Monday 23 February 2015

The Girls and Boys of Cyclist Hate

Its interesting when a video like this one emerge. What does it tell us?

So, in a nutshell, a lady is walking her bike along and a stranger, a sneering man who hates cyclists, starts joking about cyclist deaths and for no reason gives the woman a hard time. He's a classic cyclist hater, probably a type 2.  He is unremarkable - on his way to do a job he thinks important but which almost certainly isn't, and willing to give the vast experience he's had thinking about cycling (about 5 minutes) to a total stranger. No doubt he has considered his hateful rants at greater length than he has the veracity of any claims he may make therein. He thinks he is funny - he isn't. Well, not funny ha-ha, but perhaps funny peculiar.

You get these sometimes as a cyclist - they'll wind their windows down and yell at you. They'll step off the pavement and walk straight in to you as you wait at a red light, then rant that you hit them when you weren't even moving. They'll corner you in a pub because you've got a bike hat with you and yell at you. They're normally men, they're usually not young chaps, and they're almost invariably got a self important air about them despite the fact that all they've ever done is sell crap to idiots or shuffle papers around that make everyone elses life harder - they matter more than you do, or so they believe, despite never having contributed a single original thought to the world. 

But online the picture is remarkably different - we do see these type 2's (and type 3's who are also normally men). But by far the most common online hater is the type 1 - the Brat. And more often than not this hater is a woman. 

Now I've talked about various types of cyclist hater before, and I don't especially want to go over this again. But I wonder whether I've been missing something pretty fundamental - why is it that the 'real life' haters who are, mostly, the guy above (whether he's yelling from the cab of a scaffolding lorry or from the faux superiority of a man educated beyond his intellect due to social class and privilege - its the same species) whereas the online haters are, to a great extent, younger women? Are we seeing the same hate phenomenon merely playing itself out differently, or are we addressing two very different phenomena?

Simply put, the question is are the older blokes hating cyclists for the same reason the younger lasses are? And are they merely expressing this differently? Or is the fairly well characterised 'othering' phenomenon I believe to be at play among the younger women not the same as the superiority complex men 'of a certain age' tend to display?

I dunno. I merely post this tea-break philosophy as food for thought. What do you think?

UPDATE: Is this the chap?
UPDATE 2: He denies it being him (see comments section in that blog). He's still a pretty standard cyclist hater though - basically a type 2 with unrealisable aspiration to be a type 5.
UPDATE 3: He's deleted his denial that he's the guy in the video. And the question. And a whole lot more comments too. I have no idea whether its him or not - the comments he's made are very like those in the video, and I am in no position to question his denial - for the moment this merely stands as another example of off-the-shelf cyclist hate.
UPDATE 4: He's deleted the post, and as far as I can tell other posts relating to cyclists.
UPDATE 5: After seemingly admitting it with some kind of strange justification thus he's now deleted all the contents of that blog. We've got another video showing what happened to provoke his response - nothing. Nothing at all. 

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