Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ...

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Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ...

Postby Aushiker » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:55 pm

Quickrelease.tv reflects on the question in a blog posting at http://quickrelease.tv/?p=1763 .

In this month’s issue of The Psychologist Bath University’s traffic specialist Dr Ian Walker believes this hatred is a manifestation of more than just hatred against an “out group”:
“A report from the Transport Research Laboratory and University of Strathclyde a few years ago led by Lynn Basford suggested that there’s some classic social psychology at work here – cyclists represent an outgroup such that the usual outgroup effects are seen, particularly overgeneralisation of negative behaviour and attributes – ‘They all ride through red lights all the time’. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that something of this sort is going on.

“However, there has to be more to it than just this. For a long time I wondered if the outgroup status of cyclists was compounded by two other known social psychological factors: norms and majority vs. minority groups. Not only are cyclists an outgroup, they’re also a minority outgroup. Moreover, they are engaging in an activity that is deemed slightly inappropriate in a culture that views driving as normative and desirable and, arguably, views cycling as anti- conventional and possibly even infantile.

“But even adding these factors into the mix does not explain all the anger that cyclists experience. It’s easy to identify other minority outgroups whose behaviour similarly challenges social norms but who do not get verbally and physically attacked like cyclists do: vegetarians, for example. So there’s clearly one or more important variables that we’ve not identified yet. Any social psychologists looking for a challenge are very welcome to wade into this.”
Hatred isn’t confined to social media, of course. Shockjocks and columnists in national newspapers also like to take potshots at cyclists. There’s a huge number of such diatribes and columns, way too many to list here but here’s a fresh one, from today. It’s by Helen Martin in The Scotsman. It’s a “I’m not a racist but…” piece.


An interesting question. Thoughts?

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by BNA » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:06 pm

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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:06 pm

Pure jealousy IMO. More after I read through the Martin piece.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby KenGS » Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:06 pm

Being an out group is a large part of it and I'm not clear on the difference between being a minority group and being an out group.
But in addition it comes down to the fact that drivers have been sold "the dream" in regards to the motoring experience that is never realised. Oil companies have know for a long time now that motorists hate (yes , hate) stopping to refuel. I would think they hate stopping for anything because "the dream" they've been sold is of what James Howard Kunstler calls "happy motoring", after the early ad campaigns of one of the oil majors - of being able to driving open roads with complete freedom.
Related to that is not a small measure of low self esteem among the more vocal element. Having been already disappointed at having gone into debt for a sizeable sum only to realise it was for nothing they feel like they've "lost" and need to kick someone or something like the dog or a cyclist to once again feel in control.
The ranting against red light running is part of this. The cyclist has "won" by experiencing "the dream" so the driver has therefore "lost" and needs to reassert their superiority in some way.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:33 pm

Very well put Ken, says pretty much everything.

Dunno why I bothered reading the Martin piece, bog stock copy/paste from every tabloid editorial from the last decade with a Scots burr.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby greyhoundtom » Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:17 pm

I must admit that I have my own theory on this, and in part it is based on my own driving experiences over some 50 years.

Firstly, even the most relaxed person getting behind the steering wheel of a car, after having been stuck in slow moving heavy traffic for about 30 minutes, will start to feel a certain amount of stress that will exhibit as a strong feeling of impatience, more so if you are having to get somewhere in a certain time limit.

This gradually gets worse, as in most instances after getting out of the worst of the heavy traffic you are unlikely to be able to exceed 80 km per hour, and at that point in time anything that you feel is slowing you down becomes something that immediately brings a rush of extreme irritation.

It may be just some old dear putting along, or another driver that insists on sitting 5 km per hour under the speed limit, or worse of all a couple of cyclists that you just can’t get past easily without going over the double lines, because the mongrels are only doing 25 km per hour, and therefore they should not be on the bloody road anyway.

Then to make it worse every time you get stuck in traffic these bastards ride past you, and the next thing you know you have to try and get past them all over again

This over time, day in day out, week in week out, results in an immediate hateful reaction to those that you now see as the main cause of you having to slow down and get stuck again, those bloody cyclists.

After several years of having this type of stress reaction caused by peak hour traffic focussed on cyclists, you then get a hate on cyclists no matter under what circumstances you may see them riding on your road, even when there is no other traffic about.

In some areas such as the Northern Territory, where a driver can on a regular basis get the opportunity to give the accelerator a kick in the guts, and bore along at 130 km per hour for a hour or so, they do not suffer from the same stress levels induced by having to drive to work day in day out in peak hour traffic as occurs in most built up areas, and therefore the reaction to cyclists in the Northern Territory is far more relaxed, and far less hateful than in any other State.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby ZepinAtor » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:15 am

Very well put Ken & Greyhound.

