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Another conflict with a honking motorist...

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Another conflict with a honking motorist...

Old 12-21-01, 07:55 PM
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A F Baker
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Another conflict with a honking motorist...

It happened again today, but this time I handled the situation a little differently, and I feel great about it.

Today during my lunch hour I was riding down Main Street toward the street that takes me to my house. Main Street is the widest road in town; 20 feet wide each for two lanes traveling West and East bound. A woman in a car rode behind me and honked. I was not right up against the outside curb of the road, but the woman had no reason to honk because there was no way that I was in the line of West bound traffic. I didn't react with waving arms and yelling at the top of my lungs (the way I have in the past ) . All I did was look back at her for a moment and allowed her to pass. HOWEVER, just as she was going by I got really angry with her. She and I were both going toward some stop lights, and I was going to catch her at a stop light and tell her a thing or two about honking at cyclists. I was hammering as hard as I could in order to keep up with her, and I caught her about a half mile from where she honked at me. I rode to her passenger side and found a teenage boy in her passenger seat. I tapped on the window, and the kid rolled down the window about half way. I said to the driver, "I just wanted to let you know that honking at cyclists is rude. I have a tendency to get a little scared when people honk at me, and you really shouldn't honk." She said, "Well....I'm really sorry." I replied, "I just wanted to let you know." I then rode off toward my home. I was very happy with how I had handled myself. I didn't yell; I didn't cuss. I'm sure I still scared the crap out of her, but maybe she'll remember that the next time she honks at a cyclists going in the same direction as her!

I think I've grown up a bit more today.
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Old 12-21-01, 09:50 PM
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Originally posted by A F Baker
I think I've grown up a bit more today.
I imagine you will continue to grow, with your attitude.

But I'm not worried about you growing, Baker. I'm thinking about that motorist that thought it was ok to honk at a defenseless cyclist, but was quick to apologize to someone face to face.

I hope she learned her lesson.

(Honking at a cyclist, indeed! I would like to see how some of these motorists would react if a giant truck got right next to them on the freeway and blasted their truck horn loud enough to scare the daylights out of them!)



I am impressed with your self-control and ability to confront a bad driver and make your point without losing your temper. I am grateful that the majority of motorists show me courtesy on the road!



(By the way, using the car horn in any fashion other than to warn another vehicle of immediate danger is an illegal use of the horn. But, who expects all motorists to obey, or even to know, the law?)
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Last edited by LittleBigMan; 12-21-01 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 12-21-01, 10:25 PM
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The maddening thing is that a lot of the honks are meant to be helpful. They probably teach their teenage kids to blow the horn in a helpful manner. It's asinine, and almost always startles me when they do honk. Just let them know as you did (but that takes care of 1% of the problem).
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Old 12-22-01, 02:31 AM
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Originally posted by Oscar
The maddening thing is that a lot of the honks are meant to be helpful.
I'm not at all convinced they are. In any case, 99% of them are totally clueless anyway. That is why I always ignore them. If I get a little annoyed, I can go and find a hill somewhere to work off my frustrations. Honking drivers simply aren't worthy of a response in my view.
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Old 12-22-01, 10:19 AM
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I have been honked twice in the last six months, once on a narrow 25mph residential street and once on our four-lane, 30mph downtown main drag, where I always take the outer lane because of the adjacent diagonal parking. Over the years, I have matured enough to keep my middle fingers and vocal chords to myself. I rarely get the opportunity for the sort of rational discourse described in the opening post of this thread.

Yes, although California law also specifies that the horn is to be used only as an emergency warning device, driving instructors often tell students to beep "gently" at cyclists or pedestrians in the roadway.
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Old 12-22-01, 10:39 PM
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Once (only once,) I honked at a cyclist coming from the opposite direction, as a friendly gesture while waving.

I thought he was going to leap off his bike.

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Old 12-26-01, 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by Pete Clark
Once (only once,) I honked at a cyclist coming from the opposite direction, as a friendly gesture while waving.



I thought he was going to leap off his bike.



I too have the same urge, and it's hard to resist; I've found that a simple wave does the job quite nicely, and usually gets a smile from the cyclist-in-question.
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Old 12-27-01, 01:51 AM
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I don't really take honks the way mos tof you do. Maybe they were honking in a rude manner? the honks I get are more like beeps that just tell me there's a car coming up. They're actually helpful. OTOH, continous blaring of the horn will piss me off....I haven't gotten any of those yet though.
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