I am tired of it. The little pricks who assaulted me tonight. The drivers who drive up your ass. The Pitt brosephs who scream “faggot” at us. Why are people so freakin hostile towards cyclists? What a benign, harmless activity and it just gets people so bent out of shape. Drivers I sort of understand – sure they’re pissy cause we’re slowing them down (right or wrong). But bystanders, they can’t mind their own business?
Just tired of it. Timito maybe you are on to something brother.
there is a large population of people who are nice out there. i think that we don’t notice all of the people who are nice and leaving us alone. we just notice that smaller percentage of the population that have no manners and think it’s hilarious to be an asshole to people. and i think the nice weather really brings it out for some reason. we just happen to be there and it’s easy for these people to show off to their friends or take it out on us, cause they think what are cyclists gonna do to them? it’s really sad.
++ what stefb said – they’re not bent out of shape over cyclists, they’re just venting their bent-out-of-shapedness on cyclists because cyclists are an easier target than their own crap past decisions, their bosses, spouses, jobs, families, neighbors, banks, politics, etc.
Without that protective metal cage shield of mass conformity (and the occasional happy hobbyist – sorry Nick!), we are easy pickings and stand out as defenseless.
Noah, I’m very glad you’re ok.
One of the things I do on occasion is count the cars/people that don’t honk/yell/rev/other-rude-activity. Typically I get high enough numbers before my destination that my perspective shifts to a more comfortable place, even if there are a bunch of bad apples en route. I think your evening puts you a bit past that, though, because a large number of benign people doesn’t balance out those 5 kids. The larger number has to be more proactive than benign. Otherwise, well, what happened happens. Or worse.
I think it’s the weather. I had a retired firefighter driving a hybrid civic honk and speed pass me heading down brereton towards the strip yesterday.
Needless to say, he didn’t get very far and was first to the redlight at 28th and Penn. we exchanged expletives and both turned on penn. He was first to the redlight on 26th… see the pattern here? he will always simply be first to the redlight.
Yeah, it’s bad. And not just from (effectively) parentless little delinquents.
The first day of class this semester, someone noticed my helmet and I confessed that I commute by bicycle most days.
One of the students, a young middle class African-American woman, blurted out, “Oh, God I hate those people!”
“What do you mean,” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she said. “Sometimes I just want to run those people over!”
“Well,” I finally said after a long, awkward pause. “I am one of those people. So, maybe you should think about that.”
Keep in mind that she is a student taking a course at Pitt whose subject is Urban America, and that I am the teacher.
Huh. Seems like it might be worthwhile to know her name, just on the off chance that under some unfortunate future circumstance she should claim “he just swerved right in front of me.”
“Huh. Seems like it might be worthwhile to know her name, just on the off chance that under some unfortunate future circumstance she should claim “he just swerved right in front of me.”
You know I can’t do that. Besides, it’s my job to turn that into the so-called teachable moment. And I did, though not much on that particular day. She’s learning. That’s her job. Reading Jane Jacobs and almost getting hit by a car when she stepped off of a PAT bus seems to have helped.
group of three got honked at 3 times on the way to brunch today… i have no idea why, i asked one of the people why they honked and they just shrugged like they were surprised that they needed a reason to honk.
It may be a bit like trying to figure out why people are bullies (in grade school, in high school, at work, in traffic…). Probably lots of reasons…misdirected rage, entitlement, lack of vision about how one’s life could be lived differently, etc etc. Sometimes its just beyond reason….
I was watching some of the videos from the “it gets better” project launched by columnist Dan Savage in response to the recent spate of gay teens who have committed suicide in response to pervasive bullying. To paraphrase Savage’s long term partner in one of the videos: THE BEST REVENGE IS TO LIVE WELL.
And I’ve noticed drivers are extra nutty and aggressive on game day – Pitt football, Steelers, Penguins – before, during, and after the game. Win or lose.
as a former uptown resident, i can assure you that penguins games bring out some of the biggest jagoff drivers around. it would be interesting to know what percentage of the crowd at a penguins game lives in the city
On the way home from Friday’s Flock, someone in the park from the bushes under the Anderson Bridge yelled “faggot” and claimed they were gong to kick my ass.
But then, they declined to come talk to me and my U-lock. Foolish of me, but it was 150 feet from my house and I didn’t want to tolerate that.
It would have been better to shout out “What is it about gay men that facinates you?”
All in all, though, there is only a tiny fraction of the harassment of cyclists compared with last century.
Erok, under 10% easily. I am a hockey nerd and go to games when I can afford it. Maybe under 5% honestly.
I’ve had a lot of “good” experiences with drivers lately, I’ve become a lot more accommodating. I had a tractor trailer pause, actually put his brakes on because I let him make his somewhat illegal turn in front of me earlier.
Conversely I had some guy honk at me because we were both stuck behind a truck on Butler st. I was first.
I rolled back ten feet to see what the emergency might be. Dude starts, yelling, MFing me, so I spit on his windshield, no actual saliva, just a gesture.
He jumps out, kinda oozed out really. Now were gonna fight. I’m standing by the curb on the street, off my bike.
This guy is one of those guys that thinks fighting means yelling and flopping around on the sidewalk. I don’t think he’s ever been in a real fight, not with me anyways. He can’t stop bitching. I ram he’s car with my bike. Now he’s gonna call the cops. I hit his car. Obviously there is no damage but I think I hurt his pride. I prompt him to call the police, they’ll be pleased when they show up and he explains how his car was hit by a bike.
I tell him the cops know where I live and I’ll be at home.
@dooftram, that’s a pretty amazing story, it just shows how quick people are right now to openly reject another segment of society, gays, bikers, arabs, whatever, it’s become almost a badge of honor to see how many people you can hate. Thank talk radio for that. Where the fk has civility gone?
Ever thought of having a lab session for the class on urban america, on bikes?
re: “I tell him the cops know where I live and I’ll be at home.” excellent.
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