Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

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

Postby Oldjohnw » 3 Jul 2019, 1:13pm

The OED tells us that a cyclist is a person who uses a bicycle for transport, recreation, exercise or sport.

Suits me.
John

Cycling and recycling

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

Postby Carlton green » 3 Jul 2019, 1:17pm

mjr wrote:
Carlton green wrote:Would it be a case of all Cyclists are (also) PoB’s but all PoB’s are not Cyclists? If so then I believe that some PoB’s get the rest of us a bad name, or at least tarnish our reputation, and that in doing so they both encourage and generate anti-cycling sentiment.

Yes, it's another attempt to divide and conquer the remaining cyclists.


Please would you expand on your point above.

To my mind the best ammunition that the anti-cycling ‘lobby’ have is that which some people on bikes give them. I’ve cycled for years but when driving a car I too often see bad behaviours that put the person on the bike at risk and me at risk of being unwillingly involved in an accident due to their inappropriate actions. But maybe I’m completely wrong and riding your bike at night without lights on and on the wrong side of the road is perfectly reasonable....... and ditto for pulling across or into traffic without a care or look for what might be coming.

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

Postby Vorpal » 3 Jul 2019, 1:31pm

Carlton green wrote:
mjr wrote:
Carlton green wrote:Would it be a case of all Cyclists are (also) PoB’s but all PoB’s are not Cyclists? If so then I believe that some PoB’s get the rest of us a bad name, or at least tarnish our reputation, and that in doing so they both encourage and generate anti-cycling sentiment.

Yes, it's another attempt to divide and conquer the remaining cyclists.


Please would you expand on your point above.

To my mind the best ammunition that the anti-cycling ‘lobby’ have is that which some people on bikes give them. I’ve cycled for years but when driving a car I too often see bad behaviours that put the person on the bike at risk and me at risk of being unwillingly involved in an accident due to their inappropriate actions. But maybe I’m completely wrong and riding your bike at night without lights on and on the wrong side of the road is perfectly reasonable....... and ditto for pulling across or into traffic without a care or look for what might be coming.

I'm sorry, but I do not accept that as any kind of an argument against cyclists. Does one distracted pedestrian give them all a bad name? How about the motorists who amber-gamble, stop over the line, speed, or even run pedestrians over on the pavement? Do they give motorists a bad name?

Why should I be held responsible because another cyclist exhibits 'bad behaviour'?
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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rfryer
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby rfryer » 3 Jul 2019, 1:40pm

Carlton green wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:Sounds like some sort of two-wheeled snobbery to me.


To my mind accepting the common use of the term Cyclists to include those that ride in clearly irresponsible, illegal or antisocial ways isn’t helpful. That’s not some snobbish us and them attitude at all as it judges exhibited attitudes and behaviours rather than individuals.

According to the dictionary, a cyclist is "a person who rides a bicycle, or is riding a bicycle". That's already a bit tautological - how could someone be riding a bicycle who doesn't ride a bicycle? But putting that aside, I think it would make discussions on this forum tricky if we decided to adopt our own, special definition for such a common and clearly understood word.

Personally, I think adjectives are much underrated in this context. I can clearly communicate concepts such as racing cyclist, utility cyclist, touring cyclist, bikepacking cyclist, hipster cyclist, ninja cyclist, red-light-jumping cyclist, incompetent cyclist, thoughtless cyclist, vehicular cyclist, etc, etc. ICBA to learn clever/cute names or acronyms for all of these, and then spend interminable threads trying to agree the exact meanings.

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

Postby kwackers » 3 Jul 2019, 1:56pm

rfryer wrote:Personally, I think adjectives are much underrated in this context. I can clearly communicate concepts such as racing cyclist, utility cyclist, touring cyclist, bikepacking cyclist, hipster cyclist, ninja cyclist, red-light-jumping cyclist, incompetent cyclist, thoughtless cyclist, vehicular cyclist, etc, etc. ICBA to learn clever/cute names or acronyms for all of these, and then spend interminable threads trying to agree the exact meanings.

Clever & cute is what language is about.

You could describe where people live by stringing words together instead of inventing new ones; detached, semi, bungalow, flat or collections thereof; village, town, city, suburbs, conurbation etc.

That subdivision and categorisation is what makes language the fantastic tool it is and allows us to instantly get across complex ideas and concepts.

