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Old 02-13-13, 07:04 PM   #1
Roushe
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One theory on cyclist rage...

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2013...ate-cyclists/1

What do you guys think?

Russ
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Old 02-13-13, 08:06 PM   #2
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I think that while there may be some validity, the problem arises in that some drivers feel that the existence of a bicycle is breaking some moral rule, that the existence of a slow moving vehicle violates some non-existant right of free passage, and further some drivers believe that cyclists are a lessor class who cannot even afford a car. So to simplify the analysis to one paralleling a free rider scenario ignores the irrationality of drivers beliefs and assumptions of what the social rules are.
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Old 02-13-13, 08:41 PM   #3
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We past them once and skuut around jams and they feel an injustice in traffic laws? I took a friiend out today (retired) and showed him my commute and told him of what to look out for and the motorist put him through all the crap I've learned to deal with. They were in some special zone. He was scared to ever ride a bike again.
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Old 02-13-13, 08:55 PM   #4
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There is some legitimacy to this theory. But the author applies one theory (regarding cost to benefit transactions) to an entirely different set of circumstances (bicycling on the roadway) and expects us to willingly make that leap.

I do think it has to do with a more formalized (more linear) thinking that is required when driving a large vehicle with 4 wheels as opposed to a smaller, lighter vehicle with two wheels. Movement theorist Rudolf Laban categorized qualities of human movement in space. Bicycles and automobiles- as extensions of human physical bodies, are diametrically opposed in terms of those qualities. The automobile is direct, sustained, heavy/strong, and bound. The bicycle is indirect, sudden, light and free.

When human beings share space with others who possess opposing qualities it often makes for conflict. In fact, Laban theory is used in dance and drama in order to create dramatic conflict.

Where I think the author gets it wrong is when he extrapolates the research on economic transactions into the world of time and space. Not always translatable, IMO.
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Old 02-13-13, 09:02 PM   #5
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While I understand the yearning for equal financial responsibility, pursuant to road usage, on the part of the motorist. No one is forcing said motorist to drive as their form of transportation. Yes some may live in an area that may seem like the only form possible. But that doesn't mean that they cannot travel by different means' sometimes.

As for the urban and suburban commuter who travels by personal motor vehicle, they should get off their rump, and learn to commute in less costly ways.
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Old 02-14-13, 09:05 AM   #6
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While I understand the yearning for equal financial responsibility, pursuant to road usage, on the part of the motorist. No one is forcing said motorist to drive as their form of transportation. Yes some may live in an area that may seem like the only form possible. But that doesn't mean that they cannot travel by different means' sometimes.

As for the urban and suburban commuter who travels by personal motor vehicle, they should get off their rump, and learn to commute in less costly ways.
Disagree partly. otoh, zoning laws and sprawling building trends that drive "affordable housing" force people to live further away from things. Zoning laws say you have to live in a residential zone. You can't live where you work, you can't live near restaurants or bars or theatres or whatever entertainment you typically indulge in and you certainly can't live where you shop! That would be too "messy". To accomodate this, your house has ample parking, your work has ample parking, your favourite restaurant has ample parking, your WalMart has ample parking. Surface outdoor parking takes up roughly equal or more square footage to the building it serves. The way things are built now mean that everything is not only segregated to different zones which make them far away, but takes up roughly double the amount of area which makes them even further away. The density of population is reduced to the extent that public transit, walking and cycling becomes unfeasible and voila, everyone has a car.

Not forced, but a compounding of bad planning and bad policies that all segments of society had a hand in.
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Old 02-14-13, 11:38 AM   #7
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It's human nature to be self-centered, which leads to envy of others who are perceived to have (or take) some advantage over your situation. Throw in a bit of unrelated frustration and everything morphs into rage. The seldom-stated factor is anonymity. There seems to be an inverse relationship between humanity and anonymity.

-G
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Old 02-14-13, 12:00 PM   #8
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The article opens:
Something about cyclists seems to provoke fury in other road users. If you doubt this, try a search for the word "cyclist" on Twitter.
I doubted this, so I searched Twitter. With the exception of Tweets about doping in pro cycling, the posts were overwhelmingly positive. Twenty or thirty Tweets in, I found one from a motorist who was angry with a cyclist.

