I asked a good friend of mine, a delivery man, if he encountered cyclists on his route. And I asked him what he thought about that. Then I reminded him, "Don't factor in that I'm a cyclist." Here's a guy of my generation (late 40's,) very cool and laid back, very open-minded. Great guy (from California, no less.)
He honestly said, "I don't have a problem, except when they are blocking my way and there's no way around them. Especially when the light up ahead is green and I know I can make it." He added, "If there's a lane free to pass, I don't care. It's just when I can't get around them."
This guy is not just a motorist, he works all day in traffic. It's his lifeblood. This was his first response, his honest perspective between friends.
One guy doesn't make a consensus. But we cyclists often say, "I'm not holding up traffic, I am traffic." Our perspective is that we have a right to use the roads we pay for. But what is the perspective of those who do not ride a bike on the street? Do they really understand us?
Another close friend who I work with is someone I really click with a lot. We laugh about so much. But there arose one disagreement: when we started talking about bikes on the road.
I had to explain to him for his first time that when I'm in a bike lane, I sometimes have to ride on the far edge of it because of debris or rough pavement, or even outside it. He said it sometimes p*ssed him off that cyclists had a whole bike lane, but they sometimes chose to ride almost outside it, or outside it. After I explained the reason, he finally understood something he never did before.
I wonder if the old saying, "walk in another man's moccasins" applies here. These are nice people, good people--but they didn't understand because they don't ride a bike. It took someone who does to explain it.
I'm not saying the world's against us, just that they don't really understand what/who we are. They don't live in our world, and it's hard for them to see what we take for granted everyday.