Cyclists used to be a fairly generic grey looking bunch, sat on their butchers bikes on the way to the factory.
Now we're a dynamic, multi-faceted group who needs a whole raft of new words to describe the new us!

We should embrace it before it's too late and it's replaced with memes...

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

Postby Carlton green » 3 Jul 2019, 2:10pm

Vorpal wrote:
Carlton green wrote:
mjr wrote:Yes, it's another attempt to divide and conquer the remaining cyclists.


Please would you expand on your point above.

To my mind the best ammunition that the anti-cycling ‘lobby’ have is that which some people on bikes give them. I’ve cycled for years but when driving a car I too often see bad behaviours that put the person on the bike at risk and me at risk of being unwillingly involved in an accident due to their inappropriate actions. But maybe I’m completely wrong and riding your bike at night without lights on and on the wrong side of the road is perfectly reasonable....... and ditto for pulling across or into traffic without a care or look for what might be coming.


I'm sorry, but I do not accept that as any kind of an argument against cyclists. Does one distracted pedestrian give them all a bad name? How about the motorists who amber-gamble, stop over the line, speed, or even run pedestrians over on the pavement? Do they give motorists a bad name?

Why should I be held responsible because another cyclist exhibits 'bad behaviour'?


I think that you’re right not to accept it as an argument against ‘Cyclists’ and strongly believe that neither you or I should be held responsible because another ‘Cyclist’ exhibits ‘bad behaviour’. However what I see in the media from time to time is that very argument being made and we need to be ready to respond to it well.

A distracted pedestrian might be called a ‘J’ walker rather than a pedestrian. The inadequate skills and antisocial acts of some motorists do not seem give other motorists too bad name, but eventually it does result in legislation and the removal of privileges e.g. new drivers now having to take a test to tow a caravan.

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

Postby mjr » 3 Jul 2019, 4:13pm

Carlton green wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:Sounds like some sort of two-wheeled snobbery to me.


That’s disappointing as my comments are not intended as snobbery in any way. If you’re happy not to differentiate between people who ride responsibly and with respect to others and those that do then that’s your right.

What do people mean by riding "with respect"? Before answering, please read bez's excellent https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/201 ... c-respect/

To my mind accepting the common use of the term Cyclists to include those that ride in clearly irresponsible, illegal or antisocial ways isn’t helpful. That’s not some snobbish us and them attitude at all as it judges exhibited attitudes and behaviours rather than individuals.

And yet, people here argue for using motorist to include those that drive in clearly irresponsible, illegal or antisocial ways instead of using a term ("moton") to distinguish them.

I'm completely against cyclists who ride irresponsibly. I don't much care about whether it's illegal or antisocial if it's not irresponsible - legal has been decided by non-cyclists for decades and social is going the same sad way.

Let's face it, no amount of language pandering will help, so we might as well stand together.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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mjr
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby mjr » 3 Jul 2019, 4:16pm

Carlton green wrote:However what I see in the media from time to time is that very argument being made and we need to be ready to respond to it well.

Becoming a cyclist Uncle Tom would not be a good response!

Carlton green wrote:A distracted pedestrian might be called a ‘J’ walker rather than a pedestrian.

Jaywalking is another notorious attack on active transport by the motoring lobby. Why join in like that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AFn7MiJz_s
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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brynpoeth
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby brynpoeth » 3 Jul 2019, 6:13pm

Carlton green wrote:‘PoB’ ? Perhaps it’s a term in common usage here and one that ‘everyone’ else understands already. Does ‘PoB’ mean ‘person on bike’?

Would it be a case of all Cyclists are (also) PoB’s but all PoB’s are not Cyclists?
..

Right again:
PoB person on bike, PoF person on foot, have a look at my vocab thread for lots more

Might be worth reading 'So you think you're a Cyclist?' by Pete Jorgensen, describes 50 types of cyclist, I am or have been several of them :wink:
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
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Carlton green
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby Carlton green » 3 Jul 2019, 11:09pm

mjr wrote:
Carlton green wrote:However what I see in the media from time to time is that very argument being made and we need to be ready to respond to it well.

Becoming a cyclist Uncle Tom would not be a good response!

Carlton green wrote:A distracted pedestrian might be called a ‘J’ walker rather than a pedestrian.

Jaywalking is another notorious attack on active transport by the motoring lobby. Why join in like that?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AFn7MiJz_s


Interesting video, thanks. One learns something new every day.

