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Cyclists - how hated do you feel?

oblongomaculatusoblongomaculatus Posts: 413
edited March 2017 in The bottom bracket
We've probably all had verbal abuse from motorists, but are some part of the country worse for anti cyclist feeling than others? I work in Cambridge and spend a great deal of time on a bike there. Cambridge is sometimes called Britain's cycling capital. Whether this is justified or not I don't know, but there are certainly a large number of cycling related stories in the local paper, the Cambridge News. These always attract a large number of anti cycling comments - "they don't pay road tax, they're all a bunch of law breaking thugs, they're always on the pavements mowing down pedestrians, or swerving all over the road inconveniencing drivers..." and so on. These comments tend to come from the same people (often with multiple identities), who apparently don't want cyclists on the road but howl with outrage when money is spent on cycling infrastructure (for instance the 3,000 space cycle park by the station, or the recent 2.4m wide raised cycle lanes on Hills Road, or the proposed new cycling/pedestrian bridge across the river) A handful are alarmingly vitriolic, even unhinged. Offering a reasoned counter argument is to invite a tirade of vicious personal abuse.

I'd long assumed all this was pretty standard everywhere, but my attention was recently drawn to a story in the Bristol Post, about cyclists being assaulted on the Bristol - Bath cycleway. The motive was robbery - pedestrians were attacked too - and three men were jailed. But what stuck me most was the comments section. Most were of the "deport them" variety (the perpetrators were apparently of Somali origin). Not one was anti cyclist. If something like this had happened in Cambridge there would be a rich selection of cyclist hating rhetoric along the lines of "they're cyclists, they deserve to be beaten up". I had a quick look through some other cycling related stories in the Bristol Post, and while I did come across some negativity, it was on nothing like on the scale of the Cambridge News.

So, what's it like where you live? Are the comments sections in your local paper dominated by cycling hating trolls?
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Posts

  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    Everybody loves me.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 13,701
    Garry H wrote:
    Everybody loves me.

    Especially Garry
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,078
    Everybody loves me too.
    Except some on here.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • I've had drivers shout "Get on the side " meaning footpath, as I'm slowing them down.
    Days later been reversed over whilst on the footpath.
    I don't feel hated . The world isn't short of idiots. We are just an easy target to vent off at.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,320 Lives Here
    I don't think people hate me because I ride a bicycle.
  • ballysmateballysmate Posts: 13,701
    veronese68 wrote:
    I don't think people hate me because I ride a bicycle.

    Like you, I need no props. :lol:
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    ballysmate wrote:
    veronese68 wrote:
    I don't think people hate me because I ride a bicycle.

    Like you, I need no props. :lol:

    I love you both, even when i'm in the car.
  • veronese68 wrote:
    I don't think people hate me because I ride a bicycle.

    Snap!
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Here, people shout words of encouragement to cyclists

    Cyclists say hello to each other

    Cyclists say hello to pedestrians

    Funny old world :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 39,612
    Thank **** I'm not a cyclist :)
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • team47b wrote:
    Here, people shout words of encouragement to cyclists

    Cyclists say hello to each other

    Cyclists say hello to pedestrians

    Funny old world :D

    Interesting. Where are you? Holland?
  • drwaedrwae Posts: 308
    team47b wrote:
    Here, people shout words of encouragement to cyclists

    Cyclists say hello to each other

    Cyclists say hello to pedestrians

    Funny old world :D

    Interesting. Where are you? Holland?
    I'm in Scotland and I've never experienced any of this, I had a gentleman at a zebra crossing tell me "Well done for wearing a helmet" on Friday!
  • That sounds encouraging drwae, I'm glad to hear the attitudes can be different to those I've come across. Round here the horse riders are always friendly, appreciative when you pass giving them lots of room, and let them know you're approaching. It almost makes up for getting close passed at 60mph by some berk too impatient to wait five seconds for a clear bit of road!

    What I was really wondering though was not so much how people drive around cyclists, but what they say about them in the local paper - As I said, Bristol seems markedly different from Cambridge in that respect.
  • Nobody showed hate towards me and my bicycle today.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    Stafford folk are a complete bunch of cnuts!

    What was the question again??
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    edited February 2017
    I also live in scotland and nobody ever shouts abuse at me. Some of them drive like c* ts though.

    I never read the daily mail though, or any other newspaper that's read by twats.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 39,612
    Garry H wrote:
    I also live in scotland and nobody ever shouts abuse at me. Some of them drive like c* ts though.
    Yeah, but if they knew you were Welsh...
    Whippet
    Bruiser
    Panzer
    Commuter

    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    Garry H wrote:
    I also live in scotland and nobody ever shouts abuse at me. Some of them drive like c* ts though.
    Yeah, but if they knew you were Welsh...
    ...they'd turn their cars around and drive the other way :wink:
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    My missus hates me for setting up my turbo in the kitchen and storing best bike in the spare bedroom...

    I think we are pretty well tolerated around here because we are fairly low key. Bodmin has been closed off for some weeks now as they turn it into a cycling hub which has not been well received. Popular recreational areas like dartmoor cause a lot of tension as motorists contend with lots of cyclists on narrow country roads. I suspect like the surrey hills. There are eejits everywhere of course but less down here until the tourists arrive...
  • Garry H wrote:
    I also live in scotland and nobody ever shouts abuse at me.

