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Got honked at today

Old 10-25-04, 04:47 PM
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super-douper
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Got honked at today

on the way back to work from lunch today, I got honked at by a guy in a truck. I feel like I'm a REAL bike commuter now that some driver has gotten angry at me while I was 100% right and he was 100% wrong.

I was riding down a road that there was construction on. The road is normally 3 lanes plus a bike lane and wide shoulder. The shoulder, bike lane and rightmost lane were closed for construction. The only place for me to ride was in the middle (now rightmost) lane and take the whole thing. So I did. Well, I'm riding along and I hear someone honking. He honked like 8 times in 3 seconds....as if it were urgent or something. I knew that it was just some driver ignorant of the laws, so I waited about 5 seconds before looking back. He motioned for me to move to the right (into the closed lane) so he could pass. I motioned for him to go around me, using the leftmost lane which was empty. This guy had a whole lane right next to him and decided instead to honk at me. I didn't get upset, angry or anything. Didn't give him the finger or even yell...simply motioned for him to pass using the other lane. So about 10 yards after this nonverbal exchange, there was a large orange sign that the workers had put there, it read "Share the road with bicycles". lol...I wish I would have seen it before I turned around, I would have instead pointed to it.

At about the same time passed the "share the road" sign, the right lane opened again, so I took that lane and he passed...shaking his head like I was an idiot. Oh well...i'm really glad that the "share the road" sign was there, it wasn't there last week when I rode this section of road. Drivers are sometimes just ignorant of the law, just like they're ignorant that their bellies would grow small and bank accounts would grow big if they'd just do like I do.

The confusion was that the rightmost lane was closed with cones and only parts of it was closed with barriers. I think the driver felt that since my bike could easily navigate between the cones, I should be riding in the closed lane. I didn't want to ride in the closed lane because 1) it's against the law 2) there were large barriers every 50 yards or so that I would have to go out into the lane to get around and 3) they're working over there, I didn't want to all of a sudden find my front wheel swallowed up by a trench or something. When he passed, I half expected to see his window down and hear him yelling something at me. I was ready for it if it did happen, but I'm glad it didn't. An altercation avoided is an altercation won.

Anyway, what would you have done? Would you have ridden in the closed lane? Given the bird or what? I'm pretty confident that I did the right thing (both in riding in the lane and avoiding confrontation).

BTW - I was going 25mph and the speed limit was probably 35, so it's not like I was crawling along. I'm sure he encountered cars going slower than I was today.
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Old 10-25-04, 05:14 PM
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genec
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You did the right thing and there was nothing more to do.

The guy was brain dead... guess it took too much effort on his part to push that little pedal on the floor down while he moved that big wheel thing in front of his belly to the left to go into the empty lane.

Sounds like the left lane wasn't the only empty thing around.
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Old 10-25-04, 05:22 PM
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The only thing I would add is a big thumbs up and a goofy smile or maybe some loud happy singing to show that driver what a good time you were having on your bike! I like making those poor people stuck in their cars smile, maybe they'll rethink their transportation option if they see us bicyclists so happy.

I might have ridden in the closed lane IF there was no other option and it was safe, though it doesn't sound like that one was.
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Old 10-25-04, 06:41 PM
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>> the driver felt that since my bike could easily navigate between the cones, I should be riding in the closed lane

Agreed. Construction workers don't anyone between those cones. You could probably be ticketed if there was cop sitting there and you some how annoyed the workers.
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Old 10-25-04, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
>> the driver felt that since my bike could easily navigate between the cones, I should be riding in the closed lane

Agreed. Construction workers don't anyone between those cones. You could probably be ticketed if there was cop sitting there and you some how annoyed the workers.
yes, there was a cop just down the street, too bad he didn't see this guy acting like a bafoon. Also, there was enough room between the cones for his truck, he could have driven over there too. Just like he expected me to, but he probably didn't want to for the same reasons.
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Old 10-26-04, 03:55 AM
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Don't sweat it. Getting honked is pretty harmless when you get used to it. I get it more days than not. Fact is, the amount of annoyance any driver feels at any moment has more to do with factors inside them rather than anything you did. The way I see it, I'm not responsible for their unstable mental state, and I'm certainly not going to compromise my own safety because of it.
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Old 10-26-04, 05:09 AM
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You did the right thing. However I've seen some construction areas around my part of the country with the signage "Trucks keep left", or "Trucks keep right" on multilane roads. If this was the case he felt he was doing the correct thing by staying in the lane he was in. He still legally could have changed lanes to overtake you. Still no reason to honk though. You were legally where you were supposed to be.

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Old 10-26-04, 07:40 AM
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If he's honking, at least he sees you!

You live in a state with civilized vehicle laws and you were in the right. Smile, wave, and wish them a good day. They may think you're totally nuts, and give you even more room.

Plus you know you are in better shape, not paying $2.00/gallon for gas, and having fun.
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Old 10-26-04, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by vrkelley
>> the driver felt that since my bike could easily navigate between the cones, I should be riding in the closed lane

Agreed. Construction workers don't anyone between those cones. You could probably be ticketed if there was cop sitting there and you some how annoyed the workers.
Sometimes.. there's a reason why the cones were there. Like me going into a trench and endo'ing at 20mph inside a construction zone...
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Old 10-26-04, 09:25 PM
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I'd just be glad he only honked at you I haven't done a lot of rush hour riding but here in NYC the vast majority of drivers are inattentive, aggressive, impatient, testy or crazed... or some combination thereof... Ya gotta have some steel balls ... bearings that is to ride "share" the road with them.. Lets be safe out there
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