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Why are Poor/uneducated areas so unfriendly to roadbikers ?(34 posts)

Why are Poor/uneducated areas so unfriendly to roadbikers ?Maartin
Jul 19, 2002 5:58 AM
Is it only me or do others sense a dislike of road bikers in poor, blue color, redneck or rural areas. I get nasty stares, jeers, stuff thrown at me, get cut off, nearly run of the road by rednecks etc going through these areas and I live there! Does the road biker image connote wealth and that is why they do not like us or am I paranoid ? It seems more affluent or educated towns give me less problems. Is it different in other areas of the country?.
Read Deliverance (or rent the video)AllisonHayes
Jul 19, 2002 6:04 AM
And be careful about wearing lycra, particularly red--it just excites those inbreeders.
No more Boulder Creek, CA for me!!!(NM)James
Jul 19, 2002 11:12 PM
re: Why are Poor/uneducated areas so unfriendly to roadbikers ?tronracer
Jul 19, 2002 6:05 AM
Seems to me that you are different to them. They can't understand why someone would would want to be healthy. The poor people have a low quality of life and just can;t wait for it to be over. That is why they smoke, drink, do drugs. It seems to them that you are living the good life and they are jealous.
Twice on riverside drive in Asheville NC ...agilis ti
Jul 19, 2002 9:30 AM
i was shot at by a kid (standing next to his dad)whoknows they may have been brothers as well with a bb gun. Thankfully I was moving pretty quickly. And this road is frequented by local riders but it passes by some very low quality of life type areas. the kind that can only be improved by arson. By the way you don't stop and complain in area like that you just pick up speed and home they are gone when you make the turn around.
true?DougSloan
Jul 19, 2002 6:09 AM
I feel 10 times safer on a rural road than in a city, for whatever that's worth.
My experience as well.MXL02
Jul 19, 2002 6:11 AM
When I ride in the country, the locals are not the problem. Its the city folks out in the country for the weekend...they can be vicious.
My thoughts exactlygrandemamou
Jul 19, 2002 6:33 AM
I live in a very rural part of southern Louisana and find the local rednecks quite friendly. I often get waves and almost always have someone walk up and start talking to me. I know they think I'm nuts, but at least they don't tell me so to my face.

I have lived in several large NE cities and have had many more problems with drivers there. Give me a lonely stretch of country road any day. I'll take my chances with the red necks.
Rural Texas.......Dave Hickey
Jul 19, 2002 6:55 AM
I was riding in rural Texas and had two flats. Naturally I only had 1 tube and I was about 15 miles from where I parked my car. I'm standing at the side of the road when an old pickup pulls up and the driver asks if I needed help. The "redneck" went 15 miles out of his way to give my a ride back to my car.
More on rural Texans.MXL02
Jul 19, 2002 7:05 AM
We just may be blessed that folks in rural Texas are just naturally neighborly, no matter how weird you look in your cycling get up. What burns me up is when I am waiting in line at a country store and another cyclist starts bitching at the counter clerk, because the store doesn't have her favorite type of bottled water. You can feel the seething from all the locals watching the show. Rudeness doesn't know socioeconomic boundaries.
Rudeness damage controlTig
Jul 19, 2002 8:09 AM
I've seen far too many rude displays by cyclists, but a few others and myself tend to take on the role of damage control officers. One example was when a handful of riders darted across to get into a left turn lane, right in front of a driver who was also turning left. These boneheads were too busy trying to catch a small group that was away.

Well, one of us pulled up and tapped on their window. The driver rolled the passenger window down and my friend kindly apologized about the rude behavior of the others and also told them that those riders were "just plain dumb-asses". The driver laughed about it and no damage was done.

