, I'd say they apply more to cyclists than the other way around.
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Old 06-25-18, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Yeah, the "surprising thing" is kind of dickish and out-of-character for me, but it apparently works.
I can understand how actually surprising some one would be more effective than just talking about it. I defer to your judgement.

Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I'm not sure what you mean about the natural human urges...territorialism, etc Are these urges of the cyclist, or the motorist? Unfortunately, I'd say they apply more to cyclists than the other way around.
I meant the cyclist. Let me add that one should try to recognize that the adrenaline and endorphines from biking can heighten and escalate feelings and responses. The same holds true for drivers, as most vehicles are still piloted by humans for the time being. I realize motorists aren't physically exerting themselves as a cyclist would, but they still experience heightened adrenaline.
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Old 06-25-18, 09:24 AM
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Once I was riding in Maplewood, NJ, where I used to work. I was wearing a pink polo shirt. A passenger leaned out of her car and yelled, "Nice shirt, QUEER!"
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Old 06-25-18, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
...Let me add that one should try to recognize that the adrenaline and endorphines from biking can heighten and escalate feelings and responses...
Very well-put. I could never understand why people come to these forums to post recaps of interactions with drivers in which they (the cyclist) so obviously come off looking like the aggressor. I think, many times, the writers of these posts are still so charged up that even they do not realize that they were in the wrong, or that they exacerbated the situation they were in. I often wonder if they feel the same way after they calm down.

Anyway, your thought was a great component to add to the informal bike "training" I do with newbies around my neighborhood. Thank you.
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