To hate something, I mean really hate a thing takes a lot of energy. It takes more energy to hate than it does to accept, ignore or love something. Hatred is simply a lack of understanding. We have seen this time and time again.
intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury
The saddest part of hate is it blinds you from ever wanting to accept or understand a thing.
You cannot hate these things in polite society:
- Different religions
- Different nationalities
- hell, this list is too long, so let's list something we can hate...
We seem to be legally allowed to hate people on bikes. In fact it is encouraged by many parts of our society. We are told that we crash more (we don't), we kill more (we don't), we cause congestion on bikes (we don't) and that we are risking our lives being on the roads (we aren't).
But what is really hard to understand is that social media helps to encourage and spread all these lies through pages dedicated to 'hatred'.
Recently we saw the end of one of these, a stupid page in Brisbane (sadly they all come from Brisbane). This was called Brisbane's Worst Cyclists. But it was really lacking something, from us it was obvious, there was a couple of riders doing silly things, slightly dangerous - but in general there was lots and lots of posts of riders not breaking any laws, just the idea by the page owner that they were.
And this is the real problem with these pages. They exist for two reasons,
They want you to hate.
They tell you that riders are not allowed to be two abreast and when you prove they are wrong they will block you because you go against the narrative.
The hate pages that spawn on Facebook are an example of the worst of our humanity.
They talk of issues they know very little about and encourage people to share their stories of their hatred, one such example of this is the proud ways the followers of these pages display their hatred and even encourage more to attack, kill or injure other people on bikes.
They dehumanise bicycle riders, call them Road Toads to reduce peoples empathy.
And when someone dies they relish but deny responsibility.
The basis of their hatred is a complete lack of understanding, they simply don't know what it is like to be on a bike instead of in a car.
They will sell you anything to help you belong
Yes, they sell you stuff, they will sell you stickers and t-shirts to help haters legitimise their hatred and give them a feeling of belonging. It is like High School again, and the bullies want to sit together. They have no clue on the school syllabus, are happy to look stupid as long as they have their friends to support them. Sadly, this is not High School and we are dealing with people's lives.
Eventually they are found out to be the haters they are, this can be by two ways;
How do we combat these pathetic people and their hatred?
- Ignore them, trolls hate being ignored
- Educate them, not on the pages they create, but in person
- Treat all bigotry with contempt, bike related or not
- Don't engage, engaging gives them a chance to legitimise their hatred (see The Back Fire Effect)
So let's just tap this off with a few facts:
- Bike riders can ride 2 abreast, three (some states four) when overtaking in the same lane
- Every lane is 2 abreast, 2 lanes on the road is 2 lanes of 2 abreast
- Rego doesn't pay for roads, it pays for rego
- Bike riders have injured and killed less people in the past 30 years than cars in the past 30 days
- Bike lanes are few and far between, just because it looks like one doesn't make it one
- Most bike lanes are 'car door lanes' and therefore too dangerous to use
- 1m is barely enough, 'change lanes to pass' is far safer
- Right hand lanes in two lane roads are where large vehicles should be
- If riders block your way forward, it may be for your safety
- Lycra to a cyclist is like scuba gear to a diver, you don't need it to swim, but it makes it better when you swim alot
- Education can help, enforcement needs to be used to follow through when education fails
- Car doors kill, but only under the control of people that are careless.
It's time Australia grew up and remembered that cyclists are people too... Mums, Dads, Daughters, Sons, Grandparents, Family and Friends... so if you are a fan of the hate pages you need to grow up.
Let's be real, hating for the sake of hating - 'ain't nobody got time for that'