How often do you get honked/shouted at?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Thomas, Sep 1, 2003.

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  1. Thomas

    Thomas Guest

    Hi all,

    I'm starting to get a little bit paranoid about my skills or lack thereof. It took about six weeks
    from me starting cycling until I first had a car honk its horn at me - an impatient taxi driver who
    couldn't understand that I wanted to go on ahead, not turn left so that he could.

    Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three times
    in the last five days. Could this be because as I'm gaining confidence, I'm becoming more assertive,
    or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the end of summer
    brings more idiots on the road?

    For example, tonight, I leave the office, get onto the road and there's a bloke in a big car sitting
    right on my arse, revving heavily, all the way around the small roundabout, and halfway up a hill
    until there was room to pass, at which point he honked at me, shook his fist and (I imagine) uttered
    a few choice words.

    It's all really quite disconcerting.

    Thomas.
     
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  2. Elyob

    Elyob Guest

    "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm starting to get a little bit paranoid about my skills or lack thereof. It took about six weeks
    > from me starting cycling until I first had a car honk its horn at me - an impatient taxi driver
    > who couldn't understand
    that
    > I wanted to go on ahead, not turn left so that he could.
    >
    > Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days. Could this be because as
    I'm
    > gaining confidence, I'm becoming more assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a
    > better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the end of
    summer
    > brings more idiots on the road?
    >
    > For example, tonight, I leave the office, get onto the road and there's a bloke in a big car
    > sitting right on my arse, revving heavily, all the way around the small roundabout, and halfway up
    > a hill until there was room to pass, at which point he honked at me, shook his fist and (I
    > imagine)
    uttered
    > a few choice words.
    >
    > It's all really quite disconcerting.
    >
    > Thomas.
    >
    >

    I certainly don't get as much as that, in fact hardly ever. Have you considered that your riding
    style may have picked up some bad habits?

    Try and aim to let traffic past freely without endangering me. Drivers do pay attention to a quick
    life-saver over the shoulder. Pick out the driver and give them a strong stare direct in their eyes
    if you can. At junctions I sit right near the middle to give me as much view each way, but watch
    carefully for cars cutting corners.

    I'm sure someone will mention Cyclecraft soon enough ..
    http://www.lesberries.co.uk/ccraft/ccraft.htm .. anyone want to lend me a copy?
     
  3. "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > ... Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days. Could this be because as
    I'm
    > gaining confidence, I'm becoming more assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a
    > better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the end of
    summer
    > brings more idiots on the road? ...

    I used to get honked at a fair bit when I was just starting to cycle, perhaps the first few months,
    but I can't say I remember being honked recently, apart from by people I know, because quite a few
    workmates follow the same commuting route along the A38 that I take.
     
  4. Mule

    Mule Guest

    > Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days. Could this be because as I'm gaining confidence, I'm becoming more
    > assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the
    > end of summer brings more idiots on the road?

    I can't vouch for seasonal behaviour but I get honked at sometimes too. Also what people don't
    realise that honks are quite loud and can make you jump out of your skin. Not so easy to understand
    when you're in a car with the radio on.

    > For example, tonight, I leave the office, get onto the road and there's a bloke in a big car
    > sitting right on my arse, revving heavily, all the way around the small roundabout, and halfway up
    > a hill until there was room to pass, at which point he honked at me, shook his fist and (I
    > imagine) uttered a few choice words.
    >
    > It's all really quite disconcerting.

    That is disconcerting but I don't know there's much you can do about it? What's very disturbing is
    how often we hear about this sort of thing more and more.

    I've been in that situation before - narrow road, not wide enough for driver to pass, driver revving
    then shouting as he passes.

    It doesn't REALLY make me feel much better shouting at anyone. The only thing I can do is continue
    to (try to) be confident, be assertive and a courteous road-user.

    --
    ...meandering mule...
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Guest

    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > ... Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and
    more
    > > often, about three times in the last five days. Could this be because as
    > I'm
    > > gaining confidence, I'm becoming more assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm
    > > a better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the end of
    > summer
    > > brings more idiots on the road? ...
    >
    > I used to get honked at a fair bit when I was just starting to cycle, perhaps the first few
    > months, but I can't say I remember being honked recently, apart from by people I know, because
    > quite a few workmates
    follow
    > the same commuting route along the A38 that I take.

    It's an odd one alright - I think I could understand it if I was just starting out, but now it's
    been a fair few months...

    Hmmm. Shall definately have to get some advice on my riding I think.

    Thomas.
     
  6. "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Hmmm. Shall definately have to get some advice on my riding I think.

