Signalling thanks

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Signalling thanks

Postby nicolen » Thu May 13, 2010 9:09 pm

What is the general consensus regarding signalling 'thanks' to motorists? I offer a sort of wave but I suspect it looks a bit vague. What does everyone else do?
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by BNA » Thu May 13, 2010 9:17 pm


Re: Signalling thanks

Postby toolonglegs » Thu May 13, 2010 9:17 pm

Not commuting...but I give a big wave to cars who let the whole bunch roll thru at a round about or pull over to let us all go thru safely on a narrow road.But then I spose people here are used to that sort of behavior...I mean how many times can you get flashed when you are supposed to give way,but the car approaching has stopped on the main road to let you get across and not get dropped from the bunch.
In Sydney I would just be too shocked to remember to say thanks :lol: .
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby stevepedlin » Thu May 13, 2010 9:33 pm

As I've got older, like past 40 just recently, I've come to realise just how far a little courtesy can go with our fellow road users.

Once, I was full of myself and arrogant, to. These days when I see my old behavior replicated in the lycra roadie brigade, I have to give myself a reality check and remind myself of my own behavior, before I titch them.

If I see a motorists eyes on me or not on me at a turning point I am approaching- and i am always looking at the eyes of other motorists, something that only broken bones and seeing your blood on the road can give you - I always swing an arm out.

Left or right. it costs you nothing, only a little mind, you can spare it, after all its your life on the line, and i can sense that drivers appreciate it.

Try to indicate people, be clear about it. It could mean the difference between months in hospital or a good story at the coffee shop about how you were hard done by....
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby Mulger bill » Thu May 13, 2010 11:48 pm

Depends... Usually a raised hand waved sideways or I touch the peak of me helmet, salute fashion. Quite often a huge smile and a mouthed "Thanks Mate" gets the best results.

...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby Boognoss » Fri May 14, 2010 8:20 am

If I'm let in for example my "indicating" arm often gives a wave and a thumbs-up.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby rearviewmirror » Fri May 14, 2010 11:00 am

I signaled the finger to a lady who ran up on me to squeeze into a roundabout only so she could come to a complete stop 100m later. She knew she f*cked up and I'm sure she was hoping I wouldn't catch up. Hopefully she learned her lesson.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby sogood » Fri May 14, 2010 11:26 am

Hands are very versatile. They can signal appreciation as well as ingratitude. :mrgreen:

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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby elsealio » Thu May 27, 2010 11:18 pm

I always try to say thanks to other motorists who take me into consideration (I know this should just be a given but unfortunately it isn't). I usually just chuck a hand up in the air or give a thumbs up to say thank you which usually gets a good response.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby silkishuge » Fri May 28, 2010 8:37 am

Always wave thanks, mouth thanks, smile to motorist who give way.

Also wave motorist to stop attempt to overtake because of oncoming traffic. Wave them by when safe. Get thanks from motorist that way often usually in the form of a wave.

Always greet pedestrians, other cyclist, joggers, bus stop waiting type people along my commute. Usual people each morning, even cars are the usual ones and most are used to me by now. :P

I don't react to nasty or bad drivers. Just ignore them as I would normally when I drive.

Last edited by silkishuge on Sun May 30, 2010 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby trailgumby » Fri May 28, 2010 10:09 pm

I usually give a wave and a loud "THANKYOU! :D "
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby owlrigh » Sat May 29, 2010 2:59 am

If someone's given way to me both if they're supposed to and they're not supposed to as according to the road rules I do this: I make eye contact, smile, mouth thanks, then duck my head in a nod and do a finger-wave from my handlebars. Geeze, it sounds like I do a lot of things now that I type it up, but really it's a quick thing and I scoot along to be out of their way all the faster.

When people are being arseholes, for example, swearing because they're supposed to give way to me, or like the truck the other day tried to run me over, well ... usually they're gone before I can do anything about it other than swear in their general direction and give them the finger, aimed at their rearview mirrors.