The occasional stepping in and soothing the injury can more than make up for the poor actions of others. City cyclists can be just as rude as city drivers. Bringing a bike to a car fight shows a major flaw in judgment!
Me too.look271
Jul 19, 2002 3:36 PM
I ride alot in rural PA-northern York County. Most locals either wave (from the porch of their mobil home) or little kids wave and yell. Most problems that I have encountered have been from SOB's in SUV's getting to and from their cute little homes in the country, driving like maniacs on narrow rural roads.
true? yep!!seyboro
Jul 19, 2002 5:23 PM
Our rides in eastern NC go through hog and tobacco country. Never really had a problem with the counrty folk. They don't tie up their dogs, but like the local bike mechanic once said: 'If a dog gets you, you're not riding fast enough!'
Added bonus: Combine drafting at harvest time...
not really...PMC
Jul 19, 2002 6:37 AM
Some of the more friendly areas I ride through are very poor with high Asian and Mexican populations. I've also never had a problem when riding in rural areas. I have had more problems being cut off and yelled at in the suburbs by where I live. The rednecks seem to keep to themselves up her in Minnesota.

Years ago before marriage and kids, I lived in the downtown urban areas of the city. After the last child leaves the nest, hopefully within the next 6 years, we plan on moving back. Not only do I love riding in the city, I want to live there again.
difference = disrespectoff roadie
Jul 19, 2002 6:44 AM
That's what I think the basic cause of a lot of animosty towars anybody by an group is. Its a common misperception, and genrrally folks who a less repected by society are ven more insecure about outsideres "disrespecting" them by intruding into thier neighborhoods or whatever. Agression towards those outsiders isn't helpful, but hey, the whole thing is illogical to start with.

In your case, it certainly isn't wealth that is at issue. If you were tooling around on a $50k cutosm Harley with full leathers on, nobody would be throwing stuff at you- they would invite you into thier homes! That's because Harley riding is an accepted part of blue collar culture, even if lots of folks can't afford it.

Road biking isn't a part of that culture, and I imagine the more "Euro" your bike and outfit, the more negative the response your presence elicites. If you can get a plain looking bike, and bike clothes with popular Nascar sponsor logos, or simply wear a Harley or Marlboro t-shirt (not to uncomfortable, if you cut off the sleves), or other clothes that blend, it might do a lot to change the response you get.

There's also the whole "homosexual" issue, but I'm not gonna touch that except to point out one thing- the village people had a leather biker guy, but no spadex clad road racer. Still, you don't see anybody calling the Harley riders fags...
You should see my block when a Hispanic drives bycory
Jul 19, 2002 7:05 AM
I've experienced what you're talking about, and there are a lot of factors possibly involved. My bike probably cost more than a lot of those people spend to feed, house and clothe their families for two months; there's lots of pent-up anger against blue-eyed white guys, on and on.
Goes both ways, though. I live in a formerly rural area that, in the last five years, has been doctorized and lawyerized so I'm surrounded by million-dollar homes. You should see the way my neighbors act when a Black or Hispanic person comes down the street. If he doesn't have a lawnmower in the back of his truck, they'll call the cops.
difference = disrespectoff roadie
Jul 19, 2002 7:15 AM
That's what I think the basic cause of a lot of animosty towars anybody by an group is. Its a common misperception, and genrrally folks who a less repected by society are ven more insecure about outsideres "disrespecting" them by intruding into thier neighborhoods or whatever. Agression towards those outsiders isn't helpful, but hey, the whole thing is illogical to start with.

In your case, it certainly isn't wealth that is at issue. If you were tooling around on a $50k cutosm Harley with full leathers on, nobody would be throwing stuff at you- they would invite you into thier homes! That's because Harley riding is an accepted part of blue collar culture, even if lots of folks can't afford it.

Road biking isn't a part of that culture, and I imagine the more "Euro" your bike and outfit, the more negative the response your presence elicites. If you can get a plain looking bike, and bike clothes with popular Nascar sponsor logos, or simply wear a Harley or Marlboro t-shirt (not to uncomfortable, if you cut off the sleves), or other clothes that blend, it might do a lot to change the response you get.

There's also the whole "homosexual" issue, but I'm not gonna touch that except to point out one thing- the village people had a leather biker guy, but no spadex clad road racer. Still, you don't see anybody calling the Harley riders fags...
Class differenceTypeOne
Jul 19, 2002 12:24 PM
I am merely echoing what many have posted before, but here is my .02:

The animosity that "have-nots" feel toward "haves" is demonstrated when a cyclist rides through a poorer area, be it rural or urban. Face it, cycling ain't cheap. If you could downhill ski through those areas, you'd be spit on and cursed at, too.

