Why Cars Hate Us!

I have spent the last few weeks trying to figure out why drivers hate cyclists.  It seems most drivers will not tolerate any interruption to their driving experience including slowing down and yielding to pedestrians or moving over a few feet for cyclists.  Perhaps that’s too tall an order considering drivers won’t even yield to one another.   Our cars are not a sovereign nation that needs defending from occupation at every mile marker.  What is it about driving that makes drivers feel the road is theirs alone and everyone else is trespassing in their route?

Last week while visiting Munich I got the impression that driving was truly looked on as a privilege.  Almost everywhere I went there was a bike rack, bike lanes with separate traffic signals, bike paths, bikers and bike shops.  It was incredible, a more organized Amsterdam, cyclists passed pedestrians and blended seamlessly with automobiles.

Even more astonishing at every intersection pedestrians would wait for a “walk” signal.  This stunning phenomenon occurred even if cars were stopped long enough to for it to seem obvious it was safe to cross, regardless people would not walk unless the sign told them so.  Amazing! What a concept.  Back here people walk out in the street whenever they feel like it and feel justified in doing so.


Shifting gears from irony and humor to sadness, a bicycle commuter was hit and killed by a bus a few weeks ago in the same town where I was hit.  I rode along with 29 other riders in the bicycle procession from his funeral to his burial, a moving tribute I am glad to have been a part of.



Though touched, part of me was troubled by a couple of the riders around me.

After the first turn, I heard a voice say “On your left!”  I looked over my shoulder to finda woman dressed in black and yellow off her saddle pumping her legs and sneering at me.  There was plenty of room for her and four other bikes to pass me, but I shifted right anyway.

Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined any ride other than a slow, quiet convoy of cyclists paying respects to a fallen fellow.   Sadly I was proven wrong.

After being made fun of for not dressing for this Giro de Funeral in a tailored yellow cycling kit.  The aforementioned, “On your left!” gal was complaining that our pace was too slow.  At least she had enough sensitivity to take a direct connect cell phone call during the burial and final goodbyes and not while we were riding.  Someone should have told her that bushes, don’t dampen sound like her over priced carbon Scott roadie dampens asphalt vibration.

Her appalling behavior aside, what happened on the ride back bothers me even more.

It was raining, the roads were slick and covered with a solid layer of leaves, the shoulders were hardly wide enough to accommodate our tires.  The two riders in front of me were riding side by side talking, as the line of desperate cars trying to pass us grew, I kept shouting “Car Up,” “Car back,” “CAR” nothing moved these guys.  I fell back to observe the mess and because I didn’t care to keep up or be associated with a group that is embodies the reason cars hate cyclists.  The cars were trapped behind these riders for nearly a mile: a mile at 20mph for a car is eternity.

So I’ll say it again, forever and ever, Sharing the Road requires both cars and none cars to share together.  We need to yield just as much as they do!

I am not 100% innocent on this front either

Pete and I spent a lot of our ride time riding side by side when we could across the country.  After realizing we were hypocrites it was still a very hard habit to break.  Even now when I ride with other folks I love to talk with, I really have to be mindful of not hogging the road.  Us cyclists are going to have to be the change we want to see happen and that includes riding single file down single lane roads.  We could wear radio headsets (with one ear piece) to carry on conversations, but we need to universally work together as one, to set the good habits of road sharing for all road users.

And not to forget them when we turn the ignition of our cars when we’re not riding.

Happy Thanksgiving, be safe always!


Check out the new clip, I’m not the only one who flatted out or crashed!


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