The Chainlink

I visited Portland recently and spent a lot of time rolling around neighborhoods with some very well-connected bicycle advocates who know everyone in PDX from the Farmer's Market vendors to the coffee shop baristas. I noticed a lot of people smiling and ringing their bells or honking at us, NOT because they were passing us or thought we were being dicks, but because they just wanted to say hi.

Back in Chicago, I thought this was a pretty cool tradition, and I notice other cyclists saying hello this way occasionally. Just the other day I was carting my milk crate to Trader Joe's and I exchanged simultaneous bell dings with some BMX teenagers (sorry, kids, but I didn't even date high schoolers when I was in high school. Thanks for the lascivious grins, though).

So, is this a neat way of saying "yay for us!" to other cyclists, or is it super annoying? I know sometimes I'll get honked at by a car and I'll be terrified someone is about to run me over or I'm being a huge asshole and I'll look behind me and some Trixie is giving me a thumbs-up and calling "Nice bike!" Thanks for the compliment, but you know you gave me a heart attack, right?

NI don't mind when honks or catcalls come from other cyclists, partially out of some possibly misguided sense of solidarity, and partially because unlike cars they don't have the ability to murder me with little effort.

So; if another person on a bike rings their bell or honks their horn at you, do you "brrrrrriiiiiiiing!" back, or do you get pissed off? Should this be standard practice for two cyclists to say hello?

Views: 971

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I used to ring my bell all the time until some dude ran me over and broke it.
I just do the fonz when I ride pass other cyclists, and pull a Kevin Bacon dismount to double finger point at lights, also the ladies love it. Everyone wins.



Matt AKA Jimbo/BMXican said:
I just do the fonz when I ride pass other cyclists, and pull a Kevin Bacon dismount to double finger point at lights, also the ladies love it.

But are you sure you can tell they're ladies? ;-)
Most of the time, but I do get confused in boystown. So I just throw up gang signs to be safe. They usually just poke the side of their cheek with their tongue and motion their hands back and forth in front of their face. I'm guessing its a city thing. I'm so confused ;{

H3N3 said:
Matt AKA Jimbo/BMXican said:
I just do the fonz when I ride pass other cyclists, and pull a Kevin Bacon dismount to double finger point at lights, also the ladies love it.

But are you sure you can tell they're ladies? ;-)
Gabe, help me out here . . .

Matt AKA Jimbo/BMXican said:
Most of the time, but I do get confused in boystown. So I just throw up gang signs to be safe. They usually just poke the side of their cheek with their tongue and motion their hands back and forth in front of their face. I'm guessing its a city thing. I'm so confused ;{

H3N3 said:
Matt AKA Jimbo/BMXican said:
I just do the fonz when I ride pass other cyclists, and pull a Kevin Bacon dismount to double finger point at lights, also the ladies love it.

But are you sure you can tell they're ladies? ;-)
It's not always with friendly intentions, but I take a page from the across teams and yell HORN!!! to alert others, too.
Most of the riders I pass wouldn't hear me unless I hit them with a car! The IPods are so loud I can hear them as I go by. And most of the riders I see going the other way don't wave, honk or ring or even smile. An the ones who stop at an intersection won't say hello or even look at another bike. Seems like a lot of riders are too cool to acknowledge another human being unless it is to flip off a car driver.

Michael A said:
I find alerting riders that your passing on their left is usually more dangerous, especially if your traveling at higher speeds. Most novice riders will actually look over their left shoulder steering the bike with them. If they are holding a steady line on the right side of the lane, I just buzz past with a nod. When cars honk at me I just smile and wave, sometimes saying "have a nice day" just to let em know in a condescending way what a moron they are being. Instead of being confrontational, I just do what I like to do...ride my bike.

I ring my bell when passing because it's easier to hear accurately than "on your left!" on a windy day.

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service