If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Do bears defecate in the woods? If a Twitter user with an egg as their profile picture spouts bile at people who ride bikes, does it really matter?
Let’s not be under any illusion here. As a group, we people on bicycles are not universally liked. Then again, no group is universally liked.
Something many of us realised during the Alliston case is that we’re part of a group that the vast majority struggles to identify with. It could be that we occasionally delay drivers who assume their journey is more important than ours; it could be the funny clothes some of us wear. In all honesty, it could be anything and it could be nothing.
It’s human nature to cast out those we consider different. Unfortunately, the vast majority have been duped into thinking that motoring is normal. Yes, that form of transport with the astronomical carbon footprint; that form of transport with unimaginable external costs; the third biggest cause of death of people age 20-34.
We know we’re part of this “out group”, but no amount of arguing with the ‘normals’ is going to change their minds. Instead, all we do is validate their existence, give them a platform and extend their reach beyond their own, often very small circle.
It is as impossible to withhold education from the receptive mind as it is impossible to force it upon the unreasoning. – Agnes Repplierg
Just ignore them. Let them shout into their empty rooms if it makes them feel better. Some may one day come around, decide to try this ‘cycling thing’ in their own time.
That’s were we come in.