Monday, July 11


The Guys Coming Up Behind Were Exemplary
About three weeks ago, I got honked at on the way home. Maybe. While a lot of honks are due to a motorist with an overendowed sense of entitlement coming upon a non-motorized road user, this one was different. I still haven't figure out what the honk was about. Perhaps someone else can suggest something.

I was eastbound on Cheek Sparger Road. This is a road I've often told I'm SURE to be killed on by various people at work. From where I enter the road, I look to my left, and wait for a clearing in eastbound traffic. Then, I ride and, before long, I make a left-hand signal to turn on to my local access path.

The mystery is as follows: I didn't get honked at by someone coming up from behind, as in the first photo. Instead, the honk came from an oncoming westbound motorist as I signaled my intent to turn left at a break in the traffic. What?

I Wanted to Turn Left at the Sign
I can see honking at a clearly clueless cyclist that might go any which way, but why on earth would you find it necessary to honk at a cyclist that is signaling intent and clearly waiting for oncoming traffic to clear?

So, Why Would a Motorist in the Indicated Position Feel a Honk at Someone Waiting to Turn Left Might Actually Do Something Useful?

It remains a mystery to me...


Anonymous said...

When I'm driving and I see someone who I am afraid might dart in front of me (be they ped, motorist or cyclist), I often "put my finger on the trigger" - that is, I get ready to honk in case it is necessary. Sometimes, this has led to inadvertent honking on my part. Maybe that's what happened in this situation.

I seem to do inadvertent bell rings much more often than I ever did with car honks, but I can always recover by just ringing it a bunch of times like I'm really happy to be riding my bike. BECAUSE I AM!

Steve A said...

carfreepvd, your theory sounds at least plausible, though, as is my usual practice, I was going to great lengths to be really predictable. I suppose that, seeing such, there is no real way to know if the cyclist is going or waiting, though honking is not likely to settle things either.

dickdavid said...

Perhaps, since you aren't as easy to be seen as an automobile, they assumed you couldn't see them as easily as well. LOL!

Steve A said...

So, if I'd had the mighty P7 light on, I'd not have gotten honked at? It seems more likely my left turn signal made the motorist nervous about hitting my outstretched hand (it did not extend over the double yellow line). I try not to depend on high vis stuff to be noticed.

Having heard theories about pickups, I notice them very much!

Anonymous said...

If your are mystified, it sounds like motorists in Texas are more polite or tolerant than people on PA and DE. It's not typical but far from unusual (every 4 months or so) for pedestrians or motorists going in the other direction to tell me to get out of the #$%^& road - I think they are convinced it is antisocial, immoral and illegal for bicyclists to ride on the road instead of the sidewalk.

While I am certainly glad these pedestrians are waiting for the bus instead of driving with their attitude, I know it is not inadvertent because some of the drivers have had to open their car windows in January to shout. (I too was baffled, since the car behind me was waiting to make the same left turn. Do they find left turn signals offensive?


limom said...

I got yelled at by a driver going in the opposite direction to get off the road!
Figure that.

MAC is wack said...

I think you overestimate the ability of most motorists to interpret - and appropriately react to - hand signals. In situations such as yours, it doesn't happen often, but I have had oncoming traffic stop and try to yield to me as I signal a left turn.

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