How to respond to bicycle haters

A few people out there really hate bicycles. It’s just one more manifestation of tribalism; people need something different from themselves to despise. Their vehicles have four wheels and a motor. I have a vehicle with two wheels and no motor.

For the most part, they don’t do anything worse than yell at me. A few days ago in Haverhill, a driver ordered me to ride on the sidewalk. You don’t want to know what I suggested in reply. There’s only one occasion when a driver actually tried to endanger me. That time, I was preparing for a left turn, when a car crossed the double line and passed me on the left, driving toward oncoming traffic. We all know there are dangerous lunatics on the road.

I could respond by declaring that my feelings are horribly traumatized, diagnose the drivers with “biphobia,” and claim I’m terrified to ride. Or I could block the entrance to a shopping mall, vandalize some stores, and wait for the support for my cause to pour in. When those approaches failed, I could cite that as proof that society is anti-bicycle.

Or I can keep riding and refuse to be intimidated.

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