It wouldn't surprise me too much to find that one out of every 20 or 30 motorists is a real jerk, and maybe one in 100 is a bit psycho.

That's still a lot of jerks and psychos, but I'm not sure it qualifies as a phenomenon requiring a special explanation.

Some people are hotheads and will get mad at anything they see. Same people who kick the dog and love Fox News.
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Old 02-14-13, 12:17 PM   #9
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I know there is ALOT of hatred towards cyclists but I think its just a sympton of hatred in general.

In 30 years of cycling I have only had 2 incidents of a motorists raging on me while cycling but I have had hundreds of incidents of motorists raging on me while driving.

I wote a long post on another forum about a driver who raged on me while driving yesterday in fact.

Here is the short version.......

Leaving the gym today I was on a street that has access to a hospital ER and is used often by ambulances. As I was driving I noticed ahead of me was an ambulance and fire rescue truck coming towards me with lights and sirens on. I was stopped at a red light.

The light turned green but the ambulance was very close so I didnt move and I waited for the amublance to pass.

The car behind me honked but I didnt move.

After the ambulance passed I proceeded to drive forward. The car behind me gunned it and came around on my left side and then quickly veered in front of me cutting me off.

We were coming up to another red light.

When we got to the red light I pulled alongside the car and noticed it was a middle aged woman driver. I motioned her to roll down her window and then I said "that wasnt very safe or nice for you to cut me off like that in such an aggresive manner"

She started cursing at me and then gunned it and drove away.


Many people have many different theories on why people act this way but its certainly not limited to cycling and cyclists.
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Old 02-14-13, 12:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Angio Graham View Post
I know there is ALOT of hatred towards cyclists but I think its just a sympton of hatred in general.

In 30 years of cycling I have only had 2 incidents of a motorists raging on me while cycling but I have had hundreds of incidents of motorists raging on me while driving.

I wote a long post on another forum about a driver who raged on me while driving yesterday in fact.

Here is the short version.......

Leaving the gym today I was on a street that has access to a hospital ER and is used often by ambulances. As I was driving I noticed ahead of me was an ambulance and fire rescue truck coming towards me with lights and sirens on. I was stopped at a red light.

The light turned green but the ambulance was very close so I didnt move and I waited for the amublance to pass.

The car behind me honked but I didnt move.

After the ambulance passed I proceeded to drive forward. The car behind me gunned it and came around on my left side and then quickly veered in front of me cutting me off.

We were coming up to another red light.

When we got to the red light I pulled alongside the car and noticed it was a middle aged woman driver. I motioned her to roll down her window and then I said "that wasnt very safe or nice for you to cut me off like that in such an aggresive manner"

She started cursing at me and then gunned it and drove away.


Many people have many different theories on why people act this way but its certainly not limited to cycling and cyclists.
True, but due to the physical differences between cyclists/peds and those who are driving a motor vehicle, the consequences of a raging motorist can be quite a bit more severe towards the cyclist/ped than that which may occur toward another motorist (in a vehicle).

Simplified: A car can hurt a cyclist/ped, but it isn't likely that a cyclist/ped will "hurt" a car.
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Old 02-14-13, 12:36 PM   #11
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Seems the theory is that cyclists offend against some sense of morals about the road.

If so it would seem motor bike riders would cause far greater rage.

Does that seem to be the case? Does not to me.

On the 'moral' issue amotorbike splitting the lanes at a light and then leaving everyone in the dust when the light turns green is at least as bad a cyclist who passes everyone. BUT the 'immoral' motorcyclists usually do that last bit, leave everyone in the dust. Tis rare to get stuck behind a motorbike.

Some drivers are simply uber selfish and self centered.

So and some cyclists. And some of both groups seem brain dead. Brain dead driver intersects with brain dead cyclist and hostility results.
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Old 02-14-13, 12:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GrouchoWretch View Post
The article opens:
Something about cyclists seems to provoke fury in other road users. If you doubt this, try a search for the word "cyclist" on Twitter.
I doubted this, so I searched Twitter. With the exception of Tweets about doping in pro cycling, the posts were overwhelmingly positive. Twenty or thirty Tweets in, I found one from a motorist who was angry with a cyclist.

