BBC: War on Two Wheels

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Cyril Haearn
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Cyril Haearn » 13 Aug 2020, 10:08am

I hate bullies, those who are bigger, more powerful, who oppress others who are smaller, less powerful
On the road, in the media..

I hate bullies
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DevonDamo
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby DevonDamo » 13 Aug 2020, 10:38am

simonineaston wrote:Worth a look...
(Looked up outgroup derogation and am somewhat relieved that I never studied sociology!)


Thanks. I don't agree with the line being taken on that website, i.e. that antagonism towards cyclists is mainly a product of both cycling being equated with 'freeloading' and the fact that cars are bigger than bikes. The reason I disagree with this is straightforward: antagonism between supposedly equal car drivers is just as intense, and this indicates there's something else going on. As I've said before, I think this 'something else' is simply that driving/cycling allows you to (1) identify a group who aren't like you (othering) and (2) vent your frustration without fear of social consequences. 'jdsk' has already posted some really interesting links about (1) but here's a true anecdote to illustrate (2):

2 years ago, I was driving on a motorway when a traffic-jam brought us all to a standstill. As luck would have it, I was in Lane 1 and about 2 car-lengths away from the exit to the motorway services where I had a hotel booked for that night. After several minutes, I decided to break the law and use the hard shoulder to get the 30 feet to the exit. I'm always paranoid about getting nicked at the best of times, so I first spent ages looking for cameras or police, and pulled out very tentatively. As I was passing the car in front, he blared his horn. My genuine reaction was "he's warning me of something - e.g. an emergency vehicle coming up the hard shoulder or a camera." I did another mirror check but couldn't see anything, so wound down my window down and signalled for him to do likewise. Honestly, at this point, I hadn't even considered he was expressing frustration and was genuinely intending to ask him what he was warning me about. I got brief eye-contact with a clearly frustrated man who then turned his head 90 degrees to his right, kept his window up and for the next excruciating 15 seconds, I tried in vain to get his attention whilst he pretended I wasn't there and gave every impression that he was desperately wishing the ground would swallow him up.

Whenever a car driver is forced to confront the fact that the inanimate object they've been venting at is now a human looking straight at them, it's usually pretty awful. A car driver is unlikely to worry about the possibility of having any face to face interaction with a bike-rider because, apart from the metal box, there's usually a big speed differential. Personally, I think this is just one of those human irrationalities which neither education nor legislation can fix - you just have to understand it, and choose whatever strategy you think most effective to deal with it.

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simonineaston
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby simonineaston » 13 Aug 2020, 10:43am

One thing's for sure - car driving brings out the worst in us - I even find myself thinking unkind thoughts about my fellow cyclists on occasion when I'm in the old jam-jar - thoughts which I quickly nip in the bud, of course!! But it only goes to show how quickly one can switch allegance to another group... !
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Cyril Haearn
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Cyril Haearn » 13 Aug 2020, 10:58am

simonineaston wrote:One thing's for sure - car driving brings out the worst in us - I even find myself thinking unkind thoughts about my fellow cyclists on occasion
..

That is certainly not for sure!
Not in me, I try to be very correct and careful when driving
Not, one earnestly hopes, in others on these fora either
Last edited by Cyril Haearn on 13 Aug 2020, 11:14am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cyril Haearn
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Cyril Haearn » 13 Aug 2020, 11:00am

@DD
In the situation described I should have switched off my motor and enjoyed a few minutes or more relaxing until the vehicles ahead moved on
Best not to break the law even if one knows one shall not be caught
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Jdsk
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Jdsk » 13 Aug 2020, 11:43am

simonineaston wrote:Looked up outgroup derogation and am somewhat relieved that I never studied sociology!

: - )

It's a clumsy term but it does the job without asserting that it all goes as far as hatred.

Is there anything better, anyone?

Jonathan

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mjr
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby mjr » 13 Aug 2020, 11:44am

It's repeated at 0545 Saturday. I've asked my Freesat box to record it.
DevonDamo wrote:So my take on it is that the unfair prejudice cyclists often face isn't down to whether you're using it for leisure or work, but whether you're recognised as a fellow human within the second or two you come into contact with others. For those who are about to inevitably respond with fury that I should suggest such a thing: I'm not saying it's right that the world works this preposterous way, I'm just observing that it does work this preposterous way.

I agree. I noticed some years ago that I get wider overtakes when I look back at the approaching driver. Some suggested that it was because the driver may think I'm checking back before moving out, but it doesn't seem to matter whether I look back over my left or right shoulder and I think the right would be more usual if I was about to move out. I suspect it's more to do with the driver seeing that I have a face and am human. I don't wear shades since I was a teenager, but I do often wear big "cowboy" glasses on the bike, to keep the flies out the eyes.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Jdsk
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Jdsk » 13 Aug 2020, 11:45am

reohn2 wrote:t's a class thing in a country riddled with a class structure at all societal levels.

