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article - Why do drivers hate cyclists

Old 03-24-11, 12:05 PM
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article - Why do drivers hate cyclists

https://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Ma...f3d5011734a2,0
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Old 03-24-11, 12:58 PM
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bhop
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I've stopped caring why.
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Old 03-24-11, 12:59 PM
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Interesting article. I always found it amusing that, as a cyclist, you are always wrong (at least here). If you go, someone gets upset that you went; if you stop, someone gets upset that you didn't go and impeded traffic somehow. If you ride on the sidewalk, someone walking their dog yells at you to get on the street; when you're on the street, and in the bike lane even, someone gets upset that you're not on the sidewalk (just happened to my wife yesterday).
Why do driver's hate cyclists? Probably because, just like drivers that drive like they have to get home right NOW because Tupac was just resurrected and is signing a new record contract in their living room, there are also "cyclists" who get arrogant and sometimes try to peeve off drivers, as if the vehicular world owes them something of a favor in the way of letting them do whatever they want in the streets.
As for me, I keep an eye on the laws so that I know that, in the event of a confrontation, I would be backed by the law; and as importantly I keep to myself, mostly stay out of people's way, and use good judgment and common sense...or at least I think that's what I do.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:01 PM
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It isn't fear of liability that pits drivers against cyclists. It's resource contention. Everybody wants the same space on (mostly) the same roads, and drivers and cyclists want to do it differently. If bikes could do 80 mph on flat ground, nobody would care about "getting stuck" behind one of us.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:01 PM
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We are just inconvenient for them, that's why those that hate feel that way.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:17 PM
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What kills me is, that before I got serious about cycling a lot things annoyed me when driving. And 99.9% of the time that was other drivers/cars. Cyclists didn't even register as a potential annoyance factor.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:18 PM
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the root of the problem, of course, is that our species seems to be eternally destined to have a certain percentage of our membership made up of selfish a$$holes. some of those selfish a$$holes drive cars. some of those selfish a$$holes ride bikes. some of those selfish a$$holes take the train. regardless of how they get around, they're awlays gonna be selfish a$$holes.

it sucks......... but that's life.
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Old 03-24-11, 01:56 PM
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It should be noted that the overwhelming majority of car drivers pass us without any anger or drama and I see far more friendly waves and smiles than angry honks. But the honks create a more emotional reaction and are remembered longer.

It seems to be pretty standard human nature that when we feel frustrated for whatever reason we tend to look for someone else to blame - and all the better if we can assign blame to some other group. For car drivers stuck in traffic after a bad day it's easy to cast blame on the cyclist holding them up for a few extra seconds. But it's just part of the human nature described by Tom Lehrer in his song "National Brotherhood Week":

Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
And the black folks hate the white folks.
To hate all but the right folks
Is an old established rule.

But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
Lena Horne and Sheriff Clarke are dancing cheek to cheek.
It's fun to eulogize
The people you despise,
As long as you don't let 'em in your school.

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
All of my folks hate all of your folks,
It's American as apple pie.

But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans 'cause it's very chic.
Step up and shake the hand
Of someone you can't stand.
You can tolerate him if you try.

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
And the Hindus hate the Moslems,
And everybody hates the Jews.

But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
It's National Everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood Week.
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you.
It's only for a week, so have no fear.
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!
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Old 03-24-11, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
the root of the problem, of course, is that our species seems to be eternally destined to have a certain percentage of our membership made up of selfish a$$holes.
Testify!

@ Prathmann:

I haven't heard National Brotherhood Week since I was a kid. Brilliant call.
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Old 03-24-11, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It isn't fear of liability that pits drivers against cyclists. It's resource contention. Everybody wants the same space on (mostly) the same roads, and drivers and cyclists want to do it differently. If bikes could do 80 mph on flat ground, nobody would care about "getting stuck" behind one of us.
I agree with this. I know people who are afraid of hurting bicyclists and dislike seeing them because of this. Generally, it doesn't seem to be liability so much as guilt that these people are afraid of, but in any case, they aren't the ones who hate cyclists.

I think hate of cyclists is really hate of traffic, but cyclists are the only outlet for manifesting that hate. I can (and personally do when driving) blow my top about the thousands of cars on the road causing rush hour grid lock, but at the end of the day my mind refuses to process that anger into hatred because all the other people are doing the same thing I'm doing and for the same reason. I can (and do when driving) get angry at the people causing traffic jams by rubber necking as they pass a roadside distraction, but I have no contact with these people and when there is no traffic jam I have no way of identifying (or even mis-identifying) other drivers as the ones who were responsible for this and no way of lumping them into a group that I can hate. I can (and do when driving) get angry at the traffic engineers who I am irrationally certain could have designed the roads better than they did, but I never see these people and have no idea who they are.