It wouldn't surprise me too much to find that one out of every 20 or 30 motorists is a real jerk, and maybe one in 100 is a bit psycho.

That's still a lot of jerks and psychos, but I'm not sure it qualifies as a phenomenon requiring a special explanation.

Some people are hotheads and will get mad at anything they see. Same people who kick the dog and love Fox News.
I did the same, and didn't find any negative tweets at all, excluding Lance Armstrong hating.
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Old 02-14-13, 01:04 PM   #13
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In my personal opinion, just another BBC fluff article by someone with an opinion on cyclists.
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Old 02-14-13, 01:36 PM   #14
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Disagree partly. otoh, zoning laws and sprawling building trends that drive "affordable housing" force people to live further away from things. Zoning laws say you have to live in a residential zone. You can't live where you work, you can't live near restaurants or bars or theatres or whatever entertainment you typically indulge in and you certainly can't live where you shop! That would be too "messy". To accomodate this, your house has ample parking, your work has ample parking, your favourite restaurant has ample parking, your WalMart has ample parking. Surface outdoor parking takes up roughly equal or more square footage to the building it serves. The way things are built now mean that everything is not only segregated to different zones which make them far away, but takes up roughly double the amount of area which makes them even further away. The density of population is reduced to the extent that public transit, walking and cycling becomes unfeasible and voila, everyone has a car.

Not forced, but a compounding of bad planning and bad policies that all segments of society had a hand in.
The problem with that thinking is, the domino effect of excuses to drive all the time, never to try to use another form of transportation.

To give you an indirect example of what I am referring to, when I was attending a community college, in the 1980's. I one day walked the twelve miles from campus, back to the house. Even though I could have taken a bus and/or train. I thought I might try it. The illustration is that I made the decision to walk, instead of using public transportation.

Instead of encouraging forms of transportation, that don't harm the environment and encourage the personal health of the individual, society promotes transportation, that both harms the environment, and over time harms the individual.
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Old 02-14-13, 01:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angio Graham View Post
I...
Here is the short version.......

Leaving the gym today I was on a street that has access to a hospital ER and is used often by ambulances. As I was driving I noticed ahead of me was an ambulance and fire rescue truck coming towards me with lights and sirens on. I was stopped at a red light.

The light turned green but the ambulance was very close so I didnt move and I waited for the amublance to pass.

The car behind me honked but I didnt move.

After the ambulance passed I proceeded to drive forward. The car behind me gunned it ...
Funny, I had this exact same scenario this weekend coming back from the supermarket, except the emergency vehicles were on the crossing street coming from the right. A moment of rational thought would have informed the driver that I wasn't sitting there to enjoy myself in heavy rain in 5C weather, but he kept honking so I waved him up (I was over on the right, plenty of room if he just had to be beside me). He roars past me and skids to a halt half in the intersection as the ambulance screams by.

I think sometimes the "cyclist rage" arises out of pure stupidity.
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Old 02-14-13, 01:54 PM   #16
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...assumptions of what the social rules are.
What do "social rules" have to do with reality? Or anything else?
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Old 02-14-13, 02:02 PM   #17
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...

I think sometimes the "cyclist rage" arises out of pure stupidity.
Yea. I dunno, I mean we can sit around and make excuses for it all day, but if a guy can't look at the situation in front of him and figure out how to maneuver around a cyclist safely...what are you really going to do for him?

I had a guy almost hit me at an intersection yesterday. He literally just barged up beside me at the red light in my lane and drove on without making any attempt to avoid me whatsoever. I was so surprised I struck his car with my fist - not because I was angry, or trying to provoke a confrontation, but just as a reaction to this enormous vehicle skimming along beside me. It's a road with two lanes, almost no traffic. I wasn't breaking any laws...what is going to explain these people? They're just idiots.
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Old 02-14-13, 02:04 PM   #18
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Yea. I dunno, I mean we can sit around and make excuses for it all day, but if a guy can't look at the situation in front of him and figure out how to maneuver around a cyclist safely...what are you really going to do for him?
Tie him to an anthill?
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Old 02-14-13, 02:23 PM   #19
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I dunno this all sounds a little contrived and it conveniently takes responsibility for driver behaviour and puts it on the cyclist.

