Wow, you really hate cyclists in Vancouver

Every time there's a bike-lane controversy, we're reminded how polarized this city is on cycling issues.

Whether it's bikes on the road, bikes on the sidewalk, or bikes in separated lanes—bikes just don't seem to belong anywhere, according to many people in Vancouver.

Stories about the "war" between drivers and cyclists, such as my posts on the fight between bike courier Edward Hoey and a motorist (captured in photos and video), seem to bring out the worst in some of those cycling critics.

I've gone through the comments on this week's posts (and on Facebook) to find the worst of the worst, in hopes that some cyclist haters will be embarassed by these (commonly expressed) sentiments and rethink their vitriol in the future.

Here's 10 of the most disgusting anti-cyclist comments I've readso farthis week.

1. Craig R. Palmer: "Cyclists always deserve it."

2. bob: "I hate cyclists. Even when in the bike lane they seem to ride right on the line making it hard for drivers to get around them. The cars were there first and take a lot longer to stop then a 10 lb bike. They complain when cars get too close and they want to be considered vehicles yet they totally ignore the rules that cars have to obey. Take transit if you want to "save the environment"."

3. Pete Georgas: "Perfect, hit him again !!"

4. taking pics: "People were taking pictures because finally they were witnessing justice. Bike Riders don't own the god damn road."

5. Tm: "This is awesome, stay in your bike lanes and out of traffic lanes u moronic cyclists. U complain until they put more in and then you don't even use them."

6. Joe: "biker lucky cops didn't beat him again"

7. Andrew: "Why wasn't the cyclist riding in the bike lane? And what would make the cyclist think he has the right to go into the drivers window and throw his papers onto the street? He deserved to get beat up."

8. Justice: "Is served."

9. Evan O'Connor: "Entitled cyclist acts like asshole, gets ass kicked by carnivore."

10. Steve: "I drive downtown a lot and ill bet the cyclist started the whole thing. They seem to do whatever they want whenever they want then flip you the bird. stick to your bike lanes the douche Mayor bought ya"

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Do you think animosity toward cyclists has gotten out of hand in Vancouver?

Yes 63%
243 votes
No 31%
119 votes
Unsure 6%
23 votes
Comments (63) Add New Comment
Stephen, I am a cyclist as well as a car driver. I don't hate cyclist (since I am one), but I do hate stupid cyclists who make life worse for law abiding cyclists. This moron crossed the line when he goes into someone's personal vehicle and throws their personal property on the street. Hope he gets some jail time but I doubt it since our judge's are such wimps.
Rating: -24
blah, you're a liar. I'm absolutely sure you've read enough to know that the driver accosted the cyclist on the road, grabbing his arm into the car.

It's not about the precious paper, and you know it. That's a pathetic, cowardly excuse to cover for violence you obviously crave, and the police are too weak to confront an audi owner about.
Rating: +34
Blah, do you hate car drivers who make life worse not only for law-abiding drivers, but also pedestrians and cyclists that they endanger? Do you?

If you do, why don't you point that out? Why is it just cyclists that need to be called out? Why isn't it 'reckless behaviour' in general?

At the end of the day the car does the most damage when misused. If we want to spend policing and anger well, point it at the biggest problem.
Rating: +37
It's sad to see, but I can understand how the frustration has ramped up to the level of casual violence. I drive a very small car, and try to be courteous to everyone else on the road - cars, cyclists, and pedestrians - while being an assertive and defensive driver. I don't want to hit anyone, and I don't want to be hit. The things I see daily on our roads are brutal, and illegal, and downright stupid, from ALL 3 GROUPS.

I've been hit 7 times, had my life threatened, been verbally assaulted, and have lost count of how may "almost accidents" I have managed to avoid. One cyclist threatened to rape me and take my car after he cut across 3 lanes of traffic and nearly hit my car while I was stopped at a red light. Pedestrians randomly walk out in front of cars without looking, cyclists stop for nothing and no one, and drivers get more dangerously aggressive every year.

There is A LOT of stuff to watch for on our roads, and everyone seems to think they have the right of way. It's exhausting. Slow it down, look before you go, and stop acting like you own the road. Maybe we can all get home safe.
Rating: +63
Actually, the driver pulled the cyclist into his car and said "I have 15 years of martial arts training and I'm going to fuck you up" at which point the cyclist threw some papers out of the car in an attempt to escape. The driver (who looks to be about 6'4" and 220lbs, compared to the cyclist weighing in at something more like 5'8" 180) then proceeded to use his training to beat seven shades of shit out of the cyclist, who was submitting.

