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View Full Version : wave back already


rainperimeter
08-16-2006, 01:54 AM
if i wave or ding my bell at you, please do the same. if i pass you and say 'hi' please say 'hi' back. what the hell is your problem? we're both riding, enjoying our trips to wherever we're going, getting excercise. it's nice, the biking, right? so what is your deal? scared of human interaction? used to driving and this sort of thing never happens when you're in your car? well, get over it. cuz i'm sick of it. ok?

GelFreak
08-16-2006, 07:35 AM
I agree completely. I had an incident with a biker yesterday. He got furious at me for not hearing his "on the left". Which, I'll admit I wear headphones, BUT I can hear everything that goes on around me. I usually hear "on the left", but I think people don't realize how hard it is to broadcast your voice a good 5-10ft in front of you while your moving at a good speed on the side of the road.

Even after I appologized while we rode next to each other he was still pissed.

Arn't we all on the same team here?

I always say good morning or hello when someone else says it. Its common curtousy people. Drivers and non-bikers always say bikers have a "holyer than you" attitude and at times I think they are right. Sure I get upset at cars when people arn't paying attention and almost kill me, but I'm also very kind to people that do pay attention and purposly leave room for me etc.

If bikers can't be friendly with other bikers how are we going to get the people that control what happens with the roads to like us any more?

nateted4
08-16-2006, 01:47 PM
I concur. A reply is nice to a greeting, but I don't get bummed anymore when people don't reply. In Hampton Roads cyclists were so few and far between we always said hi, but with greater numbers in Portland it seems like I get way fewer responses.

brock
08-16-2006, 02:25 PM
Yeah you're right, it's funny, it seems like in recent years with more riders, people are less likely to wave.

I must say though sometimes I see folks wave but I'm either suffering up a big hill, going to fast, or in a sketchy traffic situation and not willing to wave back. Sorry :)

Haven_kd7yct
08-17-2006, 09:34 AM
"I always say good morning or hello when someone else says it."

What about initiating that "good morning" or "hello" instead of waiting for someone else to say it?

I try to always ring my bell, wave, or say a quick greeting while biking, but sometimes when I'm putting forth some serious effort (which might not look like a serious effort to you), I can't spare the energy to reply, except to smile. Which might be looking like a grimace of pain. :)

Anyway, start initiating that "good morning" and smile, if possible. :)

Kt

Erica
08-17-2006, 09:43 AM
I'm sorry, but that's how I ended up getting harassed. I will not say hello as a matter of precaution.

http://www.bikeportland.org/forum/showthread.php?t=203

GelFreak
08-17-2006, 02:51 PM
I'm going to have to dissagree Erica. I know james harrassed you, but if he picked you as his next target I really doubt your simple "hello" open the door for him. Obviously I cant say for sure, but it doesnt take any verbal exchange to be harrassed.

There will always be loonies in this world, and you can't be a clam because of 1 bad experince. If you are really fearful that someone might pick you as a target again, learn some self defense. A women with the right know how (in terms of self defense) will be left alone by anyone, and if not they'd def think twice the next time.

Erica
08-17-2006, 10:55 PM
Well then I suppose your opinion on the matter would be different if something like that happened to you. It's a personal thing. I would prefer not to say hi, and I won't.

Erica
08-17-2006, 10:57 PM
A women with the right know how (in terms of self defense) will be left alone by anyone, and if not they'd def think twice the next time.
Unfortunately I don't see this as being close to the truth.

But back to the topic of waving I guess.

rainperimeter
08-18-2006, 01:34 AM
i'm bummed out that happened erica. it bums me out that anything like that ever happens. but i don't know that never saying hi to anyone is going to ensure you're not going to be harrassed by anyone (hey, how comforting am i?).

it's similar to being hit by a car (count me in that group) and never riding again. it's horrible that it happens but if you think of how few cars ever hit you, holy shit, odds are in your favor you're going to be alright (take me for example: i've been hit by one car out of, uh, all the cars i see in a day, 365 days a year, i'm 30 now, i've been biking since before elementary school, minus my senior year in high school and the year after when biking wasn't "cool", um, that's many million cars that have never hit me.)

