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  1. #1
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    Article - Sabotage and hatred: what have people got against cyclists?

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    Interesting read. It describes the situation in the UK, but very similar dialogue (and aggression against people riding bikes) occurs in the US.
    Sabotage and hatred: what have people got against cyclists?

  2. #2
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    Very interesting. Read diagonally but will certainly take the time to go through it.
    Helene
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  3. #3
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    Unfortunately so true. There are those who wish to harm cyclists and some do cross the line (as was the case with a dentist in north Los Angeles for running over and killing a cyclist. He came close to getting off with homicide.)

    I just don't understand the reason behind hating cyclists. It seems to be an affront to the gas guzzling car culture and mentality. Its like "I hate/despise you because you are ---fill in the blank--"

    what's wrong with being green?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    Unfortunately so true. There are those who wish to harm cyclists and some do cross the line (as was the case with a dentist in north Los Angeles for running over and killing a cyclist. He came close to getting off with homicide.)

    I just don't understand the reason behind hating cyclists. It seems to be an affront to the gas guzzling car culture and mentality. Its like "I hate/despise you because you are ---fill in the blank--"

    what's wrong with being green?
    For some, I think, they consider it to be a judgement against their chosen lifestyle - whatever that might be. It may not even be conscious, but I have to wonder what role this has to play in it.

  5. #5
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    Fear leads to hatred. Why fear of cyclists though?

    I know before I took up cycling I would dread the sight of a group of cyclists on the road: How to get past them safely? Would they wobble /be blown towards my car? Would the (British) road have a straight enough, wide enough, empty enough section for me to get past in good time? If they weren't close to the kerb, in single file, I'd feel they were being a bit selfish, blocking a public highway. These anxieties of mine were more anti where I could see they were using the road for 'enjoyment' i.e. recreational use as opposed to utility use (commuting, shopping, etc). I never sank to hating cyclists but I certainly wished they wouldn't add to the obstacles on the road by being there! One further experience added fuel to these feelings and it did (and still does) get me hot under the collar... Cyclists breaking traffic laws and riding too fast near pedestrians - in fact behaving much like bad drivers do with cyclists!

    So what resolved some of this? Self-education, mainly. When I became a keen (recreational) cyclist myself I made it my business to learn how to keep myself and others safe: I read the British 'Highway Code' sections on cycling (very revealing as I'd never bothered to look at those bits when just a driver), watched some helpful YouTube vids on the subject of defensive cycling techniques, and got myself a bike mirror.

    So! I'm convinced that new and established drivers should be made to learn specifically what cyclists are taught to do on the road, so they know what to expect from them. This should be incorporated into driving lessons and the test. Both cyclists and drivers need also to be taught to 'ride to the conditions', slowing down when necessary, not expecting to carry on at high speed regardless of weather, congestion, obstacles etc. Presumed liability needs to be written in law (as in some parts of Europe where it works successfully to protect the vulnerable): the more speedy presumed liable to slower road users unless they can show evidence to the contrary - this includes cyclists being liable to walkers, of course.

    Sorry this has been a long post but I feel so strongly about this and it's really a bit of an appeal to support responsible campaigning in your areas to work against ignorance, fear and hatred amongst road users.
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  6. #6
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    I think you all are being much too generous.

    My opinion, some people are just bullies. Being in a car amplifies that - for the same reason that a lot of people feel comfortable picking their noses or scratching their crotches in the car, or trolling on the internet. There's a feeling of being in a bubble, of anonymity and safety, even if that isn't exactly true. So you get everyone who's inclined to roadrage at other motor vehicles (a big population right there), PLUS those who just avoid that kind of road rage because they understand that taking on someone else in a motorized vehicle might be biting off more than they can chew. A cyclist or runner isn't likely to be able to retaliate and put the bully's life or safety, or their passengers', at risk.

    Now, that said, when someone buzzes me without explicit signs that it was intentional (yelling, throwing something, honking their horn), I'm more inclined to think they target fixated, and buzzed me because they don't have a clue how to steer a vehicle with wheels, rather than because they intended to scare me. Now that I'm running much more than cycling, I get to face traffic and watch drivers aim their cars at me all the time, like as many as one vehicle in five on a straight piece of roadway where we have plenty of time to see each other - just because they never learned about target fixation in driver's ed. Most of them correct before I start thinking about diving for the ditch - those are the ones cyclists don't even realize how close they came to being flattened.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    Now that I'm running much more than cycling, I get to face traffic and watch drivers aim their cars at me all the time, like as many as one vehicle in five on a straight piece of roadway where we have plenty of time to see each other - just because they never learned about target fixation in driver's ed. Most of them correct before I start thinking about diving for the ditch - those are the ones cyclists don't even realize how close they came to being flattened.
    As a runner I find this tendency seems much more common of the older crowd. So I wonder if target fixation becomes more of an issue as one ages, for some reason. Or the older folk in ginormous luxury cars who absolutely refuse to cross the center line to give a runner room in the Winter when there are 3' snowbanks and nowhere for me to go...and no other cars on the road! Just one reason I'm not keen on riding my bike in the Winter, in spite of having a fat bike.
    Kirsten
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  8. #8
    Jolt is offline Dodging the potholes...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclingfun View Post

    So! I'm convinced that new and established drivers should be made to learn specifically what cyclists are taught to do on the road, so they know what to expect from them. This should be incorporated into driving lessons and the test. Both cyclists and drivers need also to be taught to 'ride to the conditions', slowing down when necessary, not expecting to carry on at high speed regardless of weather, congestion, obstacles etc.
    I agree...and I also think that cycling safety education should be part of phys ed in schools, starting around probably second grade (most kids should have learned to ride a bike by then, even if they learned a little later than most). Kids would be safer riding their bikes to school etc., parents would be more inclined to allow them the freedom to go places by bike, they would learn good riding habits that they could take with them into adulthood, and I think it would make them better drivers when that time comes (being familiar with the rules of the road already, and knowing how to share the road with cyclists). Cycling is a good physical activity that also happens to be a useful form of transportation, so why not replace some of the silly games played in PE class with a bike curriculum?
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  9. #9
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    I agree that if a kid is a cyclist, s/he will be a better driver. My son, who raced in HS drove home from the registry after his permit test and generally had a much easier time driving than the other one.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I agree that if a kid is a cyclist, s/he will be a better driver. My son, who raced in HS drove home from the registry after his permit test and generally had a much easier time driving than the other one.
    I agree with this. When I cycle with my 14-year old, we often talk about what drivers know/expect/look for so he can cycle accordingly. I sure hope this means he's learning basic safety and defensive driving techniques as we're cycling.

    We've also seen drivers be pretty erratic and you can tell they're looking down into their laps (phones). Seeing firsthand how scary they are is a great lesson to him that texting and driving is not a "skill" you can learn and it is not OK. I think you notice things like that more when you're cycling (slower and more vulnerable) than you notice while driving.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aromig View Post
    We've also seen drivers be pretty erratic and you can tell they're looking down into their laps (phones).
    That is actually one of my bigger fears - not the aggressive driver as much as the inattentive driver.

 

 

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