Two fingers or one thumb?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by jdapayne, 30 Aug 2007.

  1. jdapayne

    jdapayne New Member

    Not actually directly related to commuting, but seeing as this seems to double up as the 'bitching about motorists' section, thought I'd put it here.

    I was cycling (along quite a fast A road) the other day when a HGV overtook me, beeping its horn as it did. Taking this to be him saying 'get out of my way blah blah blah road tax blah blah blah'*, I kindly signalled back at him with the good old two fingers. Anyway, looking back on the event, maybe he was just beeping to let me know that he was overtaking me/about to overtake me, and to watch out, in which case, I should really have been thanking him. DO motorists do this (use their horn as a warning, as it's intended)? I feel quite bad actually

    Anyway, I've decided from now on I'm just going to give beeping motorists a friendly smile, wave and thumbs up. Either way, it'll thank them for a helpful warning, or just piss them off more, either of which is good.
  2. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    i would say it would depend on which country the HGV is from. if it's from france, probably he was beeping to let you know he was there. He's probably gone back to france and said "bludy english cyclists, blah blah":biggrin: (in a french accent of course!)

    either way, you are right, thanking a driver who beeped his horn at you in ignorance would probably pee him off even more ;)
  3. Jonathan M

    Jonathan M New Member

    I'm not sure that 2 fingers means much to the french, even if it did orginate from the english archers at agincourt. They do recognise (and use) the "bird" though.....
  4. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    Have a glance back at the driver, if you can. Maybe gesture with an open palm as if to say 'What's up?'
  5. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Had some silly witch beep me this week on a narrow road, cos she had to wait to overtake - anyway, I turned round and did the 'What's up palm signal' and shook my head and then just carried on. When she did overtake, she was waving her fist by then, so the universal banking signal was then used by me.....

    Most motorists have been fine on this road - busy, but a narrow residential road, that's twisty, so batting along in a car isn't a great idea.
  6. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    I like the thumbs up, that seems most appropriate since the motorist will interpret it according to his intentions on the beeping. If (s)he's giving you a helpful warning, then (s)he'll be chuffed you acknowledged and thanked them. If they're being motons, then it's likely the interpretation will be more negative.
  7. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    I know I can't know, but from your description, I'd guess he was beeping at you in a 'you should not be on this road' way.

    If it's a fast A-road he should not need to warn you that he's there, unless he's french, in which case he can go home and eat surrender cheese anyway
  8. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    On most occasions a thumbs up and a smile is the best response to give regardless of whether they are angry or just giving a friendly I'm here warning. However I do agree there are times when I don't follow that advice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. frog

    frog Guest

    Treat all horn beeps as a friendly gesture. If it actually is then you've acknowledged it in an appropriate way. If it isn't then you've wound up the ignoorant git even more by 'misunderstanding' his impatience ;)
  10. Tetedelacourse

    Tetedelacourse New Member

    You could shout "Good day, Horatio".
  11. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    I've occasionally had trucks give a little toot to say "I'm here, look out" as they went past.

    Even if they meant it as in eff off, it still gave me warning that they were about to pass me.

    I guite often give a lazy salute, if people were nice to me they seem to really like it, and if they were'nt they take it really badly. As if I actually slapped them with the sarcasm ;) :biggrin: And the bonus it - I don't look agressive to other motorists.

    I find an open palmed "why" movement after a car has idiotically passed me works wonders for the next couple giving me plenty of room, whereas a finger doesn't.
  12. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Something to do with the French cutting off the first two fingers of any captured English longbowman, to make sure he couldn't play any further part in the battle...?

    I believe a favourite French riposte is the bras d'honneur - grasp the extended left arm with the right hand, just above the elbow, then bend the left arm upwards, fist clenched. I think I have seen this used by a French driver - but it's considered very strong and could easily provoke a punch-up amongst French motorists (I've seen that happen, too)!
  13. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK

    Yup! It was the archers' way of saying "You aint got me yet, mate"...

    I expect my ancestors did quite a bit of it...;)
  14. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    I thought they were Welsh...
  15. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    When out on club runs, if some motorist got rather irate, we would wave to them.... oh how funny it was as they just blew steam but couldn't do anything about it as we were being friendly.
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