….cyclists, we rapidly learned, were vile, dangerous outlaws who shot red lights, paid no tax, rode on the pavement (sidewalks) and behaved with utter disregard for the safety of anyone else on the road.
Sounds familiar. That’s from the UK.
This is the most important insight from the post:
While this noise was going on, I had a small epiphany. The cyclists were hated because they are cheats. They are getting away with something that car drivers cannot.
Drivers are often mad that bikers “get away” with things that cars can’t(even though the GAP trail enforcement just show how “getting away” has more to do with enforcement than anything else). However, some of these things are not even an issue of illegality like passing on the right of stopped traffic. People are mad that their cars have a physical limitation preventing them from doing that and if a car could fit in that space I am 100% positive that they would do it. People are mad that bikes can legally go from road to sidewalk as it is convenient to them(outside of business districts). They get mad that bikers have this convenience and they don’t while they ignore or take for granted all of the conveniences granted to drivers. If it bothers them so much, then they should bike.
It’s an interesting conclusion I’d love to believe: “The point is that it’s wrong to look at the unpleasant emotional compost around the roots of morality and conclude that nothing worthwhile grows from spite or smugness. Morality isn’t just a matter of overcoming our instincts, but of bending them towards justice and sometimes we succeed.”
However, I have to call B.S. While the author may be driving more slowly, he had to work to put himself in a mindset and then step back out of it again to do anything good with it.
And I’m not at all convinced he succeeded stepping into the real mindset. People may explain things post-facto in terms of things like hating cheats or whatever and he may have put himself in the mindset suggested by those words, but people are awfully good at rationalizing any which way.
It’s really all driven by emotion, mostly here insecurity, as evidenced by the complete asymmetry, the total absence of remorse or even introspection of drivers’ own dangerous driving behavior. And there are no signs he can point to except his own flawed thought experiment about how any of that is going to change.
I think the only answer is just this, more people on bikes.