Wednesday 5 September 2012

Cyclist Hater Type 2: The Beamer

We've all met these guys.

You're riding along the road, car behind gets a bit too close, pulls out next to you at a junction, electric window fizzes down and a guy in an ill considered shirt-tie combination lectures you about (a) road tax and how you don't pay it, (b) road positioning, betraying he knows nothing about it, (c) priority at junctions, demonstrating he's no basic understanding of the road, (d) you being in his way and too slow, thus indicating he's so impatient he shouldn't drive... etc.

None of these are the real reason he's acting this way. None of these flimsy, half-baked pretexts for anger are close to the truth.

When we're considering why the type 2 cyclist hater is how he is (and its almost always a 'he'), we must look at the world he inhabits.

His job is job to be a dick. Whether he's being a penis by selling inappropriate high powered cars, or a cock by flogging burglar alarms that barely work, or going in to work and ruining lives by mis-selling useless insurance policies to the gullible like the bawbag he is, this guy is a professional nob. He might be sales staff, or management at almost any level, but his job relies on his personality. Doesn't have to be a good personality, just has to be an assertive one. And he doesn't have to be very smart; he is (to steal a line from Futurama) a moderately intelligent monkey. In a suit.

He doesn't have to be right about things. Because even when he's wrong, everything about the world around him tells him that he's still right. Speeding is illegal but its not wrong, otherwise it would be policed. When its policed thats just there to strip money off him, how is that fair? Parking on the pavements is fine, important people like him don't walk anywhere. Can't park on the pavement? WAR ON THE MOTORISTS! Giving cyclists a hard time is just par for the course, after all these cyclists are (from his Cro-Magnon perspective) slowing him down. If he misses a cyclist he's driving past by, say, an inch, thats absolutely fine; why are you so upset, I missed you didn't I mate? And you don't pay no f-----g road tax anyway.

We can almost forgive him for thinking this way. Govermnent sets taxes to keep him happy. Local authorities arrange roads for his benefit, largely to the exclusion of anyone else. The BBC anointed St. Clarkson of Gobshite to tell him that all will be forgiven, he'll go to Motoring Heaven and be waited on hand and foot by Nigen Mansell, Jensen Button and something called a Stig will ted to his his every sexual desire. The press support him, constantly blaming immigrants, lefties, cyclists, basically anyone but Beamer man for everything thats wrong with the world. He's got money, he matters, no one else does. The environment? Peace and quiet? Sharing road space? Thats for wimps.

So even when he's wrong, he's right. Tell him there is no such thing as road tax and he'll tell you that you should be on the pavement. Explain to him that this is usually illegal and he'll bleat on about cyclists going through red lights. Demonstrate to him that this is sheer BS and he'll most likely bleat on about road tax again. Doesn't matter that you've shown him to be wrong about this, what matters to him is his own opinion and forcing that down your throat and be damned to sense, reason and propriety.

Trying to reason with this creature is a waste of time. Reason isn't his game. He is rather like the Type 1 Cyclist Hater (the Brat) in that he is basically a bully. And like all bullies, deep down he's a snivelling little coward. He's only the way he is because he's been taught its okay to be that way, if he were capable of original thought he'd have grown out of it by now. He isn't going to. You telling him that Road Tax isn't real won't help. Showing him accident stats showing 90% of cyclist road injuries are entirely the fault of motorists won't change his mind.

So, basically, you have three options.

1. Ignore him (easiest). Won't change anything, and he'll just transfer his hate on to the next cyclist he encounters.

2. Engage in a discussion in which you go round and round defeating his flimsy arguments one after the other - entertaining at first, dull as ditchwater when you get to your 5th example of the Beamer.

3. Play him at his own game - be disparaging, gloss over his shallow crap like its, errm... shallow crap. This is effective when there are several of you, because this gets right to the heart of what Beamer fears most; neither fitting in nor being in control.

You see, the Beamer is like a 'grown up' Brat. Once its made clear to him that he's not picking on one individual who can be perceived as weak, he's going to crumble. They always do. Whether its crumbling into sporadic bouts of Father Jack style crudities, or storming off in a huff, the Beamer cannot take it when they're no longer the 'strong' one. Will he be convinced by your arguments? No, but that was never happening anyway. He will, however know not to mess. And thats ultimately what we want; he can think what he likes as long as he stops giving us trouble.

That'll usually work. Unless, of course, you've misidentified your Beamer. Thats easy to do. What do you do if he turns out to be a Type 3 cyclist hater: The Gripper!


  1. You're basically just enforcing the impression that all cyclists are smug gits that have no concept that they can be clueless lawbreakers who make life dangerous for themselves and others, while simultaneously assuming that all drivers are dangerous, clueless scumbags that will run you off the road given half the chance.

    The upside is that next time a cyclist innocently asks me why some drivers are such arseholes, I can point them in the direction of this blog and ask how cyclists can generalise like this and not expect drivers to do the same.

    Disclaimer: I drive and cycle. I've never intentionally done anything to put a cyclists life in dangerous. However, I have been called a c*nt and had my car scratched by impatient cyclists scratching their handlebars along the side as they try and squeeze through traffic. Damn those selfish, impatient car owners, eh?

    1. By analyzing those who spout irrational hate at us for being on bikes, I'm somehow conforming to the stereotype you believe in? Wow. You're angry aren't you? Beamer yourself perhaps?

      Here's a handy hint for you, anonymous coward. Owning a bike doesn't make you a cyclist.

    2. It's generally safer to assume a driver is a twat who is out to kill me than that they are kind and benevolent.

      Not all cyclists are twats and not all drivers are twats. As this blog is only directed at cycle haters then it simply does not apply to those who don't try to lecture cyclists on things like road tax etc.

      It's a shame that some cyclists scratched your car. It takes some effort to do that considering how one's body and clothing interacts with the space around the bike. But you know pedestrians squeeze past cars and so do mums with prams and then you have other drivers in car parks so there are lots of people to hate for damaging cars.

  2. Hmmm... your comment above, Mr Anonymous, raises two distinct possibilities:
    1) You read a different blog post to the one above, in which case I do wonder why you chose to place your comment here, or
    2) You are a Type 2 Cyclist Hater yourself. Now hold on, I'm well aware you claimed to be a cyclist too, but that sounds much the same as a racist saying "Some of my friends are black".

    On balance of probabilities, based purely on your comment above, I'm going to go with you being a Type 2 Cyclist Hater, who found the blog post too truthful to bear without trying to use your assertive personality to assertively assert yourself.