I don't care how many birds were flipped, this is inexcusable behaviour. Also, martial arts training is supposed to be for SELF DEFENSE, not as a means to physically assault someone. That man is a spineless piece of shit and if he tries that shit with me I will force-feed him my bicycle.
Rating: +54
Bruce Allen
... is probably sitting in the CKNW editorial seat and laughing his a$$ off.
Rating: +2
Bela Bugliosi
We owe a debt of gratitude to all the anti bicycle posters out there. Thanks for giving us an unintended warning about the rampant psychopathy among car drivers. It's no wonder that erectile dysfunction is so widespread. All I hear when reading these ignorant comments is a pathetically impotent rage directed at bike riders. You see them as easy targets because they don't have a steel cage around them and you're far too stupid to understand you're revealing the depth of your ignorance and inability to cope with your lack of power in the world.
Rating: +11
Better Judgement
Cyclists need to start showing a little more respect towards others. I'm an avid century cyclists and I'm appalled by the behaviour exhibited by other cyclists in this city.

This is a very subjective article "to find the worst of the worst, in hopes that some cyclist haters will be embarassed by these".

Rather than getting to the root and cause of this frustration, I only see more of the self entitled 'cyclists" spirit.

How about asking "Why are motorist frustrated with cyclists?" or "What are things cyclists can start doing to help share the road and get along with other motorists". But alas, only articles to invoke more angry rants.

Good job on contributing NOTHING Georgia Straight. Either help find solutions and purpose or stop writing these sensationalizing articles.
Rating: -6
Vancouver drivers most annoyed at cyclist for being "IN MY WAY", and obviously feel this is so deserving of a violence they'll cling to the flimsiest excuse (literally) to justify it.

But let's expand this discussion. Because the entitled attitude of drivers is killing and maiming pedestrians in this city at TEN TIMES the rate of cyclists. And I think they express their anger about cyclists only because they know damn well it isn't acceptable to say it about pedestrians.

"Pedestrian deaths dominate Vancouver traffic fatalities"

"Vancouver's Deadly Roads"

"More pedestrians struck in Metro Vancouver"

"25-year-old pedestrian killed in East Vancouver"

And guess what? Thinking you're so important that you need to get there fast, as the driver at hand believed, has everything to do with it. The odds of a pedestrian or cyclist dying go up exponentially above 30 kph.
Rating: +35
Dennis Ritchie
This animosity plays out daily in every metro in the world. We must learn to share the road. Restricted car use is still NOT a reality here because a segment of people here worship their vehicles instead of the sacredness do peace and life. Freiburg, Germany has proven very little car use can be a reality and a major city can still function properly. In Toronto and Vancouver I have witnessed the laziest, dangerous people driving for no reason other than they can. Leave your car at home. Force changes to transit and cut off car use entirely for one full year in this city and we would all see the benefits. Transit has to be used more by all people and thus drive down the costs of it. BC including the titans of industry here (Pattison) have created a system of complete, unhealthy dependence on the fossil fuel consuming beast we see every minute. We must change this toxic paradigm created by this man and his oblivious generation. Moreover, I have seen many senior citizens in great health overseas in Europe and Asia using bikes safely every day. Turn your attention to the places where cycling works Vancouverites! The love of your car is surely the hatred of Mother Nature. We should be rational optimists and be kind to one another and CHANGE our habits for the children to come can see we tried to make a better world.
Rating: +19
And before some entitled driver gets on about pedestrians being at fault, take a look at the chart at this link, giving a breakdown of accident circumstances:
Rating: +19
pro v
Why does it have to he so one sided?

