I am no longer a cyclist.

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  • I am no longer a cyclist.
  • Premier Icon The Pinkster
    Subscriber

    There, I’ve said it.

    I’ve had enough of the ‘Car V’s Cyclist’ wars, all the ‘cyclist Vigilantes’ riding around with their helmet cams thinking they’re gods gift to traffic policing and the depressing & embarrassing videos that are the outcome, the ‘Cyclists don’t pay road tax’ arguments, the ‘got to get where I’m going as fast a possible and to hell with anyone in my way’ MAMILs and so I’ve have finally decided to disassociate myself from everything ‘Cyclist’ related.

    I will not however stop riding my bike.

    I love riding my bike(s). It’s one of the greatest pleasures I have, just being able to sling a leg over the saddle and pedal off wherever and whenever I want.

    But don’t, ever, accuse me of being a ‘cyclist’.

    I’ve come to realise that the UK has a weird obsession with the term ‘Cyclist’. I believe it dehumanises bike riders, turns them into part of the machine, and makes those outside looking into the world of cyclists think all ‘cyclists’ are clones, they all have the same programming and are all guilty (of what I’ve never been able to identify).

    I for one am not part of it. I’m a person. I ride bikes. enjoy riding bikes.

    But I am not a ‘Cyclist’.

    In most of Europe folks riding bikes is nothing special. They’re not identified as being some special clique, having their own label. No, they’re just some who happens to be riding a bike. Possibly even with a smile. It’s just a normal thing to do.

    As soon as everyone starts to realise that ‘Cyclists’ are just ‘people riding bikes’ rather than something to fear or be angry about (I include ‘Cyclists’ in this too) I’m sure riding bikes in the UK will become a much better and nicer thing to do.

    so, are you a cyclist or someone who rides bikes?

    Houns
    Member

    Someone who rides bikes, occasionally

    I got bored after the second sentence.

    so, are you a cyclist or someone who rides bikes?

    I’m not sure theres a difference. Google tells me this:

    cyclist
    ?s??kl?st/Submit
    noun
    a person who rides a bicycle.

    So I think I’m a cyclist. And you are too.

    MSP
    Member

    0/10 you even used normal sentences and paragraphs FFS!

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Great stigmatising there OP!

    You’ll be saying “all drivers…” next 🙄

    somouk
    Member

    As soon as everyone starts to realise that ‘Cyclists’ are just ‘people riding bikes’ rather than something to fear or be angry about (I include ‘Cyclists’ in this too) I’m sure riding bikes in the UK will become a much better and nicer thing to do.

    Does the irony of you disassociating yourself with the above in writing an angry rant about cyclists not dawn on you?

    I think you need to re-visit the bit about most of europe too, a lot of european cities are leagues ahead of us on bike related matters primarily because they do treat cyclists differently and allow them extra protection from cars and pedestrians.

    aracer
    Member

    Those bike riders all jump red lights and ride on the pavement. They should have to pay road tax, have insurance and pass a test before they’re allowed on the road.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Might have take you seriously if you’d said it in the chat forum, but you said it in the bike forum so…

    I’m going to stick my head above the parapet and agree with the OP. I had exactly the same thought a year or two ago and since them I’ve tried not to refer to myself as a cyclist.

    I read something James May had said which is interesting, regardless of whether you like him or Top Gear:
    “People on bikes are just pedestrians who’ve improved their efficiency.”
    (or words to that effect)

    I don’t ride on the road camera’d up.
    I do commute, mostly through country lanes, which is a longer route than the dual carriage way, and if a van or car is up behind me, I pull in and wave them through. My destination time is never critical to within 10 minutes either way, I leave home with ample time.
    If there is a decent cycle lane adjacent to a road, I will use it rather than the road.
    If a car passes too close, I suck it up and move on. There are pricks everywhere.
    I don’t spend my entire ride close to meltdown shouting out peoples number plates like a crazed train spotter.

    I am a person who loves riding, building, maintaining, discussing bikes of all disciplines.

    I am not a cyclist.

    I used to ride motorcycles but never referred to myself as a biker. I used to ride motorcycles as a main mode of transport.
    I did not try to not the rev limiter like it took a special skill that would impress other men.
    I did not spend my recreational riding time sat outside a café looking at rows of almost identical Fireblades.
    I did not ride in a daisy chain of skin tight leather following my mated arse around the bypass.

    I am not a biker

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    ‘got to get where I’m going as fast a possible and to hell with anyone in my way’ MAMILs

    Bit odd I’ve never seen anyone drive a car in lycra 😀

    Nice rant though. You really should get out more though if this sort of thing causes you so much stress that you have to write an essay on an internet forum.

    jimjam
    Member

    so, are you a cyclist or someone who rides bikes?

