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Old 02-22-19, 06:40 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 782

Bikes: Giant TCR/Surly Karate Monkey/Foundry FireTower/Curtlo Tandem

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What do you do to improve relations?

I know that we all gripe about the motorists that buzz us and do other stupid things putting us at risk but what do we do to improve relations with motorists?
Myself, I ride solo 99% of the time unless it is with my wife on one of our tandems but I try to connect with motorists and dogs too for that matter.

I can tell when a motorist is apprehensive about passing. You know, they hang back, especially in curvy areas or on hills. If the road is clear I wave them around and slow down if needed while giving them a wave and thumbs up. If a car passes and gives me plenty of room, I always wave and give a thumbs up.

A few days ago, I misjudged the weather and got caught in a deluge. In an stretch where I can normally maintain the speed limit I had to hold back as the rain was stinging which caused a handful of cars to catch up to me. I pulled over into a wide spot to let them by and waved as they went through. I got a few waves and smiles back.

We can often be at fault too. Two years ago on a LBS ride, the group was going through a small town where the road is very wide with a good clean shoulder. Most of the pack was off to the far right of the lane or on the shoulder but the shop owner and another cyclist were riding side by side taking the lane and backing traffic up during commute time. From behind, me and a friend could see the drivers getting angry. Pissed off angry. That was my last shop ride.

As for dogs, I always talk to dogs. They get confused by bikes but if the bike makes human sounds, in time it seems to click that it is not an incarnation of satan. We have some dogs on our route that just love to run alongside. Now if a dog is aggressive, I have speed advantage, and the owner is out yelling at their dog to come back, I will bare my teeth, growl, and maintain a pace sufficient to let the dog think that it can still catch me and train it up the road as far as possible. I know, that's not right.

Am I the only one who tries to also interact with drivers in a positive manner?
FWIW. I also do the same when running. A driver giving me plenty of room and is courteous gets a smile, wave and thumbs up.
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