    YOU censored censored !!!!!
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    team47b wrote:
    Here, people shout words of encouragement to cyclists

    Cyclists say hello to each other

    Cyclists say hello to pedestrians

    Funny old world :D

    Interesting. Where are you? Holland?

    Portugal.
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,320 Lives Here
    Mikey23 wrote:
    There are eejits everywhere of course but less down here until the tourists arrive...
    Less people = less eejits. I'm pretty sure the proportions are the same among cyclists, drivers, pedestrians and people the play tiddlywinks (winkers?).
  • veronese68 wrote:
    Mikey23 wrote:
    There are eejits everywhere of course but less down here until the tourists arrive...
    Less people = less eejits. I'm pretty sure the proportions are the same among cyclists, drivers, pedestrians and people the play tiddlywinks (winkers?).

    That's my impression too. In Cambridge I'd say there are equal proportions of eejit drivers, cyclists and indeed pedestrians (some whom think if they can't hear an engine it must be OK to step into the road without looking). It's easy, though, to develop a distorted idea of what another group is doing; You see someone doing something stupid and think "theres another stupid cyclist/motorist/pedestrian", filtering out all the people who are doing nothing wrong. For example, in the Cambridge News, a common complaint is that "the vast majority of cyclists have no lights at night". It occurred to me this one is easy to measure, so one dark evening in December, on a three mile ride, I counted those with versus those without. It came to 121 with and 17 without (about 87%) I repeated this last week, in a different area, while waiting for a bus, and again the percentage with was in the high 80's. It seems the complainants are mentally editing out the cyclists they see with lights, reinforcing their own prejudice, and that of others.
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    Mikey23 wrote:
    There are eejits everywhere of course but less down here until the tourists arrive...

    @mikey, those eejits be emmits :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • One good side effect of riding a lot of miles / spending a lot of time road cycling, is that I get a good 'sample size' of motorists behaviour towards cyclist, and in lots of different environments and locations. I'd say, in general, the vast majority of motorists are absolutely fine with it. Every now and again you get some clueless, abusive [email protected] trying to be a hero, and even more rarely, they will actually try to deliberately cause you issues. A big problem is to do with perception of the frequency of the tw&ttishness. I find I naturally remember the bad ones more easily. I also find, that in general people are fairly indifferent or positive about cycling, but the 'vocal minority' of anti cyclists, tends to stick in the memory more. Going out trail riding or mountain biking is far better from the abuse point of view ( which is only relative anyway).
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,668
    I tend to use the rule of one in ten will be anti cyclist. Saturday for example, was helping a friend chug up a hill lots of cars passing us nice an wide as you'd hope to be passed, then a lovely fellow in his soft top rather on the close side shouting "pay your road tax".

    End of the day you cant please everyone we could cycle on closed circuits an people would complain we are taking up valuable space for something like a drive through coffee place or the like.
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 400
    It depends on who you meet on the road. As mentioned above, some motorists and other road users are fine, some are absolute tools. There are also some dangerous people who do not understand what problems their actions can cause.

    As someone who rides on my own, I think I get less aggravation and hatred than a group of riders. For instance, two large groups of riders (probably 25 people per group) passed my house yesterday as I was in the garage. I noticed later that the local spotted page on Facebook (something I personally don't have an account with, but check every so often) had a group of people calling them c*nts, accusing them of blocking the roads and even going so far as saying they should be driven off the road. Funny thing though, one of the people who was complaining had blatantly taken a picture of the cyclists while driving their car. :)
  • benws1benws1 Posts: 400
    step83 wrote:
    I tend to use the rule of one in ten will be anti cyclist. Saturday for example, was helping a friend chug up a hill lots of cars passing us nice an wide as you'd hope to be passed, then a lovely fellow in his soft top rather on the close side shouting "pay your road tax".

    End of the day you cant please everyone we could cycle on closed circuits an people would complain we are taking up valuable space for something like a drive through coffee place or the like.

    The road tax thing is great as it shows just how stupid some people are.

    Road tax hasn't been around for ages. We have VED. Chances are, some cyclists own a car as well, so they pay VED for that. Bicycles don't require road tax, so even suggesting things like that is utterly moronic. The recent shenanigans with making some vehicles 0 road tax has resulted in some car drivers not having to pay road tax either. Does Mr soft top drive around shouting the same thing to these people?

    Sadly, these sort of people are so dumb that even if they did stop to let you explain things, they wouldn't be able to process it.
  • benws1 wrote:
    accusing them of blocking the roads and even going so far as saying they should be driven off the road.

    This is another regular favourite in the Cambridge News comments sections - advocating using your car as a weapon against cyclists. It's not said tongue in cheek, either. They genuinely think it's what drivers should be doing if cyclists get in their way. There was a spate, a few months ago, of cyclists being pushed off their bikes by someone in the passenger seat of a car as it drew alongside. The approving comments this drew were shocking, if predictable.

    These came mainly from a small group of regular anti cycling bigots on the site, some of whom go out of their way to drip their poison into stories that have absolutely nothing to do with cycling (eg; someone is convicted of shoplifting; "I bet he'd have been let off if he'd been on a bike because cyclists are above the law"). Someone recently pointed out how like Donald Trump they sound, something that had also occurred to me.

    I can't provide a link to the story about the cyclists getting pushed over, as the paper doesn't have a search facility for stories any more, but to give you an idea of the general tone, here's one to a recent story about a proposed new cycle bridge. See if you can spot the Trump...

    http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/ca ... n-12599824
  • Thanks for that link the comments section was hilarious!
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