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Thread: Cyclist Hatred

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    So true. One thing I always found it frustrating that drivers argue that cyclists break the law, yet they do the same in their cars but feel it's okay. The irony being that there's a FAR greater risk of them hurting others when they do it.

    The good news is that I think it IS the minority that hate cyclists to the point where they put us in danger and are aggressive towards us. My immediate family for example, none other than me are cyclists, but also none have any issue with cyclists. They all realize that most cyclists aren't causing any issues and that's it's the minority that ride like idiots.

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    ^^ This, as with all things it's really just few crazies that gives everyone a bad name.

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    Gotta say while I understand and agree with what the article is trying to say, I really dislike the comparison of anti-cycling hatred to racial hatred. As a black person (who has experienced both), I know both are invidious, stupid, irrational, destructive behaviors without rhyme or reason, but comparing the two actually diminishes both in my mind. The only comparable thing is the indefensible arguments put forth by the perpetrators of either bigotry group and the ridiculous tolerance shown to them by people who "don't want to get involved", or "lets just leave them to stew in their own misery", and my personal favorite "even though they're wrong, they're entitled to their own opinion". Meh!
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Gotta say while I understand and agree with what the article is trying to say, I really dislike the comparison of anti-cycling hatred to racial hatred. As a black person (who has experienced both), I know both are invidious, stupid, irrational, destructive behaviors without rhyme or reason, but comparing the two actually diminishes both in my mind. The only comparable thing is the indefensible arguments put forth by the perpetrators of either bigotry group and the ridiculous tolerance shown to them by people who "don't want to get involved", or "lets just leave them to stew in their own misery", and my personal favorite "even though they're wrong, they're entitled to their own opinion". Meh!
    Agree with Junior 100%.
    The comparison to racial hatred is ridiculous and a poor choice.
    Im a cyclist but i understand why plenty of people dont like us on the road, its not rocket science, and i dont blame them one iota from what i see from some of the road cyclists here in sydney..
    Imo, cars and bikes dont mix on congested narrow city roads, either widen the roads and put bike lanes in, or carry on with the present situation.
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Gotta say while I understand and agree with what the article is trying to say, I really dislike the comparison of anti-cycling hatred to racial hatred. As a black person (who has experienced both), I know both are invidious, stupid, irrational, destructive behaviors without rhyme or reason, but comparing the two actually diminishes both in my mind. The only comparable thing is the indefensible arguments put forth by the perpetrators of either bigotry group and the ridiculous tolerance shown to them by people who "don't want to get involved", or "lets just leave them to stew in their own misery", and my personal favorite "even though they're wrong, they're entitled to their own opinion". Meh!
    and I disagree with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Agree with Junior 100%.
    The comparison to racial hatred is ridiculous and a poor choice.
    Im a cyclist but i understand why plenty of people dont like us on the road, its not rocket science, and i dont blame them one iota from what i see from some of the road cyclists here in sydney..
    Imo, cars and bikes dont mix on congested narrow city roads, either widen the roads and put bike lanes in, or carry on with the present situation.
    Yeah that solution has never worked well, because the demand for the bike path never occurs because everyone is terrified to start riding a bike.

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    I was subject to racial AND anti-bike hatred recently...at the same time. It was indistinguishable where the racial hatred and the anti-bike hatred started. Thankfully, the driver did not make good on her threat to run me over (she hit the accelerator, nonverbally threatening to flatten me at an intersection).

    I think the article is spot on. It's an uncomfortable truth. I see it from my own father, too. Both the racial hatred AND the anti bike hatred.

    I do think some aspects of it are missed in the article, though. I think there's a huge socioeconomic thing going on in the states. A lot of people see a kitted up roadie and know the rider spent a lot of money. A lot of people who then see a rider in street clothes think the rider is poor. I know I get treated differently if I look like I'm in street clothes or actually in street clothes vs in a spandex kit.