    I think a lot depends on how straight a course a cyclist can keep. A lot of cyclists seem unable to
    follow even a vaguely straight course and wobble and weave all over the place, which is just
    *asking* for abuse of some kind. Possibly due to trying to push too high a gear. (The worst are the
    ones who ride with their knees apart like they are riding a horse) I am always clicking up and down
    through the gears to get just the right cadence.
     
  7. Neil

    Neil Guest

    "Adrian Boliston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > Hmmm. Shall definately have to get some advice on my riding I think.
    >
    > I think a lot depends on how straight a course a cyclist can keep. A lot
    of
    > cyclists seem unable to follow even a vaguely straight course and wobble
    and
    > weave all over the place, which is just *asking* for abuse of some kind. Possibly due to trying to
    > push too high a gear. (The worst are the ones
    who
    > ride with their knees apart like they are riding a horse) I am always clicking up and down through
    > the gears to get just the right cadence.
    >
    There is an old guy who rides around Croydon at a cadence of 15 or so. Rides slow and deliberately,
    in a straight line tho.
     
  8. Andymorris

    Andymorris Guest

    Thomas wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm starting to get a little bit paranoid about my skills or lack thereof. It took about six weeks
    > from me starting cycling until I first had a car honk its horn at me - an impatient taxi driver
    > who couldn't understand that I wanted to go on ahead, not turn left so that he could.
    >
    > Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days. Could this be because as I'm gaining confidence, I'm becoming more
    > assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the
    > end of summer brings more idiots on the road?
    >
    > For example, tonight, I leave the office, get onto the road and there's a bloke in a big car
    > sitting right on my arse, revving heavily, all the way around the small roundabout, and halfway up
    > a hill until there was room to pass, at which point he honked at me, shook his fist and (I
    > imagine) uttered a few choice words.
    >
    > It's all really quite disconcerting.
    >
    > Thomas.

    Its probably that you are getting more assertive.

    I tend to either shout back or blow kisses as the mood takes me.

    --
    Andy Morris

    AndyAtJinkasDotFreeserve.Co.UK

    Love this: Put an end to Outlook Express's messy quotes
    http://home.in.tum.de/~jain/software/oe-quotefix/
     
  9. Fraggle

    Fraggle Guest

    "AndyMorris" <[email protected]> wrote in news:bj0jc5$9cj$2 @newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk:

    > Its probably that you are getting more assertive.

    to a certain extent I agree with this, though I would be somewhat worried if people were being that
    aggressive towards me regularly. Maybe it depends where you are in the country.

    I am in NE England and have not been beeped at in the couple of months back on my bike, and I hold
    my road position with some vigor. I certainly would not say that drivers here are any nicer/less
    aggressive than other places. It could be that cyclists are less common, so the drivers are more
    bemused than annoyed by a cyclist slowing them.

    The cyclecraft book is VERY worthwhile.

    Fragg - confident, but not OVER confident.
     
  10. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days. Could this be because as
    I'm
    > gaining confidence, I'm becoming more assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a
    > better cyclist than I am?

    ny speed. The poor dears are jealous.

    Get an Air Zound and hoot back at the pathetic tossers :-D

    --
    Guy
    ===

    WARNING: may contain traces of irony. Contents may settle after posting.
    http://www.chapmancentral.com
     
  11. Toby Barrett

    Toby Barrett Guest

    "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days.

    That seems a bit excessive. I think I get some kind of abuse about once a week.

    > Could this be because as I'm gaining confidence, I'm becoming more assertive, or merely my
    > confidence letting me believe I'm a better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the end of summer brings
    > more idiots on the road?

    Perhaps - see the thread about end of summer madness. I've noticed in previous years that drivers
    tend to be more impatient in the autumn.

    Toby

    --
    Remove spamtrap to reply by mail
     
  12. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm starting to get a little bit paranoid about my skills or lack thereof. It took about six weeks
    > from me starting cycling until I first had a car honk its horn at me - an impatient taxi driver
    > who couldn't understand
    that
    > I wanted to go on ahead, not turn left so that he could.
    >
    > Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days. Could this be because as
    I'm
    > gaining confidence, I'm becoming more assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a
    > better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the end of
    summer
    > brings more idiots on the road?
    >
    > For example, tonight, I leave the office, get onto the road and there's a bloke in a big car
    > sitting right on my arse, revving heavily, all the way around the small roundabout, and halfway up
    > a hill until there was room to pass, at which point he honked at me, shook his fist and (I
    > imagine)
    uttered
    > a few choice words.
    >
    > It's all really quite disconcerting.

    You need to distinguish the various honks that you may get. This is a little hard as cars are pretty
    monosyllabic. However, it is helpful if you can distinguish the following broad types:-

    1. I am a stupid prat and just honk cyclists because anyone on a bike must be inferior. Often
    accompanied by incoherent abuse from an open window. Often from young male drivers in white
    vans. Response -- ignore or blow kisses. Flicking V's and giving the international Wanker sign
    are not a good idea.

