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Why You Hate Cyclists

Old 09-24-12, 01:32 PM
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1nterceptor
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Why You Hate Cyclists

"Partly because of jerks like me. But itís mostly your own illogical mind.
I'm an ******* cyclist. I'm that jerk weaving in and out of traffic, going the wrong way down a one-way street, and making a left on red. I'm truly a menace on the road.

But itís not because Iím on a bikeóI'm an ******* on the road no matter what. Iím also a stereotypical Jersey driver, someone who treats speed limits as speed minimums and curses those who disagree. And I'm just as bad as a pedestrian, another jaywalking smartphone zombie oblivious to the world beyond my glowing screen. If Iím moving, Iím an accident waiting to happen."

The author has an interesting view on biker- driver interaction:
http://www.slate.com/articles/health...o_wheels_.html
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Old 09-24-12, 02:10 PM
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Interesting writeup, but the "affect heuristic" is the reason why cyclists need to be extra courteous and obey every single traffic law. If a driver never has the negative experience with a suicidal rider, maybe they'll treat the rest of us with some more respect.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:27 PM
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I read the article this morning and it was pretty much what I've always thought. Well, except I'm not the ******bag rider/driver/pedestrian that the author apparently is.

Last edited by unterhausen; 09-24-12 at 03:27 PM. Reason: please don't defeat the censor
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Old 09-24-12, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
If a driver never has the negative experience with a suicidal rider, maybe they'll treat the rest of us with some more respect.
Well, if nothing less than 100% compliance is what cyclists need to win over the motorists ... we're screwed.

After all, the motorists certainly don't hold themselves to that standard, and a large percentage of cyclists are also motorists, so of course there's going to be some infractions made.

Still, that's fine. I don't need to be respected by everybody ... just don't run me over, please.

Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Well, except I'm not the d0uchebag rider/driver/pedestrian that the author apparently is.
And I'll bet he's not as bad as he makes himself sound.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Well, if nothing less than 100% compliance is what cyclists need to win over the motorists ... we're screwed.

After all, the motorists certainly don't hold themselves to that standard, and a large percentage of cyclists are also motorists, so of course there's going to be some infractions made.

Still, that's fine. I don't need to be respected by everybody ... just don't run me over, please.

And I'll bet he's not as bad as he makes himself sound.
I think that less than 100% compliance would be sufficient. Just a guess.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
I think that less than 100% compliance would be sufficient. Just a guess.
Personally, I suspect that even 100% compliance wouldn't be sufficient. After all, there's plenty of drivers out there who think cyclists are suicidal for just being out on the road, they're scofflaws for simply being in front of them, they're only riding because they lost their license due to a DWI, etc.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Personally, I suspect that even 100% compliance wouldn't be sufficient. After all, there's plenty of drivers out there who think cyclists are suicidal for just being out on the road, they're scofflaws for simply being in front of them, they're only riding because they lost their license due to a DWI, etc.
So how do we get to 110% compliance? Just trying to figure out this from a math stand-point.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
I think that less than 100% compliance would be sufficient. Just a guess.
I can guarantee that 100% of cyclists (and motorists) will comply with your wish for at least less than 100% compliance with traffic code.
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Old 09-24-12, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bandit1990 View Post
So how do we get to 110% compliance? Just trying to figure out this from a math stand-point.
That's left as an exercise for the reader.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:05 PM
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Given schools today, 110% compliance is easy to accomplish.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Personally, I suspect that even 100% compliance wouldn't be sufficient. After all, there's plenty of drivers out there who think cyclists are suicidal for just being out on the road, they're scofflaws for simply being in front of them, they're only riding because they lost their license due to a DWI, etc.
Don't know about "plenty of" but I'll agree with "some". I'm surprised that it's even a discussion point whether following traffic laws makes it less likely to be in an accident than ignoring them. (I-Like-to-Bike excepted, of course)
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Old 09-24-12, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
Don't know about "plenty of" but I'll agree with "some".
"Plenty" is pretty vague. It's more than zero, and we don't need more ... so I think "plenty" is accurate. As would "some" be.

I'm surprised that it's even a discussion point whether following traffic laws makes it less likely to be in an accident than ignoring them. (I-Like-to-Bike excepted, of course)
Um, who said anything about accidents? The issue (or goal, if you wish) is "getting respect" (as poorly defined as that is.)
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Old 09-24-12, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
"Plenty" is pretty vague. It's more than zero, and we don't need more ... so I think "plenty" is accurate. As would "some" be.

Um, who said anything about accidents? The issue (or goal, if you wish) is "getting respect" (as poorly defined as that is.)
Well, opinions may differ but to be more accurate I'd replace "some" with "a few". (at least that's my experience). Would it be fair to say that "respect" means a level of forbearance on the part of other road users that allows a rider to freely exercise their "rights and responsibilities" as a user of the public road? That's all the "respect" I need to get where I'm going. I'm thinking there may be too much emphasis on "rights" and not enough on "responsibilities"- hence the bad rap.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:25 PM
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I don't think anyone expects bicyclists to comply with the law 100%. I don't think anyone even notices strict compliance. It just helps the image of bicyclists in general if riders don't behave like jerks. And let's face it, some do.

