‘Hostility toward cyclists increases in Belgium’
Cyclists groups and Belgian triathlon world champion, Alexandra Tondeur, have noted that the hostility from motorists toward cyclists is worryingly increasing since the corona crisis. Worse: anti-cyclist groups on Facebook even call for physical violence.
Valentin Thielemans is worried. The admin of a mountain bike group on Facebook counting up to 6 000 members has noted an increased hostility toward cyclists. Even triathlon world champion, Alexandra Tondeur, has noted that road users are getting tense.
On Facebook, Thielemans has noted the creation of some anti-cyclist groups. More worryingly, these private groups are calling for violence toward cyclists. “Some friends have joined those groups to see what’s what. They have taken screenshots,” notes the cyclist.
In these images, we can see different photos and posts gratifying violence toward two-wheelers, with some keyboard warriors even boasting some ridiculous and dangerous feats. True or false, humor or not, it’s just very misplaced.
Worse since Covid-19
“I keep getting grazed. I’ve had people smash their mirrors on my bike before. Every week, I get slammed. Luckily, it’s not the generality. There are just one or two nutcases coming home or going to work who want to gain a few seconds by taking reckless risks,” notes Belgian triathlon world champion, Alexandra Tondeur.
The world champion also adds that this situation has worsened since Covid-19. The increasing number of bicycles on the road could be an explanation. According to Vias data, the number of accidents implicating a cyclist has increased by 31% in Wallonia during the first quarter of 2020.