Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?


rfryer
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby rfryer » 2 Apr 2019, 8:49am

Her linked story takes you to Dame Sarah Storey suggesting that we have separate words for sports and utility cyclists.

I don't have a problem with that in terms of enriching the language. However, the motivation is that "cyclists" are being demonised. In that context it's not helpful to fragment cyclists into sub-groups, each less capable of defending itself. Surely there's strength in numbers?

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Cugel
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby Cugel » 2 Apr 2019, 9:04am

It's a very old human mistake - to assume that the name, label or signifier of something is somehow the problem with the thing-signified. Once upon a time it was the common and unconcious belief that a thing and it's name were somehow part of one single bit of reality. We no longer believe that yet go on behaving as though it were true.

If there are humans or a cultural group of them with a mindset involving the irrational hatred of people on bicycles, then changing or varying the descriptors for bike riders will not stem the hatred. Bike-rider haters don't hate a word, they hate the activity and those performing it.

The same is true, if you think about it or consider the history, of other labels that become unfashionable, politically incorrect or whatever. "Crippled" now sounds like a bad word but so do a succesion of other descriptors for people who are disabled (and even that word is now frowned upon). But no matter what word is applied, the problem is those who look down upon or persecute those who are the victims. Those victims will continue to be victimised no matter what label is used to describe them.

Sometimes we can get rid of a whole category. Many reject the very notion of race, for example. But ban all the descriptive racist words you like .... racism will remain a toxic attitude in the heads of racists.

Cugel

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Wanlock Dod
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby Wanlock Dod » 2 Apr 2019, 9:12am

I’m pretty sure that I have read that somewhere in the US or Canada they managed to reduce some of these kinds of effects (it might have been resistance to providing cycle infrastructure) by having a campaign to encourage people to refer to people on bikes or some such. I suppose it makes the people cycling seem more human, and that would seem to be the basic problem that this is all about.

reohn2
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby reohn2 » 2 Apr 2019, 9:22am

I agree with Cugel,changing a name won'tchange the behaviour of the opperessor.
The whole problem stems from either a belief of righteous superiority or simple idiocy.
The superior belief has at it's heart thuggery,the idiocy is a lack of thought of the consequences of actions.
Either shows a lack of empathy for their fellow wo/man.
But when a country supports a class system like the UK does what can you expect?
I've had some unbelievable conversations with people about cyclists that illustrate the point perfectly.
Last edited by reohn2 on 2 Apr 2019, 9:27am, edited 1 time in total.
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reohn2
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby reohn2 » 2 Apr 2019, 9:26am

Wanlock Dod wrote:I’m pretty sure that I have read that somewhere in the US or Canada they managed to reduce some of these kinds of effects (it might have been resistance to providing cycle infrastructure) by having a campaign to encourage people to refer to people on bikes or some such. I suppose it makes the people cycling seem more human, and that would seem to be the basic problem that this is all about.

Whilst on this very forum a person on a bike or POB is itself used as a derogatory term.Ive also heard cyclists refer to other cyclists as 'not being proper cyclists' :?
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landsurfer
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby landsurfer » 2 Apr 2019, 9:44am

I was told i was not a proper cyclist and that people like me make life hard for all other cyclists .... because i don't wear a helmet. :roll:
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby Vorpal » 2 Apr 2019, 9:50am

We could all wear t-shirts or jerseys that say, 'cyclists are people, too'.

There, problem sorted ;)
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reohn2
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby reohn2 » 2 Apr 2019, 9:57am

Vorpal wrote:We could all wear t-shirts or jerseys that say, 'cyclists are people, too'.

There, problem sorted ;)

I'd have to wear it over the top of my 'caravaners are people too' t-shirt :wink:
PS,which is already being worn over the top of my 'Ebikers are people too' t-shirt :shock:
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kwackers
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby kwackers » 2 Apr 2019, 10:05am

Vorpal wrote:We could all wear t-shirts or jerseys that say, 'cyclists are people, too'.

There, problem sorted ;)

I can't remember the exact wording because I only briefly glanced at it but the buses in Liverpool seem to have acquired (large) posters on the back saying something along the lines of:-

"Sometimes the safest place for a cyclist is the middle of the lane", "it could be your son/daughter", "share the space".

pwa
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby pwa » 2 Apr 2019, 10:07am

landsurfer wrote:I was told i was not a proper cyclist and that people like me make life hard for all other cyclists .... because i don't wear a helmet. :roll:

I wear a helmet most of the time I'm on a bike but on a short trip to visit a neighbour I went without and was told to "wear a helmet" by a passing old bloke in lycra on his carbon racer. I just told him where to go, in no uncertain terms. There are times to be polite, and there are times not to.

On the main question, this looks like the Guardian just bouncing daft ideas around inside its little bubble. The people on the street will continue using whatever words they like regardless of what somebody writing in the Guardian thinks. It is just hot air.

Oldjohnw
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby Oldjohnw » 2 Apr 2019, 4:04pm

landsurfer wrote:I was told i was not a proper cyclist and that people like me make life hard for all other cyclists .... because i don't wear a helmet. :roll:



I was told I was not a proper cyclist because I wear a helmet.
John

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charliepolecat
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby charliepolecat » 2 Apr 2019, 9:21pm

Along the irrational hatred of cyclist theme, on Saturday I was riding along a quiet country road with no traffic except a pick-up truck which was emerging from a side lane ahead of me. On seeing me the driver coming in the opposite direction drove towards me with his middle digit (I live in the states) erected the time he was passing to show his displeasure with me on a bike.

Why? He had never seen me before, I wasn't in his way, we had no otherwise quarrel with each other. His was just a typical reaction from people like him driving pick-ups towards someone like me enjoying a day out on a bicycle. I have no doubt that had we met at a store, him parking and me off the bike, he wouldn't have given me a second thought, but encased inside his 'man' truck, he was fortifide with his bias towards people who look different.

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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby mattsccm » 2 Apr 2019, 9:40pm

Just more trendy buggering about trying to keep some whinger happy. What's wrong with labels if correct? Oh yeah, the truth can hurt. So what. The word cyclist is a good one. Its a single word not two or three. Thus the best.

pete75
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby pete75 » 3 Apr 2019, 9:06am

pwa wrote:On the main question, this looks like the Guardian just bouncing daft ideas around inside its little bubble. The people on the street will continue using whatever words they like regardless of what somebody writing in the Guardian thinks. It is just hot air.

It's a thoughtful and well written article as is the Sarah Storey one it links to. Many people I've heard complaining about cyclists refer to the lycra clad chain gangs and pretend road racers such as the groups who come through our village and use many of the roads hereabouts. I've not heard one complaint or moan about people like old Mrs Green who rides her bike to the shop and post office in the next village.

Those of you on the political right have a Pavlov dogs reaction that anything written in the Guardian must be wrong without actually thinking about the contents of the article. Admittedly those of different opinions to yourself may have a similar reaction to stuff written about cycling in the Mail or Express but usually with some justification.