There are many little nuisances about biking, just like there are many little nuisances about driving. Getting stuck behind a garbage truck. Nuisance. Car turning in front of you even though they know you're there. Nuisance. Getting honked at by men who should know better.
Apparently I'm not the only one. My friend who used to bike to UT had the same thing happen to her. We both subscribe to the, "They just want to see you jump" theory, whereas my ex-bf thinks its along the same lines as a catcall, or as he puts it, "They just think you're pretty." He used to ride with me all the time so he does have some experience in that.
Either way, its pretty annoying. I don't take it as a compliment, just like I wouldn't take a leering "Hey Baby!" as a compliment. Of course, men are much more bold in a car, and its not limited to honks. I could've sworn yesterday I saw a man mouth to me, "Oh wow" as he zoomed by. I hope that was it, anyway.
So how to deal? I try to cover both bases and show no visible shock to the honk, and also turn my head away from the source. Try catching a glimpse of me now sucker. I would prefer to have a huge boxing glove come out of nowhere and knock them senseless. That might cause a slight rise in traffic accidents though.
That's not to say I don't like being communicated with on my bike. A wave, for whatever reason, I'm more likely to respond to. I guess its not as intrusive, I can choose to ignore it, and most importantly, its not a signal that is supposed to be used to warn people. A wave is also not explicitly a come-on. Do I know you?
Others I tolerate because they are slightly amusing. "Can you give me a ride?" is my favorite. Sure, if you can fit in my crate, hop on. These are told to me by guys whose average age I would guess to be 18, so I can forgive if they have no finesse.
At a stop, a smile is always welcome. I have no problem with smiles. Or you know, talking to me like a human being. I like that.