    I’m a mountain biker 😉

    I think I can see where the op is coming from and agree with the sentiment. “Cyclist” used to be a word to describe someone who rides a bike, now it’s become a pejorative term meaning sub human mobile road blocks, hell bent on irritating drivers and killing old ladys.

    It now carries a stigma that it didn’t have before, like immigrant.

    mikewsmith
    Member

    graduation to grumpy and old?

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    Je suis cycliste

    mt
    Member

    I’m not a motorist, I just drive a car.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster
    Subscriber

    Nice rant though. You really should get out more though if this sort of thing causes you so much stress that you have to write an essay on an internet forum.

    Wasn’t meant as a rant, was hoping it might create some discussion.

    I’ve been grumpy & old for years.

    aracer
    Member

    #bloodybikeriders

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    after taking a picnic with me on a sportive & riding with flat bars on my road bike I’m not sure “cyclists” would want me in their “club” anyway

    andyrm
    Member

    Interesting post and something I wrote about in a FB group recently. I certainly don’t think of myself as a “cyclist” – for me, the word conjures up images of either lycra, those slightly beardy wierdy types in every city (not quite hipsters but not far off) who use it as a bit of a badge, or the ones who jump lights, use helmet cams and come across a bit holier than thou.

    I’m definitely a mountain biker – and always have been, feeling a much closer allegiance to action sports than cycling sport.

    #definitelynotacyclist

    Premier Icon teadrinker
    Subscriber

    I used to be a mountain biker. I love the sport and will return in the future once mini teadrinkers get a bit older and I have more time I can dedicate to the sport. For now and the foreseeable future I am and will happily continue to be a gnarmacer.

    brooess
    Member

    +1 for the problem here being your own attitude…

    ‘cyclist Vigilantes’ riding around with their helmet cams thinking they’re gods gift to traffic policing and the depressing & embarrassing videos that are the outcome, the ‘Cyclists don’t pay road tax’ arguments, the ‘got to get where I’m going as fast a possible and to hell with anyone in my way’ MAMILs

    Unfortunately this is the same kind of sweeping, prejudiced generalisation that those who hate cycling and cyclists come from…

    If you want to be happy riding a bike, maybe examine your own beliefs and perspective first?

    If you want to beat prejudice and hatred, begin with yourself…

    If you want cycling to become a mass participation activity in the UK then the first thing to do is ride your bike as much as you can. The second is to espouse the benefits as much as you can, be an evangelist and a positive role model. The third is to give financial support to all those who are fighting on behalf of cycling – British Cycling, CTC, LCC etc

    Cycling is going through massive growth at the moment, that’s why some people have a problem with it – they’re scared of change and want things to stay as they are. They’re stupid, nothing ever stays the same for ever… and in any case, self-driving cars are well on the way and they’ll remove the conflict at a stroke.

    The more anti those people get, the more determined I am to stand up for cycling and to be called a cyclist. I can understand your negativity but you need to beat it, otherwise the bullies win.

    Solo
    Member

    People who ride bicycles in, wanting to dissociate themselves from negative stereotype “bad cyclist”. Shocker?

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    if a van or car is up behind me, I pull in and wave them through

    Which “they” (yes, they, the opposition) then expect from every person on a bike, whether they be cyclists or the pretentious prats that say they aren’t cyclists even though they are cycling.

    I’m a cyclist and I friggin OWN THE ROAD.

    brooess
    Member

    if a van or car is up behind me, I pull in and wave them through

    Is also not what you get taught in a Bikeability course…

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    I can’t deny what you’ve noticed OP the meaning given to the term “Cyclist” in the media, through the associated language and context, it’s seldom used in most major news channels or social media in a positive context…
    Doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with being a cyclist, it just means a large portion of society is wrong… wouldn’t be the first time.

    I for one am a cyclist…. as well as driver/pedestrian/parent/white/middle-class/middle-income… or any other “de-humanising”, context specific group/labels anyone chooses to apply to me…

    Some labels are easier to disassociate yourself from than others, get off the bike and you can shed the “Cyclist” label, it’s probably a bit harder than that for people unfairly labelled/judged by their ethnicity…

    I’d rather wear the term “Cyclist” with a bit of pride TBH, bollocks to anyone who thinks I should somehow be ashamed of riding a bicycle!

