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Home » Cycling » To the Cyclist Hater:  Do You Honestly Believe a Cyclist wants to Share the Road with You?!

To the Cyclist Hater:  Do You Honestly Believe a Cyclist wants to Share the Road with You?!

July 2017
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This won’t be a ridiculous treehugger post where we equate vehicles to pistols or rifles, because that’s silly, and only alienates participants of an important discussion.

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of angst out there about cyclists and their use of the road, and it’s building to a crescendo because cycling is growing in popularity again, or remains popular.  It’s like going for a walk.  Without the trouble of walking, is several times faster, and you get to buy a toy!  You haven’t seen anything yet – wait until autonomous cars come along and the car automatically treats cyclists right!  Then you’re going to see some anger.

I would like to make a few points about our equal right to the road:

  1. Do you really believe we have a desire to be on the same road surface with a person who is angered to a point of being willing to assault one of us, because they’re held up by 20 seconds waiting to safely pass us?  Really?
  2. Yelling at us, revving your engine, and honking won’t work, not as much as you wish it would.  We regularly hear of friends being picked out of a motorist’s grill and we still choose to ride.  Your acting petulant isn’t going to have the affect you think it will.
  3. I’m not about to hang up my super-bike because you get a little pissy about cyclists.  We are faster than most farm equipment and take up a fraction of the space and nobody would argue that farm equipment should be banned from roads.
  4. Here’s the important point though:  Your anger is misplaced.  You don’t want us on the road surface proper and we certainly don’t want to be there with you either!  In my home State a past liberal Governor promised a three foot shoulder on every new road built.  That never happened (though many roads in the north end of the State did get them).  With a decent shoulder, do you think we would opt to ride on the road surface?  It’d be a rare day and a big group that would get us anywhere near the road surface.  Don’t be angry with us, simply because we’re trying to stay fit, be angry at your State and local politicians who keep us on the road surface.  It’s their fault.
  5. Let’s look at another:  You’re angry because you see a Cyclist in the middle of the lane, dodging potholes?  I guaran-damn-tee you I didn’t cause the potholes with my bicycle, nor is it my fault the road is in shambles.  We pick the least-traveled roads we can to get us to where we want to go….  We don’t want to see you anymore than you want to see us.  It’s your local politician who has a responsibility to get the roads fixed.  While they’re at it, lobby for a rideable shoulder too!
  6. Last point, you’re not really angry with us when you think about it, you’re angry with your local political system for not adding shoulders and for not keeping up on road repair.  Take your angst out on someone who actually cares, because it isn’t that cyclist you see on the road every now and again.  They’re just trying to live a happy, fit life.
  7. As a capper to this post, this last point:  Cyclists aren’t from one party or another.  We encompass all political ideologies.  If you’re a Republican cyclist hater, chances are you’re buzzing a Republican cyclist, not an ignorant treehugger.  If you’re a Democrat cyclist hater, you’re probably buzzing a treehugger, not some racist conservative.  One thing is for certain, if you’re buzzing cyclists you’re the jerk and if you just happen to buzz one of us who has a camera on their bike or person (increasingly common nowadays), you just might wind up in jail where you belong.
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18 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    That is a little long for one T shirt. But spot on with the sentiment. Certainly a growing problem here in Ireland. Cyclist-hating is becoming acceptable and almost fashionable. Scary stuff. Any road death is one too many, but the amount of cyclists losing their lives on Irish roads is a disgrace. And it’s rarely cyclist-error.

  2. Sheree says:

    Well said! I’m sick of telling motorists (in a variety of languages) that they own a vehicle, not the road.

  3. Paula says:

    I really wish they could add that wide shoulder. There are a few roads I’d like to ride on… Actually, I’d ride my bike to work if I didn’t have to worry about the stupid traffic. They’re very rural roads and people don’t know how to drive 35.

  4. Gail says:

    I think we “met” when you read a blog post of mine where I cheekily had a bit of a rant about cyclists…but from a runners point of view and as a runner with a dog as a running buddy on many of those runs. I still encounter cyclists that seem to enjoy clipping me and my dog, but I also encounter runners that spit, don’t pick up their dogs excrement whilst running with their canines, and wear heavy perfume on a hot day. Just goes to show that there are $ssholes in every sport. We can all agree, however, that motorists can be a real danger to both runners and cyclists. I run against traffic (if I’m not doing a trail run or at a track) and I still sometimes have to launch myself into a ditch because some kamikazi NASCAR wannabee feels the need to get up close and personal. Of course, my middle finger is at attention as I duck and roll, which affords me little satisfaction, as if they are not paying attention to the road, they sure as heck are not going to notice my finger salute to their recklessness. I just have to believe in Karma.

    Great post, as always.

    • bgddyjim says:

      There are definitely @$$holes in every sport. I think the worst, as cyclists go, is the person who is pushing it too hard and takes their eyes off the road. Even I catch myself putting my head down now and again. It’s a bad habit.

  5. Archetype says:

    Dim honestly in my 14 years of cycling you are the only person to Echo and say exactly what I’ve been saying for the past decade! Sometimes we’re on the same wavelength buddy. I keep telling my local Cycling Club and peopleforbikes that they are not addressing one of the core issues which is infrastructure and of course government. Although as you know I’m more to the point when I refer to the government as a corrupted criminal Enterprise. The amount of tax money we pay, the amount that we are robbed of extorted, we should have roads that accommodate bicycles for commuting shopping casual riding and Avid cycling. I had this very discussion with a motorist last year an elderly woman who was laying on the horn as I was dodging potholes. I caught up to her at a light, ask her what the issue was why she was blowing the horn. She complaining that I was in the road and I had no business being there! 😃 I told her I said your anger is misplaced Lady it’s your corrupted criminal government who are not providing the proper infrastructure. Of course like most motorists you can’t have a civil discourse with them. she started to yell and yap… so I just told her no worries you olg hag you don’t have much longer to live anyway as she drove off… 😅 but certainly all you have to do is look to Europe and other parts of the world where there are good to great accommodations for bicycles.

  6. Archetype says:

    *Jim* 😂 I swear this speech-to-text app is a piece of shite!

  7. This! So much this!

    The struggle is real, and everything you said above can be applied to the UK too.

  8. capejohn says:

    I recently wrote a post about how bike friendly my area has become. Drivers and bicyclist do what’s needed to share the road safely. There is the occasional knucklehead who claims ownership of the road on both sides of the issue. But those incidences are the exception.

    Every road improvement project in Massachusetts now has mandatory enhancements to include bicycles. The roads are a few feet wider, some have bicycle lanes or sharrows or at the very least, the fog line is move a couple of feet to the left, making a safer shoulder.

    I have to include that I’m a regular in Austin and really enjoy riding my rented bike from Mellow Johnny’s to the Thursday night Driveway series to watch my son race.

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