Personally I think it has more to do with impatience. People don't want to be slowed down. Bikes on the road slow them down so they get mad.
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Old 02-14-13, 03:23 PM   #20
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Not to sound crass, but that article was just a bunch of crap and attempts to take a high-brow approach to low-brow behavior. I've always thought people overthink this issue a lot. The aggression you see toward cyclists is in large part due to the fact that a large portion of people have let their health go, feel bad about themselves and are looking to channel negative feelings about themselves into aggression against others.

Rather than worry about how much cyclists pay, who tend to be in a higher demographic and pay more taxes in a graduated income tax system anyway, we should be focusing on making obese people pay a greater percentage of the health costs that fit people now disproportionately share. If you want to get marginalized in arguments like this, try rationalizing with a loon. If you want the upper hand, get aggressive, treat it for what it is and seek solutions that penalize stupid and/or unhealthy behaviors we all pay for.
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Old 02-14-13, 04:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
The problem with that thinking is, the domino effect of excuses to drive all the time, never to try to use another form of transportation.

To give you an indirect example of what I am referring to, when I was attending a community college, in the 1980's. I one day walked the twelve miles from campus, back to the house. Even though I could have taken a bus and/or train. I thought I might try it. The illustration is that I made the decision to walk, instead of using public transportation.
I don't know if I'd even call them excuses. Let's be realistic, some people can't walk 12 miles let alone have 2+ hours to spend walking.

Quote:
Instead of encouraging forms of transportation, that don't harm the environment and encourage the personal health of the individual, society promotes transportation, that both harms the environment, and over time harms the individual.
That's basically what I meant, but I feel like the entire system needs an overhaul for it to work.
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Old 02-14-13, 04:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cafzali View Post
Not to sound crass, but that article was just a bunch of crap and attempts to take a high-brow approach to low-brow behavior. I've always thought people overthink this issue a lot. The aggression you see toward cyclists is in large part due to the fact that a large portion of people have let their health go, feel bad about themselves and are looking to channel negative feelings about themselves into aggression against others.

Rather than worry about how much cyclists pay, who tend to be in a higher demographic and pay more taxes in a graduated income tax system anyway, we should be focusing on making obese people pay a greater percentage of the health costs that fit people now disproportionately share. If you want to get marginalized in arguments like this, try rationalizing with a loon. If you want the upper hand, get aggressive, treat it for what it is and seek solutions that penalize stupid and/or unhealthy behaviors we all pay for.
Not to sound crass, but your post was just a bunch of crap and attempts to take a high-brow approach to low-brow behavior.
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Old 02-14-13, 06:37 PM   #23
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Rather than worry about how much cyclists pay, who tend to be in a higher demographic and pay more taxes in a graduated income tax system anyway...
Sez who, your bike club treasurer?
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Old 02-14-13, 07:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Angio Graham View Post
I know there is ALOT of hatred towards cyclists but I think its just a sympton of hatred in general.

In 30 years of cycling I have only had 2 incidents of a motorists raging on me while cycling but I have had hundreds of incidents of motorists raging on me while driving.
Most drivers don't hate cyclists. The few that do, do so for various reasons. Hierarchical reasoning may be one of the causes.
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Old 02-14-13, 08:15 PM   #25
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Sez who, your bike club treasurer?
How many people do you know that are investing on average $1,500 or more on a hobby? Sure, there are the uberwealthy who buy luxury items, but as a whole cyclists -- at least in my area of the country -- represent a much higher demographic than the average Joe. We're talking about people who have spent thousands on just one hobby, in addition to being residents of some of the nation's wealthiest communities. Under our tax system, these people make the world move much more so than the average taxpayer.

I haven't seen stats since 2008, but at that time, the average taxpayer made $33,000. So it's fair to say that the people who I know who can afford to spend $5K and up on a Cervelo or other high-end model are actually paying a higher share of the nation's overall government costs.
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