Shouldn't the construct of this sentence be as follow:

Ich bekomme gute Laune, wenn ich aufs Rad steige. Und die Leute um mich herum auch, die mir lachen.


The original is correct, yours is not.

First, the verb is zulachen, not lachen.

Second, die lachen mir zu, is the main clause (note that the part before the comma does not have a verb), not a relative clause, hence the verb must be in second position.

  • I understand now ....the key answer and the point I was missing is that the second sentence: "die lachen mir zu" is not a relative clause but it is a main clause .... thanks
    – Millen
    Oct 23 '17 at 15:47

Looking into a dictionary, you will find that lachen is an intransitive verb in German (i.e. one that cannot take an object).

Your construct "mir lachen" uses the pronoun "mir" as a dative object, so must be wrong.

Now go back to the dictionary and try and find "zulachen" (if your dictionary is any good, you'll find it like in Duden). That is a transitive, separable verb that can take a dative object. So, what you wrote in your heading is correct.

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