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    Seems to me the biggest problems are the lack of driving education and enforcement on both cars and bikes. I remember as a child seeing my mother getting a ticket for 'failure to signal lane change' 30 some years ago, but now you hardly see anyone using turn signals anymore for lane change or turns. That's just one example of how it seems that most people's driving is far more sloppy and ill considered than in years past, but enforcement of traffic rules are haphazzard at best except on targeted enforcement days or for revenue generation. Then add those of us who ride that do the foolish/stupid stuff we've all witnessed, (perfect example is the article MTBX posted of the bike club in New Haven with the bike lights), and it's no surprise how those who are already frustrated on the roads look for an easy scapegoat for their anger. You can also see it in the anger at semi-trucks on the highways, and how complaints about how they should be restricted to 1 or 2 lanes or their speed limited,even when truck vs passenger car accidents were caused 85-90% by the passenger cars (as per Michigan University). There's no easy or quick solution to the problem, and close quarters only exacerbate the situation.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Seems to me the biggest problems are the lack of driving education and enforcement on both cars and bikes. I remember as a child seeing my mother getting a ticket for 'failure to signal lane change' 30 some years ago, but now you hardly see anyone using turn signals anymore for lane change or turns. That's just one example of how it seems that most people's driving is far more sloppy and ill considered than in years past, but enforcement of traffic rules are haphazzard at best except on targeted enforcement days or for revenue generation. Then add those of us who ride that do the foolish/stupid stuff we've all witnessed, (perfect example is the article MTBX posted of the bike club in New Haven with the bike lights), and it's no surprise how those who are already frustrated on the roads look for an easy scapegoat for their anger. You can also see it in the anger at semi-trucks on the highways, and how complaints about how they should be restricted to 1 or 2 lanes or their speed limited,even when truck vs passenger car accidents were caused 85-90% by the passenger cars (as per Michigan University). There's no easy or quick solution to the problem, and close quarters only exacerbate the situation.
    Yeah, those things exist. And they do create animosity. But I understood the article as referencing specific types of attitudes about bikes. This article def came from the UK, and the climate there has been getting hairy in recent years. But the kinds of attitudes they were describing get manifested in the states, too. Like the doctor who pulled in front of a cyclist and slammed on his brakes, resulting in the cyclist rear ending the car. Or the old man who chased down and ran over the lady on a bike when she fled from him (into a golf course IIRC).

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    Best I can tell the attitudes come from a general frustration of deteriorating driving conditions, on top of people just driving badly, then toss in daily stresses. People are at 90% ready to blow their top, and here comes Clyde cyclist who might or might not do something to upset that driver, but they are a convenient target for their ire, especially when other than Lance and George, the only cyclists most people remember are folks with DUI's or 'long hair hippies' (the ones who keep saying gas prices should be $2-3 higher), or some health nut (telling people they are fat and stupid for driving, usually found next to the hippies). Like what was mentioned in the article a lot of people think if you ride a bike other than for recreation, you must be 'mentally infantile' or you can't drive.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    Bringing racism into is a little dicey, so as a Canadian white guy I'll stay clear of that.

    But I will say that it's tribal. Cyclists are the "Other."

    Being behind the wheel encourages and basically requires drivers to profile others based on very limited data.

    When I'm driving I watch out for: taxis, couriers, buicks, volkswagons, sunfires, mini-vans, out-of-province license plates, most bumper stickers, and anything outright douchy that people have chosen to do to their vehicles. These are all signals of vehicles that I'd rather not be around, because from my experience their drivers will either be stupid, inattentive, or lazy. If I could demand that volkswagon drivers be given their own lanes to keep them away from the rest of the traffic I totally would, because as far as I can tell you must need to pass an idiot test to be allowed to drive one.

    It doesn't make sense, and it's certainly not accurate, but every driver does it for everyone on the road to one degree or another. And in that sea of useless data, being a cyclist is like holding up a big glowing billboard that says "I am not one of You. If you are annoyed, it must be my fault."

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    We puncture their delusion of power -- what they get from being able to go INCREDIBLY FAST without any real effort. It's like a super-power, and when traffic conditions -- the idiot in front who isn't going as fast, didn't signal, or is just THERE -- frustrate their "need for speed", the last thing they need is some two-wheeled fa**ot rolling by them on his sissy little bicycle.

