Author Topic: good experiences with motorists  (Read 9782 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bigringer

good experiences with motorists
« on: May 03, 2007, 08:16:12 am »
I know as cyclist we tend to rant quite a bit about inconsiderate motorist.  we have all ran into them, we could go on and on.  recently on a trip home after a hard day at work, I had quite an uplifting experience.  traveling down a paved road that suddenly hit a stretch of "broken pavement", I found myself traveling probably too fast on over inflated too skinny of a tire.  the rattling shook my recently purchased light off my bike.   the car behind me, to my amazement instead of swerving to take it out actually stopped and picked it up for me.  this made me think of some of the other good experiences I have had.   there was the guy who at six in the morning waited for me to change a flat, when I was trying to figure out how to use my new co2 inflater.  the guy who flashed his lights at me in the middle of the first snow storm of the year and asked me if I needed a ride.  (which I of course to his amazement turned down)  then there are the faces you see every morning who wave at you politely even though you only know them from the car they drive.  the list goes on and on.  Just remember the next time you are cursing under you breath(or maybe not under your breath) that we are all human.  I still remember the motorist who stopped that time I came down a hill on wet pavement and skidded through a stop sign.  

Offline ptaylor

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2007, 03:30:44 pm »
How right you are BigRing.

The cycling community needs to look at motorists as fellow travelers, not adversaries.

True, there are a few folks that p--- me off, but that occurs both on my bike and in my old pick-up truck.

I have been riding about the same commute for 28 years. Motorist expect to see me, wave me through intersections and wait for me to make a turn when clearly they have the right-of-way. They're just great people, no more, no less.

I think the most rudeness comes from adolescent males, who are, for the first time, feeling their oats.


Offline John Nettles

  • World Traveler
  • *****
  • Posts: 1939
  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
good experiences with motorists
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2007, 05:05:36 pm »
I must be the odd cyclist out because in all my tens of thousands of miles, I have only had a handful of bad experiences.  I tend to think that drives are just people, most nice, some great, but a few rotten mean ones too.

I try to be kind and curtious, i.e. when mountain touring, I tend to wave the trucks on by so they know I see them and it is OK to go around and they don't have to slow down on an up hill.  It's these new silent hybrids that are scaring the heck out of me!

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!


Offline dombrosk

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2007, 04:44:01 pm »

I appreciate the positive notes this thread is adding to our forum.  My favorite experience involving vehicles occurred after the long, narrow, and winding eastbound climb to Wauconda on the Northern Tier.

Having plenty of time to think, as I was on a solo tour, I realized that I could categorize vehicles coming up behind me by sound.  Tires on pavement meant passenger vehicle, and I kept pedalling.  But if all I could hear was the groan of a diesel, I knew it was a big rig and I took advantage of the moment to pull over completely off the road, turn around, and wave at the trucker with a big smile.

At first, the drivers seemed a bit surprised, but after a moment they grinned and waved back.  Then something strange happened.  I noticed truckers coming down the hill towards me slowing down, flashing their lights, and waving at me with smiles.

When I got to the wonderful cafe/post office/liquor store/chinese restaurant near the top, I went in for a cheeseburger and a milk shake.

As I waited for my food, an old timer with a white beard down into his lap gazed at me from the next booth.

"You are one of the few," he said.

"How's that?"

"You are one of the few who know how to ride a bicycle on these roads.  We've been talking about you for a while now.  If every cyclist through here rode like you we'd have a lot fewer close calls."

I'll never forget that day and that encounter.  Yes, as cyclists we have the legal right to claim the road.  But as a person on vacation, I'll always be willing to tip my helmet to the working person and help them as they wrestle their big rig up a narrow road!

p.s. Interesting comment on hybrids... my sound taxonomy will fall apart when I'm being passed by a Prius!

Offline Stalls

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2007, 04:53:58 pm »
Dombrosk that's a good hint for any touring cyclists.  I can just see the bigrigs giving it the trucker talk on therir CB communication systems !!