Mostly people are nice, though.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby wibbit » Sat May 29, 2010 12:22 pm

I usually give drivers a friendly wave when they've given way to me. So rare still and I think we should reinforce good behaviour from drivers.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby Aushiker » Mon May 31, 2010 3:11 pm


If they do something considerate towards me that the are not required to (e.g., hold back to make passing safer even though they may have got through okay) then I will wave and say thanks, but if they say stop and give way at a roundabout where they required to anyway then I just continue riding.

I am more incline to say thanks to pedestrians that move over on shared paths than I am to motorists.

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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby eucryphia » Mon May 31, 2010 8:56 pm

I always try to wave if it's safe to do so, always thanks to pedestrians.

Always slow right down if there are kids, dogs, tourists (lots of them in Canberra).

Big wave to the kids on bikes...
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby jet-ski » Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:25 pm

I don't think waving is vague.... though if I don't want to take my hands off the bars for one reason or another I will nod and smile. Greeting people is nice. But if there are alot of people on shared paths it could get quite tiresome. There was this Kiwi roadie who used to say 'morning' as he was overtaking me on the shared path, but I haven't noticed him for ages. I wonder if he just got sick of saying 'morning'. Heh.

I will always say thanks for peds who are cyclist aware on PSPs and always smile/wave at kids if they are looking at me.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby goneriding » Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:54 am

I waved at the truck who cut me off by turning across this morning only to narrowly miss the bus that did the very same thing 50 metres up the road. I waved at him too :evil:
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby Becker_11 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 8:14 pm

For those who don't know I've recently purchased a Greenspeed X5 recumbent and got back into cycling. So at this stage more bikes are passing me than the other way round but if I see a rider in my mirror hang back for a second before passing because someone is coming I give them a wave. Also when I'm taking the lane especially at the squeeze point on King William st near the Bayswater train station I give a wave to motorists when they hang back instead of just trying to push past and then when I've got the room I move left into the parking lane and wave them through. Motorists I find are the most helpful when crossing the freeway from one side to the other to link up with the path. Often they will wait so I can cross the on ramp safely and I always wave as I go by.

One thing I'm curious about is do you wave to other riders when you pass them? I have been giving a wave and saying a quick "Hi" most will respond in kind, some say "nice ride" or something similar but there are a portion of riders who just ignore you and keep going.

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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby vinvin » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:20 pm

Boognoss wrote:If I'm let in for example my "indicating" arm often gives a wave and a thumbs-up.
This is exactly what I do.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby vinvin » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:23 pm

Becker_11 wrote:One thing I'm curious about is do you wave to other riders when you pass them? I have been giving a wave and saying a quick "Hi" most will respond in kind, some say "nice ride" or something similar but there are a portion of riders who just ignore you and keep going.
I want to! But it doesn't seem to be the done thing, I wish it was because it'd be nice to just greet people on the road. Also, if I'm being passed, I want to say gidday and mean "good job" or "I"m going to get on your tail now" or whatever, and if I'm passing someone, I want to say gidday and mean "come on mate" or "thanks for the pacing" or whatever. But mostly it's just whooooooosh.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby gdt » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:40 pm

I wave and say thanks when the traffic behaves well. Anyone who waits, gets a wave; even if the traffic rules say they must wait. I figure even obeying the road rules is a behaviour I want to reinforce. But more to the point, they've taken a little time out of their day, and they should be thanked for that.

Especially the truck drivers; getting one of those back up to speed is a right pain so they've gone well out of their way in bringing it to a complete stop. I've got a lot of time for the semis, and I'll slow down and wave them through the intersection where I can.

To other cyclists I'll nod, lift a finger off the handlebars, or wave and say "hi", based on how much encouragement it looks like they need. God knows, I appreciate that enough myself when I'm suffering into a headwind.
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Re: Signalling thanks

Postby Becker_11 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:53 pm

I agree with the trucks and I'll add something as well. These guys are professional drivers who spend 60 or more hours a week on the road. To date I haven't met a bad one, heard plenty of stories though but on the whole they stay back and wait for a safe gap before passing giving a wide berth as they do. So yeah they always get a wave and I'll look for a space to move left if and when I can to help them out.

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