Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 183 total)
  • Anti Cycling. Why is it a thing?
  • Premier Icon richmtb
    Full Member

    Prompted by a couple of articles and posts on here that show that being Anti Cycling is still very much in vogue, it got me wondering why?

    Given some of the issues we face across the country, like crowded transportation, air pollution and health problems related to inactivity you would think that cycling should be celebrated.

    Anti cycling rants in the press are now a reliable way to generate clicks, but why do they find an audience in the first place? Positive posts on social media about road safety (like the close pass campaign) get drowned out by people ranting about “Road Tax”.

    Virtually none of the comments, articles or rants have any basis in fact, logic or common sense. And yet it persists and has done pretty much as long as I’ve been riding a bike. There are undoubtedly some people on bikes who flout rules or cause problems, but their impact is blown out of all proportion while other groups completely ignore their own issues.

    Is it class? Do people in cars feel they are superior to lowly cyclists?

    Are cyclists an out group that people can have a rant about without negative consequences?

    And why does anti-cycling rhetoric seem to be a uniquely anglophone activity?

    Thoughts…

    Premier Icon n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    Because cycling still offers the sense of freedom, a cheap way to get from A to B in a time efficient manner over shortish distances, things that were were promised to the upwardly mobile when they bought a car for both household adults back in the 80s.

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Full Member

    When your life is crap its nice to have something to hate.

    Works for Cycling, politics, pretty much anything really. Right now lots of people are having a crap time, so its easy to vent anger at something else instead of sorting your problem or realising you cant sort your problem and moving on.

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Free Member

    People are tribal, selfish and stupid.

    Premier Icon TheBrick
    Free Member

    # Natural tribalism fuelled by tabloid press,
    # Poor infrastructure design resulting in higher probability of conflict and low levels of non enthusiast engagement.

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Yep, tribalism + stupidity + British media.

    They’re not allowed to go after any other ‘minorities’ now and since cyclists are predominantly white male we’re an acceptable target.

    Worse yet, for the hard-of-thinking we’re a legitimate target because road tax/red lights/not wearing hi-vis blah blah blah.

    I also strongly believe the media over-represents any hostility, I’m mostly struck these days by how polite most motorists seem to be, almost un-necessarily at times. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

    Premier Icon mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    Because enough people are intolerant of anything that is not them.

    s/a Brexit.

    as above my own experience of commute cycling is that the overwhelming majority of drivers are just fine with giving space and overtaking at sensible places etc.

    However. This does contrast with my wife’s experience of being pushed off the road several times over the last few years.

    I cannot help wondering whether there is something in the fact that she is 8″ shorter than me and half my weight.

    Premier Icon Bruce
    Free Member

    Because car drivers think they rule the roads.
    Because cars are seen as a status symbol
    Because it’s the right of car drivers to drive like dicks
    Because car driving is seen as a competition
    etc

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Free Member

    Because drivers might reach their destination a full 5 seconds faster than if there were no cyclists, how dare we.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Free Member

    Incompetent politicians, their billionaire bankrollers and media buddies need scapegoat groups and subjects to distract from their disastrously inadequate and greedy policies, hence populist hate of cycling, immigrants, the EU, equality and environmental concerns etc…

    Divide and rule.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    It’s generally fat folk IME.

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    I also strongly believe the media over-represents any hostility, I’m mostly struck these days by how polite most motorists seem to be, almost un-necessarily at times. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

    That must be a regional thing as where I live they are still mostly a bunch of impatient and overly aggressive ****.

    Premier Icon convert
    Full Member

    two points

    one – Annoyingly I forget the term but there was a phycologist on the radio explaining how we remember the covidiots far more vividly than the law abiders and subconsciously magnify their prevalence. A very few becomes a significant proportion in our heads with us subconsciously exadurating. The phenomenon is much stronger if the behaviour is not one you are part of. Same for naughty cyclists – as a non cyclist you will magnify the poor behaviour of a tiny minority and feel justified in lambasting them all because of this effect.

    two – you clicked on them didn’t you? Most of us can’t help reading negative things about a group we are part of. Cycling is a popular pastime and mode of transport now – imagine all the offended clicks they are getting. They are monetising your objection to someone else’s objection.

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    Because a significant minority of cyclists ride like dicks which then helps form a negative judgment of all cyclists by some other road users.

