LETTER: Cyclists deserve more respect

As an old lady who pedals a bicycle 6,400 km a year to and from work, I am mystified by the rabid loathing and hatred displayed in any social media discussion of bike lanes.

READ ALSO: Lessons learned: City reflects on bike lane construction

READ ALSO: Victoria considers hiring more staff, less public engagement to get bike lanes built faster

Actually I’m not. It’s called social dominance. The little chicken gets pecked by the big chicken and ever will it be so. But I am really tired of hate being promoted in the name of supposedly healthy discussion and dialogue.

You couldn’t call me a cyclist – that’s someone in the Tour de France, Olympics or training for it. Some bike shops are even rude to me and other bicycle riders because it’s beneath them to work on a commuter bike.

I recently saw an article about an eight-year-old cyclist injured in traffic. That’s a kid on a bicycle, not a cyclist.

A recent study shows that the word cyclist is used to dehumanize people and thereby justify hate.

One in five drivers apparently feels they need to take it upon themselves to punish cyclists, like the guy who clipped me with his mirror because, as he said when I caught up to him, he didn’t think I belonged on his road. The police later had a chat with him, for whatever good that did. It was pretty frightening. It isn’t illegal to kill someone on a bicycle.

READ ALSO: The scary truth about ‘dooring’

There’s no point in my going into why riding a bicycle is socially responsible and bike lanes make economic sense (six per cent of the commuters and probably 0.1 per cent of the highways funding). Haters will just skip it over, looking for validation of their hater beliefs.

READ MORE: Victoria gets back on the bike for week-long commute competition

The authorities are becoming a lot less patient with coy freedom-of-choice speeches that are really just promoting hate. Promoting hatred toward an identifiable group doesn’t belong in a newspaper.

Cynthia Brossard

Victoria

Just Posted

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read