Apart from the obvious – that some drivers dehumanise cyclists as if they were some inferior race – this research makes some fascinating points:

  • Even drivers who also ride can think of cyclists this way.
  • The term cyclist itself tends to dehumanise bike riders, and should be avoided.

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We need to change the name of this site to 'Sydney Bike Riders'. Or perhaps 'People In Sydney Who Sometimes Ride Bicycles'

How about "www.motoristswhohappentoalsoridebikesandmayormaynotliveinoraroundsydney.com" Just roles off the tongue.

Article in The Conversation today by Phillipa Smith on hate speech.

A number of academics, including myself, are developing various ....counter-speech initiatives to see what might be most effective. Susan Benesch, the director of the Dangerous Speech Project, says that critiquing a poster of inflammatory material in a “civil and productive” way can work and, in some cases, lead an offender to apologise. Certainly, presenting counter arguments through discussion groups or websites can serve to delegitimise those arguments that express hateful ideologies. When this occurs in a public online space it also exposes counter arguments to a wider audience.”

I was reminded of Mr O and his excellent articles in the SMH dispelling myths about cyclists. But the general ignorance of the community shows no sign of decreasing.

There must be quite a lot of drivers from places where public transport is pretty lousy – which is a lot of places in Sydney and in most of the rest of NSW – who don't earn much money, who lose enough points to have their licence cancelled and have to abandon their cars. They might have to ride bikes to get around. I wonder what their views of cycling are once they've done it for a while? Is the experience an awful penance that they're ashamed of having to resort to, and can't wait to be rid of? Or is it actually quite useful and pleasant, not to mention healthy and invigorating? I wonder if anyone has done any research on them...

You do see a few riders in fluoro work shirts and boots, whether it’s because they have lost their license or just find it quicker and cheaper to get to work sites I wouldn’t know. 

But don’t magistrates go pretty easy if a defendant “needs” his car to get to work?

Bob.  I've transitioned from office job to construction worker in the past year or so.  I still change when I get to work.  Have 1 golden rule.  No more than 10kms each way.  Beyond that I drive.  I've been working on the new railway & was based at Macquarie Park for most of the time.  Parking was $45 a day, give or take a day, or a 15 min walk from the nearest free parking.  Buses were easy in the morning, but could be extended times in the afternoon.  Also start and finish times were very early (6.00AM) & often very late  6.00pm-7.00pm.  After all this I decided to bike.  At 5.15am it is surprising how many bicycle commuters there are out there.

Prism Bike is already leading the research on this, and putting it into practical application - The Prism Bike Tradie kit.

If you can't beat them, join them!

Bloody genius I reckon!

Gold John

Ollie's comments in the story are deep.

Straight to the psychology of the them v/s us mentality.

This kit has to tempt any road bike commuter!

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