Why have you been scolded? Why have you been cheered?

While bicycling what are some of the positive and negative triggers you’ve experienced? This isn’t meant as an extensive rant for specific incidents, just curious to know what we’re doing on bicycles that people like and don’t like.

Like most of us I’ve been scolded for numerous legal things, such as taking the lane (even on a neighborhood greenway), failing to signal, signalling a right turn with my right arm, passing on the right, not thanking somebody when they legally had to yield but thought they were doing me a favor, not stopping (after the Idaho stop law was passed), pulling out into traffic (thus making people suddenly slow down), being in their way while doing the speed limit (happens in the car as well), and many more I’ll remember later. And of course there are a few times when I inadvertently was the cause, but they’re far fewer. Incidents where I almost pull out in front of traffic because sight lines are poor, times my light batteries died, etc.

I’ve been cheered for having bright obvious lights, wearing fun socks, signalling, stopping, biking, biking to Ikea, biking with a kid, biking with a dog, carrying more cargo than people thought I could, having belt-drive, biking in a fun group ride, and more I’ll remember later.

I’ve been cheered by pedestrians waiting to cross and I immediately and obviously yield to them. I feel guilty for being thanked for shit that is supposed to be expected of me. But it’s because so many pedestrians are conditioned to be thankful for ever getting to cross at all.


I haven’t been scolded while cycling, since I have tried to be more careful when riding my bike. Also, when had a flat tire somebody gave me a helping hand and I am thankful for the kind gesture that I have received.

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I rarely get genuine feedback one way or the other (though courtesy thank you’s from other road users occur on basically every ride – I also give them out on practically every ride). In my experience, motorists treat me better than each other and everyone else treats me pretty well too.

I’ve been cheered by peds waiting to cross more than for any other reason. Unfortunately, my experience as a ped is that cyclists hardly ever stop for peds – and an amazing percentage running stop signs seem to expect peds to yield.

The other thing that tends to get cheers is being out in especially brutal conditions. If road conditions are bad, it’s well below freezing, and I’m getting blasted with ice/snow in high winds I’ll get whoops and fist pumps from the few motorists and peds out there. Frankly, it’s fun for me.

As far as scolds go, they’re super rare. The majority of them are for screwups on my part for which I apologize. A significant percentage are for not using cycling facilities which I don’t apologize for.

Like everyone else, motorists yell the occasional GOOD RIDING TO YOU!!! (or at least that’s what they’re probably saying – I can never can make it out with the ambient noise). Not sure what their motivation is, perhaps just to convey well wishes :wink:

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