Friday photo: bloody motorists…

You can hardly walk anywhere in the countryside 'round here without your way being blocked by some anti-social motorist who has left a vehicle on a footpath...

Even after all this time, I still find it so bizarre that in any mainstream media discussion of cycling and related policy, somebody inevitably tries to de-rail the discussion by shouting about how cyclists are all selfish lawless hooligans who cycle on the pavement.

As a pedestrian, I’m obviously no fan of other road users invading our space.

But, to the sort of person who doesn’t get out much and doesn’t think that they’ve ever even met somebody who rides a bicycle, it’s difficult to communicate the fact that “cyclists” and “cycling” describes an extremely diverse set of people and activities that can not be generalised.  One type of “cyclist” might be unable to identify with another type of “cyclist”, and there’s no reason why we should expect them to — they are strangers from different cultures and demographics, united only by their ownership some sort of a bicycle.

Indeed, what are the chances that the lawless hooligan on the pavement is riding a bicycle whose cruel loss some other cyclist is still mourning?

So perhaps the closest analogous scenario that the complainant might understand is to berate motorists for all these ugly burnt-out cars that they leave lying around, spoiling the footpaths on the hills.  You motorists

(Similarly, I hate all you bloody bus passengers: if you want to listen to some awful pseudo-R&B pop crap, get some bloody headphones.  And you assholes who use trains, yes, you, all of you: get your dirty shoes off the seats. You disgust me, every last one of you.)

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