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Hand Signals
 Spridget member offline
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posted 8/26/2013
at 8:15:38 PM
viewed 1516 times
No, I do not wish to address the "Italian gestures". Neither am I stirring up anything about whether it is better to use the old-style right turn signal and keep your hand on the rear brake lever, although all you get are blank stares or a wave back from the motorists, vs using the new signal with a 50% chance of a motorist understanding what you mean.

Nope, strange as it may seem, I would like to know if there is any kind of a standard gesture to express appreciation to the semi that went out of his way to be considerate to you. I asked my ASL friend what thank-you was in ASL, but it looks an awful lot like blowing someone a kiss, and I will be blessed if yer as-gonna catch me blowing kisses to semis. Last week I pedaled to a spot a bit south of Bloomington, IN (about 280 miles from here) on a route that involved about a day on US Rt 41. Besides finding out that you can pedal 130 miles of Indiana without seeing another single soul on a bicycle, I also learned how many different ways they can address the question of highway shoulders. There were beautiful stretches wherein you had a rumble strip just outside the white line with 10 foot gaps in it every 100 feet or so and a wide smooth clean shoulder outside that. There were stretches with no shoulder at all. There was a particularly annoying stretch of concrete roadway with wide clean shoulders with a "buzz-strip" about every 50 feet ALL the way across the shoulder.

The worst stretch, however, was the ten miles or so where they had just chip-sealed the left lane and coned it off. There was a white line, a rumble strip, then dirt or loose gravel. I had to ride the white line and the poor semis had to decide whether to shave my left earlobe or kill a few cones. Most of them opted for cone killing and none of them got so close to me as to pose an actual threat, although if Indiana has a 3-foot law, it got violated regularly there. It would have been nice to have some communication with the drivers beyond a hand wave as they approached to let them know that I was aware of their presence and another one after they passed to show I was still alive and bore them no ill will... Got anything?

 maschwab member online
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posted 8/26/2013
at 9:22:45 PM
post #1 viewed 1506 times
Thumbs up afterward.

 Howard member not displaying online status
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posted 8/26/2013
at 10:46:42 PM
post #2 viewed 1500 times
I wave appreciatively all the time to drivers whose trip was delayed a few insubstantial seconds or whose blood pressure rose five points by my presence on their road. It should be enough.

 ctcrankee member online
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posted 8/27/2013
at 4:38:42 AM
post #3 viewed 1492 times
I agree with Howard. I give them a wave as they make a careful pass.

 GeeWizMan member offline
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posted 8/27/2013
at 4:47:33 AM
post #4 viewed 1489 times
Hey I like the idea of blowing them kisses. Perhaps they will give you even more room in the future, if you know what I mean.

 S_Kottmyer member offline
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posted 8/27/2013
at 5:06:04 AM
post #5 viewed 1484 times
Hey I like the idea of blowing them kisses. Perhaps they will give you even more room in the future, if you know what I mean.
-- posted by GeeWizMan

Let us know how that works, GWM. It just could cause them to swerve to the right.
Since a thumbs up can be misunderstood, I think a big wave is best. I don't get a lot of truck traffic where I ride, but we have a lot of good drivers. I wave a lot.

 Spridget member offline
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posted 8/27/2013
at 11:04:58 AM
post #6 viewed 1460 times
Darn, I was hoping there was something a little more committal than a 5-finger wave. At least it is difficult to misread.

What companies have the best truck drivers by you? Around here it is Dayton Freight and Eagle Express. They must have excellent driver training and/or great motivation; I virtually never can find anything to complain about with them.

 GeeWizMan member offline
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posted 8/27/2013
at 11:15:30 AM
post #7 viewed 1457 times
Around here in SE Michigan ALL the various truck carriers are extremely respectful of cyclists. These guys are professional drivers and act that way. It used to be different several years ago for gravel haulers, however, for the most part, they too are very respectful of cyclists.

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posted 8/27/2013
at 12:10:15 PM
post #8 viewed 1453 times
The "Queen Elizabeth" wave works for me with a bit more emphasis. No, seriously.


 rschlump member offline
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posted 9/2/2013
at 4:17:02 PM
post #9 viewed 1397 times
I generally use something that resembles a military salute for any driver that has shown me a little respect on the road. Either hand works depending on braking, shifting, steering, etc. A thumbs up seems to also work well.
post edited on 9/2/2013 at 4:00:23 PM
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