I hate drivers. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate all of them, just a considerably larger proportion than I hate of the population as a whole.
And, like most cyclists, I drive myself, having been bullied into it by my then girlfriend who bought me lessons for my 27th birthday. But generally speaking I feel the same way about them as Rod Liddle feels about cyclists. Although I agree with Rod on almost all things, it would be weird and awkward if I agreed with him on everything, and this is the slither outside the bubble on the Venn diagram.
I don’t object to his characterisation of cyclists as angry, self-righteous ninnies, because I’m not opposed to generalisations as they’re quite necessary. For example, I would say about 5 per cent of drivers are reckless and dangerous, but that rises to about 40 per cent of white van men and a fifth of minicab drivers, which is a useful stereotype to have when you’re trying to avoid getting killed. (Obviously any lorry with a Polish or Lithuanian registration should be avoided.)
So I’m not saying all white van drivers are criminally careless sociopaths, just a hugely disproportionate number. Likewise with black cab drivers, some of whom do occasionally indicate when the mood takes them!
I admit that cyclists sometimes come across as sanctimonious or angry, but a lot of that comes from constantly feeling endangered and occasionally being shouted at. These are the root causes of our anger.
Driving a car is great fun, in places like Montana, but there is absolutely no reason to make non-essential car journeys in big cities like London.