But that is certainly only my generalization and nothing more. I have seen Mercedes and BMW drivers act just as aggressively and rudely. I have no explanation other than maybe they believe the "little people" need to get out of their way.
The Exact Opposite, In My ExperienceGregory Taylor
Jul 19, 2002 7:18 AM
More Affluent Area = More Likely To Get Run Over

I think that this is one of Newton's little known laws of physics. After getting hit by the apple under the tree, Sir Issac went out for a ride in the ritzy part of town and got run over by a Duke or an Earl (the Duke of Earl? I dunno...) heading back to the Manor in his coach-and-six. Pesky commoners.

After the revolution, we Americans did away with the peerage and titles. We've been trying to revive it ever since...
I agree completely!Softrider
Jul 19, 2002 7:31 AM
I have seen alot more rudeness and agression from the presumably more educated and civilized people in BMW's and Mercedes than I have from the "rednecks" in old pick-up trucks.
I agree, tho' it goes both ways...rwbadley
Jul 19, 2002 7:59 AM
Down in a high rent section of LA recently, and I couldn't help but notice that a slower moving vehicle on the road is a personal affront to the folks trying to get ahead in their 80k+ wheels. Cocooned in the big machine gives a huge feeling of superiority.

What I decided about this was if you have the real big bucks, and the drive to get it, it is a real ego buster to have anyone in the way and by dog how dare they occupy my space. The world is MY oyster, get the hell out of my shell!

On the other hand, I have been hooted and honked at by more than a few bubba's.

So far, I have not experienced a problem with lower income hispanic or black population. In fact if anything have received high level of courtesy from these folks. Tho' I also think it may depend on how you are dressed, and what bike you may ride. If I am in shorts and tee, on a "regular" type bike is different than being spandexed out on the racer.

A friend of mine related a story to me of their trip across the US. He said the rednecks were the worst, but when they got to the >really poor< southeast area, those folks were nice as pie, and the conversations came easy. You rode that bike how far? you're going where? This from folks that may never have been out of the county in their lives, or a trip to the next town on a bike would be an unthinkable journey. In fact, he said the number of folks that use their (riding) lawnmower to get around was amazing!

Hostility and courtesy know no color, age, education, or income barrier. It will always be an element of "us vs them"

The more you are able to resemble "us" the better off you will be. Be the chameleon if you can!

RW
well said, aaarr dubbyaa :) (nm)AllisonHayes
Jul 19, 2002 8:04 AM
there is a difference between "poor" and "redneck"(nm)rufus
Jul 19, 2002 8:23 AM
Absolutely nmrwbadley
Jul 19, 2002 10:47 AM
Poor people serve me well.Spoiler
Jul 19, 2002 12:27 PM
I've had nothing but positive experiences when I bless some southern marshy and mosquito-ravaged swath of cow-dung with my presence. I find that if these inhabitants have learned anything, it's their place as servant-samaritans.
These leaden-pated,slow-coaches will change my tire for a nickel, or willingly scrape the crusted dog shit off my cleats for a pat on the head.
What of your pyscheSnowBlind
Jul 19, 2002 7:39 AM
is projecting such anger against poor people?
I have been mistreated by poor, middleclass, and rich people alike.
The question is not "why do they dislike me?" but "Why do the perceive me as dislikable?"

One thing I have found is when I forget my helmet people are nicer to me (i.e. wave, smile, say hello). I believe it is because I become more "warrior like" when I am armored up with a helmet.
I disagree ...tarwheel
Jul 19, 2002 7:45 AM
I live in the South and have cycled in so-called redneck areas for 30 years. In my experience, people in the country are much more civil and polite toward cyclists than people in the cities and suburbs. Contrary to prevailing stereotypes, I seldom have trouble from "rednecks" in pickup trucks. More often than not, rude drivers that honk or yell or pass too close are in cars that contain a bunch of teenagers. The other ones I worry about are people driving large SUVs or minivans while talking on cell phones and not watching what they're doing, or drivers with road rage because you're held them up by 10 seconds. Give me a country road with rednecks any day over an urban or suburban area. I also have participated in 4 cross state tours in different parts of the country (Georgia, NC, Ohio and Wisconsin). In every state, the rural areas were a pleasure to ride through with very few if any hassles from drivers. When we stop at country stores, a lot of the locals are very friendly, courteous and curious about cyclists -- and they appreciate the business.
suburban kids my problemyeah right
Jul 19, 2002 8:36 AM
riding around in suburbia, my problems usually stem from the 18 year old with his friends in his parent's suv that think they're cool when they throw their soda cups at you and yell at you from 6" away as they pass. riding in rural areas usually doesn't cause too many problems for me except the ocassional desiel truck that really neeeds a tune-up. a local pastor was nearly killed here in the spring while training for the stp because some kids pushed him over on a descent, I'm sure that was really funny, especially when they were brought into the police station and booked. i'll take a hic in f-150 over a kid in a range rover any day.
suburban kids my problemTypeOne
Jul 19, 2002 12:27 PM
What happened to Rev. Tinney, anyway? Was he able to ride STP this year?

