Their kamikaze bravery deserves respect
You roll your eyes at cyclists. They are smug, and holier than thou; their clique thinks of life as a peloton, and that’s irritating because you’d prefer they sort of hated everyone like you do. Plus, they ride on pavements, run red lights and arrive to the pub on their bike and toting their superiority.
However, focusing on these traits (or “prejudices that don’t stand up to scrutiny”) overlooks the peril they endure when don Lycra and jump on a bike.
They’re actually pretty brave
Have you ever tried crossing a road in central London? It’s terrifying. There are cars and buses and lorries and it’s impossible to know when it’s safe to come or go so you stand there and wait until it’s completely clear. Now imagine being a vulnerable human on two wheels in the thick of that metal sandwich with no protection, weaving in and out of traffic knowing that one slip could be fatal. It’s mental. The Elephant & Castle roundabout may as well be an 10th circle in Dante’s Hell. This kind of kamikaze bravery deserves respect.
They’re the kind of people who always get stuff done
Cyclists are the human WD40 in life. They making everything run. The ones who own Khakis, listen to Pearl Jam, bring packed lunches to work and get really, really into barbecuing. They love sorting mechanical problems and will help you fix anything – from your car to computer at work. Without them the world would be a more complicated, less efficient place. You laugh at their slightly freakish pragmatism but, deep down, envy how they seem actually do useful and practical things all the time.
They put up with a lot of shit
“Don’t get hit by a bus”. Cue the inevitable accident with a bus that night. Everyone leaves them alone for a week but carry on with the insults once they’ve stopped feeling guilty. In any case, the insurance claim will more than make up for the “you look like a lollipop lady” comments.
They keep going no matter how wet or windy or cold it is
It’s 8am on a mind-numbingly cold January morning. The roads are icy and sheets of rain lash down. The thought of walking the three minutes to the tube station makes you wince in horror. But for cyclists this is something to relish. They think nothing of pedalling furiously against the elements on an hour-long commute. Rain, wind, sleet, snow – these things are just part of the fun. Cyclists committed to a greater form of journey, something noble and pure – and a few drops of rain are all part of that mission.
Overtaking cars in traffic jams is one the greatest feelings in the world
As anyone you who has sat on a bike knows, squeezing through the tinniest of gaps between stationary cars is the best thing. You feel like royalty. The death stares from raging drivers only enhance the pleasure.
They’re saving the planet
A bit of an obvious one. While you’re out there polluting the world with cars and five minute Uber rides, cyclists are doing their bit for planet Earth. Yeah it can be annoying to hear them rant about the environment, but most people cycle simply because it’s easier to get from A to B. The whole emissions thing is just a worthy by-product.