    2. You have delayed me 4.35 microseconds, get out of my way you insignificant cyclist. BMW,
    Merc and Mondeo drivers like this one -- again usually male. Response -- ignore, flick a V
    or blow kisses.

    3. You delayed me 4.35 microseconds and now the children will be late for school, I will lose my
    job, we will fall into deeper debt and my husband will run off with a younger woman so I won't
    get shagged tonight :( -- GET OUT OF MY WAY. Chelsea Tractors and minibuses (sorry People
    Carriers) on the school run. Response -- smile & wave. Blow kisses if she looks shaggable ;-o

    4. WTF are you doing? This is MY road, get off of it. Corporation buses. Response -- Write to
    their boss.

    5. Hey -- you cut me up. You're on a bike, get back in the gutter. Don't you know your place.
    BMW, Merc and Mondeo drivers like this one -- again usually male. Response -- you need to
    improve your riding skills. Signal earlier and more forcefully. Move more assertively. A
    friendly wave if you did cut it a bit too tight.

    6. Splat -- SMIDSY. Lay still, get witness names and sue the bastard.

    Enjoy

    : )
     
  13. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Thomas wrote:

    > Anyways, as of late, I've started to get honked / shouted at more and more often, about three
    > times in the last five days. Could this be because as I'm gaining confidence, I'm becoming more
    > assertive, or merely my confidence letting me believe I'm a better cyclist than I am? Perhaps the
    > end of summer brings more idiots on the road?

    Difficult to say without knowing your particular traffic situation and riding style. I very rarely
    get honked at in an obviously impolite way (get "bloody 'ell, look at *that* bike!" honks an awful
    lot on the recumbent, easily identified as they're usually from cars coming the other way containing
    inanely grinning people), and when I do it's usually *obviously* the case that the person concerned
    is a Tosser. For example, riding along Dundee's dual carriageway outer ring, sitting in the middle
    of the slow lane, not much traffic so everyone just used the fast lane to get by me (which is what
    it's there for, after all), until
    Mr. P. Lonker sits on my back wheel and honks at me. I moved a little to the *right* and he
    managed to work out what to do next... These people do exist, and you will come across them
    from time to time.

    But beyond that, though assertive riding is good it needs to be mixed with consideration. If you
    *are* holding traffic up and can easily let it by without endangering yourself, wave it through.
    They're happy, they get to think Nice Thoughts about cyclists, and you don't have someone on your
    tail. But if you need to be where you are for the next manoeuvre, let the other vehicles show the
    consideration. In summary, take space when you should, not just when you can. You may be doing that
    already, and just meeting lots of numpties though...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  14. Iarocu

    Iarocu Guest

    "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi all,
    >
    >snipped
    >> For example, tonight, I leave the office, get onto the road and
    there's a
    > bloke in a big car sitting right on my arse, revving heavily, all the way around the small
    > roundabout, and halfway up a hill until there was room to pass, at which point he honked at me,
    > shook his fist and (I imagine) uttered a few choice words.
    >
    > It's all really quite disconcerting.
    >
    > Thomas.

    The attitude to take is that he is the one with the problem. If it is necessary for you to cycle in
    the centre of the lane to block traffic from unsafe overtaking then that is what to do. For example
    a narrow two way road where it is not wide enough for a car to pass a bike when there is oncoming
    traffic. If you don't "take the lane" then some drivers will pass too close and sooner or later
    you,ll get knocked off. Or passing parked cars. If you need to "take the lane" to be out of car door
    range then that's what you do. If you don't you'll get "doored" sooner or later. Or approaching
    certain junctions take the centre of the lane as that's where drivers look for traffic. By all means
    ride in to the left 2 or 3 feet from the kerb when road conditions are suitable but don't let cagers
    bully you into compromising your safety. Too many cyclists ride in the gutter. Most drivers are
    reasonable and if you cycle confidently and predictably will give you the roadspace you are entitled
    to. cheers Iain C
     
  15. Lee

    Lee Guest

    "iarocu" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Hi all,
    > >
    > >snipped
    > >> For example, tonight, I leave the office, get onto the road and
    > there's a
    > > bloke in a big car sitting right on my arse, revving heavily, all the
    way
    > > around the small roundabout, and halfway up a hill until there was room
    to
    > > pass, at which point he honked at me, shook his fist and (I imagine)
    uttered
    > > a few choice words.
    > >
    > > It's all really quite disconcerting.
    > >
    > > Thomas.
    >
    > The attitude to take is that he is the one with the problem. If it is necessary for you to cycle
    > in the centre of the lane to block traffic from unsafe overtaking then that is what to do. For
    > example a narrow two way road where it is not wide enough for a car to pass a bike when there is
    > oncoming traffic. If you don't "take the lane" then some drivers will pass too close and sooner or
    > later you,ll get knocked off. Or passing parked cars. If you need to "take the lane" to be out of
    > car door range then that's what you do. If you don't you'll get "doored" sooner or later. Or
    > approaching certain junctions take the centre of the lane as that's where drivers look for
    > traffic. By all means ride in to the left 2 or 3 feet from the kerb when road conditions are
    > suitable but don't let cagers bully you into compromising your safety. Too many cyclists ride in
    > the gutter. Most drivers are reasonable and if you cycle confidently and predictably will give you
    > the roadspace you are entitled to. cheers Iain C

