Honk Report

I just got honked at. The last honk was 16 August. So this is a fairly rare event for me.

Today’s honk (just 15 minutes ago) occurred on Cherry St. where it runs along the north edge of the MSU campus. On one side of the road is dormitory parking and on the other side of the road are fraternity and sorority houses.

Someday I’m going to make a map of honks in Springfield (with the limited data available). I think it might show that demographics play more of role than road features. For example, today’s honker was a young woman who appeared to be college age. Perhaps a resident of the area. Other honkers along this road — the place where I suffer the most honks — have been (stereotypically) “frat boys.”

This was interesting: Cherry is sharable. I was riding to the right but not in the gutter. There was a fairly steady stream of cars in both directions. I was not impeding her progress in any way. I saw her coming in my mirror and noted that she was positioned properly for a safe pass with at least a 3-foot margin. No problem. But then the honk. WTH? So I look back and see the problem. She’s talking on a cell phone. I’ve apparently startled her — her phone call, obviously, being more important than controlling a dangerous machine along a street teeming with other cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists.

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Comments 7

  1. robert wrote:

    The harassment ordinance has REALLY cut down on the level of this type of behavior in COMO.

    The upside to it being one of the biggest news stories in town for a couple of months.

    Posted 22 Sep 2009 at 3:20 pm
  2. Steve A wrote:

    If you’re not getting honked at, you’re not riding enough!

    Seriously, I’ve been picking up roughly a honk a week over the last few months. That’d be about 5 honks per thousand miles. I don’t see much pattern to them other than I have NEVER been honked at when traffic is complex enough that the motorists have to pay full attention to what’s going on. I HAVE been honked at by my oldest daughter (who also yelled at me to “get off the road you silly cyclist”), but that doesn’t count. I didn’t even give her any extra yard work to do. 🙂

    Posted 22 Sep 2009 at 5:37 pm
  3. Keri wrote:

    I can go weeks with nothing then get a barrage in one ride. A couple weeks ago I was riding home on a Saturday evening and got honked at 3 times and yelled at once, in the span of about 1 mile. I was using one lane of a multi-lane road and there were very few cars. I think I might have been passed by 10 cars in 2 miles.

    It rarely has anything to do with perceived delay or inconvenience. It’s territorial pissing. Put that uppity cyclist in her place.

    And then I’ll have weeks of just wonderfully cooperative interactions. Tonight every motorist I encountered seemed to want to help me out, let me go first, give me extra space, slow to let me merge for a left. I was first off a long light at a major intersection on a 4-lane road. Several Fedex trucks, lots of lane-changing to get around me. Not a honk or voice heard.

    Posted 22 Sep 2009 at 6:24 pm
  4. Dottie wrote:

    “If you’re not getting honked at, you’re not riding enough.”

    Love that!

    Few events piss me off more than being honked at. Usually I’m able to ignore them or give a friendly wave.

    Posted 22 Sep 2009 at 8:53 pm
  5. A.J. wrote:

    Steve A, love the unapologetic attitude towards safe riding.

    Posted 23 Sep 2009 at 8:22 am
  6. Steve A wrote:

    You have inspired me! See link…

    Who says honking can’t be a little fun!


    Posted 01 Oct 2009 at 5:27 pm
  7. Steve A wrote:

    Hmm, link didn’t work here it is below:


    Posted 01 Oct 2009 at 5:28 pm