An anti-bike Facebook group called ‘There’s a perfectly good path right next to the road you stupid cyclist!’ has attracted more than 32,000 fans.
The page, set up two months ago, includes a picture of a cyclist almost being hit by a car door and the lines “No matter how far to the left you are, you’re taking up my road” and “My car is hard, and I am not slowing down!”.
Comments range from the normal nonsense about cyclists not paying ‘road tax’ and moaning about people riding two abreast, to “what a delightful day to run over a cyclist” and “cyclists are Pedo’s [sic] minus the white van”.
But some of the responses from riders don’t help matters – a poster going by the name Tiffany Bakehouse says: “I have a concealed weapons permit and have had one of my guns concealed on my person during EVERY ride for over 10 years. If you do this to me I will do my best to kill you. If I stop your vehicle with my gunfire after your assault you will not survive when I catch up with you. This is a promise.”
Cyclists are fighting back with their own Facebook groups, including the Cyclists Against Reckless Drivers Foundation (actually set up before the ‘perfectly good path’ page) and Help remove this hate group against cyclists!.
Debra Rolfe, campaigns co-ordinator for UK cyclists’ organisation CTC, told BikeRadar: “It’s sad that over 32,000 people are willing to publicly state that they support running cyclists off the road. People may think that this group is just a joke, but it sends a clear message that cyclists don’t deserve to be treated with common decency or even common courtesy. This is wrong, and potentially dangerous.
“The Highway Code states that cyclists belong on the road [Ed: This applies in the UK; it’s unclear from which country the Facebook page originates, so different rules may apply there], and even requires cyclists to use the road and stay off adjacent footpaths and pavements. This Facebook page demands that cyclists behave in an illegal [in the UK] manner – or face being run over.
“This is representative of a wholly unacceptable and shockingly widespread attitude towards cyclists’ safety, which CTC is campaigning against with Stop SMIDSY (“Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You”). We urge all cyclists who encounter aggressive and dangerous motorists to report these incidents on www.stop-smidsy.org.uk. Bullying cyclists, even online, is immature, irresponsible and just plain stupid.”