The Chainlink

I ask myself all the time why I continue to ride in this city. Everyone is so angry and only worried about themselves. It’s all about me before you. Why do we continue to ride when there is so much hatred/anger/obviluousness to human life as cyclists and pedestrians? 

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I dunno about anybody else, but I've found drivers much more tolerant today than there were a few years ago.  They leave room, they often stop and wait.  They don't (often) lay on the horn.

Try taking a long tour outside the city in rural areas with small time.  They treat cyclists like strangers and kids. 

With a few rare exceptions, i've found drivers in the rural areas i ride to be pretty courteous- or at least more willing to give me room- they don't have the traffic pressures city drivers do so they tend to be less stressed out.

I've often found this as well, but of course it's blind chance who we encounter on a given day.

I've gotten used to and know how to ride downtown but the "new and improved" LFT is now the hostility is coming from joggers and other cyclists. I was and the wrong side of the trail several times on my way home so do we ride on the side closer to the lake or to the drive?

It seems to me its a criss cross game.

It will only get worse in the Spring.

last week I was walking in  the loop  and  at Dearborn and  Randolph a guy in a car stopped when  the light was turning from  yellow to  red on a crowded afternoon while the  Christkindlemarket was in  full  swing.  The  guy behind him was miffed and  also kissed the car in front. He  started yelling at the guy who had done  the right thing and stopped. At first, having watched  this unfold I point blank told the two of them who was right and  who was wrong  and that  they were  lucky there was minimal, if any damage, and there was  no need for it to escalate.  I then thought the better of  it in  a world where weapons are carried on the streets and  walked  on.  I  was a block away at  Clark and  Randolph when  the two of them,  who had both made  left turns from Dearborn onto Randolph came upon  me and  the  aggressor was still yelling at the guy who had stopped. I didn't look  up  and  kept walking.

I got told to Fuck off by a driver at the same spot today who ran the light and then got stuck in the path of the dearborn bike lane because you know traffic.

Angry driver. 

1950... not much changed since:

It varies by neighborhood.  Courteous drivers are created by the Class structure of our society.  Polite manners are bred into the upper and more educated, acculturated classes.  Impolite car drivers are a sign of a Third World country, with poor social systems.  Countries where just owning a car puts you in the aristocracy.  And by-God, as a driver you're not about to act otherwise!

I think you'll notice that car drivers are much more polite in well-to-do suburbs and neighborhoods.  But in some ethnic neighborhoods, it's a different story.  When some immigrants get to the US and get a job, the first thing they buy is a big, shiny pickup truck or SUV.  The vehicle becomes their IDENTITY.  So they DRIVE everywhere.   They're not about to walk or bike...or take any lip from the 'lower-class' folks who do.  This attitude pervades the whole neighborhood.   And even second- and third-generation minorities pick up on this attitude of 'Driver superiority.'   I think that is where our 'Angry City' comes from.

Where to begin with  this? i don't know where you ride, but i find your take on drivers' courtesy rather elitist and classist, verging on racist. Have you cycled in a "third world " country?

i do a lot of cycling through some pretty well-to-do neighbourhoods, and also some pretty hardscrabble towns and rural areas, and i have no way of knowing how "educated" or "acculturated" any given driver may be. If anything, i guess one could make a conjecture about a driver's economic or class status by observing the vehicle or the apparent affluence of the immediate area, but that would be an unreliable standard of measure. Having said that, my experience seems to be the opposite of yours- i find drivers in the more -apparently -economically well-to-do areas, driving finer autos, etc. and thus seemingly fitting your profile of "educated" or "acculturated", to be generally ruder and more entitled than those in more -let's call it "working class" or "down-market" or even "urban" parts of the world.

Bad driving, entitled attitudes, etc. does not have to do with lack of "acculturation" or lower "class." If anything it has to do with too much "acculturation," "breeding," and too much  "upper-class" entitlement.

"Verging on racist"?! No, let's call it what it is -- it IS racist (and elitist and classist.) What next, clp, a lecture on eugenics? You are not half as clever as you pretend to be. But "stimulating" legitimate debate is not really your intention, is it? You are receiving far too much attention for your "provocative" positions and THAT, I suspect, is your real motive. Regretfully, I fall into the trap by responding. My new year resolution will be to endeavor to not feed the troll.


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