I like & dislike the comments simultaneously. Like because they are precise & true. Dislike because as a motorist & cyclist I actually have those feelings (subdued) even though I try to fight them to the best of my ability.
Gas propulsion.......it's natural don't fight it.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Xplora » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:13 pm

KS/Tom, post of the year to you. Precisely the reason that despite perhaps going within a millimetre of killing myself recently and possibly ruining my family's lives forever, I want to get back into riding the 42kms each day to work. Want to get into racing to get that speed up, so I can handle the commute easier. Get facilities at work improved so that others could consider the same option.

In Sydney, the car is not the dream. It is the nightmare, and we can't afford the solution. There are never enough lanes. Never enough bypasses. But a bike... ALWAYS enough lanes. Always a quicker way. Kerbs don't stop you from going the quicker way. A ton of metal isn't your straitjacket, rather 10kgs of carbon/alu/steel is your liberator.

The Bike is the dream that the driver wasted 20K to never get. :lol:
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:50 pm

Xplora wrote:KS/Tom, post of the year to you.

Until...
Xplora wrote:In Sydney, the car is not the dream. It is the nightmare, and we can't afford the solution. There are never enough lanes. Never enough bypasses. But a bike... ALWAYS enough lanes. Always a quicker way. Kerbs don't stop you from going the quicker way. A ton of metal isn't your straitjacket, rather 10kgs of carbon/alu/steel is your liberator.

The Bike is the dream that the driver wasted 20K to never get. :lol:

That's poetry that is. Thank you X. :D

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby PawPaw » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:30 pm

Bike haters see cycling on roads as
- an unreasonably dangerous thing to do, done by mug lairs in lycra and psychopathic red light jumpers. That makes it not unreasonable to "teach them a lesson" by abusing, blowing horns, driving closely to scare them.
- making their driving experience more stressful (consequences of injuring cyclist), inconvenient (slows them down), and potentially dangerous for them (if they have to cross centrelines to get around you).
- illegal because many of them don't know the road rules relative to bicycles.
- a class issue. When I have been dressed in working class safety shirts and king gees (as if I am riding to a manual job), I tend not to get the abuse I get when wearing lycra. Some people think being on a bike in lycra means you are out getting your exercise or otherwise having a good time, and have no right holding up people trying to make a buck. This view was deeply entrenched in at least one television station Mt Coot-tha.

IMO, it's nothing to do with cycling being a big freedom statement, and cars prisons.
I've never been abused by motorists when riding in a dedicated bicycle lane in Brisbane or Melbourne, presumably because I am not impacting the motorist's driving experience.
I've only been abused when in a general traffic lane, and impacting motorists' ability to drive in a semi detached, half attentive state of mind. In other words, I am a stress inducing obstacle who, if I had half a brain and consideration for others, would not ride a bicycle on the road....but travel in a car like the sane majority.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby high_tea » Sun Sep 23, 2012 10:13 pm

Mulger bill wrote:
Xplora wrote:KS/Tom, post of the year to you.

Until...
Xplora wrote:In Sydney, the car is not the dream. It is the nightmare, and we can't afford the solution. There are never enough lanes. Never enough bypasses. But a bike... ALWAYS enough lanes. Always a quicker way. Kerbs don't stop you from going the quicker way. A ton of metal isn't your straitjacket, rather 10kgs of carbon/alu/steel is your liberator.

The Bike is the dream that the driver wasted 20K to never get. :lol:

That's poetry that is. Thank you X. :D

Shaun

"The squares'll never get it, maaaaaaan".
"Tell it, bro"
:roll:

I think tribal thinking is the problem. The motorist-tribe is, as far as they are concerned, the only first-class road users. The idea of anyone else using the roads on terms as favourable (or worse still, more favourable) is anathema. So, stay out of their way and don't ever look like you're getting favours in terms of funding, laws or anything else. The cyclist-tribe, meantime, spends a lot of time congratulating themselves on their acumen in choosing the better tribe, as minority groups so often do.

Don't kid yourself it's jealousy. The typical cyclist-hater is no more jealous of cyclists than they are of stray sheep on the road. Also, the two are probably closer in their mind than I'm entirely comfortable with.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Howzat » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:04 pm

The only thing that motorists stuck in slow traffic hate more than cyclists is other motorists. The ones that are a tad too slow, or the ones cutting in, or the ones blocking you from cutting in, the P-platers, the L-platers, the hoons, the 4WD posers, the boy racers, the doof-doof cars, the tailgaters, the rich BMW-driving bankers, the honkers, the idiots, the morons, the cretins, and the bloody drongo bastards.

