Thursday, 26 September 2013

Dear Britain -Why do you hate people when they ride bikes?

  • Why is giving room when passing so a person riding a bike has a safe amount of room so hated? 
  • Why is holding back so that a person riding a bike doesn't feel bullied so hated?
  • Why is a person wearing sport specific clothing so hated?
  • Why is a person who can spend a few thousand on sports equipment so hated?
  • Why is a person who rides a bike as a hobby or interest to get and stay fit so hated?
  • Why is a person who rides a bike instead of driving a car as transport so hated? 
  • Why does Britain hate people when they ride bikes? 

1 comment:

  1. I reckon it's a psychological syndrome caused by increased car use and eventually dependency.

    It all begins when a learner first steps into a driving instructors car. To minimize the impact of the learner on the road, the instructor begins prompting the student to do the speed limit wherever possible. This introduces the mindset that any speed less than the speed limit is bad; any attempt to drop below the speed is met with disapproval from the instructor and dangerous overtakes from fellow drivers.

    The second stage occurs when the learner passes his/her test and is released onto the roads. The newly qualified driver is, to start off with, pretty law abiding. Tries to drive at the speed limit, waits patiently for other road users, etc... However they soon realise that without the learner plates on their car, merely doing the speed limit is not good enough for other drivers. This manifests in intense pressure from cars behind, in the form of tailgating behaviour. To relieve the pressure the driver gradually starts exceeding the speed limit on a regular basis, which then brings them to the next stage in the syndrome.

    The driver soon realises that not only are speed limits rarely enforced, but the act of speeding slightly above the limit has widespread societal acceptance. This invulnerability to both legal and physical harm (represented by sitting in a protective cage) leads to gradual increases in risk taking and finally metamorphoses into aggression.

    At this point the driver begins to see his or her progression on the road as an inalienable right, that can only be denied by others who have the same right (other motor vehicles). The driver finally finds a niche in society that requires little thought, and begins to see the idea of waiting in queues of motor traffic as merely part of the natural order of things.

    However along comes the (stereotypical) cyclist in Lycra, who then promptly jumps the entire queue of traffic. From the drivers point of view the natural order has now been disrupted. Typically at this point the driver responds to confusion generated by the affront, with anger. The thought 'maybe i'll give him a scare' slides into their heads, cue a close pass, honking or verbal abuse.

    After this incident (and its lack of consequences) the driver is soon able to find articles in newspapers and other social media, which support and justify their actions . Articles that use perceived lawbreaking of a minority of cyclists to exhort their readers to 'run them off the road' or 'string wire across cycle paths'. And like many people, when confronted with a vulnerable minority group, uses this as an excuse for hatred and discrimination. This is often fed by the natural human desire to want to belong to a larger group, by taking on their ideals and views.

    This is merely my theory of course, and is intended only to explain one type of cyclist hater and should by no means be considered definitive. Many cyclist haters out there do not need to go through these steps, as they already have natural aggression against others which seeks an outlet.