|Hey- You're Not From Around Here, Are Ya?|
Now let me give you an example to help illustrate my theory here.
Back when I was in college, I worked part time in a jewelry store. I lived in the dormitories then and had to walk a considerable distance to get to my car. This generally took me across a few campus streets and a couple of large parking lots.
If I was, say- heading out to see a live band- I would be cut off by cars, not given any quarter by delivery trucks, or by campus vehicles. If; however, I was in a suit and tie, going to work, I was given full right of way by folks in cars and trucks. Often times cars would actually stop mid-block and wave me across the street. These were the same folks that would sooner run me over than let me cross if I were dressed in a t-shirt and jeans.
My "theory" is that folks that are not cyclists don't see the helmet wearing, Lycra-clad cyclists as "human" either. In my experience, I am often given plenty of room if I ride my townie in my jeans and t-shirt with a ball cap on. But the minute I don a "brain bucket" and a pair of sunglasses, it seems I am seen differently. Am I the only one that sees this? Helmets just seem to make us look like aliens and dorks to non-cyclists, apparently not worthy of consideration as humans.
Maybe I'm all wrong here. Let me know....