An 18-year old in a car by him or herself isn't much of a problem, but a car full of bored suburb kids always means trouble. One of the yayhoos will try to show off how studly he is when approaching a cyclist. And those kids have grown up playing Sega and Super Nintendo with their aggressive driving games. No surprise.
Deffination of a redneckPhatMatt
Jul 19, 2002 8:47 AM
It depends on youe deffination of a redneck. I come from a small town, that usually does not like things that are different. But I have never had a problem riding up there. Down here in Salt Lake, you get the wanna be cowboys ie redneck. Big truck rope or gun in the back window (rope never been used cause they do not know how) These are the kinds that scare me. They seem to be the worst offenders of I own the road and you need to get the F*@k off.
Spelling for one? (nm)grzy
Jul 19, 2002 11:18 AM
Well, you nailed it for our area (spelling aside).Leisure
Jul 20, 2002 2:52 PM
I like to use "hillbilly"; I think it sounds funnier. But it does depend on how you define redneck/hillbilly. Personally, I just think of hillbillies as those intolerant, uneducated, might-makes-right types that think they can go pushing people around. I don't literally think of hillbillies as all rural folk. There are plenty of people I see at work, etc, that are originally from rural areas, then moved from the farm and got city jobs. Generally nice people, and those aren't the types I call hillbillies. Instead, I am very likely to call a rich city-dweller a hillbilly wannabe if I see him/her driving their subrubans around expecting everyone to run off the road for them. Just how I think of it.
My theory is it's a cultural thingMel Erickson
Jul 19, 2002 9:46 AM
and totally unrelated to social or economic status. The "disrespect" message started to hit on it. Where I ride there are people of all economic classes (though very little racial or ethnic diversity). The culture here is generally one of respect. Even though you look weird or have a bike worth two months paychecks they respect you as another human being worthy of sharing space with on this earth. Maybe education has something to do with it and I'd like to think exposure to other cultures and ways of life but the second doesn't really jibe with my experiences here. Many of the folks around here haven't had much first hand exposure to other cultures. That leaves historical cultural tradition as my only explanation. How people are brought up to behave. I believe this changes by region and varies within region. Why? Don't know. I'll leave that to the socialogists. Hope you can understand this ramble. Even I'm having a hard time.
Nothing's a sure thingindianabob
Jul 21, 2002 9:08 PM
When I started road riding in California in the mid 80s, I was a kid, and thought that the rudest riders on the road were cars with my peers showing off for each other. When I moved to Indiana four years ago, I figured, because I'm black, the rednecks will get me for sure. Well, I found the menaces on the road to be the same kids sardined into cars, showing off for each other. The so-called rednecks usually wave from their mowers and combines, and give me lots of room on the side when they drive past. Yes, in rural Indiana I've heard an N-Bomb (just one), but nothing worse.

But even the kids are often all-right. Last year I wiped out on a decent, in plain view, of a 16 year old, who mercilessly, drove on by. At the side of the road, about ten minutes later, after wiping off some blood and straightening the bar, the kid came by and explained in the thickest hick drawl imaginable, that she had gotten about five miles up the road, felt guilty about not stopping, and turned around to see if she could help out. She also said that she'd just never seen anyone like me (whatever that meant) riding a fancy bike in her part of the country, and had panicked when she saw me whack my helmet off the asphalt at 30mph. She was very honest, and sincere, and I thought it was a great gesture to come back to offer me some water and a candy bar.