I Own a Bicycle/I’m a Cyclist: Harbinger of Bullying

I have previous dealt with motivations of those who bully bicycle in a general sense. Now I’d like to get more specific.

I have noticed that the types of people who bully cyclists can be broken into two groups. Those who don’t like bicycles and those who claim to have the lofty title of cyclist.

In many ways, I feel that, on the road, the second group is the most dangerous.

This is counter-intuitive, to me at least, because you’d think that we’d get more than three feet from someone who knows what it’s like for someone to encase themselves in a few tons of steel then try to cozy up to us at high speed. Often this is true. I recall many, many times I noticed that I got lots of room, better yielding, and in general the normal amount of respect that I’d expect to get in a world where everyone was sane, rational, and kind. Sometimes, on really dangerous roads such as hard climbs in high speed road some motorists will BLOCK TRAFFIC TO PROTECT ME. This is awesome, and I appreciate, but I don’t expect it. I’m glad when it happens, though.

However, there’s the other kind of micro-manager “cyclist” who always seems to be motoring. Yet while he motors all the time, he feels like he has earned the right to judge cyclist by his occasional, weekend cycling which always occurs a few years in the past. (Note by he, I mean male, most women do not do this.)

Since they are cyclists, they do NOT need to give us three feet because they are one of us. They are _good_ people while all the other motorists are assholes. Except they are not. I’d rather the motorist who didn’t give me three feet be a motorist, only, because at least he would have an excuse.

Since these guys are motoring all the time, and they treat real humans on bicycles in ways that they would not want to be treated, I’d like to call these guys by a new name. Instead of cyclists, I’ll call them cyclopaths. A cyclopath is a guy who thinks he has the right to mistreat cyclists, while in his car, because he is a cyclist.

I have heard reports of cyclopaths who honk at cyclists, harass them, and some have tried to deliberately hit cyclists with doors. They don’t do this because they are out of control assholes who should have their liscense revoked, but rather because they are trying to communicate–to teach us a lesson.

So here’s a rule for all the cyclopaths who are reading, and I know that there none, but I like talking to myself: respect us, follow traffic laws, give us space, but DON’T EDUCATE US AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON’T HELP US. We don’t need a lesson how to ride safely from a douche bag in an SUV. Any kind of interaction where we’re talking to one another, and you are sealed off the world and sitting above me on your throne is going to be negative.

In my city, if you honk in any case where there’s NOT an impending collision YOU BROKE THE LAW. You’re automatically a criminal, and you owe a debt to society. If you are angry with cyclists in your car. STOP. Pull over NOW and wait until you are calm enough to continue motoring. Please do not drive under the influence of anger.

Also, no violent jokes about cyclists. I have said before that I enjoy them, but when I hear these jokes now, I see a very weak and cowardly man who both wants to speak his truth to the world, but knows that we’ll hate him for it. Guess what. The reason we don’t laugh at your jokes is not because we are too sensitive or don’t have a sense of humor. You can’t ride a bike here and be “sensitive”.

I’ll wrap this up by saying that while I do understand why cyclists get angry, and I’d never second guess a cyclist’s behavior on the road because I wasn’t there, and there are too many complex issues for my puny brain to comprehend. So this is not a criticism or even an example for other cyclists.

But personally, for me, I don’t feel like it’s healthy for me to accept anyone in my reality who’s a dick. I don’t feel like I need to experience a second more of negative emotions than I need to. Therefore, if someone honks at me, they buzz me, or they yell at me, I try to totally ignore them. I don’t believe in feeding a fire so therefore, on the road, I have no response. It’s as if I am deaf, dumb, and blind.

I consider anyone who to harasses cyclists to be a pathetic, attention seeking whore, and I don’t feel like I should reward them with my attention or my anger.

I know that this is a hopeless ideal, and I often fail in this endeavor, but this is how I intend to live my life. I don’t acknowledge or talk to angry motorists, and I definitely don’t argue with them on the road.


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