    For every negative point pitched in the direction of cyclists I’m sure we can all come up with some positives… you don’t have to descend down to the Punch and Judy level with people who’ve already made their minds up…

    I’ve had enough of the ‘Car V’s Cyclist’ wars, all the ‘cyclist Vigilantes’ riding around with their helmet cams thinking they’re gods gift to traffic policing and the depressing & embarrassing videos that are the outcome, the ‘Cyclists don’t pay road tax’ arguments, the ‘got to get where I’m going as fast a possible and to hell with anyone in my way’ MAMILs and so I’ve have finally decided to disassociate myself from everything ‘Cyclist’ related.

    So they’ve won in your case then OP? Between You-tube the DM, and that gobby Clarksonite **** at work, they’ve successfully painted a skewed picture based on a minority of people who ride bicycles, and a fair chunk of Narrow-minded Prejudice and rather than simply say;

    “No, I am a cyclist and your stereotyping doesn’t apply to me, or most other cyclists, we are simply people who use bicycles and we deserve the basic human respect and dignity as any other group”

    Your just going to give in and try to pass yourself off as a “Normal” to avoid the odd minor bit of conflict….

    Fair enough…

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Well said cookeaa – it’s not the word or description ‘cyclist’ that is the problem.
    We should reclaim it and ALL wear tshirts like this:

    Am I allowed to be a mountain cyclist?

    (As someone who rides bikes – no label required – I do baulk when I see a rider in town with a go pro on. Hello, I am looking for trouble…….)

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Only when you’re not infecting their roads with your filthy presence.

    if a van or car is up behind me, I pull in and wave them through

    Is also not what you get taught in a Bikeability course…

    I have not done a bikeability course, clearly.

    So if you are in single lane, with passing places, road and queue of cars and vans is building up behind you, you would just ‘take primary’ and let them all sit there?

    You sir are a cyclist of the type that I am referring to not associate myself with. Surely, we all need to rub along regardless of what mode of transport we choose. To behave like a deliberately obstructive dick because your ‘bikeability’ course says you can is similar in ignorance to other road users arguments about they have right of way because tax.

    Anyway, I only hold traffic up on long climbs and am often glad of the rest. 😀

    Solo
    Member

    teamhurtmore – Member
    Am I allowed to be a mountain cyclist?

    Yup! Just don’t wear lycra, cameras and don’t have any disagreements with drivers of motorised vehicles.

    After that, you can call yourself, whatever you want to.

    😀

    dbcooper
    Member

    Labelling yourself is crackers, being labelled is even more apalling. Other peoples need to categorise does not define me, I have been variously labelled in the past as:

    Surfer/bodyboarder/sharkbiscuit
    Cyclist
    Mum/Mother
    Lady who lunches
    Lesbian/dyke
    Straight
    Bitch
    Housewife
    educator
    welsh nationalist
    walker

    I do not identify with any of these, I am me, I have done those things above (well not all of them, but I might), but what I do does not define me.

    badnewz
    Member

    I started cycling with it was a way of getting around for students and elderly eccentrics.
    I’m still a “cyclist” but need to distance myself from all the lawyers, estate agents and BBC presenters like Jeremy Vine who have since adopted it as a mode of transport.
    Things aint how they used to be!

    amedias
    Member

    So if you are in single lane, with passing places, road and queue of cars and vans is building up behind you, you would just ‘take primary’ and let them all sit there?

    I think you’ve conflated ‘pull in’ with ‘passing places’

    If there are designated passing places like on a narrow country lane then if you’re the slower vehicle (tractor/horse/bike/milkfloat/whatever) and there’s sufficient room to let another vehicle through safely then you would ‘pull in’ to the passing place.

    But on a normal road if there’s room to pass safely then there is room to pass, if you have to ‘pull in’ (ie: to the kerb/gutter) to let another vehicle pass then there wasn’t room for them to pass safely in the first place.

    ^ two very different cases

    In the first case I would pull in, regardles of which vehicle I’m in/on at the time, in the second case I might, I might not, depending on the situation.

    To behave like a deliberately obstructive dick because your ‘bikeability’ course says you can is similar in ignorance to other road users arguments about they have right of way because tax

    I have not done a bikeability course, clearly.

    clearly… perhaps you should book on one to find out what it’s all about, you might learn something.

    and to answer the OP:

    I’m a person. Sometimes I ride a bike, sometimes I walk, sometimes I drive a car, sometimes I ride horse, sometimes I tricycle, sometimes I skip. I like to be safe and treated with the respect I show others regardless of my mode of travel at the time.

    Only two of those modes of transport are regularly treated with aggression and anger, regularly abused, put in danger and persecuted on our streets. That’s why I support and help campaign for change. Not because I am a ‘cyclist’ but because that’s no way to treat other people.

    brooess
    Member

    So if you are in single lane, with passing places, road and queue of cars and vans is building up behind you, you would just ‘take primary’ and let them all sit there?

