In light of the recent spate of local car-cyclist incidents (where the cyclist never wins), I was a little worried when Chris said he was going to drop off his car at the shop this morning and bike back home. He's done this before, and he goes out routinely for 4+ hour rides on the weekends - and there's always a part of me that worries about him. I'm quite certain he only tells me about a small percentage of the minor altercations he gets into while he's out, but even that small number usually gets me thinking. Lately, of course, I'm thinking about it more.
He tells me that there are sometimes people who will drive by in their cars and, as they come up right behind him, will yell something intended to scare him (probably into falling off the bike). Even worse, sometimes people throw things at him from their cars. He chooses to ride on country roads where there is very little traffic - so it's not as if he's holding anyone up.
What I can't for the life of me understand is - what on earth possesses people to do this kind of shit? If they saw someone riding a horse along a country road on a Sunday morning would they shout obscenities at them? What about someone walking their dog? Or a kid riding a bike to a friend's house? What the hell is the problem here, and why can't I understand where it comes from?!?
As I drove Chris to work this morning, he told me that he feels like incidents like the ones he's told me about before seem to be increasing. So - why is there such antagonism toward cyclists? Anyone care to fill me in?