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Old 06-12-13, 09:33 AM   #1
jloco
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Why do cars hate us, cant we all just get along?

I have been commuting for the last month everyday (5 days a week). I can honestly say that it has been a blast. I every part of it...nature, speed, exercise, sweat, accomplishment, EXCEPT... sharing the road with the "other" vehicles.

Every day it seems that I get cut off, dirty looks, way too close passes, and the occasional revving of motor when I get passed.

The roads I ride do not have much of a bike path or shoulder to ride which could be the problem, but even when I am comfortably off on the shoulder with plenty of space, vehiclular road rage is present.

I like to think that they are just having a bad day or are jealous that I am not spending $4 / gallon on gas for my commute. I have to admit though its a little irritating receiving this much rage.

Why do they hate us?
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Old 06-12-13, 09:41 AM   #2
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Because most people in America are in a hurry to get nowhere. I also get a lot of comments that we as bikers don't pay taxes to be on the road.
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Old 06-12-13, 09:44 AM   #3
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If the infrastructure kept bikes separate from cars, one type of rider would feel privileged ,
and think the slower riders should get off their MUP.

need somebody to hate to keep the military industrial congressional complex running.

so hate is encouraged .. competition is a vs , community is an us.
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Old 06-12-13, 10:01 AM   #4
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Why do they hate us?
That is a 1000000 $ question. If you ever find the answer you're gonna be rich!!! (and when you do please let me know)

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Old 06-12-13, 10:04 AM   #5
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Maybe because we really do inconvenience them? We're slower traffic and no one wants to be delayed by a road user they see as silly, especially when we're usually a VERY small percentage of traffic. It's the same reason they'd get annoyed stuck behind a horse and buggy. In most areas we make up less than 1% of road users...we're a very small minority that can have a disproportionate effect on traffic - why do you expect to be universally loved?

I try to ride in a way that inconveniences others as little as possible...obviously my safety comes first, but I also try to be considerate and I try to plan a route that minimizes my effect on others.

I'd wager more cyclists spend time worrying about them than they do worrying about us.
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Old 06-12-13, 10:30 AM   #6
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When you are in a cage with windows rolled up and in your own little world it really brings out the nasty. That is probably why they do not worry about us... until we are flying in the air like superman off their bumper.

It doesn't matter if you ride in a way that inconveniences others, the result is the same. I think its more about the idea of sharing the road that they despise.

Who doesn't want to be loved?

Last edited by jloco; 06-12-13 at 10:32 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-12-13, 10:32 AM   #7
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Maybe because we really do inconvenience them? We're slower traffic and no one wants to be delayed by a road user they see as silly, especially when we're usually a VERY small percentage of traffic. It's the same reason they'd get annoyed stuck behind a horse and buggy. In most areas we make up less than 1% of road users...we're a very small minority that can have a disproportionate effect on traffic - why do you expect to be universally loved?

I try to ride in a way that inconveniences others as little as possible...obviously my safety comes first, but I also try to be considerate and I try to plan a route that minimizes my effect on others.

I'd wager more cyclists spend time worrying about them than they do worrying about us.
I feel exactly the same! Double O
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Old 06-12-13, 10:35 AM   #8
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I don't think cars have feelings. Their drivers, perhaps.
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Old 06-12-13, 10:43 AM   #9
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I'd say it's more that people are more focussed on solely their objectives / needs and don't give two craps as to anyone else, therefore if you're in their way preventing progress, you're a nuisance problem. Doesn't matter if you're passing a big rig, a farming tractor, horse or a bicycle - if you are a faster travelling vehicle with a pre-determined purpose ("I've gotta get home and watch the latest Game of Thrones!") then you'll encounter obstacles that are in your way and there are people who are happily ignorant of this common trait, and will happily scream and shout their position until you clear their way. Of course when you meet up at the next red light and smile/laugh at them through their window, it's a great feeling but I doubt anyone would ever re-think how squeezing that gas pedal down harder to achieve the same result as a bike is a serious waste of energy.