I should have been surprised that the Motor Industry was behind the term ‘J Walker’, but to suite their agenda commercial interests have repeatedly altered the way society works.

For what it’s worth a couple of pedestrians walked out in front of my bike today, sharing road space does mean looking out for other users and when a pedestrian I expect to play my part in that too. How road space is now shared is defined by laws and the Highway Code, those things are decided by our elected representatives and influenced by lobbyists - I believe the CTC is and should be lobbying hard for bike riders.

I don’t know what you mean by a Cyclist Uncle Tom but wonder what response you think is best and how it is being promoted to influence Government.

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

Postby Carlton green » 3 Jul 2019, 11:30pm

mjr wrote:
Carlton green wrote:
Oldjohnw wrote:Sounds like some sort of two-wheeled snobbery to me.


That’s disappointing as my comments are not intended as snobbery in any way. If you’re happy not to differentiate between people who ride responsibly and with respect to others and those that do then that’s your right.

What do people mean by riding "with respect"? Before answering, please read bez's excellent https://beyondthekerb.wordpress.com/201 ... c-respect/

To my mind accepting the common use of the term Cyclists to include those that ride in clearly irresponsible, illegal or antisocial ways isn’t helpful. That’s not some snobbish us and them attitude at all as it judges exhibited attitudes and behaviours rather than individuals.

And yet, people here argue for using motorist to include those that drive in clearly irresponsible, illegal or antisocial ways instead of using a term ("moton") to distinguish them.

I'm completely against cyclists who ride irresponsibly. I don't much care about whether it's illegal or antisocial if it's not irresponsible - legal has been decided by non-cyclists for decades and social is going the same sad way.

Let's face it, no amount of language pandering will help, so we might as well stand together.


Interesting article and it is precisely the downgrading of attitudes towards cyclists/PoB’s that I think we need to be aware of. Just because someone on a bike has behaved badly isn’t a reason to treat other PoB’s badly but we should also be saying that their bad behaviour is not representative too. An idiot is one regardless of their means of transport.

Point taken on illegal and antisocial as their definition is open to manipulation, but whether we are happy with it or not we still have to work broadly within legal and social norms or accept the consequences of not doing so. I’m imperfect, so long as you use a bit of sense then the line from Pirates of The Caribbean works for me: ‘more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules’.

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

Postby Oldjohnw » 4 Jul 2019, 8:54am

I must admit that I'm not a purist in terms of terminology. But then, there are those who consider that I'm not a cyclist because I have electric assistance.

So different people have different criteria for what constitutes a cyclist.
John

Cycling and recycling

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

Postby kwackers » 4 Jul 2019, 9:25am

Oldjohnw wrote:I must admit that I'm not a purist in terms of terminology. But then, there are those who consider that I'm not a cyclist because I have electric assistance.

So different people have different criteria for what constitutes a cyclist.

Part machine part cyclist...
A cyclorg perhaps?

I'm a part time cyclorg too.

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

Postby reohn2 » 4 Jul 2019, 10:24am

Oldjohnw wrote:I must admit that I'm not a purist in terms of terminology. But then, there are those who consider that I'm not a cyclist because I have electric assistance.

So different people have different criteria for what constitutes a cyclist.

Some of it extremely prejudiced and derogatory too! :?
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Vorpal
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Re: Should we stop using the word 'cyclists'?

Postby Vorpal » 4 Jul 2019, 12:15pm

We are all cyclists. If we can't say that, then we are just people. People who happen to go places by bicycle, at least occasionally.

If we must divide cyclists into different types, it should be only to accomodate for all different modes of cycling; those who feel the need to be segregated from trafiic, go fast, do wheelies or learn tricks on a BMX, etc. This is for design puyrposes, not labelling purposes.

If people are cycling in an anti-social manner, there is almost certainly an underlying environmental/design reason for it, other than just that they are anti-social. Mostly it's because they have been scared off the roads onto pavements that aren't really suitable for cycling.

Red light jumping? Well, there've been many threads on that on here. I don't do it myself, but I can understand it. There is, after all evidence, albeit limited, that cyclists who RLJ are safer than those who don't.

The UK has the road environment that they have been designing and building for decades. Bullying and deriding cyclists is part and parcel of that, including labelling them.

Are you a good cyclist, or a bad cyclist?*
I'm not a cyclist! I'm not a cyclist! They dressed me up like this!


*Vorpal, parodying Monty Python
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom