I applaud, admire and respect those who ride their cycles, particulary in Central London. Fitness, environmental footprint, reduced congestion … there is so much to recommend it. I sometimes toy with the idea of creating a “Cycle Friendly Motorcyclist” logo or movement to show some solidarity among two wheeled road users. I like to give them plenty of room and try to make their lives as easy as possible. (This tends to actually annoy other motorcyclists and cars from time to time, in fact). At SAS, where I work, we subsidise our pedal cyclists, with pride.
[Over the short run (say, 200-300 meters) they can make much better progress than a motorcycle, in fact, although at any distance over that the motorcycle will invariably gain the sustained speed advantage, though they hate to admit it...]
Except, of course, for the militant 10% who should have their bicycles melted and poured down their throats. I admit I sometimes fantasize about seeing how quickly a 167kg 109 horsepower motorcycle can crush a pedal cycle and its self-righteous rider, savouring their look of horrified, indignant surprise as they go down after blocking a line of traffic for two blocks.
Let’s face it: Drivers hate them. Motorcyclists hate them. Pedestrians hate them. Even other cyclists hate them. This probably eggs them on. I suspect they’re that personality type.
You (and they) know who they are: the self-righteous, lane-hogging, deliberately-obstructionist-to-make-some-sort-of-statement, aggressive pedal cyclists who aren’t just getting from point A to point B, or “doing their bit” and staying fit — they have a mission. They have something to prove. They are on a bicycle, and woe to anyone who isn’t.
Interestingly, although they make up only 10% or so of the pedal cyclist demographic, they make up some 60-80% of the spandex/lycra cyclist clothing market.