Regardless of mode of transport or even transportation in general - do a test and walk real slow up some stairs, you'll have someone wanting to rush by.
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Old 06-12-13, 10:50 AM   #10
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Even the drivers, you know, I don't think they hate us. Well, they don't seem to hate me anyway. I've encountered a jerk or two, for every one of those, there must be thousands of drivers who treat me fine.
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Old 06-12-13, 10:56 AM   #11
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When people are commuting, they are thinking of one thing mainly -- getting to work (or home) on time. Anything that impedes their progress ticks them off. I encounter the same attitude when driving to work. Some drivers weave in and out of lanes, ride other cars' bumpers, honk or flash their lights if they thing someone is driving too slow, blow their horns the second a traffic light turns green, yak or text on their cell phones. Fortunately, most drivers are not so nasty, and most of them treat cyclists with respect, but it's the small percentage of jerks that make life unpleasant for everyone else.
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Old 06-12-13, 10:59 AM   #12
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Even the drivers, you know, I don't think they hate us. Well, they don't seem to hate me anyway. I've encountered a jerk or two, for every one of those, there must be thousands of drivers who treat me fine.
+1
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Old 06-12-13, 11:04 AM   #13
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Even the drivers, you know, I don't think they hate us. Well, they don't seem to hate me anyway. I've encountered a jerk or two, for every one of those, there must be thousands of drivers who treat me fine.
+2 - and I can do without the "why do the evil fat polluters hate us?" threads. We're different traffic users with different needs...I don't them expect them to love me. I expect them to behave responsibly.

Yes - there are inconsiderate jerks out there - a LOT of them. Yes - you're going to encounter them. It's not a war, it's the law of averages. It's scary to us because we're so vulnerable.
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Old 06-12-13, 11:12 AM   #14
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Maybe because we really do inconvenience them? We're slower traffic and no one wants to be delayed by a road user they see as silly, especially when we're usually a VERY small percentage of traffic. It's the same reason they'd get annoyed stuck behind a horse and buggy. In most areas we make up less than 1% of road users...we're a very small minority that can have a disproportionate effect on traffic - why do you expect to be universally loved?

I try to ride in a way that inconveniences others as little as possible...obviously my safety comes first, but I also try to be considerate and I try to plan a route that minimizes my effect on others.

I'd wager more cyclists spend time worrying about them than they do worrying about us.
I disagree that cyclists have a "disproportionate effect" on traffic. Whenever I drive, I do not feel the least bit inconvenienced when I have to go around a cyclist or am forced to slow down for a few seconds when I don't have room to pass. Bikes take up a lot less real estate on the road compared to a car (especially if you are riding mindfully of cars as KonAaron suggested, and as I see most bike commuters do), so it's completely different from being stuck behind a horse and buggy, which can take up the entire lane and make safe passage around the buggy difficult for a long stretch of time.

A fundamental problem is that Americans, in general, don't think of bicycles as a serious form of transportation, and don't give cyclists the proper respect that they deserve (and as the law recognizes in many locales). Instead, the bicycle, in America has long been recognized as a toy, reserved for children, or something that silly adults dressed in lycra ride for recreational purposes. Thus, when the typical American driver sees an adult cyclist on the road, their response is one of indignation: "How dare you play with that toy in the road?! Don't you know that roads are strictly for serious adults (i.e., people in cars) who have somewhere to go?!". This is where all the preposterous "safety" arguments come from too - that cyclists endager the safety of motorists by playing with a toy in the road. Unfortunately, I don't see this attitude changing anytime soon. I'm not looking to be "universally loved". I just want motorists to recognize that a bicycle is a serious form of transportation for some and that cyclists have every right to the road as they do (as long as your local law deems it so).
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Old 06-12-13, 11:20 AM   #15
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I don't think there's hate, but driving causes issues:
1. You don't have the face to face interaction anymore. If someone goofs, you can usually tell from their expression / demeanour that they know they've goofed. Drivers being inside their cars will often find it hard to get rapport between themselves, let alone cyclists.
2. All cyclists (not just BF members) are not very consistent in what they do. Some are good, sticking to the line, generally obeying the traffic rules, and easy to manage. Some are total idiots, darts in front of cars when they shouldn't, etc etc... My opinion is that the inconsistency between all cyclists, on top of the speed that we can travel, makes it harder for drivers to manage. Pedestrians are slow, and there are generally patterns - e.g. there's too few crosswalks, and you can see jaywalkers at certain spots, residential street usually have pedestrians that don't pay attention. We don't fit in to that pattern well, and puts us on edge.
3. Some do like to ridicule, it's just like the schoolyard bully laughing at how you dress, just ignore those.

