Cycling to work – why people hate cyclists, part 2


The second in a series of posts examining the four most common reasons for people hating cyclists. The usual reasons being given as:
  1. Riding on pavements
  2. Assaulting innocent pedestrians
  3. Wearing lycra

Riding on pavements
This is a complete no-no in my book. I would ride on a pavement about as often as I would drive a car on one, i.e. never. However, it is not unknown for cyclists to do this. There is an article in this week’s Time Out by a cyclist attempting to justify doing this regularly on her particular commute. Silly woman.

Cyclists who do this invade a space that is reserved for another class of road user. And by doing so they undermine all cycling campaigns aimed at getting such a space for cyclists themselves. Drivers who park (sometimes legally) in cycle lanes, road work contractors who block cycle lanes unnecessarily, planners who think 10 yards of cycle lane is worth installing so they can add to their cycle lane mileage for PR purposes: all these idiots are given succour by cyclists who ride on pavements.

Fortunately there aren’t many of them. No, really. It’s just that the ones who do are very, very noticeable. But the verdict is guilty anyway.

So we cyclists are 0 for 2. Guilty on the first two charges. Can we recover? See parts 3 and 4.

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7 Responses to “Cycling to work – why people hate cyclists, part 2”


  1. 1 steve March 1, 2009 at 00:30

    I ride on the pavement but for medical reasons i only started riding 5 years ago{i am 20 now} and be it said i only ride single speed bmx bikes, but anyway i have balance problems and have been known in the past to suddenly lose balance it hasn’t happened now since i had my last bike when i was 15 but its safer for me and road users.

    this said i do ride at a slow pace unless i have a long empty strech ahead of me and also i take care and if i have some peds coming my way i tend to be very carefully and considerate.

    should i not be allowed to ride a bike at all?

  2. 2 Dominic Sayers June 11, 2008 at 13:07

    Rather than cycle on the sidewalk, I think I would assert my position as a vehicle entitled to use the road. If you cycle in the middle of the provisioned space as if you were a car then this avoids the sidewalk (if I understand the problem correctly).

    If it’s 3 miles of construction and you are holding back a caravan of angry motorists then it’s not your fault – it’s the fault of whoever designed the construction project.

    You are entitled to use the road.

  3. 3 JamieLB June 10, 2008 at 23:21

    It’s me again. I actually was instructed by a police officer and a construction crew to ride on the sidewalk for my own safety during my commute on the only road (meaning no alternative route to take in this area) for a few stretch of miles between my home and office. There was literally no room for a cyclist in the space provisioned on the road due to curb to curb road construction. So what is to be done?

  4. 4 je January 30, 2008 at 18:22

    have to agree.

    they’re called sideWALKS for a reason. the only bicycle on a sidewalk should be pedaled by a 5-year-old child.

  5. 5 craigdurkee January 30, 2008 at 03:32

    good post very interesting , but should we be hated as cyclists hate is a very strong word


  1. 1 Cycling to work - why people hate cyclists, part 4 « Dominic Sayers Trackback on February 1, 2008 at 10:51
  2. 2 Cycling to work - why people hate cyclists, part 3 « Dominic Sayers Trackback on January 30, 2008 at 13:57

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