The constant smear campaign against cycling

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mikesbytes
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The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:58 pm

In the local community facebook page for my suburb, that being Tempe, which is in Sydney's inner west, someone has posted a link to an article in the Telegraph about some unsafe cycling involving a child. My post is not about the issue as to the safety of the child in the article but about the constant procession of articles portraying cycling negatively and its re-post

1. Telegraph. As we know this news portal regularly produces articles to the discredit of the cycling community and discourage others from taking up cycling. What I've noticed is that the way the articles are written are a bit smarter than before, the dramatisation has reduced with more factual information. However it seems that almost every week there's an article about cycling in NSW, despite cyclists making up such a small percentage of the community.

If you want to click the click bait here it is

2. Community re-posting. The intention of the re-poster was not stated, from the photo in the article the location is definintly not within Tempe or even a neighboring suburb, but is in a suburb adjacent to Sydney's CBD. So I queried this and the response from the poster is along the lines of it been an error, but not communicated that clearly. What to think about this?

Not sure if the link will work if your not a member of the group? https://www.facebook.com/groups/tempe2020/ Scroll down
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:11 pm

Landscape Guardians and the Heartland Institute at work, funding anti-cyclist PR to benefit Big Oil, Big Auto, and Big Coal.
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby Scott_C » Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:49 pm

Also the usual "out-group" generalisations that mean that when an individual cyclist does something questionable then all cyclists are to blame whereas when a driver does something comparable or worse it is no reflection on other drivers.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby tcdev » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:11 pm

One wonders where we draw the distinction between a "cyclist" and "an idiot who happens to be riding a bicycle"?
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby softy » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:24 pm

I think the problem is that a few cyclists do really dumb things and these are remembered by motorists.

saw a nutter riding along the footpath, i passed him on the road and rolled up to the lights showing red. Stopped and waited.

Then i saw this guy come out of the right turning lane on a red light, out into the intersection then a car came thru the intersection the other way, he slowed in the middle of the intersection to let him go and continued his right turn.

drivers take a dim view of this and so do i.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby tcdev » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:38 pm

Interestingly the (cyclist) husband of a woman cyclist who was injured when she had a bottle thrown at her from a passing ute recently commented that, in his opinion, the anti-cyclist sentiment hadn't worsened in recent years and was more a media beat-up than actual fact.

You'd be forgiven these days for thinking that any cyclist that dared don the lyrca and venture out of their driveway needs to be prepared to run a veritable gauntlet of abuse, repeated attempted hit-and-run attempts by tradies in utes, and aggrieved bus drivers on every trip. That's the message you get when watching ads for (admittedly sensationalist, gutter-journalism) "current affairs" shows, perusing headlines of online newspapers or even reading social media and/or cycling forums.

To be honest, in my admittedly modest ~2,300km of cycling, approximately half of which has been on the road, I've only had one or two encounters that could even remotely have been attributed to any anti-cyclist sentiment (you guessed it, a ute). My experience with pedestrians has only been positive (though I would note that I tend not to buzz them at speeds that would put in a good show in a time trial) on the PSP's that I frequent. Yes, there's been the odd clueless/ignorant/selfish ped (I'm looking at you 3 mothers with prams abreast a PSP) but I can't recall a single incidence of abuse or even annoyance (that I've noticed).

Similarly on the road, no horns or yelled abuse that I can recall. I also tend to stick to back streets and try to look like I'm attempting to keep out of the way, rather than coast down the center lane 3 abreast (simply because I am entitled to) hands-free at peak hour whilst sipping a latte and chatting to my cycling buddy (with my cow-lick flapping in the breeze).

YMMV.
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby il padrone » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:50 pm

tcdev wrote:One wonders where we draw the distinction between a "cyclist" and "an idiot who happens to be riding a bicycle"?

