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« What to wear | Main | 1953 Giro d’Italia: Coppi and Koblet in an epic battle »

What’s your sign?

This picture was on a Mothers’ Day card that caught my eye in a Target store. The caption inside reads, “Thanks for always covering my back.”

I started thinking, what would my sign say? Probably something like this:

“Thank you for your patience. Normal passage will be resumed when it is safe to pass. Please proceed with caution, and try to have a nice day.”

What would your sign say? In case you are wondering, this is just a little frivolity; I am not seriously suggesting we carry cardboard signs on our backs.

To make it interesting I’ll give signed copies of my book to the three I like the best. Entries will close on Monday, 28th April 23, 2008.

Keep it clean, unless it’s really funny, in which case a little obscenity will be excused. Post as a comment, and email me separately.

If you are interested, Mothers’ Day is on May 11th in the US; the date may be different in other countries.

Reader Comments (47)

Constipated motorist? Can't pass a cyclist!
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Ken Davidson
What's up with that question mark after "me"? Makes Mom's plea sound a bit tentative.

My sign: Dude, have mercy!
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Dave
Family Jewel
Pass with Care.

Today's Spirit, Tomorow's Solution
Pass with Care & Pride

You're Once This Active
Ride-Drive with Care

Mother's Little Helper
Let Me Stay This Way

Having raised four sons on bikes I have many others...maybe I'll send separately.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
If this is a sign for little kids, mine would go "I am six and I'm on open road 'cause my parents are terminal winos"

Were it a sign for me it would go: "I also drive a car, watch out I don't see you on a bike"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Nick
Off Duty
Police Officer
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter dvicci
I AM traffic.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter lady clay
I saw this on the web:

"You own a car
NOT the road"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter db
Putting MY tax dollars to use.

Not powered by foreign oil.

Demonstrating the
importance of
not being seen
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Bujiatang
My Other Bike
Is a Smith & Wesson
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Tim
share the road
share the planet
pass carefully
and leave something to pass on
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
Honking is only going to slow me down.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Robert Higdon
"You own a car, not the road"


"If you were so important the state would have given you lights and a siren"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Marrock
I don't know what my sign would be, but in NYC yesterday on my way home, I was riding downtown when an SUV pulled into the bike lane just as I was alongside him.

I yelled out "Yo" to get his attention.

The driver responded with the standard NYC greeting: "F*ck you!" .

I, of course, returned the greeting.

A block later we pull up next to each other at the traffic light at Delancey and Allen Streets.

He smiles, I smile and wave, he smiles back and waves.

No harm, no foul. And no reason to ruin a perfectly good day.

So maybe the sign for NYC should be "F*ck you if you're about to almost kill me, but have a nice day if you can read this message without having to tilt your head due to me lying on my side in the street."

I dunno. Too wordy?
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter leroy
Thank you Mr. Car Man, for noticing this sign. Between you and me, on the road, we can reach our destination.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Rick J
Explosive material onboard.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Ron
"I know what you're thinking. Would you really like that much time in court?"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Ron
Here's two:

1. "No meddling!
I'm peddling!

2. "Caution!
Spandex Crossing!"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Moonlight Mark
Oh man! I'm about to get a custom made messenger bag, and that is the thing that has been bugging me the most! What to put on the back flap for drivers to read?

I think putting something about the 3 feet rule is a good idea.

Or, I could just put "This bike is a Pipe bomb"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Shaka
I'm always fond of saying something assuming the positive action you want has occured, before it happens.

"Thanks for passing slowly and with extra room"

or a little more technical:

"Thank you for the legally mandated 3 foot passing distance"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Hocam
Here's spme signs:

"Don't make me
bleed on your car."

"If you can read this in English, thank a Marine."

"Pass carefully,
I'm chewing tobacco."

"Don't look back
in anger."
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter chucker
I'm doing this to keep your gas prices lower.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Ryan
Just Pretend I'm A Great Big Truck.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter John Marr
Human on board.
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Treadly and Me
I've always pondered thse two, in big letters on the back of a jersey:



April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Surly Dave
Very simple:

"Please pass safely"
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Dan
Wide Load
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Erik
Some of these were inspired by my commute today:
"Riders attached to this sign are closer than they appear."
"Baby on board. I swear! It's in the backpack!"
"Stay back! What comes out of MY exhaust isn't pleasant either!"
"Warning: Rider may projectile vomit when startled."
April 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Nathan
eyes on the road not me
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
I urinate while riding.
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Ron
"I have a video camera strapped to my helmet"
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter baudman
"I Wish I Was In Copenhagen"
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Zakkaliciousness
Person on board
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter lancewrite
CCW Permit Riders Club. cjg of eroticalee.
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
A couple:

"Spandex looks better on me,
not on your car"

I always thought Bill Green, S.C. accident lawyer, would make a great cycling team sponsor. Imagine one of his ads on the back of your jersey.

"In a wreck,
where's my check?"
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter spokejunky
Caution: cyclists eat children.
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter leviathan
You'll get there before I will anyway.
I'd make an ugly hood ornament.
April 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter maltese falcon
-Got carbon fiber?

-Draft someone your own size!

-Ok,I'm a superdomestique. But a figgin car wasn't in the contract!
April 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Ron
1) I think Critical Mass is stupid too.

2) Better than your Prius.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Todd
A green sign outlined and printed in white with a bicycle icon, like the "bike lane" signs around town. Except instead of saying "bike lane" it says "MY LANE"
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
"Recreational Commuter"
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Jett
So, who's were your favorites, Dave?
April 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
Got an email from you today. It was from a different account in gmail. I just wanted to ensure it is valid.
May 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter spokejunky
I was pleasantly surprised by the large response to my “What’s your sign” post. I was able to persuade my publisher to allow me to give away 10 books instead of 3 as originally promised.

I have contacted all those who emailed me. And yes it was a different email but you can use the original one you used or the one on my website if you wish.

Thanks to all who participated.
May 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Dave Moulton
A few more, just for fun:

Have you ever seen Ben Hur?
My chariot has retractable tire shredders!

Protection and counter measures provided by Q Branch

Heads up! Deer crossing ahead!

Caution! Radioactive contamination risk with-in six feet!


Leper on board

The last guy who “grazed me” is doing 20 to life.

Thanks for the book Dave!
May 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous
if you can read this you're too close.

it's late I know.but I'm a slow thinker..great blog, I really enjoy it.
emanuel, barcelona.
May 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commenter Anonymous

show my housewife

great page

January 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenDypeOnew
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