/ Ken Storie: Thoughts
Just a mention of the word “cyclist” in any article seems to elicit a stream of vitriol that to an objective observer might seem a tad overwrought. Something about the idea that cyclists should have more rights and perhaps a bit more consideration on roads touches a nerve.
It is true that cyclists have been observed breaking rules, ignoring traffic signs, and engaging in reckless behavior. Just like car drivers.
The anti-cycling crowd seem to miss the big difference. Dangerous drivers are wielding two-tonne killing machines at high speed and the result is thousands of road deaths per year.
To some car enthusiast that difference doesn’t seem readily apparent.
Why is that? And why are they so angry at cyclists?
Scratch anger and you uncover fear, perhaps guilt, perhaps recognition that a regime change may be on the way.
They understand, perhaps not even on a conscious level, that car culture in all its subtle and pervasive forms is under attack. And that is an attack on their rights. Roads are for cars. Roads are theirs.
They understand, especially on an unconscious level, that their insistence on the rights of car drivers is selfish in an environmental and in a social sense. They get defensive. And they get vocal.