odds are it's safe to wave back at someone...except when it's not safe...and it really doesn't matter if you wave, say hello or fling poo at them, if someone is gonna fuck with you, they're gonna fuck with you.


p.s. speaking of someone fucking with you just to fuck with you, i've got a great story involving a one-legged black dude in fatigues shoplifting cosmetics in a rite-aid in west hollywood ca. at 3 am, me not having spare change for the dude as he's being tossed out of the store and then me almost getting stabbed by him and no one doing anything but watching and waiting for blood. if anyone is interested...

donnambr
08-19-2006, 10:30 AM
I can't speak for all of us, but I can tell you that experiences like Erica's are exactly why many women are stone-faced when riding. All it takes is one incident where a smile or friendly greeting has "encouraged" someone to behave badly, and you begin to question everyone's motives. Has everyone read the stories from Portland women attached to this article (http://bikeportland.org/2006/05/31/creepy-cyclists-and-women-on-bikes/)? Scary episodes with creepy men happen to women a lot more often than some people like to think.

It's not easy for some of us to "turn on" the friendliness after having to radiate hostility for part of our ride because that's the only way we're left alone. I mourn the death of public civility as much as anyone, but please cut folks some slack. You don't know what personal experiences may have caused them to develop that aura of unfriendliness. We're just trying to get where we need to go safely and without harassment or being physically hurt. To be frank, other people's perception of whether or not I'm a nice person is going to take a back seat to my personal safety.

Russell
08-21-2006, 03:41 AM
The most memorable time I was waved at was when a hipster on a cruiser blew the stop sign at full speed turning left onto 7th from Salmon. I yelled “F***ing s***!” as I slammed on my brakes which got his attention. He turned to me as he passed (he was looking right for traffic on 7th in the opposite direction from me), waved as he turned through the north travel lane, and said something to the effect of “hello there!” with a huge friendly smile. What a great guy.

I’m somewhat anti-social amongst strangers, but generally harmless. I’d say my response rate to people saying anything social to me is about 50% and it’s usually brief. I very rarely initiate contact and never just to be friendly. Here’s how I figure it for you friendly social types:

I figure you’ve come to a point in your life where you understand some of us are just plain grumpy. Some of us are fearful of strangers. Some of us are deep in thought; and some of us are just having a crappy day. I figure (assuming you aren’t a criminal or a lunatic) that you aren’t a menace, but you’ve decided you are going to spread some joy - cranky fearful thoughtful distracted depressed angry people be damned.

I appreciate your dedication to the cause of friendliness, but I also assumed until I read this thread that by initiating contact you’d accepted the risk that some of us might not want to interact with you, and you were ok with that and weren’t looking to bat over .350. If you wave at me and I don’t respond, don’t let it ruin your day. For all you know my cat just died and I’m just not in the mood interact with you right now – but keep waving because maybe the next person will be more receptive. Every person who scowls at you is just letting you know that you are having a much better day than they are… good for you!

FixForLife
08-21-2006, 10:30 PM
Unfortunately I don't see this as being close to the truth.

But back to the topic of waving I guess.

this is a message board, if this don't get off topic, something is wrong

FixForLife
08-21-2006, 10:38 PM
The most memorable time I was waved at was when a hipster on a cruiser blew the stop sign at full speed turning left onto 7th from Salmon. I yelled “F***ing s***!” as I slammed on my brakes which got his attention. i really can't stand when some guy is waiting at a light and no one is coming and i just keep going and they yell stop. worry about yourself at the light, if i or anyone else gets a ticket or hit, it's our own fault. but if you say hi or give me a smile and a nod, i will be the nicest person you ever met. so russell, please keep your yelling and screaming to yourself or directed it at cars. (btw that was NOT me you yelled at)

Russell
08-22-2006, 12:22 AM
Being that I was traveling at around 15-18mph and he pulled right in front of me through the stop sign, he's lucky all that happened was me yelling as I almost plowed him. If I'd hit him, hopefully his body would have broken my fall if I angled right, but luckly it didn't come to that.

ravenskate
08-31-2006, 06:42 AM
I hope people will signal me when they pass (usually within inches on my left) because I startle easily and would prefer to have some warning. When I sense someone passing, whether or not they have signalled, I will say with a big cheerful voice "Hi!" or "Good morning" so at least they know that I know they are there. Sometimes they say hi back, sometimes not. I'm mostly concerned with road safety here, and if a friendly interaction happens on top of that, it's frosting on the cake.

