So I'm a newbie here, and haven't commuted by bike in a number of years, but I used to do it regularly. One thing that's surprised me in reading posts here is the high number of incidents of anti-cyclist aggresssion by drivers. Back when I was commuting (San Jose, CA, in the late 70s-early eighties, and again in the early 90s), I never once encountered an angry driver.
Yet from what I'm reading here, it seems like it's become quite common. I haven't heard about it happening here (Portland, OR), but I'm not commuting here, and I'm not plugged into the cycling community here, so I don't know if I haven't heard of incidents because Portland is a cycling-friendly community (which it is), or if I haven't heard of incidents because I'm not plugged in to the cycling community here.
Anyway, because Portland has an active bicycle advocacy organization, I know that the city goverment, and law enforcement, take bicycle safety seriously. I'm wondering about other communities out there. If you've been subjected to anti-cyclist aggression, I'd like to know about your community. Do you have an active bicycle advocacy organization in your community? If so, is there a good relationship between your organization and local government and law enforcement? In other words, how seriously does your community take bicycle safety?
I'm curious, because it seems like a lot of these incidents are centered around a misconception that cyclists are somehow violating the law by riding off the sidewalk, and that therefore, these self-appointed heroes feel somehow obligated to get the cyclists back on the sidewalk where they belong. And that would seem to indicate a low level of interaction between cyclists and the community in which they ride.
Or maybe not. I don't know.
Anyway, I'm curious. Have you been targeted by an aggressive anti-cyclist? Is there an effective bicycle advocacy group in your community?