Re-posted with permission from Balance for Cyclists

bikeparking (2)

Yeah, we all encounter angry drivers out there — get shouted at to use the sidewalk, have doughnuts thrown at us, etc. — who would make us believe motorists hate us, but it’s really more of a love-hate relationship than a hate-hate relationship.  Here’s why:

1. Parking: for every bike commuter, there’s one more parking spot available.

More after the break.

2. Road Congestion:


The above picture represents the amount of room it would for 60 people to travel by car vs. 60 people traveling by bike.  Motorists may forget about this one as they speed by a little to close for your comfort because how dare someone on a bike cause them to slow down and find an appropriate place to pass.  But motorists should keep this in mind.  Even if you’re out for a recreational ride, that could be replacing a drive to the gym.


3. Other Drivers:



Yes, you may get frustrated at a cyclist, but how many times have you also been frustrated at other drivers?  Remember that the next time you’re cursing a cyclist, you’d probably be cursing if he or she were in a car.  Remember, bikes are traffic too.




People who ride bikes are fitter than their sedentary counterparts.  With obesity soon to usurp smoking as the number one preventable cause of death, not to mention diabetes and other ailments, fit people cause taxpayers less money than fat people.


5. Pollution:



Not much needs to be said here.  Cars pollute, bikes don’t.  Bikes make your city cleaner, quieter, and fitter.  But I’m going to add one more while we’re on emissions.  Bikes can drive down gas prices.  One of the reasons gas is so expensive is scarcity.  When we reduce gas consumption by riding a bike, we reduce scarcity.



  1. Most drivers I know’ think bikes are pretty cool even if they don’t ride. I’ve always thought that the the drivers who dislike cyclists the most are frustrated cyclists themselves.

  2. In my area 99% of drivers are fat slobs on iPhones on their way to buy 30packs and scratch tickets. Or Dunkin Donuts, you know, important stuff.

    They would rather scream “fucx%infaggot” at you than just drive around. Only when you catch up to them at a stop light do they then cower down and avoid eye contact.

    I liv in New England in a tourist area. The worst tourists are from NY bar none. See – The Freeze “I Hate Tourists” for a true local opinion.

  3. “Even if you’re out for a recreational ride, that could be replacing a drive to the gym.”

    Remember that driving a car is not a noble activity – people drive for the dumbest of reasons.
    Even if you are out for a recreational ride, you don’t have to justify it.

  4. I’ve had a pretty good experience with motorists here in Richmond VA. I’ve only been yelled at once the whole time I’ve been biking. Admittedly it was I believe the second time I’d ever used a bike as an adult, which was a bit disheartening at the time, but most people are neutral at worst and usually completely fine.

  5. I live in a NewEngland tourist town. I get along just fine with 99% of the drivers. I don’t know where they are heading in their cars because I don’t follow them to their destinations let alone wait outside to see what they purchase. Someone called me “hey Lance” once but I found it funny so I didn’t mind.

    I don’t really interact with the tourists much (other than giving directions) so I have no opinion of where the worst ones’s come from, heck I don’t even know what would constitute a bad tourist. Are all tourists bad? Maybe I should stay in my home town all the time as I sure wouldn’t want to travel somewhere on a vacation and accidentally became a bad tourist.

    Anyway, i think sometimes ones’ attitude can have a great affect on ones’ perception of the world around them.

  6. Dales from The Cape. The Cape doesn’t have bike lanes on 99% of the roads and the roads are skinny. Route 6A is a great ride but when its the summer it can be sketchy. I feel for you Dale.

  7. And the motorists on The Cape are not exactly cycling friendly. I cut up a one way street the wrong way on Nantucket once (admittedly a bad move) and I got run off the road by a van and almost got in a fight with the guy when he got out of his van to tell me how mad he was that I was on the road.

  8. Drivers in my area still get bewildered when there is a bike in the left hand turn lane. Not cool when drivers cut the turn, driving over the double yellow line.

  9. ^ I mean, not cool when the crossing traffic is turning left towards the lane right beside you, cutting the turn and crossing the double yellow line, while you are waiting in the left hand turn lane.

  10. Trek has some pretty interesting stats on when your car pollutes the most (when you turn it on) and stats on how most trips made are under 2 miles. World Watch Institute too. I just wrote a paper on cycling in America.

    12 times more likely to die cycling in America than the rest of the world (Yikes!)

    @Dale I resent that 30rack comment because I’m a poor college student and 30 racks of Keystone Ice are the best haha.

  11. Unfortunately for me I’m in outside sales and depend on my car from account 2 account. In the Duke City (Albq) we have miles & miles of bike lanes (both with & without cars), and still I’d rather ride in the dirt. Too many friends out road riding have been hit by inattentive drivers!

  12. Over here drivers have a habit of spraying windshield washer fluid in cyclist’s face. I use sunglasses most of the time so it does not affect me, but spraying chemicals in your eyes borders assault.

  13. Ethanovitch- I know what you mean. I got hit by somebody’s mirror here in the Duke City yesterday. I was in the bike lane and the driver swerved all the way over almost into the curb, then ran a red light speeding away.

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