    Im lucky in that I have had noone honk or shout at me yet - save once when a t**t drove past and
    just yelled out their window at me :-( t*ssers. Made me jump out me skin!
     
  16. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    Stuff about being honked deleted.

    Being honked at or verbal abuse when cycling is something I've rarely had. However I've had beer
    cans squirted at me and eggs thrown and on occasion the vehicle hit me, not deliberately but you
    know how it is.

    A couple of weeks ago a lad leaned out a car window and shouted "boo" which did make me jump but I
    saw the funny side of that.

    I did get honked at tonight when driving home by a BMW driver who felt it more neccessary for him to
    get home for his tea then most of the rest of us. (What is it about arrogant wankers and BMWs?) This
    was because I was in the act of making my car as wide as possible to discourage people overtaking so
    they could cut in further ahead at a pinch point. This saves them 5 seconds each but the cumulative
    effect of the 5 seconds by all the practioners delays those behind by quite a bit more and worse
    causes the same irritation as queue jumpers do in other situations. Anyway, off-topic rant over.

    Pete
     
  17. I'm afraid it will depend on where you live.

    When I was in Edinburgh it was never a problem. Edinburgh people are far too reserved to let you
    know that they possess emotions.

    When I was in Oxford, the only people who ever gave me hassle were drunk undergraduates outside the
    Exam Schools, and the occasional taxi driver.

    When I was in Leicester, it was pretty much the same as in Edinburgh.

    Now that I'm in South Wales it happens *every time* that I go out, at least once, and I often get
    the most colourfully sweary abuse shouted at me by 9-year-old girls from the pavement. You can
    imagine what they'll be like in 10 years' time when they're behind the wheel.

    A fellow Cardiff cyclist explained it to me thus: `You'd be in a bad mood all the time too if you
    had to live in the Valleys.'

    Flame suit on.

    Marco
     
  18. Fraggle

    Fraggle Guest

    "Thomas" <La de la de la> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    <getting beeped at>

    If the nastyness continues after the frosts start, make sure the drivers still know your feelings!

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/v2_product_detail.asp?ProdID=5300004343

    Having said that there were 2 "driver on driver" incedents this morning. One a taxi gave me a nice
    amount of room, only to be flashed by some sporty number going the other way and pulling into the
    turning right lane. I gave the sporty number "the look", fat businissman seemed unpeterbed.

    2nd incedent going up shallow hill, very straight road limit is 40 I am fairly sure. Learner driver
    passes me well with nice amount of room. Behind L is white van in VERY low gear, really revving the
    engine, obviously to try and pass Learner, but no chance as A) oncoming traffic
    B) clapped out Diesel van could never get up the speed to pass anything. especialy as Learner was
    pretty much at 40 I would say, perhaps 35 but not THAT slow!

    Take home message, they are not out to 'get' bikes, they are fools to everyone.

    Fragg - I like my yellow jacket!
     
  19. Graeme Dods

    Graeme Dods Guest

    Marco Marletta <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm afraid it will depend on where you live.
    >
    > When I was in Edinburgh it was never a problem. Edinburgh people are far too reserved to let you
    > know that they possess emotions.
    <snip>

    Being Edinburgh born and bred, such a sweeping comment as this makes me feel really, extremely,
    erm... unemotional ;-)

    Some of my American colleagues were over here earlier this year, I thought it was just their
    American pronounciation, but maybe they really were calling it "EdinBORG" :)

    Have (restrained) fun!

    Graeme
     
  20. Stevie D

    Stevie D Guest

    Tony W wrote:

    > You need to distinguish the various honks that you may get. This is a little hard as cars are
    > pretty monosyllabic. However, it is helpful if you can distinguish the following broad types:-

    You missed:

    7: Oops, I meant to wash the windscreen but I'm so incompetent and scared by that cyclist there that
    I hit the wrong stalk by accident.

    --
    Stevie D \\\\\ ///// Bringing dating agencies to the \\\\\\\__X__///////
    common hedgehog since 2001 - "HedgeHugs" ___\\\\\\\'/
    \'///////_____________________________________________
     
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