Saturday, 8 August 2015

9 Reasons That I Hate 9 Reasons That Motorists Hate Cyclists "Articles"

As you probably know by now, I am a person who drives, a person who cycles, a person who walks, a person who uses buses, a person who uses trains; it doesn't matter what my form of transport is, I am just a person who wants to get around and surprisingly, that goes for most people.

It is the summer, the silly season and with nothing much going on an article started doing the rounds on Twitter which appeared on the Recombu website back in May last year. That's the great thing about the Interweb, stuff hangs around like a bad smell and boy, does this one hum. It is an article titled "nine reasons motorists hate cyclists". They suggest that the reader checks out "5 reasons cyclists hate drivers" in the name of balance. 9 vs 5, already the numbers don't stack up which is pretty much the result when a someone driving hits someone cycling.

So, let's have a look at those reasons for resentment, but from the other end of the telescope;

1) They think red means go
Yes, people disobey traffic signals, but in the event of a collision the person on the bike is going to come off worse. On my commute, I go through two signalised junctions, drivers always go through on the amber and often go through on a red. But, that's anecdote, not evidence.

2) They zig zag all over the road
Well, drivers certainly know all about zig-zags (at least parking on them). I wonder why someone cycling may have to change direction. Potholes? Gulley grates? Idiots opening car doors?

3) They get in the way
I know, it's absolutely infuriating how all of those people jump in their cars for a short journey and clog up the roads for the rest of us. Selfish swine.

4) They block your path at traffic lights
This seems strange because if one is out in a junction on a bike and the next flow of traffic gets a green, you had better be off quick smart. Officialdom will have us believe that a green signal means "you may go if the way is clear", but in reality it means stick one's right foot through the floor, especially if a pedestrian is still trying to cross.

5) They use the pavement as the road
I know, utter C***S.

6) They offend your eyes
It's interesting that despite wearing brightly coloured lycra, cyclists hit by drivers "sorry mate, I didn't see you". 

7) They see lights as a luxury
The article is concerned with people who don't use lights and people who use lights which are too bright. Yes, some people riding don't have lights, they should, even if it is just to avoid contributory negligence (they are quite good for seeing potholes to zig-zag around). But, if you are driving, you should expect to stop and if you cannot stop in the distance your headlights illuminates, you are going to fast. 

8) They're overly smug
The thrust of this point is that "we" cyclists wear lycra to show off our athletic build. Yes, some people are like a chiseled Adonis. Me, my waist is the same size as my age, I am smug for a whole load of other reasons; journey reliability, tiny cost, seeing the turn of the seasons, meeting people, a little better for the planet. Not having to sit in a car or on a bus so much.

9) They just get angry
Actually, this is a fair point. On the whole, most people driving are considerate and sensible, so are most people cycling. The trouble is, that when someone driving does something stupid near me, then I am put in danger. So if you close pass me, left hook me, pull out of a side road on me, hurl abuse, throw things or write stupid F****** articles about why drivers hate cyclists, then please do forgive me for having arseache. My arse might actually be aching from all the smug riding I have been doing.

1 comment:

  1. Of course motorists never get angry, do they? Well, in my anecdotal experience (and cyclist haters frequently think the plural of anecdote is data) they do. Often.

    Take this one recent experience. I was driving up the A3 from Portsmouth. It is a dual carriageway, of near motorway standard. I general stay well within speed limits, and on such a road, in the larger and more powerful of our two cars, I would not go higher than 60. That way I don't often have to overtake, but just every now and then, such as now, when I am passing a slow moving lorry.

    The traffic in the fast lane wasn't actually moving much faster than me anyway, and I saw my opportunity, and moved to pass the lorry. In no time flat, a small white van is right up my tail, instantly flashing me.

    I confess this kind of behaviour has a tendency to provoke me. I just carried on, making no attempt to accelerate past 60, taking my time to pass with perhaps more distance than I strictly needed before I pulled in again. The white van man (yes, a man) started to tailgate aggressively, and he gave me a snarling glare and two fingers as he passed after I pulled in.

    I noticed that he was a middle aged man, with a middle aged woman. I speculate, but I'll guess she was mortified, possibly saying to him "calm down, will you? We'll get there, I'd just as soon get there in one piece".

    This experience or something like it repeats, every few days. I observe when I am around town, in denser traffic, how almost every driver, if not engaged in conversation with a passenger, has a face set in a grim mask occasionally leavened by a snarl. What do they get so angry about? What's the rush, where's the fire? Whatever happened to the joy of the open road? Did it ever really exist, or was it always a deception practised on us by motor manufacturers anxious to push their wares?