Given the opinions that I read here, I can see why some drivers would think all bicyclists are jerks. Same reason some number of riders seem to think most drivers are jerks. In my limited sampling, something near 98% of drivers are pretty good about being respectful of and courteous to bicyclists. I suspect if I went out everyday with the attitude that they all hate me and are trying to kill me, I'd make a much harsher estimate. Not sure it would be more correct though.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by delcrossv View Post
Don't know about "plenty of" but I'll agree with "some". I'm surprised that it's even a discussion point whether following traffic laws makes it less likely to be in an accident than ignoring them. (I-Like-to-Bike excepted, of course)
Not to steal anyone's opinion or thoughts that have been debated on Bike Forums forever, but there are certain laws for autos that should not apply to bikes. Yes, I jumped there. Coming to a complete stop is irrelevant given a 230# bicyclist (with cycle added) versus a 3000# car. Again, irrelevant. I also don't take the lane, and stop to pick up kitties.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bandit1990 View Post
Not to steal anyone's opinion or thoughts that have been debated on Bike Forums forever, but there are certain laws for autos that should not apply to bikes. Yes, I jumped there. Coming to a complete stop is irrelevant given a 230# bicyclist (with cycle added) versus a 3000# car. Again, irrelevant. I also don't take the lane, and stop to pick up kitties.
I think the question here is : Cross traffic or no cross traffic?
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Old 09-24-12, 03:37 PM
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I think Doug is right. Doesn't matter how compliant we are in traffic.

IMHO, I'm of the belief we are held to a different standard because to some drivers, we shouldn't be there at all. I would like to think that the majority of drivers can appreciate the fact that there are some people who would rather commute to work on their bikes.

I have noticed on my camera, that the majority of drivers will move to the inside of their lane (even when they don't really have to...) Possibly they do it because they fear they could hit someone, or perhaps they do it out of respect for us, and they are sharing the road. I don't know but I appreciate their kindness.

The absolute worst thing is for a cyclist to act recklessly on the road, once again, my opinion. For those folks who are "just tolerant" of cyclists, when they see someone do something reckless on their bike it can't do much more but tip the scales against us in their own minds.

I'm basing that on comments I routinely hear from non-cycling people who seem to like to point out bad behavior of other cyclists to me....Including one police officer whose kid is taking my cycling merit badge class.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:40 PM
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As I noted here one day, I was rolling through a stop sign turning right while another car was making a left into the road I was turning from. I thought 'may I should come to a full stop just to show I comply with the laws.' But I didn't and as I made the turn I realized it wouldn't have mattered. He was too busy texting to care what I did. I don't think drivers care at all about compliance with traffic laws unless your lack of compliance impacts them. Which, of course, it really shouldn't.
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Old 09-24-12, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bandit1990 View Post
Given schools today, 110% compliance is easy to accomplish.
hehehehee
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Old 09-24-12, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
....I don't think drivers care at all about compliance with traffic laws unless your lack of compliance impacts them. Which, of course, it really shouldn't.
+1
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Old 09-24-12, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by silmarillion View Post
+1
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Old 09-24-12, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
As I noted here one day, I was rolling through a stop sign turning right while another car was making a left into the road I was turning from. I thought 'may I should come to a full stop just to show I comply with the laws.' But I didn't and as I made the turn I realized it wouldn't have mattered. He was too busy texting to care what I did. I don't think drivers care at all about compliance with traffic laws unless your lack of compliance impacts them. Which, of course, it really shouldn't.
One problem there is that you do not need to actually cut someone off to impact them. Anyone riding a bit wonkie impacts any driver who is concerned and careful. In the extreme it means you have an impact on them because they are not sure yuo will not be like the last jerk who blew the stop sign.
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Old 09-24-12, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
One problem there is that you do not need to actually cut someone off to impact them. Anyone riding a bit wonkie impacts any driver who is concerned and careful. In the extreme it means you have an impact on them because they are not sure yuo will not be like the last jerk who blew the stop sign.
Really? Someone on a bike, turning right (no condieration to the driver of the car), and we (collectivly) need to freak out? Has this freaking world gone insane? I absolutely hate the "defeatism" of this forum. Get a long, and go a long. We are here together. If I read this correctly, there is no way a bike and a car could be on the street at the same time.
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Old 09-24-12, 06:10 PM
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I probably irritate motorists because I have difficulty holding a line. My tendency is to drift left and I don't know how to fix that.
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Old 09-25-12, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
Interesting writeup, but the "affect heuristic" is the reason why cyclists need to be extra courteous and obey every single traffic law. If a driver never has the negative experience with a suicidal rider, maybe they'll treat the rest of us with some more respect.
Not on the United States. That will never happen.
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