    It is sad, but I do see selfish cyclists myself and it makes my blood boil as the next time I am out on my bike that same other road user will assume I am the same as the dick cyclist and treat me in the same manner.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    Because it is no longer considered societally acceptable to verbally abuse ethnic minorities, at least not directly to their faces. All that hatred has to go somewhere.

    Premier Icon tenfoot
    Full Member

    Because drivers might reach their destination a full 5 seconds faster than if there were no cyclists, how dare we.

    This is the main reason I think.

    Social media doesn’t help either. I’ve had to leave my local Facebook page because I got sick of the constant anti-cycling posts on it. People moaning about cyclists on the road. People moaning about cyclist riding off road. People complaining about road tax etc…… Social media has given these keyboard warriors a voice and through confirmation bias and herd mentality, it seems the cyclist is now seen by some as worthless scum, getting in everyone’s way and annoying everyone.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Full Member

    I agree with 13thmonk, I think it’s overblown, and because it’s us, we notice it. I’m always surprised when it happens to me (aggressive driving) as it happens pretty infrequently, and as my commute has plenty of lights I almost always get to have a “chat” with the driver at the next set, which is always fun times…

    Premier Icon MSP
    Free Member

    Because a significant minority of cyclists ride like dicks which then helps form a negative judgment of all cyclists by some other road users.

    It is sad, but I do see selfish cyclists myself and it makes my blood boil as the next time I am out on my bike that same other road user will assume I am the same as the dick cyclist and treat me in the same manner.

    FFS that is just falling for the propaganda hook line and sinker, I bet you see far far far far far more cases of drivers being dicks and it barely even registers.

    Premier Icon mattvanders
    Free Member

    To be fair there are a lot of cyclists/road riders that don’t help the cause. Do enough driving around and it can be a right pain to over take a large group on a country lane. If I am out on the road (linking up woods) I tend to try and wave on or hand block if I can see further around the road that the car behind. Most drivers do thank back. I can probably count on one hand the number of times this has been done back to me when driving.

    Premier Icon joepud
    Full Member

    I think its just that some drivers minds goes, bikes are slower than me get out of my way. For example this morning I was out cycling about a doors width from some parked cars but the driver behind decided to follow really close for about 30 seconds then speed past (punish pass) as soon as he could beeping and shouting at me.

    Sadly so much education needs to be done for drivers on how and why people on bikes do stuff but its not going to happen. So much for Boris “golden age for cycling.”

    Because a significant minority of cyclists ride like dicks which then helps form a negative judgment of all cyclists by some other road users.

    This is just sad. To try and understand why you feel like this what makes a cyclist “ride like a dick” or be “selfish.”

    To be fair there are a lot of cyclists/road riders that don’t help the cause. Do enough driving around and it can be a right pain to over take a large group on a country lane

    again, to try and understand your point of view how do cyclists “not help the cause”

    Premier Icon whitestone
    Free Member

    Because they are jealous.

    Your average fat man in a bathtub looks at a cyclist and thinks to himself: “lucky bastard! Fit, pulls the birds, low strain on the NHS, will live to a ripe old age”. Then leans out of the window and screams “pay your car tax!!”

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    Not that it didn’t exist already but it does form part of the hard right agenda of being anti-science, climate change deniers etc – there are some very very wealthy people who it suits very nicely to stir this stuff up.

    Combined with google/social media algorithms that make more money from controversy and it’s a perfect subject for it.

    Premier Icon monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    Just because……… people are dicks
    We generally fail to see beyond our personal world view.

    Premier Icon Caher
    Full Member

    Got a mate who thinks cycling is just for children and does not understand why adults cycle.

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    It doesn’t help that ‘cycling’ is seen as a ‘thing’ in this country, rather than the utilitarian transport activity that it is on other countries. So ‘cyclists’ are a group apart, rather than just people who are going from A to B on a bike.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Short version… commuting. We do too much of it… and far too much of it by car… all those hours wasted on the roads and we don’t want to blame ourselves for it, so we need someone to blame it on… blame cyclists.

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    FFS that is just falling for the propaganda hook line and sinker, I bet you see far far far far far more cases of drivers being dicks and it barely even registers.

    Yes I do (see all the Audi/BMW driver tropes out there). I think you misunderstand what I am saying completely.