Bicyclists, on the other hand, are easy to distinguish from other road users, easy to blame for traffic slow downs and indistinguishable from one another and therefore easy to lump into a group as an outlet for the cumulative frustration of daily traffic.
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Old 03-24-11, 03:56 PM
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Drivers seem to hate cyclists for the same reasons over and over again.

1. They inconvenience drivers on the road
2. They don't obey the laws
3. They don't pay taxes

We need to find out who "They" are and stop em.
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Old 03-24-11, 04:07 PM
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They envy our butts, literally.
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Old 03-24-11, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gear View Post
They envy our butts, literally.
You just made my day.
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Old 03-24-11, 05:20 PM
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Motorists seem to hate cyclists for the same reason they hate the motorist in front of them. They physically can't go faster than the object in front of them.
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Old 03-24-11, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
I've stopped caring why.
Yup. Me too. People are stupid, that's all.
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Old 03-24-11, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by El Duderino X View Post
I haven't heard National Brotherhood Week since I was a kid. Brilliant call.
I'd never heard it before now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...eek_%28song%29

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Brotherhood_Week

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgASBVMyVFI
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Old 03-24-11, 06:45 PM
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I think the attitude among drivers has improved over the past 40 years. I have had a couple 20 something boneheads yell at me in the past couple years,but that's nothing compared to what I experienced in the 70's. The hundreds of courteous, normal drivers we interact with each day make the few discourteous ones stick out as much as the careless cyclists. It's too bad we can't stick them all together in one spot to leave the rest of us alone.

Marc
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Old 03-24-11, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by JPprivate View Post
What kills me is, that before I got serious about cycling a lot things annoyed me when driving. And 99.9% of the time that was other drivers/cars. Cyclists didn't even register as a potential annoyance factor.
I agree. The only things that bugged me were cyclists on the roads at night without lights or reflectors. And that was because I nearly hit several of them. And I don't want hurt anyone.
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Old 03-24-11, 08:30 PM
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I think the motorists that hate us do so because of simple tribalism. They are members of the tribe of resource-wasting economy-destroying physically lazy people. We represent the "other" to that approach. It's all about "us vs. them" in the (small) minds of some motorists.
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Old 03-24-11, 09:34 PM
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I have thought for years that there would be some limit to how stupid people could get -- you know, IQ points have to reach bottom SOMETIME!

The last couple years have taught me....

....apparently, I WAS WRONG.

There IS no limit to stupid. Hence, I cannot argue with all of the hypotheses here.
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Old 03-24-11, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bhop View Post
I've stopped caring why.
Truth.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 03-24-11, 11:42 PM
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I always just assume they were cuckolded by a cyclist.
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Old 03-25-11, 06:56 AM
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I love some of the arguments in the artical that drivers say that cyclists don't pay taxes, have no insurance and aren't licensed. I would think the VAST majority of all cyclists also carry a drivers license, auto insurance and at least in IL, we fork over our $98 bucks a year for for a little sticker we put on our plates. Not to mention we are insured in other ways as well, most carry homeowners insurance or renters insurance with carries personal liability on it as well.

And the taxes argument really makes me laugh, unless you're dodging Uncle Sam every April, my taxes help pay for the roads. Very little tax payer money from license and plate renewal actually go toward road improvment. Most come from local property tax and federal taxes.
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Old 03-25-11, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It isn't fear of liability that pits drivers against cyclists. It's resource contention. Everybody wants the same space on (mostly) the same roads, and drivers and cyclists want to do it differently. If bikes could do 80 mph on flat ground, nobody would care about "getting stuck" behind one of us.
I agree. Although motorcyclists get a lot of the same spite, I'm not sure it's at quite the same level.

I suspect that it has everything to do with how a slow moving vehicle reminds a motorist just how tenuous their ability to travel quickly is. Doing 45 down a barely used suburban road is very nice. Being stuck doing 5 on it while traffic crawls in front of you is more miserable than walking at half the speed. Bicycles offer one more way in which you can end up crawling down the street, or are at least perceived to do that.
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Old 03-25-11, 10:18 AM
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Like Henry Chinaski said-
"I don't hate cops, I just tend to feel better when they're not around"
I think it's often the same thing with cagers; although some of them do clearly hate us.
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