The Chainlink

I have wanted to post this for a while and just haven't for some reason, but one of Brian's(BK)last post prompted me to.. And while it may have already been talked about within threads, I couldn't find a specific topic geared towards nice things motorists have done for cyclists so here we are.

I remember reading an article posted here some time ago within a thread about how we as cyclists tend not to remember the hundreds if not thousands of cars that pass gracefully, peaceably, and with consideration, but remember greatly and get pissed at the one guy who called you Lance Armstrong, a bumb, hippe, or told you to get on the sidewalk. Not the specific words of the article, but if I remember it correctly, it was geared to minor confrontations on the road and not so much life threatening ones. So here we go.. I have referanced what Brian wrote at the bottom..

My last encounter with a motorist who did something nice was with a wonderfully smelling young lady who had stopped and got out of her car to ask if I needed anything when she saw me stopped fixing stuff on my trailer. I told her I was fine, that I just had to readjust some stuff I hauling. She said ok, just wanted to make sure you we're ok and to see if you needed anything. I said I am and thank you, your stopping/concern is appreciated. She said your welcome, have a nice night, and be safe, there's a lot of crazies out there..


Brian Kennedy said:
Totally OT but I wanted to throw a positive experience on this thread. Today I rode my bike out to Golf Mill to do some shopping. I was headed west on Monroe where it dead-ends at the Cumberland intersection in Niles. At the stop sign I was turning right (north) on to Cumberland. I arrived at the intersection just behind a minivan that was not using its blinker. I positioned myself behind the minivan such that I was visible to the driver in the side-view mirror, with my arm out signaling a right turn. I heard, "Go ahead, I see you" from the driver of the van. I was shocked. As I rode by the minivan I said "Thank you for looking", and "Have a good day" to the driver. She said, "You're welcome. You too!” Just before that I was a little upset that she wasn't using a blinker and a little devil on my shoulder told me to pull up on her right but I knew that would be an unsafe decision. It was just nice to have a positive motorist interaction. I guess there's always hope.

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There have been several occasions when I've be riding along and a motorist is about to pull out in front of me but stops when they see me coming. I give them a smile and top-o-the-bars-wave and they smile back (I like to think they are sincere smiles).
Same here Mark.

I have one foot down, I'm leaning on my bars, and I have to eventually yell "GO!" at the driver. I know they are trying to be nice, but if we both decide to start crossing an intersection at the same time, I lose - case closed.

M.A.R.K. said:
I have noticed this too.. While I so appreciate it, i get frustrated sometimes, mostly when it has happened several times in one day where I am noticeably stopping for traffic(stop pedaling, put a leg down, pull to the side, wave them on to let them know I am not running through)to go through their sign they wait until I come to a complete stop to go through their sign. Sometimes I just want to go through, but you never know how they will react. They could gun it, they could swear and yell, or they could be understanding to how tiring it can be to stop and go stop and go on a bicycle.


Brian Kennedy said:
I've also noticed that the vast majority of motorists yield to me at 4-way stops even if they were there first.
I agree, though I have a lot of grouchy stories about cars, quite suddenly due to changing times I presume, I'm getting frequent confusions at intersections when cars of all types are too super-nice. Others echo the incident type, where you wish you'd known they were gonna be nice before killing your momentum. Say thanx!
The wife and I just returned from 5 days of camping and biking in N.W. Indiana. Not 1 bad car experience the whole trip. I guess the worst of it was my arm got a cramp from returning waves from on coming cars.
So to the drivers of White, Jasper, Benton and Tippicanoe Counties a big Thank You for being nice and considerate drivers!
i have been seeing much of this strange phoenomenon...people (driver) being nice. Crazy shit, right? i dont remember them being nice even when i was still in a car.

But i guess bicycles are finally getting the notice (tho not so much in the suburbs yet).

One common thread on...um...this thread... everyone is saying "Thank You". When i do experience courteous drivers, conscious door openers, aware pedestrians, and the likes, i make sure i give a very clear Thank You as positive reinforcement.

Keep showing the gratitude.
Me too! Even if their windows are up or it's clear they won't be able to hear you, a silently mouthed "thank you" to a driver goes a long way. Positive reinforcement! :)

iggi said:
One common thread on...um...this thread... everyone is saying "Thank You". When i do experience courteous drivers, conscious door openers, aware pedestrians, and the likes, i make sure i give a very clear Thank You as positive reinforcement.

Keep showing the gratitude.
One day I was stopped somewhere on Chicago waiting for the light to change. A cabbie who was signaling to turn right was to my right with his window down. He struck up a conversation. I think he was flirting, but whatever! It was absolutely the nicest, most pleasant interaction I'd ever had with a cabbie and totally surprised me.