"Motorist" <------> "idiot who happens to be in charge of a motor vehicle"

The semantics are neither here nor there for me. Some people do very dumb stuff on the roads, often breaking the law, and threatening the safety of many others. In the case of motorists/people in charge of motor vehicles, the risks (to others) are far greater.
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:51 pm

softy wrote:I think the problem is that a few cyclists do really dumb things and these are remembered by motorists.


I wish it were so. Where I ride I see cyclists doing silly dangerous moves daily. Underpasses and tunnels, the southern ramp onto the Narrows, the curved path north of Canning Bridge, the egress from the bike path onto Selway Rd, Brentwood and many many more.

So many in fact that in a particularly bad year (2013) I was personally present at four cases of riders being down, out and waiting on ambulances and in only one of those cases could it be called an 'act of god". That does not include the fool that took me out which only resulted in some equipment damage and a deep slice requiring stitches.

There is no shortage of cyclists doing "really dumb things".

(I hasten to add that I see drivers that don't even have the basic skills to know where the front of their car is when waiting to enter a road. At least most cyclists have skills.)
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby il padrone » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:00 am

Very many people on the roads cut corners as routine. It is the case that the corner-cutting (aka rule-breaking) of cyclists tends to be very obvious to motorists. On the other hand that of motorists tends to be under the radar - skimming through a changing red; talking or texting on the mobile; rolling on at a stop sign; speeding; crossing double/single solid lines; overtaking on a crest or too close to a bend; lane-changing/turning without indicating, etc.

Everyone sees and notices the cyclist doing dumb stuff; nobody much notices all the other drivers (and themselves?) doing equally dumb stuff.
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby human909 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:11 am

Meanwhile in The Netherlands.....
https://www.facebook.com/stuffdutchpeop ... 5/?fref=nf

And in Copenhagen....
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I find that the disturbing attitude is that cyclists are endangering there own lives by having the nerve to use public roads. Cyclists aren't the ones killing and maiming on our roads. The real problem remain continues to be ignored.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby warthog1 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:15 am

il padrone wrote:Landscape Guardians and the Heartland Institute at work, funding anti-cyclist PR to benefit Big Oil, Big Auto, and Big Coal.


On the money I reckon
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby cj7hawk » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:26 am

Point well made human909.

Though it is less than ideal to carry a child on your back when you can't react to them if they fall. A fall from that height would hurt the kid, regardless of where he was, though a helmet probably wouldn't make any significant difference.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby kb » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:10 am

il padrone wrote:Very many people on the roads cut corners as routine. It is the case that the corner-cutting (aka rule-breaking) of cyclists tends to be very obvious to motorists. On the other hand that of motorists tends to be under the radar - skimming through a changing red; talking or texting on the mobile; rolling on at a stop sign; speeding; crossing double/single solid lines; overtaking on a crest or too close to a bend; lane-changing/turning without indicating, etc.

Not to mention the literal cutting of corners. How rare is it for drivers to keep left when turning left these days. Or stay within one lane when there are multiple right turning lanes.
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby bychosis » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:51 am

il padrone wrote:Very many people on the roads cut corners as routine. It is the case that the corner-cutting (aka rule-breaking) of cyclists tends to be very obvious to motorists. On the other hand that of motorists tends to be under the radar - skimming through a changing red; talking or texting on the mobile; rolling on at a stop sign; speeding; crossing double/single solid lines; overtaking on a crest or too close to a bend; lane-changing/turning without indicating, etc.

Everyone sees and notices the cyclist doing dumb stuff; nobody much notices all the other drivers (and themselves?) doing equally dumb stuff.


I think everyone does see motorists doing equally dumb stuff, but the sheer numbers of drivers mean it appears to be a minority. Cyclists are already an anomaly on the roads, and when doing the right thing tend not to be noticed anyway (SMIDSY) so the stupid acts really stand out.