    You sir are a cyclist of the type that I am referring to not associate myself with. Surely, we all need to rub along regardless of what mode of transport we choose. To behave like a deliberately obstructive dick because your ‘bikeability’ course says you can is similar in ignorance to other road users arguments about they have right of way because tax.

    You’ve made a massive judgement about me there based on the fact I pointed out that Bikeability doesn’t teach you to pull in every time there’s traffic behind you, which is true… thanks for the judgementalism and calling me a dick… that helps solve the problem doesn’t it?

    You’ve used an extreme example to make your point to nicely set yourself up for the win, which is no way reflects the basic factual point I made…

    If we can’t use Bikeability as a benchmark for being a skilled rider, what else do you suggest we use as a guide? Our own opinions based on our own values and desire to please others? You think your ideas about cycling well are better informed than trained cycle coaches, employed by the Government? It’s random cycling styles that lead to a lot of confusion amongst drivers. If we all rode to Bikeability standards, riding styles would be far more consistent and predictable for drivers.

    FWIW my riding style is based on the specific circumstances. When I decide it’s safer for me to ride primary, I ride primary. When I think it’s safer or helpful to pull in, I’ll pull in. Or, because I’m not a simpleton I can put the two together – ride primary to prevent a dangerous overtake, and when it’s safe for traffic to pass (according to my judgement) I’ll wave a thank you and move over. Most of the time, I get a thank you back. I’m safe, the driver’s safe, oncoming traffic is safe and there’s been a nice bit of human interaction… wins all round.

    btw, thanks Amedias.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    So if you are in single lane, with passing places, road and queue of cars and vans is building up behind you, you would just ‘take primary’ and let them all sit there?

    All I can say is: it depends.

    philjunior
    Member

    I don’t like the labelling cos we’re all people and we should get on.

    However the angry men with cameras are a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. They may annoy people, but if we’re going to do labels and moaning about things I think we should start with something more important than being annoying/moany or – heaven forbid – wanting to get where we’re going before we die of old age.

    Let’s try starting with “does this group of people kill and maim thousands a year”, or “does this group of people bully and intimidate others off the roads”

    It’s a bit of a holier than thou cyclist thing to say, but it’s true so I’ll say it – cyclists are far safer to pedestrians than cars are, and so many people are frightened to ride on the road due to the inconsiderate selfish actions of a significant minority of drivers. From personal experience they act like this to anyone on two wheels – whether in lycra, casual clothes, baggies, riding a road bike or a mountain bike or with a kiddie trailer attached.

    Now I’ve thought about it, yes, I’m a cyclist. And because of that I’ll tell people why cyclists sometimes appear to be being inconsiderate (usually because the roads are poorly designed and there’s no space to pass) and let them know that they’re being a massive idiot if they take risks because they’re in such a massive rush to get to the next traffic lights.

    I’m also a motorist who tries to be considerate to more vulnerable road users because, well, I’m not a bully and it’s never ever made me take longer to get where I’m going.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    I’m a proud and unrepentant cyclist.

    Why shouldn’t I be?

    When commuting I use my wits, legs, heart and lungs (but mainly my wits) to get from A to B pretty much as quickly (sometimes quicker) than people using cars.

    If anyone doesn’t like it they can kiss my well toned arse.

    And if anyone wants to join me then the more the merrier. All you need is a bike and the imagination to realise that its okay to choose another way to get about.

    Thanks amedias, the 2 different cases that you describe do illustrate what I do I guess. I don’t pull in until I get to the passing place and I very rarely get drivers trying to bully their way through when it isn’t safe.
    I have recently started commuting by bike again as my kids child care now allow me the extra time in the mornings and evenings that is required. I have to say I have had nothing but really good positive and understanding interactions will all drivers. Getting flashed through by oncoming drivers tends to make me look to see where the car behind my that I have not heard yet, but no, often they are flashing me through. This is new experience for me and one that I hope continues.

    clearly… perhaps you should book on one to find out what it’s all about, you might learn something.

    Other than the cycling proficiency that I did in 1982, the motorcycle test I did in 1990 and the thousands of commuting miles I did in the 1990’s, early noughties, I have had no road cycling test credentials.
    I will look into the Bikeability course on your recommendation. I am always open to learning. I even saw great value in the ‘driver awareness’ course I did a few years ago which most people seem to poopoo as a waste of time.

    corroded
    Member

    I no longer use the word ‘cyclist’ and I largely agree that it is dehumanising, setting us apart as ‘other’. All those tweets from morons that start ‘I hit a cyclist today lol’ would sound less of laugh if they were ‘I hit a man/woman riding a bike today’.

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