Maybe cyclists hear more of the abuse because we don't have rolled up windows blocking out the sounds. :)
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Xplora » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:52 pm

high_tea wrote:I think tribal thinking is the problem. The motorist-tribe is, as far as they are concerned, the only first-class road users.

Stop thinking about it, you're already correct. There are few arenas where the small of spirit and weak of brain can flex their muscles, and the road is one of them. The motorist tribe IS what you describe.

Sometimes you do need to pat yourself on the head and wonder how you didn't see the light... honestly, for an aggressive road user, the bike is utterly perfect. You can go as hard as you can, get those alpha tendencies into the cranks, and let your frustration go through the pedals. Yes, some commutes are a bit tough, but my question is simply "why are you going so far for work?!?" :lol:

Democracy can make this question harder to answer, but that's why you need real talent in the lobbying groups... with BNSW leading the way, it's not hard to see why they struggle to get outcomes.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:58 pm

I'm an amazing person 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 it’s not because I’m on a bike—I'm an amazing person on the road no matter what. I’m 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 I’m moving, I’m an accident waiting to happen.


taken from Slate.

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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:56 am

Howzat wrote:The only thing that motorists stuck in slow traffic hate more than cyclists is other motorists. The ones that are a tad too slow, or the ones cutting in, or the ones blocking you from cutting in, the P-platers, the L-platers, the hoons, the 4WD posers, the boy racers, the doof-doof cars, the tailgaters, the rich BMW-driving bankers, the honkers, the idiots, the morons, the cretins, and the bloody drongo bastards.

Maybe cyclists hear more of the abuse because we don't have rolled up windows blocking out the sounds. :)


You forgot the elderly :) .
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby ball bearing » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:48 am

This makes me think I need to buy a video camera.

"A teenager was knocked off his bicycle by a man in a four-wheel drive that appeared to be following him and mounted the footpath, Adelaide police say.

The 16-year-old boy told police he was riding his bike at Aldinga Beach, in Adelaide's south, on Sunday afternoon when he noticed a white 4WD that seemed to be following him.

He said the car drove onto the footpath and crashed into the rear of his bike, police said on Tuesday..."

http://www.skynews.com.au/local/article.aspx?id=798916
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby Ross » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:23 am

PawPaw wrote:Bike haters see cycling on roads as
- an unreasonably dangerous thing to do, done by mug lairs in lycra and psychopathic red light jumpers. That makes it not unreasonable to "teach them a lesson" by abusing, blowing horns, driving closely to scare them.
- making their driving experience more stressful (consequences of injuring cyclist), inconvenient (slows them down), and potentially dangerous for them (if they have to cross centrelines to get around you).
- illegal because many of them don't know the road rules relative to bicycles.
- a class issue. When I have been dressed in working class safety shirts and king gees (as if I am riding to a manual job), I tend not to get the abuse I get when wearing lycra. Some people think being on a bike in lycra means you are out getting your exercise or otherwise having a good time, and have no right holding up people trying to make a buck. This view was deeply entrenched in at least one television station Mt Coot-tha.

IMO, it's nothing to do with cycling being a big freedom statement, and cars prisons.
I've never been abused by motorists when riding in a dedicated bicycle lane in Brisbane or Melbourne, presumably because I am not impacting the motorist's driving experience.
I've only been abused when in a general traffic lane, and impacting motorists' ability to drive in a semi detached, half attentive state of mind. In other words, I am a stress inducing obstacle who, if I had half a brain and consideration for others, would not ride a bicycle on the road....but travel in a car like the sane majority.


This. Though I only ride in lycra these days so can't coment on the class thing, though I do find that tradie types (hi-vis workwear wearers) seem to be amongst the worst drivers in their behaviour toward cyclists. Maybe there are just more out there than other demographics?

I think a lot of drivers are ignorant of the fact that 2 tonnes of steel and plastic 30cm away from a cyclist while travelling 2 or 3 or more times the cyclist's speed is disconcerting to say the least for the cyclist and downright dangerous if it's a truck because of the wind draft that can suck you under their wheels as it drives past. So we may see close travelling vehicles as a malicious threat to our safety but many times it's just ignorance on behalf of the driver.
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Re: Why do people hate cyclists? Quickrelease.tv reflects ..

Postby il padrone » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:19 pm

Is this the motorists' reality? The joy they've been sold?




Or this?



And when a few cyclists appear in front of them, they jump to abuse and hatred, rather than seeing how they are all taking a car off the congested roads :roll:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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