Cyclists are often characterized as:
1) Lycra-clad elitists who are obessively focused on their own training, eyes straight forward, head down, pedaling furiously. On the fringe, to say the least. We can tolerate their presence occasionally.
2) Sidewalk-riding strangers who would love to be driving, if they could only get their car, or their license, back.
3) Greenie, tree-hugging, whale-loving vegetarians who love to walk barefoot and eat bean sprouts for breakfast while reading "The Secret Life of Plants." Tofu, anyone?
4) Psychotic, trash-collecting homeless persons who can't differentiate between a shopping cart and a bike.
5) "Car-free," critical mass, car-hating types that we'd all love to
ship to Iraq on a one-way ticket (and then bomb the daylights out of them.)
6) Bike commuters--the wierdest of all, since they really could be driving but actually choose to ride their bikes instead...could anything be more insane?
In reality (what a concept!) we cyclists are taxpayers who contribute to the maintenance of roads, as much as any other taxpayer. Most of us also drive cars (Wow! That makes us somewhat normal!) We may even belong to the same political party or religious group as others who don't ride a bike.
We cyclists should expect nothing less than equal treatment with motorists on the road. Second-class treatment is never good enough.