I always try to acknowledge when a driver has given me the right of way or otherwise been courteous (my inner voice says, "Thank you for not killing me."). I think it helps make that driver's next interaction with a cyclist more positive and ultimately benefits us all. Even if someone does something really stupid or dangerous, if it's evident it was unintentional and they apologize, I try to be polite rather than screaming an obscenity. It's all about the civility, baby. And god knows we all make mistakes. Of course, that's not to excuse carelessness; endangering a cyclist is wrong no matter what the intention was.

(I'm a human being, of course, and I lose my temper from time to time.)
and cabbies are usually the worst

Natalie said:
One day I was stopped somewhere on Chicago waiting for the light to change. A cabbie who was signaling to turn right was to my right with his window down. He struck up a conversation. I think he was flirting, but whatever! It was absolutely the nicest, most pleasant interaction I'd ever had with a cabbie and totally surprised me.

I always try to acknowledge when a driver has given me the right of way or otherwise been courteous (my inner voice says, "Thank you for not killing me."). I think it helps make that driver's next interaction with a cyclist more positive and ultimately benefits us all. Even if someone does something really stupid or dangerous, if it's evident it was unintentional and they apologize, I try to be polite rather than screaming an obscenity. It's all about the civility, baby. And god knows we all make mistakes. Of course, that's not to excuse carelessness; endangering a cyclist is wrong no matter what the intention was.

(I'm a human being, of course, and I lose my temper from time to time.)
Last spring I was riding down E. Jefferson in Detroit (where I lived until recently) from my home in GPP to downtown. Jefferson was in the middle of getting repaved, so the outer two westbound lanes were barrelled off. I was riding down the one open westbound lane when a car pulled out from a side street into the marked-off area next to me, then started to merge into me. I don't remember whether I shouted something first or he saw me, but he changed course, or I did. A few blocks later, as I was catching up to him, he rolled down his window and apologized for not noticing me. It was just a little gesture, but much appreciated. Little gestures can go a long way!

A couple of years before that, I was waiting at the light the foot of Woodward, in the middle of downtown, to turn onto Jefferson to go back home. I was in the rightmost of 3 or 4 lanes that turn left. When the light turned green, I left the line, and a car full of guys next to me, with all the windows down, said "I didn't see your turn signal, motherf***er!" and they all laughed madly. (It sounds hostile, but it wasn't.) A few blocks later, as I pulled up next to them at the light at the tunnel entrance, I stuck my left arm out and flashed my fist in a flashing-turn-signal motion, and they laughed even harder and I laughed too. I suppose that one just falls into the 'funny' category.

David
I've had a lot of positive experiences riding in Beverly, Morgan Park and nearby neighborhoods. When I pull up at a 4-way stop, it's not unusual for drivers to wait and wave me through. I've had some pleasant conversations with people in cars while we were stopped, waiting for a freight train to pass. Once a driver told me I'd just dropped something - saved me from having to buy a new bungee cord. Sometimes drivers have just smiled and waved.
Yes, Alter Rd. is pretty dramatic. I didn't commute down jefferson - I worked at Chrysler in Auburn Hills so I drove, usually misc. company vehicles. My riding was shopping, fun, going out, etc. Everything I liked to spend my time at was nearby in the city or in GP, so it was easy to bike most things.

DP

Brian Kennedy said:
Awesome stories David. You are the man for doing the E. Jefferson commute from Grosse Pointe Park to Detroit. It would be hard to explain the transiton that takes place the millisecond you hit city limits to out-of-towners.

David A. Pertuz said:
Last spring I was riding down E. Jefferson in Detroit (where I lived until recently) from my home in GPP to downtown. Jefferson was in the middle of getting repaved, so the outer two westbound lanes were barrelled off. I was riding down the one open westbound lane when a car pulled out from a side street into the marked-off area next to me, then started to merge into me. I don't remember whether I shouted something first or he saw me, but he changed course, or I did. A few blocks later, as I was catching up to him, he rolled down his window and apologized for not noticing me. It was just a little gesture, but much appreciated. Little gestures can go a long way!

A couple of years before that, I was waiting at the light the foot of Woodward, in the middle of downtown, to turn onto Jefferson to go back home. I was in the rightmost of 3 or 4 lanes that turn left. When the light turned green, I left the line, and a car full of guys next to me, with all the windows down, said "I didn't see your turn signal, motherf***er!" and they all laughed madly. (It sounds hostile, but it wasn't.) A few blocks later, as I pulled up next to them at the light at the tunnel entrance, I stuck my left arm out and flashed my fist in a flashing-turn-signal motion, and they laughed even harder and I laughed too. I suppose that one just falls into the 'funny' category.

David

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