I agree about the damage that does to our country in general, and it's a topical day in the educational year to bring it up.

But could you fill in how it affects this specific issue? More, please.

Thanks

Jonathan

Jdsk
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Jdsk » 13 Aug 2020, 11:46am

mjr wrote:I suspect it's more to do with the driver seeing that I have a face and am human.

Me too.

Jonathan

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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby mjr » 13 Aug 2020, 11:52am

DevonDamo wrote:A car driver is unlikely to worry about the possibility of having any face to face interaction with a bike-rider because, apart from the metal box, there's usually a big speed differential. Personally, I think this is just one of those human irrationalities which neither education nor legislation can fix - you just have to understand it, and choose whatever strategy you think most effective to deal with it.

Why does this seem to afflict the UK more than neighbouring France or Belgium or the Netherlands? Is it because our road designs seem to prefer fast merges and forks, to the point of trying to make even T junctions into them by using wide sweeping corners and acceleration/deceleration lanes, that avoid putting even drivers face-to-face and maximise the almighty capacity and saturation, whereas other countries almost use potential conflicting paths and priority rules as a way to slow vehicles down at non-motorway junctions?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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DevonDamo
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby DevonDamo » 13 Aug 2020, 1:30pm

mjr wrote:Why does this seem to afflict the UK more than neighbouring France or Belgium or the Netherlands?


Don't know but I suspect there's two things going on in these countries:

1. In these countries, a lot of people still just use bikes for transport without any special gear on. I.e. it's still seen as something that everyone does, so less chance of 'othering' cyclists when many of them look just like you.

2. The driving environment is different in the scenic, touristy parts of these countries - hence me being treated like a king by the few cars I encounter in rural Brittany. In the busy areas, there may be just as many psycho drivers as the UK. When I lived in Brussels, cycling across town was always fairly brutal - a large proportion of drivers don't even stop for pedestrians who're already part way over a zebra crossing. And my experience of cycling across Paris was 'exciting.' (This is why I have real doubts over the idea that assertive riding and 'taking the lane' etc. will have a significant positive influence on the attitudes/behaviour of drivers - the key variable affecting driver behaviour seems to be the environment you put them in.)

I'm sure there is a cultural element to this too - i.e. a large percentage of the UK population are right-wing-press-reading, Jeremy-Clarkson-loving haters of anything which might have the vaguest association with liberal 'snowflakes.' And cyclists, vegans, activists/protesters (of any sort) all fall into this category for them. However, my previous posts were only referring to the unconscious changes people make in their behaviour towards anyone they don't identify with and feel safely isolated from.

reohn2
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby reohn2 » 13 Aug 2020, 4:40pm

Jdsk wrote:
reohn2 wrote:t's a class thing in a country riddled with a class structure at all societal levels.

I agree about the damage that does to our country in general, and it's a topical day in the educational year to bring it up.

But could you fill in how it affects this specific issue? More, please.

Thanks

Jonathan

I don't know what you mean but I'll try and explain the the class system as I see it in regards to driving culture in the UK.
Simply the bigger the vehicle the less the intimidation you get,this is the same with the car drivers.
Mrs R2 used to drive a Micra(1st generation year 2000 rounded type),at the time I had a white(looks bigger) Mondeo estate.There was never any attempt at intimidation when driving the Mondeo but whenever I drove the Micra a switch was flicked and the bullying began,I asked Mrs R2 about it and she noticed it too,before the Micra she drove a Vauxall Omega which was also white.
It was the same story with a slight twist when I had LWB Transits for my business,if I wished I could easily bully other smaller vehicles though I hasten to add I chose not to as my name and phone no was all over it.
However the twist was,whereas in the Omega when say emerging from a side road into a slow moving traffic jam car drivers would let me out,but in the Transit van they'd rarely do the same.It could be quit comical at times as DD has pointed out in his story,drivers in the stream/jam would deliberately avoid eye contact.

It should be noted that IMO the bicycle hating motorists tend to be a small minority of the whole of drivers,but as I've posted many times before,you never know which are the prejudiced moronic loonies from the vast majority of vehicles that pass me when I'm out for a ride on the bike.
One thing's for sure though is that the number of loonies rises alarmngly at the end of the working day in,what I term as the
mad hour,which in actual fact is two or three hours these days.
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Jdsk
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Jdsk » 13 Aug 2020, 4:43pm

Thanks.

So bikes fit into that as being small vehicles, and consequently more likely to be intimidated?

Jonathan

reohn2
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby reohn2 » 13 Aug 2020, 4:55pm

Jdsk wrote:Thanks.

So bikes fit into that as being small vehicles, and consequently more likely to be intimidated?

Jonathan

IME as a cyclist,lapsed motorcyclist(though hankering after another one) and driver,yes
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Jdsk
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Re: BBC: War on Two Wheels

Postby Jdsk » 13 Aug 2020, 5:36pm

Thanks

Jonathan