I’ve come to know that whenever there is an article about cyclists on a website based in The Cesspool/los Estados Unidos/the US, it’s best to not read the article, and don’t read the comments. The chances are extremely high that the writer will be hating on cyclists and the comments from USans will be as vile as possible in their hatred for cyclists.
El 30 de junio de 2014. Hola. There’s no shortage of hatred, willful-ignorance and stupidity on the internet and the US takes top prize for all three. There’s also no shortage of obnoxious trolls who are proud of their ignorance and hatred.
Recently, there was an article about a cyclist in San Francisco, and I cautiously began scanning the comments. Ugh. They were as expected: vile, hateful and typical of what I’ve come to expect. One comment read: “All cyclists break the law. They’re uppity environmentalists and think they are better than anyone else. I hate them all.” What a lovely and very well-informed person. It’s as if there’s a group of cyclist haters out there that search the internet for articles that they can write their bile on, and one commenter after the other will pile on with their hatred of cyclists. Their theme song seems to be: “Cyclists never stop at stop signs” (which is a common lie they like to put out there). I’m a cyclist and I stop at stop signs all the time and at stop lights, but I’ve seen some cyclists who don’t, just as I’ve seen some motorists who don’t. And I don’t think that anyone who knows me well would describe me as, “an uppity environmentalist.”
There’s a stop sign a few blocks away from me where it’s rare for anyone to stop. I stop there when I’m on my bike and I’m just waiting for a motorist to blow his/her horn at me for coming to a complete stop there because it’s most rare for motorists to stop there at all. Nearly everyone breezes by that stop sign as if it’s a Yield sign. The UCSF shuttle (University of California-San Francisco) drivers stop there each time though. But it’s most rare to see any other vehicle do anything but slow down at the most.
Nearly any complaint about cyclists can also be made about motorists.
The most accidents and deaths out there involve motorists, not cyclists. It’s really not as black and white as the cyclist haters like to make it appear. And usually the most hateful comments on articles about cyclists get the most people in agreement with them. On the same threads, those that are objective and say what I’m saying here get the least amount of agreement. It’s a “my team is better than your team” type thing. Reminds me of that D and R partisan politics nonsense we have here in The Cesspool/Los Estados Unidos/the US. The haters of cyclists don’t like objective comments because objective people criticise both cyclists and motorists. The motorists want no criticism at all of motorists and try to give the impression that motorists are model drivers. If that were true, we would have a very different society today.
I remember a time when San Franciscans were critical of the car culture in Los Ángeles and there was—and still may be—this silly and immature rivalry between San Francisco and Los Ángeles. Well, today San Francisco is a car culture—lots of drab-coloured SUVs—but no one seems to mind the car culture now, although we are a very different city today unfortunately than we were during the days when people criticised Los Ángeles.
I’ve been subjected to a form of hate towards cyclists occasionally in San Francisco. I was riding my bike at about a slow walking speed and I was on a side street on the sidewalk. No one was around. I often ride slowly on the sidewalk because it feels safer than the rough streets today in San Francisco. I had stopped to look at some roses in someone’s gated yard. As I started to leave the roses, some sidewalk anti-cyclist troll said to me, “get off the sidewalk.” I completely ignored the sidewalk troll, didn’t look at him (I think he was crossing towards me in the street but I completely ignored him) and I just continued on the sidewalk very slowly, as I usually do. If he wanted me off the sidewalk, he took the wrong approach because I often do the exact opposite of what someone wants me to do if I consider the person to be a bully, which he was. He doesn’t know me; I wasn’t about to get off the sidewalk. I wasn’t in his way or in anyone else’s way. There was no one around other than Mr Bully Troll/Mr Busy Body. I thought to myself something I could have said to him if I had chosen to say something: “So you would rather me be in the street which is a one-way street with traffic going in the opposite direction than I’m going? Brilliant Mr Troll! Brilliant! I’ve ridden out on that street before but it feels a little risky going against traffic. Maybe you should try it.” This clueless cyclist-hating Bully clearly must not have given any thought to the one-way street and that I would be going the wrong direction on a one-way street. And I wouldn’t be surprised if this Bully were a “law and order” type nut. So why would Mr Bully want me to be going the wrong direction on a one-way street? Loco, and mind your own damn business, Mr Busy-Body Bully Troll. This happened in San Francisco’s Castro barrio so it didn’t surprise me. I’ve previously written about the amount of hatred and bullying in The Castro these days on occasion.
I know from experience that some cyclists are assholes as I’ve encountered a few myself even recently. But I try not to be one myself. The same can be said for motorists. Some motorists are assholes.
