...another article on theage.com about cycling, with the comments section open to hundreds upon hundreds of society's cretins spouting off about the apparent nuisance of cyclists on their roads.
This time, the article is related to the unfortunate death of a man in his twenties, and documents a call for tougher laws regarding the relationship between cyclists and motorists. The first commenter on the article states that if cyclists were to pay registration, display plates and undergo some form of cycling safety programme, they could then demand more respect from other road users. They also go on to say, "...ban riders who seem to think the roads are there for race training". This commenter's chosen nom de plume is 'karma'. An apparent insinuation that John Cornish, the cyclist killed on Friday, somehow deserved his death.
Here's another commenter, under the alias of 'boots on the other foot', responding to an earlier commenter who talked about the fact that their child rides with them on a child-seat fitted to the back of their bike. "...you should be charged with endangering a child and jailed. No person in their right mind carries a child on their 2 wheels of death, those that drag their child around in little trailers are asking for them to be run over."
So, by choosing to transport yourself and your child on a bike, you are asking for your child to be injured, or killed? And you deserve to be jailed for making such a decision?
How about this post from 'Atheist Mum', bragging about physically assaulting a cyclist:
I could go on like this for hours, but I'm sure I don't need to. All three of the above people are from Melbourne. Every time that I hop on my bike to ride to work, or go for a ride with friends, I think about that. I think that, at any moment, one of the above people might be behind me in their car, pissed off and looking to make a bad decision.
It was just Friday night gone that at around the same time John Cornish was killed about 20km from where I was riding with two friends, some absolute piece of shit decided that he was in too much of a hurry to wait behind the three cars in front of him, so instead overtook my friends and I on the left, around a sharp corner, in the space reserved for car parking.
So what has to change? There is always going to be an element of motorists who just can't be taught. Likewise, there will always be a percentage of cyclists who ride selfishly, angering those motorists with tempers too quick. But, in my opinion, the focus needs to be on shifting the mentality of drivers. It is also in my opinion that this is about as likely to happen in Australia as the abolition of racism. So what does the common cyclist do? I know what I do, I ride with the view that every single motorist I see is out to harm me. I ride with extreme prejudice towards any motorist who responds negatively to me being on the road. And I ride with a belly full of hate and a desperate willingness to cause harm to those motorists who attempt to engage me in a conflict after they have wronged me on the road. It's arguably not the right attitude to have, but fuck you if you don't like it because this is my life.