    This is just sad. To try and understand why you feel like this what makes a cyclist “ride like a dick” or be “selfish.”

    Again, you are completely missing the point I am making.

    Premier Icon joepud
    Full Member

    Again, you are completely missing the point I am making.

    I didn’t at all. You said “a significant minority of cyclists ride like dicks which then helps form a negative judgment of all cyclists” That’s an opinion I was asking why in your opinion cyclists “ride like dicks” and are “selfish.” If you can’t / don’t want to justify that, well that is up to you.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    This is just sad. To try and understand why you feel like this what makes a cyclist “ride like a dick” or be “selfish.”

    again, to try and understand your point of view how do cyclists “not help the cause”

    Because they are?

    If they were in a car I have little doubt they would act in a similar manner. They are not automatically good people by virtue of being cyclists. That said, in a lot of cases poor or inconsiderate behaviour is probably down to a lack of thought rather than malice. It’s like the lone roadie who refuses to cycle in the massive layby and holds up a queue of traffic behind him, he’s focusing on his ride and giving no thought to other road users.

    Premier Icon mattvanders
    Free Member

    again, to try and understand your point of view how do cyclists “not help the cause”

    Example of this that I have come across a few time, country lane that’s narrow for two cars (would have slow up or pull in to pass another car). I know it’s perfectly legal to ride two abreast so the riders take up simular width to a small car but it also makes it impossible to over take safety and give room or even pass when coming the over way.

    Premier Icon bob_summers
    Full Member

    Think that’s hard? Try being a cycling vegan teacher 😉

    Premier Icon johndoh
    Free Member

    I didn’t at all.

    So you don’t agree that occasionally some cyclists can be arseholes just like any other road user and that their behaviour can cloud other road users’ judgement of the majority of normal cyclists?

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    I don’t think there’s any point denying that some cyclists are inconsiderate/annoying and that this affects the wider public’s view of cyclists.

    The fact that more people regularly drive means it’s easier to ‘other’ cyclists and generalise.

    Premier Icon kelvin
    Full Member

    Example of this that I have come across a few time, country lane that’s narrow for two cars (would have slow up or pull in to pass another car). I know it’s perfectly legal to ride two abreast so the riders take up simular width to a small car but it also makes it impossible to over take safety and give room or even pass when coming the over way.

    Narrow country lanes… don’t overtake cyclists when traffic is coming the other way.

    Premier Icon toby1
    Full Member

    I think the argument can be summed up thusly:

    I was on a charity ride on a weekend, riding through a Cambridgeshire village, I transit van pulling a caravan pulled out of a travellers site, frustrated there were a few cyclists on the road they went on the opposite side of the road and a width restriction to overtake while shouting at us to “pay some bloody road tax” while trying to side-swipe me with a caravan after the width restriction. All with no sense of irony.

    Premier Icon jamiemcf
    Full Member

    It’s not just cyclists vs non cyclists, i know a few who identify as mountainbikers (and drivers) who hate cyclists (roadies).

    People just need someone to hate.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Full Member

    2 simple reasons

    1) It’s seen as something kids do, and any adult that cycles is viewed with contempt and suspicion

    2) If you’re on a bike then clearly you’re too poor to afford a car, therefore you’re an absolute pleb. Get a car, hippy!

    Premier Icon Trimix
    Full Member

    IHN makes a good point, I find in France / Corsica / Italy cycling is viewed very differently.

    As it was in India, but in India you still stood a good chance of being run over.

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    it can be a right pain to over take a large group on a country lane

    So what. It is also a pain following a slow tractor, slowing down to very slow speed for horses etc,. Everyone has the same right to be on the road and just one of those things you need to accept or maybe just get angry about instead as that is always helpful.

    Premier Icon andybrad
    Full Member

    I think its a number of things. One of the biggest is what i call the Clarkson effect. He basically made it acceptable that if you are a car nut you should hate cyclists. This has then been pushed through the media. I believe that by him being allowed to push the view that they should be run off the road its contributed to where we are.

    Secondly its the complete inability for people to drive. The standard of driving is very poor around where i live.

    Thirdly (coupled with the above) is cyclists having to take “defensive” positioning on the roads to stop cars squeezing by etc. Because the standard of driving is so poor car drivers dont understand this. they just think that its someone who is trying to block their way through. Hence beeps etc.

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