As for being harassed: used to happen to me all the time, and I, too, was a granite faced (if not actually scowling) rider. But eventually it all stopped. My theory is that I became middle aged and thus 1. became less attractive physically, and less of a mark for a sexual come-on, and 2. became more self-assured and less tolerant of stupid shit. I think my friendly-but-don't-even-try-to-bullshit-me middle-aged attitude comes across in my riding demeanor, thus I get fewer shady approaches. And handle those that do come my way more effectively.

A last note: James is clearly not well (there were other posts attesting to his interactions with police and his deteriorating mental state over time). I hope his actions are an aberration among PDX bicyclists. And I hope all bicyclists are watching out for one another, noticing and offering assistance when a fellow cyclist seems to be in distress. I've had strangers ask if I needed help when being harassed by motorists, and all it took was an attentive witness for the harasser to disappear from the scene.

gabrielamadeus
09-01-2006, 10:45 AM
I ride a heavy bike traffic route to and from work each day. NE 7th, lloyd center, 11th, lads addition.

I thought it would be freindly to make it a point to ring my bell at every biker I saw...

Well my thumb got tired. There are alot of bikers out there, and because of that we don't share the "hey we're both on bikes! cool!" mindset. It's too common place and most bikers I dinged at just ignored me or looked confused.

My social experiment only lasted a few days, I got sick of only a couple people returning the freindly favor each commute. Darn!

RobCat
09-01-2006, 11:07 AM
I too became disheartened with attempts to initiate friendly greetings, but I'll always respond to them AND I'll always offer assistance if it appears help might be required and welcome (I'm not terribly handy but I can change a tube and I always carry a phone). Even when offering assistance however, I've gotten the cold shoulder at times. Truthfully, I've seen more gracious behavior from motorists and pedestrians.

It makes me wonder if these scoff-law idiots I see every day are spoiled by such a supportive cycling environment as we are fortunate to enjoy.

nishiki
09-01-2006, 12:02 PM
Get over yourselves people.

If you wave or say hello be happy to do it or don t do it at all.
if you get mad cuz someone does not wave back I suggest you stop doing it.

RobCat
09-01-2006, 12:14 PM
Get over yourselves people.

Oh, I'm over me.

If you wave or say hello be happy to do it or don t do it at all.
if you get mad cuz someone does not wave back I suggest you stop doing it.

I see nothing selfish in asking for courtesy. Everyone benefits.

nishiki
09-01-2006, 12:34 PM
Robcat,

I love you.

mizake
09-01-2006, 05:02 PM
I try to remain open to friendly, passing interaction while biking. sometimes though i'm just too tired to pay that much attention (ie smiley and waving)to people going the other direction, and it's possible that i appear quite grumpy to some. in actuality, i'm just really focused.

thebikelady
09-02-2006, 08:35 AM
I always try to wave at bicyclist passing the opposite way. It just feels like we are all apart of some family. Sometimes folks do not wave back. Normally it's the one's who are 'heads down' and going fast. Not sure where they are going to but apparently they don't want to connect with me. That is ok.

However I like connecting with other bicyclist. The 'secret sign', the small wave of a hand, somehow makes me feel more empowered out there on those streets owned by trucks and speeding cars. Although when commutting I may not always get a 'secret sign' by a fellow cyclist, when I am on a bicyle tour, such as was mine recently on the Oregon coast, fully loaded with gear, that 'secret sign' opened a world of new friends to me.

We waved that 'sign' as we passed each other in different directions. Most of the time, the bicyclists yelled out "Hey, where are you going" or "Where are you from?". In one day, I met folks from California, Canada, Australia and one from China. Hum, Oregon Coast route is pretty popular.

