my feel-good moment of the day
So today I was riding, came to a line of cars maybe 7 or 8 long stopped at a light, and stopped behind them to wait till it turned green. An SUV is coming down the street in the opposite direction, stops beside me, and the window rolls down. The driver says to me “Hey dude I got mad respect for you, you actually follow the rules of the road.” I told him “Thanks, I do my best to stay safe,” and we parted ways smiling. Little stuff like that makes my day.
I respect that move also, but my question is what would the van say to a car that sat behind a 7 bike long line at the same light? I suspect most cars would slide up to the front.
Boo! Why poo-poo the moment? There’s enough crappy auto-meets-bike moments documented all over this board.
I think it is a great example of a conscientious and courteous individual in traffic – who just happens in this case to be a cyclist!
How do you think that guy would have felt if you would have said the same thing to him had he do something nice, like not stop in the middle of a moving traffic lane to talk to someone?
I often wonder what crazy things cyclists are doing out there that people like this guy are seeing. I am not seeing the same thing on a daily basis.
When a car does something nice or sensible, I usually give a wave
“I often wonder what crazy things (drivers, cyclists, any kind of vehicle operator) are doing out there that people like this guy are seeing.”
There’s seldom a time I leave the house and don’t see somebody doing something nonsensical and potentially dangerous
Yea, seems bizarre to congratulate a cyclist on not acting like an ass. I guess the bright spot of it for me is they didn’t have something stupid or mean to say. I take it as a poorly phrased attempt to chat up a person on a bike.
I frequently see cyclists doing stupid things. Whenever I’m riding in a car, I tend to backseat drive and tell the person driving (who isn’t really a cyclist) what to do around a bike. “Oh just wait behind him/her, there is a red light right up there!” and then the cyclist proceeds to blow the light without even slowing, which leads to “why should I wait behind him/her if he/she isn’t even going to stop for the red lights?!”
There are plenty of reasons, actually, but the easiest one to point out, that of mutual respect, is no longer valid for that particular case. Tough to defend the actions of others and get people on their side when you see them doing stuff like that. I could get into Idaho-style laws (though these particular cyclists don’t even bother slowing, so even that is moot) but it would be so much easier to argue with people if they didn’t have quite so many examples of bad behavior to point out.
Yes, people are very indeed very poorly behaved, but it’s far from being limited to cyclists. That’s only where my irritation begins. I just want that guy to shut his mouth and pay attention to what he’s doing and not worry about me waiting behind stopped traffic, trying not to get rear ended by someone like him not paying attention.
But that’s just me.
I agree with you. I don’t think poor behavior is limited to cyclists, but it is often the first thing drivers point out. I have no doubt they would find something new to gripe about if we all magically started stopping at lights tomorrow, but you have to start somewhere. I also have little doubt that poor behavior on the part of cyclists is only a tiny fraction of the danger that poor behavior on the part of drivers would generate.
When I walk through downtown, I stop at crossings, push the button, and a. wait until I get the little walky signal or b. if there is not a car within visual range in any direction, maybe cross against the signal. People stream by me into the road like I’m a fire hydrant, walking in front of cars, buses, just strolling, la, de da. It’s a huge surprise that there are cars in the road, whoa! I have not been thanked yet for not walking in front of a car. People are idiots.
i’ll wait in line at lights if its a busy intersection, but elsewhere i believe that sliding past traffic jams are the main advantage of the bicycle.
I have a hard time faulting a guy for giving a cyclist an attaboy. There have been times I’ve been driving and I’ve seen cyclists behaving in a really commendable way – and I have wished there was some way I could communicate that. Unfortunately a honk is easily misunderstood.
The middle finger is an easily recognizable symbol for a, ahem, “negative” response. It is a shame there isn’t a similarly recognizable hand gesture for “way to go!”
I am grumpy today but generally I want people to leave me alone out there. A nod, a wave, a hello, a whats up are all awesome, a pat on the back for doing something “right” feels condescending to me.
@rsprake – daily fluctuations in mood aside, we bitch a lot here about motorists trying to kill us, being generally rude, flipping us off, etc., IMHO, it wouldn’t hurt anything if we could collectively muster a little grace when a motorist gives one of us some positive feedback. That’s all i’m sayin’.
Said feedback also indicates that at least one driver was actually paying attention to their surroundings enough to notice…also a good thing.
I dunno…I yelled out a “thanks, bro!” today to a car that stopped and correctly yielded the right of way to me at a four-way…I sure didn’t mean that to be condescending, it was more feeling pleased that the motorist actually did what they were supposed to.
Attaboys are positive reinforecment I never turn down, personally. I think we spend way too much time as a society either ignoring each other or flipping each other the bird and yelling obscenities… On the seemingly rare occasion that another human being reaches out to make positive contact with a stranger, I eke as much comfort from that as I can manage. Even if it’s vicarious.
I’m not saying every neutral or good deed should stop traffic and earn praise. But once in a while, I hope, it’s a very human thing to happen.
I personally wouldn’t take “you’re doing it right” as positive feedback. This isn’t kindergarden. I would never dream of stopping next to a driver who managed to not stop in a crosswalk os stop strip to tap on their window and thank them.
A situation like reddan describes is completely different.
Does the old chick waving at me this morning as she attempted to left-cross me count as “naughty” or “nice”?
@salty, that’s the traditional Pittsburgh “fuck you” wave.
The correct technique is to smile, then wave while mouthing the words “fuck you”. This is deemed to be sufficient permission to do whatever you want while driving (in particular, cutting in on people). Professionals extend their middle finger, ever so slightly, to properly disambiguate the meaning.
Heh. Well, in this case (maybe since she was some old granny), I believed she was genuinely sorry. Not sorry enough to actually use the f’n BRAKES, mind you, but she felt a little bad about making me slam mine on – you know.
Sorry, I guess I’m being negative on a positive thread. Please accept my wave of apology.
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