I have been riding a bike seriously since 1982. During that time, I have been spit on, run off the road, run into oncoming traffic, had beer bottles broken across my back, had a McDonalds shake splattered across my face, had a used tampon thrown at me…luckily it missed, been called an asshole, jerk, been asked “what the fuck is wrong with you?,” been told to get a job and so on and so forth. I’ve been grazed by fenders and knocked into ditches. When Ford decided that the mirrors on the Excursion should stick out a foot and a half, I was whacked in the head twice by soccer moms who thought these behemoth vehicles were necessary. I’ve had several fist fights and have used the bottom of my cleat more than a few times on someone’s car, then explained to them the damage would have been worse had they hit me. Do I hate motorists for this? No, absolutely not. Most of the time, I’m a motorist too. I think there needs to be give and take on both sides. I’m offering my top nine reasons as to why I think motorists hate cyclists. I know, it’s supposed to be top 10 but that’s been beat to death. Enjoy.
Reason 1: In inner city driving, cyclists can advance faster than cars due to the fact that they’re not stuck in traffic. It’s a psychological blow to the person in the car.
Reason 2: People in vehicles feel like the road belongs to them. In most cases, they feel like cyclists are illegally trespassing. They seem to forget that bicycles have been around much longer than cars.
Reason 3: Cyclists appear to have more fun. Case in point, a cyclist commuting to work alongside a car may not look like a commuter at all, but more like a guy out having fun. This enrages the motorist into thinking that maybe the cyclist should get a job.
Reason 4: Cyclists wear nerdy clothes. Even if you don’t wear the Spandex shorts or the replica Radio Shack jersey, you can still look pretty weird wearing a helmet and reflective vest. You might as well be poindexter in a high school hallway with a pocket protector.
Reason 5: Some cyclists are assholes. I was once told that two teaspoons of motor oil could contaminate all of the potable water on a ship. Translated, one jerk cyclist who rides in the middle of the road and pisses off motorists, ruins it for everyone else.
Reason 6: In general, motorists don’t know the laws when it comes to cyclists. The main rule is, cyclists should go with the flow of traffic. I’ve often had yelled to me that I was on the wrong side of the road. For those still having trouble with it, walk against traffic, ride a bike with traffic.
Reason 7: Some motorists think cyclists should be on sidewalks. OK people, the operative word in sidewalk is walk.
Reason 8: Why aren’t cyclist allowed on freeways and interstates? The minimum CC of an engine is 125. These engines have at least 40 horsepower in general. The average cyclist typically pumps out between a half a horsepower and one and a half.
Reason 9: Because we shave our legs.