Why Do Cagers Hate Us!?

Why do some car drivers have an irrational hatred for motorcyclists?

motorcycle hate note
Reddit user VgnFit woke up to this note on his bike from an angry neighborRedditor VgnFit

Last week I was riding home from work at about 4:30pm in Southern California. Up until now in California, lane splitting has been neither legal nor illegal, but is a common practice and one that, if done safely, saves riders a lot of time and struggle. As I was riding between the carpool and the fast lane, I see this tiny hand come out of the driver's window and flip me off. I hadn't done anything to this person, I hadn't even passed her yet, but she hated me. I don't know if she had past experiences with motorcyclists causing her harm, or if she was just pissed off about sitting in traffic and jealous of the fact that I got to keep moving. But this is not nearly the worst I have seen, and not an isolated incident; if you're a rider it is most likely something you have dealt with as well.

Most cagers don't realize that motorcycles are something other than a recreational activity. I don't need to argue the benefits of motorcycle commuting to you guys, I'm sure. But the fact is, every time you buzz by the car of a frustrated driver, they're most likely thinking something along the lines of "That reckless $%^& putting my life at risk so they can get to work a little faster!?" Never making the connection that they have air bags and a big metal box around them, while you only have a helmet and a jacket.

I have noticed it gets much worse in places where motorcycles aren't as common, as well. Here in Southern California, riders are everywhere and a good amount of car drivers will move over for us to make room while we split lanes. Every time we throw out the hand and thank them for that little courtesy, they get the warm and fuzzies and are that much more likely to do it again. On the flip-side, a simple "keep your eyes on the road," or "look before you change lanes!"

Parking is a different beast entirely. Motorcycles have been known to be at fault HERE with parking in the handicap accessibility section, but that's another discussion. The main thing here is: many drivers don't think we deserve a whole parking space. This is irrational and ridiculous. 9/10 times, they are driving their car alone, burning more gas and taking up more space than a motorcycle. However, this is a battle that is incredibly hard to win. If you have a neighbor that is upset with the way that you park your bike, It's much easier for them to harm your bike than it is for you to find safe parking. If you take a "whole" parking spot, they'll get upset because you're only using 1/4 of it. If you park outside of a parking spot, you're entitled and feel like you can park anywhere you want 'cause you're "special." I'm torn here, because part of me says to go and try to talk with your neighbor and find out what the real issue is. Part of me says to set up a security camera and keep parking legally. Every situation is different, just know that without a private garage, it's always going to be easier for them to hurt your bike than it is for you to keep it safe.

When it comes to road rage and cagers hating bikes, it's almost always a bigger issue. One Redditor suggests that if a driver is freaking out on you, you simply breath, accept the fact that they have uncontrollable diarrhea, and if they don't get home RIGHT NOW, they'll have a terrible mess. Little things like this help you shake the anger of this negative confrontation, remind yourself how fragile you are on a bike, and how much more important getting home is than them knowing that you're right.