See a hundred cars on your outing (probably more) and noticed two idiots. see two cyclists with one being an idiot and completely don't see another two cyclists. That's 2% vs 50%
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:27 am

softy wrote:I think the problem is that a few cyclists do really dumb things and these are remembered by motorists.
The problem being that the motorists are feed a constant supply of out grouping. Every transport community contains some that do things that they shouldn't of done but when its a cyclist it becomes another opportunity to bad mouth the cycling community.
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby misterhorsey » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:08 am

mikesbytes wrote:
softy wrote:I think the problem is that a few cyclists do really dumb things and these are remembered by motorists.
The problem being that the motorists are feed a constant supply of out grouping. Every transport community contains some that do things that they shouldn't of done but when its a cyclist it becomes another opportunity to bad mouth the cycling community.


You should post a picture of obese people in a SUV and caption with outrage about people getting stressed from traffic, texting facebooking/instagram madly to get their next dopamine hit, their cardiovascular systems declining from a sedentary lifestyle, burning away fossil fuel destroying the environment etc...but I don't think people will get it as it's become the new normal.

Online news outlets such as the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Fairfax aren't motivated to report events in an objective manner. They're trying to increase the amount of clickthroughs so they can show their real customers (the advertisers who pay for advertising) that they have wide circulation. This was always the case but interwebs now gives real time data whereas in the age of print it was guess work. It's a race to the bottom really in terms of content, but its also the hyping up/moral panics that newspapers have always done, but at a greater speed that before.

Meanwhile to make sense of the world people like your Tempe community group facebook poster look to the 'News' to get information/an idea of what's going on in the world, and share things that provoke/outrage/shock them almost like a reflex action.

Cycling has definitely become a reliable source of controversy and traffic for news outlets.

I noticed that in a recent article on the Beach rd bottle assault, both the Herald Sun and the Age opened the article up to comments:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor ... 13302aa1f5

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/coke- ... m9t4v.html

Typically when these newspapers report on violent crimes they don't open it up to comments for obvious reasons - if those reasons aren't obvious for some, its due a reluctance to prejudice future criminal proceedings (not necessarily out of respect for the victims, but due to risk of contempt of court) as well as not wishing to promote morbid fascination with violent assaults, sexual assaults etc.

However, for cycling related violence, it doesn't seem to be taken seriously as a crime - a view we all know is often shared by our police forces as well as magistrates and judges.

I think most people aren't invested in critically thinking about the way cycling is reported and so just lazily rehash what our media clickbaiting overlords want us to think, which is often simply a reflection of what the worst of the community has to offer. It's a vicious cycle.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby BJL » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:08 pm

bychosis wrote:
I think everyone does see motorists doing equally dumb stuff, but the sheer numbers of drivers mean it appears to be a minority. Cyclists are already an anomaly on the roads, and when doing the right thing tend not to be noticed anyway (SMIDSY) so the stupid acts really stand out.

See a hundred cars on your outing (probably more) and noticed two idiots. see two cyclists with one being an idiot and completely don't see another two cyclists. That's 2% vs 50%


I see that as only being part of it. I think that seeing motorists doing stupid things on the roads is seen by other motorists as being completely normal behaviour. Any attempt to punish motorists is met with howls of 'it's all just revenue raising'. They're basically driving around with blinkers on. Ignore the bad actions of their own kind whilst berating other groups over isolated incidences.

Motorists and their lobby groups are largely hypocrites.

Moreover, I believe that the constant smear campaign against cyclists is endangering our lives. Darren Hinch for example saying we're 'cockroaches on wheels' and 'should be exterminated'. He is someone who has blood on his hands and should be jail for inciting hatred. But the bogan element of this country are right behind him and now believe they're right when abusing cyclists.

At the end of the day, if the government and law enforcement agencies continue to ignore the issue at hand and the media keeps on about the 'war on the roads', then they'll get their war. I'll say no more.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby Thoglette » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:02 pm

BJL wrote: Darren Hinch for example saying we're 'cockroaches on wheels' and 'should be exterminated'. He is someone who has blood on his hands and should be jail for inciting hatred.


I'd rather see him (sucessfully) sued for contributing to someone's injuries. Along with his employer.

