Let’s Talk About Cyclists Blaming Cyclists


Okay, so this is the first time that one of our “Let’s Talk” posts is going to go a little controversial.  This time around we’d like to build up the post with comments and discussion from all of you on the topic of cyclists blaming cyclists for what happens on the road.

As I explain in the short video below, I’ve posted a lot lately on bicycle vs vehicle and it seems like I always get comments that blame the cyclist.  Have a watch (or just skip on down to the comments section) and then let us know what you have to say on this one.

Let’s Talk.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjzudEdwf8g’]

Enjoy Your Ride


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9 Responses to “ Let’s Talk About Cyclists Blaming Cyclists ”

  1. Eric on June 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    A lot of GREAT comments here on a tough subject. I also believe that riders can do alot for themselves as a group, if we were more consistent about obeying traffic rules. We want our cake and eat it top, cant have it that way.

  2. Darryl is Loving the Bike on May 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Good points made by all. I really don’t have an opinion or side to take on this one….I just find it interesting when I hear other cyclists blaming the cyclist when they don’t know all the details.

  3. MagicPercy on May 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I think it boils down to Education for all road users. However, although automobiles are guilty of rolling stops, it seems bicyclists are egregious offenders of running through stop signs and red lights, and this really upsets some drivers.

    Also i think some simple common sense can help. i was in my car the other day, at a red light, getting ready to turn right. When a cyclist came up on my right. yes I had my signal on. Luckily i saw the cyclist and avoided mowing him down. He should have stayed behind me as I turned right and not put himself in a dangerous position.

    I also used to teach motorcycle safety, and in that class we constantly taught to keep yourself out of drivers blind spots, and to be predictable, using signals and making no erratic moves. I think this also applies to Bicyclists. We need to make sure we are viable to other road users, and not put ourselves in blind spots (This does not mean riding against traffic.) We also need to be predictable, using hand signals when appropriate, and not zooming across traffic. We also need to obey all traffic laws. We can also help by having an attitude of gratitude when other motorists are kind to us, when the slow down and go out of their way to go around, wave and shout a simple thank you. When waved through a 4 way stop, wave and call out thank you. I have found a good attitude toward autos is usually reciprocated and it leads to a better overall on road experience.

    When dealing with upset drivers, don;t do anything to exacerbate their anger. Shouting and giving inappropriate salutes will only cause their blood to boil more and put us at greater risk.

    Autos are at fault too, with all the distractions in the modern day car, with in dash computers, and entertainment options. Cell phones, texting, and all. they need to take responsibility too, and should be aware of their surrounding. However don;t count on it. I have seen drivers stare right at my direction, and still pull out in front of me claiming they never saw me. They can gaze right past you. When on two wheels just assume that you are invisible.

  4. raymond on May 30, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Hey Darryl, where’s your shades? you look naked;-)

  5. Vsx1 on May 29, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I’ve seen everything on both sides. I’ve seen too many cyclists blow off stop signs, red lights, I even witnessed a large group ride through an intersection with a stop sign (the perpendicular direction of travel had nothing-straight through). It could have looked like a bowling alley (luckily the cars and trucks were kind enough to stop for them). People in cars texting, running sop signs, riding too to the shoulder etc. A short PSA nationwide might be order.

  6. Patrick Croasdaile on May 29, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I think the conversation should move away from “us” vs “them” language. We’re all people. Some of us ride bikes, some of us play the trumpet, most of us can walk. Place blame on people, not categories.

  7. h4x354x0r on May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I will be the first to blame cyclists – as a group – for being unpredictable. That unpredictability provokes fear, and anger, in motorists.

    For one, this is inherent in the nature of a bicycle because of it’s incredible flexibility. As a form of transportation, it spans the entire gamut from pedestrian to urban driving in terms of speed and behavior, and just about everything in between. Bicycles are truly unique, and it’s a beautiful thing.

    But… the broad-spectrum utility of bicycles provides some unique challenges in terms of predictability. Everyone seems to have their own way to ride, from the masses of noobs and casual users, to the too-rare professional and business-class cyclists. The result is that bicycles are often seen as a confusing and unpredictable presence.

    I hope there’s a special place in hell reserved for the cyclist who rides up on the right at traffic controls, disregards those controls, and becomes a repeated block-by-block irritation to drivers. That’s my main “blame cyclists” pet peeve. OK, got that off my chest.

    Sip & Clip hits the nail on the head, of course: Education. The rub here is that, precisely because of the broad-spectrum nature of bicycle use, different things work best in different places for different people. It really drives home the duality of experience: the very quality that makes bicycles such a blessing, is also to some extent a curse.

    Good news is, although there is a lot of education to do, it *can* be done. We can let people know, loud and proud, that the very source of this problem is the unique flexibility and utility of bicycle. (And, by the way, wouldn’t you like to take advantage of that too?) We can figure out what works best where, when, and for whom, and develop a basic matrix of best practices for both cyclists and motorists, and reach out to both drivers and cyclists alike with this information.

    It’s easy to blame individual cyclists for bad deeds, but nobody should blame the cyclist for taking advantage of the flexibility and beauty of the bicycle.

  8. Sip Clip & Go Coffee on May 29, 2013 at 8:25 am

    I see wrong on both sides, and I think the core of the problem is education. Drivers don’t know how cyclists are supposed to behave and it makes them nervous, or they just hate us, or they are distracted by texting, etc. But conversely, I see many people on bikes (maybe not “cyclists” but more causal riders) who just don’t know the basics like riding with traffic instead of against it. I think if this was taught more in driver’s education, both drivers and cyclists would benefit, and new drivers would get that education, and learn some of the basic laws for both cyclists and drivers from the get-go.


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