I don't see a lot of aggressive drivers, but I see a lot of drivers that don't know what to do and basically either don't know how to pass with plenty of room, and when they do, they cross wayyyyy too far to the other side.

YMMV.
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Old 06-12-13, 11:49 AM   #16
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I'd hazard you'd find the same issues if you're driving a car too. I get cut off, honked at, see people blowing red lights, yadda yadda yah. It's just bad drivers, not that "cars hate us"...
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Old 06-12-13, 11:49 AM   #17
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I disagree that cyclists have a "disproportionate effect" on traffic. Whenever I drive, I do not feel the least bit inconvenienced when I have to go around a cyclist or am forced to slow down for a few seconds when I don't have room to pass. Bikes take up a lot less real estate on the road compared to a car (especially if you are riding mindfully of cars as KonAaron suggested, and as I see most bike commuters do), so it's completely different from being stuck behind a horse and buggy, which can take up the entire lane and make safe passage around the buggy difficult for a long stretch of time.

A fundamental problem is that Americans, in general, don't think of bicycles as a serious form of transportation, and don't give cyclists the proper respect that they deserve (and as the law recognizes in many locales). Instead, the bicycle, in America has long been recognized as a toy, reserved for children, or something that silly adults dressed in lycra ride for recreational purposes. Thus, when the typical American driver sees an adult cyclist on the road, their response is one of indignation: "How dare you play with that toy in the road?! Don't you know that roads are strictly for serious adults (i.e., people in cars) who have somewhere to go?!". This is where all the preposterous "safety" arguments come from too - that cyclists endager the safety of motorists by playing with a toy in the road. Unfortunately, I don't see this attitude changing anytime soon. I'm not looking to be "universally loved". I just want motorists to recognize that a bicycle is a serious form of transportation for some and that cyclists have every right to the road as they do (as long as your local law deems it so).
A buggy might have MORE effect than us, but we still can cause inconvenience to others as a small group. One pack of riders asserting their "rights" to the road can block up traffic pretty well. If one rider makes 100 cars pass and take an extra minute, that can be considered a disproportionate effect. I'm not arguing we shouldn't ride...I'm not suggesting cars are justified or rational...I'm explaining what I think generates the irritation:

We are a different, slower traffic user, we have different needs and we're a small minority that can inconvenience (as determined by the driver, not us) a large majority. I know that the few times I drive (I renewed my license in February after 7 years), I do get nervous when I see a cyclist - they do require a lot more energy to look out for, to pay attention to, etc. I am constantly checking to see where they are to make sure I'm not going to hurt them. Obviously I'm not saying they should be concerned about my effort...my effort is my DUTY...but it's easy enough to understand why they'd prefer if we weren't around.