So I think that the bicyclist 'secret sign' is a pretty nifty idea and connects us all in a way that no other group can be connected.

Next time you see me on the road, I will give you that wave and hope you send the 'secret sign' back to me!

griffin
09-03-2006, 05:06 PM
When I went car free, I was very excite to see other cyclists and would greet them with a wave or ding of the bell, I so rarely got a response that I started to think I was braking some kind of cycling code. Perhaps we can change that.

nuada
09-03-2006, 07:24 PM
Erica,

The best thing about having the know-how is that it gives you a whole new perspective of confidence which broadcasts to these f--k-ups that you are no longer a target or victim and they will leave you alone. This has been true for me. These guys are looking for easy targets, not people who are confident and alert. I will be happy to refer you to a very good instructor in town if you are interested.

N

nuovorecord
09-05-2006, 12:43 PM
I've noticed that cyclists in Portland rarely wave at me, but I don't think it's necessarily a rude thing. In fact, I see it as a very positive sign that cycling is becoming very commonplace activity.

I'm guessing that early motorists would wave at each other when they passed. Nowadays, driving is commonplace and motorists rarely wave at each other...unless they both happen to be driving MGs or Alfas or some similar rare make of car.

It's the same with cyclists. I don't think the lack of waving indicates any rudeness. Cyclists are just going about their business, getting to where they need to be, just like people in cars, buses, or walking.

nm973
09-06-2006, 02:01 PM
Here is my take.
Ladies, please use some velcro to attach pepper spray/mace to your bike frame (mabe right under your seat where nobody can see it?) so you can access it if need be. My wife has had some creeps while running and she always runs with pepper spray and she feels much safer.

I try to wave whenever I notice other riders. Honestly, sometimes I don't notice them until we are almost passing because I am doing a hard ride. Other times, all i can give you is a nod of the head because my heart is about to explode, whether you notice it or not, I don't know, but I try to be curtious. Cycling is kind of like meditation for me as well, so sometimes I only care about what is in "my universe" and what may upset "my universe" if you are going the other way, well I may not notice you.
However, I am not offended by other cyclists not waving as they may be busy themselves with something, or they are just in a zone. I would only get offended if they flipped me off, in that case I would turn around and Time Trial for dear life to catch up to them and flip them back off. :) Actually, I could still care less.
I used to care, but I gave that up a long time ago. However I do notice on farm roads the cyclists are usually far more kind. Also, you only find cyclists who are training/exercising and not someone trying to get from point A to point B which seperates who you are running in to, which makes it more like those Harley riders who drive by each other and wave.

WhiteSword
09-07-2006, 11:14 AM
I try to wave at bicyclist passing by

editrixpdx
09-07-2006, 12:22 PM
Speaking of farm roads, motorists out in the country (well, on the back roads of Texas, anyway) sitll do give a little salute as they pass (just raise a few fingers from the stirrin wheel).

I wave or ding when I can, but not while climbing the Alameda Ridge!

captawol
09-08-2006, 12:52 PM
I will wave at other cyclists or nod my head when I need both hands. But a bell on a bike is like a horn on a car, it should be used as a warning device.

Headphones are dangerous to you and me. Now I am not saying I have not worn headphones while biking but I will say it is safer for all if you leave your left ear open. Both your ears do work, don't they? Use your right ear for music and your left for conversing with other cyclists, hearing cars approach or the "on left".

rainperimeter
09-09-2006, 12:45 AM
I've noticed that cyclists in Portland rarely wave at me, but I don't think it's necessarily a rude thing. In fact, I see it as a very positive sign that cycling is becoming very commonplace activity.

I'm guessing that early motorists would wave at each other when they passed. Nowadays, driving is commonplace and motorists rarely wave at each other...unless they both happen to be driving MGs or Alfas or some similar rare make of car.

It's the same with cyclists. I don't think the lack of waving indicates any rudeness. Cyclists are just going about their business, getting to where they need to be, just like people in cars, buses, or walking.


that is a serious 'glass half-full' attitude you got there. good job.



but i disagree ;)