A few such actions would result in a change of editorial attitudes.

IANAL, but I'd like to hear from one who is as to the necessary steps and precedents. Now that's something BNSW should be spending money on.
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby il padrone » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:33 pm

Thoglette wrote:
BJL wrote: Darren Hinch for example saying we're 'cockroaches on wheels' and 'should be exterminated'. He is someone who has blood on his hands and should be jail for inciting hatred.


I'd rather see him (sucessfully) sued for contributing to someone's injuries. Along with his employer.

A few such actions would result in a change of editorial attitudes.

IANAL, but I'd like to hear from one who is as to the necessary steps and precedents. Now that's something BNSW should be spending money on.

+1
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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby warthog1 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:54 pm

Thoglette wrote:
BJL wrote: Darren Hinch for example saying we're 'cockroaches on wheels' and 'should be exterminated'. He is someone who has blood on his hands and should be jail for inciting hatred.


I'd rather see him (sucessfully) sued for contributing to someone's injuries. Along with his employer.

A few such actions would result in a change of editorial attitudes.

IANAL, but I'd like to hear from one who is as to the necessary steps and precedents. Now that's something BNSW should be spending money on.


Well said!

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby RyanA » Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:44 pm

il padrone wrote:
Thoglette wrote:
BJL wrote: Darren Hinch for example saying we're 'cockroaches on wheels' and 'should be exterminated'. He is someone who has blood on his hands and should be jail for inciting hatred.


I'd rather see him (sucessfully) sued for contributing to someone's injuries. Along with his employer.

A few such actions would result in a change of editorial attitudes.

IANAL, but I'd like to hear from one who is as to the necessary steps and precedents. Now that's something BNSW should be spending money on.

+1

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby softy » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:53 pm

No no no....

The reason motorist hate on cyclists, is because we hold them up, we are doing 30km and they believe we (cyclists) should ride in the gutter so they can pass in the same lane. If you own the lane, the cyclist is an in-considerate twat!

I see it on FB all the time, many people make jokes about cleaning them up for hogging the lane.

Motorists may do dumb things as well, but rarely does it limit the observers passage along their lane.

I hear motorist going on about how cycling is dangerous, what they fail to see, it is only dangerous because of drivers attitudes, but because they see cyclists as the pest of the road, they fail to see they actions are what is making it unsafe for cyclists.

The reality is the only way this will be addressed is if bicycle lanes are everywhere and bicycles are off the main carriageway or on there own shoulder (seperated) from cars. I can't see attidudes changing anytime soon.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby il padrone » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:41 pm

Attitudes are very different in Italy. Despite the alleged 'crazy Italian drivers', we found scenarios like these presented us with no aggro from following drivers, and overtakes were almost always done with a 'toot-toot' warning, followed by a very spacious pass.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby BJL » Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:08 pm

^^

After coming back from my little trip to Europe a couple of years ago, I was quickly reintroduced to the Australian driving culture and gave up even trying to understand it. You simply cannot educate the Australian 'bogan'. I'm now currently undergoing the intense long term process of thickening my skin.

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Re: The constant smear campaign against cycling

Postby trailgumby » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:54 pm

softy wrote:I hear motorist going on about how cycling is dangerous, what they fail to see, it is only dangerous because of drivers attitudes, but because they see cyclists as the pest of the road, they fail to see they actions are what is making it unsafe for cyclists.

The reality is the only way this will be addressed is if bicycle lanes are everywhere and bicycles are off the main carriageway or on there own shoulder (seperated) from cars. I can't see attidudes changing anytime soon.

It can be done. It just takes leadership from pollies and influencers to tell the anti-cyclist bleaters to shut the hell up and get over themselves and their entitlement mentality.

It's been done with domestic violence. It can be done with road violence.

Other things like fairer road laws that reflect the relative levels of risk and consequence among the various classes of road users would help, and I expect increase compliance. Getting 6 seconds
of green light every two minutes at every bike lane intersection is a recipe for provoking civil disobedience.

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