Back in reality there are cyclists who are jerks and there are motorists who are jerks. This is called life.
Rating: +32
cul de sac
i think part of the problem is that we are not a cycling culture, compared to say the netherlands or germany, and many cyclists here don't follow the rules, either out of ignorance or because they can't be bothered (cyclists on the pavement riding right next to a bike lane, for example). also the way bike lanes here were implemented was piecemeal and pretty stupid, except for the seawall. i've been in situations where a bike lane suddenly ends at an intersection, leaving me wondering 'now what am i supposed to do?'
Rating: +12
Thanks for this article Stephen. i read some of the comments and was appalled at the hate towards cyclists and bikes

I live out in Ladner and ride a bike. There are a lot of pick-up trucks here.
The mostly male drivers of these trucks think nothing of playing chicken with a 5'4" woman on a bike i.e. how close can they get? There are only a few bike lanes in Ladner-mostly you're on the road with the cars and trucks.

Recently I was nearly hit in a crosswalk walking my bike across by a van at full speed.
It came within a few inches of me, a cop witnessed the whole thing and didn't do anything.

I don't know what the answer is but allowing men to be violent and threatening to cyclists isn't going to solve anything.
Rating: +30
Vancouver summed up in ONE article
The snobby entitled assholes of Vancouver can be summed up in this article.

Self entitled hipster cyclists who offer absolutely zero responsibility for their actions and defend even the biggest assholes pedalling around the city.

Road raging motorists who want to kill the self entitled cyclists. Even the people who cycle several times a day but still drive don't consider themselves cyclists.

Clearly one group has too much free time to write about it online. My guess, the hipster with the fixie parked out front.
Rating: -10
@cul de sac

"i think part of the problem is that we are not a cycling culture, compared to say the netherlands"

Hey, I'm all for it, but I'm not sure that's what you have in mind.

In the Netherlands there are lots of clear, separated bike paths. But if you stray into one, they will run you down, while yelling "OP DE STOEP" [on the sidewalk]. They "get along" with bikes because bikes have #1 status on the roads. How different is it?

In north america, a cyclist is killed, they file a report and the driver gets a fine.

In the Netherlands, after a cyclist is killed they close the intersection, and investigate the accident as if it were a homicide scene, complete with a re-enactment. Engineering changes are made based on the investigation. They act as if people's lives should mean something.

“The criminal prosecution in the case also came quickly, and under rules of evidence very different from those common to American courts...'The car is always wrong, by law,' said Amsterdam urban planner Rob van der Bijl...Van der Bijl said the laws reflect the physical realities of interactions between cars and bicycles — the fact that people inside cars are virtually never harmed in an accident with a bicycle. By deciding to get behind the wheel of a car, drivers are inherently taking responsibility."
Rating: +19
Cars are not the issue here
I don't think any cyclists or person who argues about "mother nature" or "pollution", clearly knows nothing about the issue.

Cow shit creates more greenhouse gas than vehicles do.

I for one am fully behind more bike lanes, so long as cyclists use them. If cyclists want more, they need to be more responsible, simple as that. Countries like the Netherlands have more bikes on the roads than cars in major cities. They have barely any incidents, why? Because the cyclists there obey the rules of the road and use the bike lanes. It has nothing to do with bikes, but the people on them.

Self entitled drivers and self entitled cyclists. I'm pretty sure it's the people in this city, not the groups in this city.
Rating: -20
Kayak commuter chiming in here.
I think the poll question should: Has the cycling vs. car debate become so polarized that no sane discourse can take place? YES or NO.

Commuting in Vancouver is difficult be it as a pedestrian, car or cyclist. Keep your head up, slow down, completely stop when required, look left, look right and don't move until safe,and most importantly relax. We are literally fighting over five extra minutes a day. If you need those five minutes, take some time from your daily internet browsing.

Rating: +24
To all the bike haters,

Imagine how much easier your slog to work tomorrow morning would be if say 50% of people who normally commute by car took transit, walked, or rode a bicycle.

Bicycles and other alternative modes of transportation are the solution to gridlock and pollution in the lower mainland--not your useless (and poorly expressed, judging by the comments here) hostility towards cyclists.

The more you drive the less intelligent you get.
Rating: +12
Unfortunately the ignorance of many cyclist give them a bad name overall. Typically they are witnessed not following the laws when on the roads. It is evident that in most cases, cyclist opt to have their cake and eat it too. We witness cyclists passing vehicles, cutting in front of cars and proceeding from the road to the sidewalks when they deem it more convenient. Overall a distraction to vehicles and a burden on our healthcare system to say the least. Firmer laws that actually apply to these cyclists need to be enforced.
Rating: -5


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