The Stupidphone Addicts
Oh those idiots! Get off the thing and drive! I often ride at night and I’m very visible with my lights. The main problem with motorists these days are the stupidphone-addicted motorists who sit in their vehicles with every light on (except the interior light) at night engaged in their stupidphone addiction and oblivious to their surroundings. I often see vehicles like that and I don’t know whether to ride by them and then have them pull out in front of me or onto me without looking, or to stop a few cars behind them for my safety. I usually stop and wait to see what the idiot just sitting there behind the wheel wasting battery energy is going to do. Often it appears they have no idea what they’re going to do. So usually, I get on the sidewalk and ride by and glance in the passenger window and I can see they’re absorbed on their stupidphone with (as I said) every possible light on the vehicle turned on, OR just as I’m riding by on the sidewalk they pull out and leave. Did they look in their mirror before they pulled out? Doubtful. That’s why I chose the sidewalk so I wouldn’t get hit while their mind is still glued to their stupidphone, or it’s still in their hand and they’re texting that ever-critical sex message.
I’ve also seen some idiot cyclists riding on rough streets with their heads down engaged in their stupidphone addiction. IDIOTS! This city is full of idiots these days. Apparently the cyclists I’ve seen want to be involved in an accident while staring down towards the ground at with their stupidphone in hand. They’re absorbed with that gadget possibly to see if someone “liked” their picture of a prune they uploaded earlier that day to some billionaire’s “social media network” site. Then if the cyclist were “doored” or a vehicle pulled out in front of them, they would likely blame the motorist when the cyclist was equally responsible for the accident.
Then there are the motorists who use turn signals. I didn’t know that vehicles were still manufactured with turn signals based on my experience these days with motorists. But apparently vehicles are still equipped with turn signals, and with the few motorists who use them, most motorists do the opposite of what they say they’re going to do by their turn signal. Just the other night, a motorist next to me had the right turn signal on at a stop sign, but went straight ahead instead of turning right. This type of thing has happened to me many times with motorists so I never assume where they’re going since they seemingly don’t know either. Loco/a. They appear to be loco and/or absorbed with their stupidphone addiction, so again, they’re not paying attention to what they’re doing. These stupidphones are one of the worse things ever created mostly because of the addiction factor and texting while driving.
Many of the streets in San Francisco today are so rough and some streets almost feel like they’re going to throw me off my bike so that’s one of the reasons I ride on the sidewalk, which I suspect the anti-cyclist crowd have never considered. There is no chance of being “doored” or having a vehicle pull out on me or directly in front of me when I’m on the sidewalk. That happened a week ago when I was in the street and fortunately there was no traffic on the other side so I was able to swerve over to the sidewalk on the other side of this more narrow street to avoid being hit by a motorist who didn’t look first before pulling out from his/her parking space. (Was the driver on his/her stupidphone?) When I’m on the sidewalk, I ride at about a walking speed and I stay clear of doorways and people. Often, I pull over and stop by the parking meters to allow people to pass, in part, because I don’t want any hate coming at me. Fortunately, most people don’t hate on me verbally for being on the sidewalk. Just occasionally. When some cyclist hater says to me, “pedestrians on the sidewalk, cyclists in the street” I feel like asking: Well Mr Busybody, where do you want wheelchairs to be? I see wheelchairs on the sidewalk too and some of them move very quickly—much faster than I do—because they’re motorised. You want them in the street too? Except for online, it’s always a guy (not a female) on a fucking power trip who is trolling/hating on cyclists. What is with that?
I found an article on another site about this topic and most of the comments are readable. You can check it out here as well as the other links below. Chau.—rosa barrio
Cycling strong at 80
“…only 10% of trips by US elderly are by walking or cycling, compared to 43% in Germany, 51% in Denmark, and 64% in the Netherlands.
“The much higher levels of walking and cycling in northern Europe provide important physical activity, mobility, and independence for all age groups, while children and seniors in the U.S. are often dependent on their families, neighbors, and friends for many trips they need to make.”
———- COMMENTS (Manually posted from e-mail) ———-
07.01.14 I don’t understand this hatred for cyclist from motorists but I agree with you when I’ve read comments from people the motorists have no criticisms of other motorists yet they’re the main ones on the streets and freeways causing problems.
07.01.14 Watch you get a lot of hate e-mail because of this article. Remember when that cyclist hit that pedestrian at Castro and Market in SF and the pedestrian later died? There was so much hate for that cyclist and the media exploited it overload. Around the same time a SUV plowed into two children and their father on their bicycles on the sidewalk in Concord California (links below), but that incident got very little attention by the media. The motorists only talked about the pedestrian that died after being hit by a cyclist but the SUV hitting 3 cyclists and killing 2 of them was no big deal to them or the media. Can I give you the links to those stories:
Rare pedestrian deaths exploited by bicycle foes
Teen Driver Arrested After SUV Hits 3 Cyclists In Concord, Killing 2