I'd prefer if they weren't around, and I can get irritated when auto jams block me from riding at the faster speed I could attain without them. I don't hate them - I'm not at war - they're just in my way. It's just different traffic with different needs.
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Old 06-12-13, 12:18 PM   #18
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I get a little annoyed by anything that gets in my way, whether it be cars, trucks, bikes, peds, dogs or wild animals. I don't hate other users of the road or MUP, but do get really annoyed by irresponsible/unsafe users.
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Old 06-12-13, 12:46 PM   #19
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Regardless of they liking me or not, I find riding on the streets with cars anything but enjoyable.
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Old 06-12-13, 01:04 PM   #20
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I get a little annoyed by anything that gets in my way, whether it be cars, trucks, bikes, peds, dogs or wild animals. I don't hate other users of the road or MUP, but do get really annoyed by irresponsible/unsafe users.
Yeah, those turtles really need to wait until all traffic clears before crossing the road.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:39 PM   #21
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Car drivers, cagers, are envious of us ubercool bikers, because we get all the chicks! Just make sure you flip the bird often enough and have frame pump at hand if they stop to take you on. ARRR!
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Old 06-12-13, 02:47 PM   #22
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Yeah, those turtles really need to wait until all traffic clears before crossing the road.
Why do turtles hate us? Had one flip the bird at me this morning.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:53 PM   #23
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I really don't get that here...most folks are either nice to deal with, or just plain oblivious to me being there. Today I had a fellow slow for a ways, and follow me, rather than try to make an 'iffy' pass and come too close. I gave him the big wave and a smile as he went by, and was rewarded with an answering wave.

Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL
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Old 06-12-13, 04:23 PM   #24
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I have noticed a few things when I drive a vehicle. First off is distance. People think distance is a ton of time being saved. What they don't realize is that at 60mph, a football field is only a few seconds. So while they may be ahead by 100yds, they are really only ahead by what, maybe 5-10 seconds or so? At least around here, many are trying to get that distance advantage whenever they can. If they are being passed, even if it is only by 2 cars, they feel like they are loosing so much time. When you really think about it, it makes zero sense.

So if a driver has to brake for a cyclist, and 5 cars passed, all they can think about is "I WOULD HAVE BEEN UP THERE BY THAT CAR IF IT WASN'T FOR THIS (*$&%(*$&)(*#&$ CYCLIST!!!" The whole distance thing again. I used to be that way when driving, until I counted just how much, in time, I lost because of something. Once I realized that what I once thought was a ton of time, only was really 10-20 seconds, I stopped caring. Now, I won't stay behind someone who is going slow for no reason. If I can pass, I'll pass. But I will not feel rushed to make that pass. If I am more considerate, I only lose maybe a couple of minutes on my commute home by car. So is it worth getting angry over? Heck no.

I really dislike the whole American "I must get to my destination as if I had to be there yesterday" thing. Most of the people around me are very considerate when I am on the bicycle. Then again, there is always one person that is impatient and will buzz me somewhat close to show how much I'm getting in their way.
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Old 06-12-13, 04:31 PM   #25
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I have noticed a few things when I drive a vehicle. First off is distance. People think distance is a ton of time being saved. What they don't realize is that at 60mph, a football field is only a few seconds. So while they may be ahead by 100yds, they are really only ahead by what, maybe 5-10 seconds or so? At least around here, many are trying to get that distance advantage whenever they can. If they are being passed, even if it is only by 2 cars, they feel like they are loosing so much time. When you really think about it, it makes zero sense.

So if a driver has to brake for a cyclist, and 5 cars passed, all they can think about is "I WOULD HAVE BEEN UP THERE BY THAT CAR IF IT WASN'T FOR THIS (*$&%(*$&)(*#&$ CYCLIST!!!" The whole distance thing again. I used to be that way when driving, until I counted just how much, in time, I lost because of something. Once I realized that what I once thought was a ton of time, only was really 10-20 seconds, I stopped caring. Now, I won't stay behind someone who is going slow for no reason. If I can pass, I'll pass. But I will not feel rushed to make that pass. If I am more considerate, I only lose maybe a couple of minutes on my commute home by car. So is it worth getting angry over? Heck no.

I really dislike the whole American "I must get to my destination as if I had to be there yesterday" thing. Most of the people around me are very considerate when I am on the bicycle. Then again, there is always one person that is impatient and will buzz me somewhat close to show how much I'm getting in their way.
Yes, I notice exact the same thing while driving. Another example would be people killing to get in front of you when there is a red light, just so they can test their brakes.
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