I don’t. Let’s just get that clear off the bat. I’m a cyclist. I’m also a motorist, a user of public transport and a recreational (poor) jogger.
I hate that expression. I hate when it’s said to me because all I can think is “wow, normally people take a bit longer than that to hate me”. It’s the typical expression that people use as a blanket excuse to further this “them and us” bollocks that Irish people are so very good at.
It makes no sense to irrationality hate all of a particular group based on the poor actions of some who use that transport. Some who choose not to drive to work or get public transport. Some who have chosen not to add to your traffic jam or take up another seat on the bus.
“I Hate Cyclists” – It’s a worrying statement. It’s a statement which states that people are getting into their cars with hate and anger already in them. Hate and anger are not emotions which belong behind the wheel of a car. They are dangerous and cause people to make stupid and silly mistakes.
Yes yes, I know, this occurs both behind the wheel and behind the handlebars. Let me tell you though, those emotions are a hell of a lot scarier when you’re on two wheels at the end of someone else’s irrational hatred.
By the way, cyclists jumping the lights pisses me off too. It also pisses off most cyclists who obey the rules of the road. Try actually looking at the cyclists waiting at the lights before saying “All cyclists go through traffic lights” and notice the ones left waiting. Oh and I actually do have insurance for cycling. Road tax? Not a real thing. You pay an emissions tax for what comes out of your exhaust.
It’s not an easy change though, is it? Trying to make everybody see that the road is for everyone’s use, not just those in a hurry. It’s a behavioural change which will take time. Until then people will still keep dying needlessly because we can’t leave our egos at the door. We’re still a long way from where we need to be because we can’t see each other as people once we get behind the wheel.
As a cyclist and a motorist I’ll be one of the first to say that our roads are not suited for use by all forms of transport thrown in together. That’s simple. Ideally cyclists and motorised traffic wouldn’t share the same stretches of road. But, we do. Patience and understanding would help a lot in making that environment safer for everyone. At the very least it would help to make sure that more people make it home to their loved ones. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be another father taken from another daughter just because somebody couldn’t let their ego go for a minute.
Why would I keep cycling if there’s so many people in cars, trucks, vans and buses willing to take a chance on whether or not they’ll hit me one day? If you have to ask then you don’t know. It’s a great form of exercise. It’s (mostly) relaxing and very low impact, unless of course somebody gets too close and you end up on the windshield, under a tyre or in a ditch.
So, next time you’re coming up on a cyclist, somebody out jogging, a tractor, a learner driver, somebody doing the speed limit and that ego kicks in just take a second to think. Think about who is in front of you. Think about their family. Think about the potential damage you could do. Think about your own family. Think about the implications of letting the immature ego make the adult decisions. Just take a second to think.