Offline biker_james

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2007, 08:29:38 am »
My wife and I use a similar approach with trucks. We always try to be very visible, because I don't think they're bothered by anything they can see far ahead. While crossing Ontario last year, we knew that we would be on the same highway (the only highway) for quite a period of time. I made a point of giving a friendly wave to all the truckers as they passed, and within a couple of days we were gettting waves from the drivers on their return trips. We saw a number of very wide loads, and always got as far off the raod as we could to let them pass. We were passed by hundreds of trucks per day, and I can't think of any bad experiences with trucks. It does puzzle me how a semi hauling a loaded trailer can give a cyclist more room to ride than someone driving a compact car can. The truck is as wide as the lane, and still finds some room to move, but the people driving small cars are clueless about the size of their vehicle and come within inches of you even though their vehicle is barely more than half as wide.

Offline valygrl

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2007, 10:05:49 am »
I make it a habit to flash a peace sign when ever a driver gives me even the slightest courtesy on the road.  

Late one day, touring in Minnesota, I came to the town near where I was going to camp.  I chatted with a man in front of the store, and he asked me where I was staying.  I told him the state park.  He told me it was closed for the season, but I could come stay at his house.  He said he offered because he had passed me and I waved, so I must be a nice person.

I think you get what you give - if you are polite and friendly on the road, it will come back to haunt you.

dombrosk, that is really cool about the truckers.



  • Guest
good experiences with motorists
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2007, 03:41:24 pm »


It does puzzle me how a semi hauling a loaded trailer can give a cyclist more room to ride than someone driving a compact car can.

I honestly think it's because truckers are generally professional drivers who actually think about their driving. I've had conversations on this topic with a few folks in my extended family who haul loads long-distance for a living.

......... __ o
......(O) (O)...........
i'd rather be biking.

Offline ptaylor

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2007, 08:39:36 pm »

You've made me a convert. Like you I usually wave at a courteous motorist. In the future, I will flash the peace sign. Great idea. That's kinda universal, and can't be mistaken for a 'screw u too'

P.S. I enjoy your posts on this forum. You are a valuable contributor.


Offline boonebikeguy

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2007, 03:53:16 pm »
Unfortunately I view most motrists as advesarial impediments and usually faaar too stupid to be driving. Not because I want to either. I don't have any wonderful stories really but I have toooo many bad ones none of which had to do with any of my actions or attitudes. I have punched a driver before and knocked him out. Again not because I want to or that I am violent or even angry.

 However, some of the Texas drivers are really cool on the open roads.... Like one time this guy did the typical SLOW WAAAAY DOWN BEHIND YOUR A_S and hover there like a jerk refusing to pass...OR so I thought, what he was really doing was slowing down a huge eighteen wheeler that was hauling a-s and probably not paying too much attention. He passed me when the truck caught him. I really appreciated that guy that day. I just read the Turcker comments..Odd but here in Boone truckers are dangerous and not very professional at all. ((Shrugging))Oddly enough the drivers are a bit better and a bit more caring..i guess.

"Love is a river where crazy people drown"--Kyrgyz proverb

This message was edited by boonebikeguy on 5-8-07 @ 11:57 AM
"Love is a river where crazy people drown"--Kyrgyz proverb

Offline Dan_E_Boye

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2007, 08:36:37 pm »
It seems to me that cross country truckers give more space than the local truckers do.  To some extent I understand the frustration of truckers.  If you think people are stupid around cyclists try driving a truck some time.

I like when people give the friendly honk.  You know the one.  Sometimes you see the bike rack on the car while other times you know it's there is spirit.  

Last year on my Trans Am I was dead in the water walking my bike in Kentucky.  There were a couple of guys cruising the route in a pick-up looking for any cyclists that needed help.  I sure was happy to see those guys.  They took me to Elkhorn City.  


Offline valygrl

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2007, 11:38:07 pm »
aw shucks ptaylor, thanks!  :)

Offline pmspirito

good experiences with motorists
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2007, 07:32:59 pm »
The past week I rode the West Orange Trail just outside of Orlando Florida. Its 22 miles long and crosses many side streets and roads.  I was amazed at how the motorists would actually WAIT while I approached the intersection and they waved me thru. Time after time. It was a joy.  

best wishes from the back of the pack,  Peter & Judy Spirito
best wishes from the back of the pack,  Peter & Judy Spirito