    Only in America can manhood be directly equated with a heavy right foot, enabled by a fat wallet.
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

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    I think the haters hate for different reasons. The real thugs, that throw things or run people off the road on purpose, are just bullies and probably have been since the 1st grade. It's easy to pick on a slower smaller cyclist.

    A lot of the screamers/honkers all like to think of themselves as "big shots" but are more like the anonymous obnoxious people on the internet - they only do it because they feel anonymous, safe, and mean, but would never act like that of they were face-to-face. The internet cyclehate type commenters are similarly attention-seekers and may or may not actually be obnoxious to cyclists on the road - they may just stay at home and type.

    The water-cooler complainers are also a tough nut to crack, they are the folks most likely to generalize from some dodo cyclists to "all cyclists", and to be a more insidious anti-cyclist element. They are unable to mentallly put themselves in a cyclist's shoes and act accordingly. They have de-personalized them. Many can only be "helped" if someone close to them rides or is hurt by a car..

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    ^^ Good point. Reminds me of the first year I was driving truck, took my then girlfriend for a ride since she never had been in a 'big rig'. She was shocked and appalled by how cars cut in front of us all the time, and railed about foolish drivers, until I mentioned to her how she drives the same way. We broke up a few months later but her driving improved dramatically. Too bad that wouldn't work for bikes.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    ^^ Good point. Reminds me of the first year I was driving truck, took my then girlfriend for a ride since she never had been in a 'big rig'. She was shocked and appalled by how cars cut in front of us all the time, and railed about foolish drivers, until I mentioned to her how she drives the same way. We broke up a few months later but her driving improved dramatically. Too bad that wouldn't work for bikes.
    very true. I try to give trucks plenty of space. I wait quite some time before pulling in front of them, but I couldn't tell you how many times some impatient azzhole cuts the truck off, passes me on the right, and zooms away.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbexplorer
    I think the haters hate for different reasons. The real thugs, that throw things or run people off the road on purpose, are just bullies and probably have been since the 1st grade. It's easy to pick on a slower smaller cyclist.

    A lot of the screamers/honkers all like to think of themselves as "big shots" but are more like the anonymous obnoxious people on the internet - they only do it because they feel anonymous, safe, and mean, but would never act like that of they were face-to-face. The internet cyclehate type commenters are similarly attention-seekers and may or may not actually be obnoxious to cyclists on the road - they may just stay at home and type.

    The water-cooler complainers are also a tough nut to crack, they are the folks most likely to generalize from some dodo cyclists to "all cyclists", and to be a more insidious anti-cyclist element. They are unable to mentallly put themselves in a cyclist's shoes and act accordingly. They have de-personalized them. Many can only be "helped" if someone close to them rides or is hurt by a car..
    you're very right. but different from the "why" of the behavior is the way it comes out, and I think that might be where the author is drawing similarities with racism. people have all kinds of reasons that they stereotype people of different races, too

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    Two instances of "hate" in the past week. Justified? You be the judge.

    1) An hour before midnight. No traffic. Bikes allowed on sidewalk. School zone. Luxury European wagon pulls through the crosswalk, yielding for a right turn. I am riding across crosswalk at my commute speed and hit the brakes as I approach driver door. In the same motion, I ride around the front of the car and onto the sidewalk. My light is on so I see the driver throw his hands up in the air in frustration. I turn around when I hear that the driver has actually stepped outside of his vehicle to yell, "$*%$ you, turn around!"

    My response is... "Really?!" and ride on knowing this ****** is way low on his own sorry excuse for life and not worth another second of my time. I think it was a teenage kid in his parents vehicle. Maybe not enough testosterone in his daily life?

    2) Rush hour weekday. Sideroad with little traffic. Riding a cargo bike with a 10ft. table trailer, emptied after a 400lb cargo run to the FedEx express package drop off across town. I take a left turn at mid-block onto a bike lane. Oncoming car speeds up as I veer left then right to accommodate some 15 ft. length of total bicycle to fit into a 90 degree bike lane curb entrance. As the car slams on the brakes, the driver exclaims "what are you doing?!" with hands up in the air in frustration. I throw a thumbs up and point at the bold bike lane signage and the extreme length of my bicycle trailer, stating factually, "This is a bike lane."

