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Credit where credit is due(9 posts)

Credit where credit is dueMeDotOrg
Aug 10, 2001 8:19 AM
We all have had nasty encounters with motorists who don't think bicycles have a right to the road. I'd just like to put it a good word for those drivers who are courteous.

I do a lot of riding in Marin County, and by far the majority of drivers there are very courteous. At 4-way stops, often people will wave me through, even if I wasn't there first. I always try to remember to yell out a "Thank you!" in these situations.

Yes, I've had the "Get off the road, you Jerk!" comments, but they are fewer than the kindnesses I've encountered.

Several months ago, someone on this board mentioned flashing the "peace" sign in tense situations. In most instances kindness begets kindness. Doing more than your fair share with respect to courtesy never hurts.
re: Credit where credit is dueCliff Oates
Aug 10, 2001 8:24 AM
Yup, a smile and a wave and a thank you works for me. Nurture civility and courtesy. Lord knows there's little enough of that going around. In any situation.
re: Credit where credit is duejtolleson
Aug 10, 2001 8:54 AM
Yep, I wave, smile, and mouth "thank you" any time a motorist gives me the right of way and treats me like they should. Yes, maybe I should have to butt-kiss just because they abided by the law, but I hope it begets more generations of courtesy.
Too courteous can be annoying, toomr_spin
Aug 10, 2001 9:36 AM
It's always nice to get waved through. Just the acknowledgement that they see me is a nice feeling.

But...I come up to a lot of 4-way stops now where people assume that because I'm on a bike, I'm just going to fly through without even slowing down. I don't, of course. But they won't move until I clip out! Ugh, I hate that.

Even worse is when I can see someone is already stopped, while I am rolling up slowly, going slower and slower, hoping they will actually do what they are supposed to and GO. Of course, they don't, and I have to clip out. Like I'm suddenly going to accelerate as soon as they go and end up on their hood.

I have a new policy where I will come to a pseudo-trackstand stop, and if they don't go before I have to clip out, I go. I'm not going to send out any invitations!
Too courteous can be annoying, tooBF
Aug 10, 2001 9:46 AM
Funny, I had a similar experience the other day. I was stopped at a light making a left. A car pulled up about 30 feet behind me, I turned and waved to have them pull up closer. To no avail, as the light didn't change. I clipped out and walked back, and said to the nice elderly lady, "Ma'am, the light won't change unless you pull up and trip the sensor." Her reply "Oh, I didn't want to crowd you." She pulled up another 10 feet, which I think barely tripped the sensor.

Kind of a nice change from the yahoos who practically squeel tires at the light in order to get in front of me.
Too courteous can be annoying, tooCliff Oates
Aug 10, 2001 1:08 PM
But...I come up to a lot of 4-way stops now where people assume that because I'm on a bike, I'm just going to fly through without even slowing down. I don't, of course. But they won't move until I clip out! Ugh, I hate that.

I know. You can blame some of our friends for that perception. It's up to us to communicate. I yield the right of way, when appropriate, by waving at motorists to get them to behave like I'm just regular old traffic. They usually get the idea.
Yup!grzy mnky
Aug 10, 2001 1:12 PM
Peace sign and a smile can really go a LONG way. Try it, it works! ;-)
Yup!speedmaestro
Aug 10, 2001 7:36 PM
Yes, I have found Marin, and especially San Francisco very bike friendly. I have not had a negative experience in 20 years. One of my prognostications is that alot of the drivers ride bikes anyway.

I don't know.
re: Credit where credit is dueDINOSAUR
Aug 11, 2001 8:24 AM
My biggest problem is riding on back country mountainous roads with 8'-9' traffic lanes with no center line or shoulders and (1.) Drivers go blasting by me like I wasn't there or (2.) Drivers that won't pass me, especially when I am ascending a hill and I move as far to the right as possible and wave them on. Sometimes I have to stop and unclip.
Provided the choices I'll opt for (#2.) I always try to wave to acknowledge when a motorist has been courteous.
My own personal observation that bugs me to death is when I enocunter a group of cyclist and two of them are riding abreast and one is taking up part of the traffic lane, and he/she won't move to the right. I have to wait until I encounter a safe spot to pass them, which can be dangerous for all involved, including the cyclist.
The pendelum swings both ways, unfortunately people tend to recall bad experiences, which can effect all of us.
Sometimes when one of those cars goes blasting by me I wonder if I am tasting the revenge of a bad experience, or if they are just oblivious, one of life's little mysteries, I'd guess on oblivious..