There is a group of New Zealand motorists who feel rage against cyclists. I notice in the news this morning that a couple of tourists from America are the latest victims of this rage and they are guilty of nothing more than cycling on New Zealand roads. The male cyclist was punched and tackled to the ground by the motorist who parked his car specifically so that he could get out and assault the man.
My question is, why do some motorists dislike cyclists so much? Cyclists reduce traffic which is good news for cars and their drivers. They should be loving seeing people on bikes as it means one less car clogging up the streets. Cyclists are less likely to be using taxpayer money to pay for the health problems associated with too little exercise. The cyclist also produces zero pollution which means cleaner air for the motorist and his family. So why don’t all motorists absolutely love cyclists? They should be leaping out of their cars and congratulating the cyclist for risking his life for the benefit of humanity.
Perhaps the reason they are not is because these people are displaying some of the sick emotions described by Adam Gopnik in an article in The New Yorker on September 12, 2011:
“…people who don’t want high-speed rail are not just indifferent to fast trains. They are offended by fast trains, as the New York Post is offended by bike lanes and open-air plazas: these things give too much pleasure to those they hate. They would rather have exhaust and noise and traffic jams, if such things sufficiently annoy liberals. Annoying liberals is a pleasure well worth paying for. As a recent study in the social sciences shows, if energy use in a household is monitored so that you can watch yourself saving money every month by using less, self-identified conservatives will actually use and spend more, apparently as a way of showing their scorn for liberal pieties.”
Full article here – http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/09/12/110912fa_fact_gopnik