    Feel sorry for these drivers. They make for sad stories.
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    maybe you need one of those "this vehicle makes wide turns" signs for the back of your cargo trailer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by illnacord View Post
    Two instances of "hate" in the past week. Justified? You be the judge.

    1) "$*%$ you, turn around!"

    2) Rush hour weekday. -snip-, "This is a bike lane."

    Feel sorry for these drivers. They make for sad stories.
    Most people who mess up and did not mean to are apologetic. Most people who think the rules don;t apply seem to take the aggressive defense posture.

    Assuming you were in the crosswalk when the station wagon driver blocked it, he was in the wrong. Here, he likely did not stop at the stop line and so had failed to stop for the red, too.

    All drivers must avoid the accident. Speeding up on a vehicle turning left likely qiualifies for road rage, too.

    My brother and a guy he ran with had a sedan pull into the crosswalk they were jogging across. This was before automatic door locks. So they opened the back door slid though and out the other rear door. "Excuse us, coming through!"

    Not sure they'd get away with that in Edmonton now.

    BrianMc

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpedaler View Post
    Only in America can manhood be directly equated with a heavy right foot, enabled by a fat wallet.
    You need to travel more, that applies to huge portions of the entire planet.

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    It's unfortunately very common that people turn into major A-holes the second they step into a car. Not even just from a cyclist standpoint, but even just as another driver. I think cars give irresponsible people way too much power that can be abused extremely easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc View Post
    My brother and a guy he ran with had a sedan pull into the crosswalk they were jogging across. This was before automatic door locks. So they opened the back door slid though and out the other rear door. "Excuse us, coming through!"
    Recalculating....

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    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Best I can tell the attitudes come from a general frustration of deteriorating driving conditions, on top of people just driving badly, then toss in daily stresses. People are at 90% ready to blow their top, and here comes Clyde cyclist who might or might not do something to upset that driver, but they are a convenient target for their ire, especially when other than Lance and George, the only cyclists most people remember are folks with DUI's or 'long hair hippies' (the ones who keep saying gas prices should be $2-3 higher), or some health nut (telling people they are fat and stupid for driving, usually found next to the hippies). Like what was mentioned in the article a lot of people think if you ride a bike other than for recreation, you must be 'mentally infantile' or you can't drive.
    ^^^^ This is what I think is the primary case for a lot of non-confrontational angry drivers. The kind that honk the horn, get annoyed, but also are apologetic when you knock, say hi, and tell them you're just trying to get home to your family. Or, as was in my case, the guy that realised the "******* on a bike" was the guy that helped him move in to his apartment and would hold the elevator door for him at least once a week every day for the last 2 years.

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    Wow, reading this makes me feel lucky to live in an area that appears to be more tolerant of cyclists. Denver is not the Netherlands but I ride almost every single day and have for the past 8 years and I've yet to have any of the confrontations that others are describing here. Before that, I lived in TN and I had beer cans tossed out at me, encountered aggressive dogs frequently and had my fair share of pickup trucks either flooring it as they go by or not giving sufficient room (buzzing). I still get that on occasion here on mountain roads.

    It seems like the more cyclist there are in an area, the more accustomed drivers become to seeing and dealing with them safely. There's also the increased likelihood that the driver himself rides or knows people who ride. We are fortunate to have a fairly active cycling community here. The obvious solution is to get people out riding bikes

    On another note, it seems like Prius and Subaru drivers tend to be the most conscious. Just curious if others have observed that trend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbklutz View Post
    Wow, reading this makes me feel lucky to live in an area that appears to be more tolerant of cyclists.
    I often feel that way reading horror stories from the road. Sure glad it isn`t that bad here!

    Priuses and Subarus? Maybe since bad apples are so few and far between here, the good ones don`t seem to stand out in particular. The bad ones are what stand out, and the worst for me all drive very similar vehicles. For some reason, they seem to prefer large orange busses that say Washoe County School District on the back. Must have gotten a group buy on them.
    Recalculating....

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