Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who you honkin' at?

The other day, I was enjoying my beautiful 6:00 a.m. bike ride to work, when someone drove by honking their horn very erratically.  Now, I'm not 100% sure, but I am quite certain that they were honking at me.  When the car passed, I first tried to figure out if they were, in fact, honking at me.  There was the absence of another car directly next to the perpetrator, so I can assume he/she was not honking at another car.  There was also the type of honk that was used.  It wasn't a long, angry sounding honk.  Just a few little taps as if to try and get someone's attention, without making them think that something is wrong.  After I logically figured out that this person was honking at me, I next tried to figure out if I recognized the car.  I did not.  So this left me wondering what exactly this person was honking for.

If you've ever been on a road bike and tried to turn and look at cars that are passing you, then you know that there's a very slim chance that you will see the driver.  What about recognizing the car?  Well, that's possible.  But I have to be honest, most of the time when someone honks, I'm not sure which car it was, and I would rather focus my attention on not crashing my bike than looking at all the cars to see if I possibly recognize one.

And along with honking comes yelling.  Usually this happens when the car has some super cool high school kids in it who, for one reason or another, think it's funny to yell at a cyclist as they go whizzing by at 20 miles over the speed limit.  You know what's actually funny about it?  That 9 times out of 10 the cyclist has absolutely no idea what you've said!  You go flying by in your car and yell something out at the top of your lungs and it's completely incomprehensible.  But, you sure do look cool in front of your friends!

Occasionally, there is the instance where the cyclist will recognize the car, and a very warm and happy feeling will fill the cyclist's heart.  But the majority of the time, that's not happening.  So why do it?  What's the point?  Are you trying to point out that you're moving faster than the cyclist, and therefor getting to your destination quicker?  Are you attempting to spook the cyclist in hopes that he or she will lose control of their bike, and you can witness an ultra funny moment when the cyclist crashes?  Maybe you're also a cyclist and a giving an air-horn "fist bump" to the cyclist as you drive on by, saying "Pedal on my brotha".  Or maybe you're just really friendly, and honk at every person on the side of the road?  Everyone has their reasons for honking, and I'm sure it's going to continue for all of time.  More importantly, the real question here is, do you really recognize my backside so well that you can tell it's me, even as you are driving by in your car?

All of these cyclists are "cracking" smiles just for you!

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