What Cyclists Don’t Understand About Motorists

Background Reading

If you really want to get a “good whiff” of the nature of the problem that exists between bicyclists motorists and motorists all you have to do is read a few of the forum discussions on display by the Chicago CyclingWhine  and Jeez Club” paying special attention to what the writers believe to be the foremost failure of motorists. The single most obvious “failure” for motorists is that so very few of them also ride bicycles.

This is a bit like the notion that the misunderstandings between genders come about because of lack of life experiences with our without the other genders genitalia or the number of microaggressions each suffers on a daily basis. That of course is probably a more far-fetched scenario than most of us understand so instead let me say that lack of time  between “people-of-color” and “whites” is probably easier to conceive.

But no matter who you are you are likely to be overlooking the beam in your own eye while whining about the splinter in the eye of the other person.


I drive a bit more these days than a few years ago. I have found that getting between forest preserve districts to photograph their flora and fauna is a heck of a lot easier by car than by bike. Nevertheless, I see all of the mistakes made on “both sides of the fence” and have come to realize that the more accurate analogy is that of Liberals and Conservatives trying to divine how the other could be some blind when assuming the best way to view issues.

The advent of our new Whiner-In-Chief leads me to declare that neither side really bothers to even try to see the others viewpoint. It is essentially a race between these two groups to get a stranglehold (if possible) on the thinking of the electorate and thereby increase the likelihood that a candidate they admire will will the next election cycle.


Cyclists are as ignorant about the problems they present to motorists as the other way around. All transportation groups tend to marginalize others based on “speed“. The Tyranny of Speed is something that is common to all groups and is very real. Over time the likelihood of people becoming solidified in there views of others is quite predictable.

Sometimes you can defuse a ragged situation with humor. Others not willing to use that option attempt to bully. These two videos happen to show the behaviors of cyclists, but you could easily find example of motorists treating both cyclists and pedestrians in similar fashions.

Being sensitive to the fact that we all live in a “bubble” then it comes to our views is important. Nobody is entirely guilty of lack of understand one another’s problems. We just need to consider what our behavior would be like in the same situation and realize that we too are guilty of being inconsiderate, impatient and sometimes just downright rude.

Let’s all try to be safe out there