The closer a cyclist is to a downtown train station, the more invisible a cyclist is to a jaywalking pedestrian.
A minivan magically renders any person incapable of driving it well.
Taxicabs are not that bad, nor are SUVs. Cyclists merely notice dickish cabbies in downtown areas because there are so many more cabs there than elsewhere, thus polluting our sample set. For SUVs, the experience of almost getting hit by one stands out as a generalizable event more so than with a regular car, thanks to an SUV's size. This latter example is called The Bigness Fallacy.
Suburu drivers are surprisingly aggressive, and often have political bumper stickers.
Male cyclists over 40 and under 45 will seem, and probably are, drunk at any hour of the day. They never, ever wear helmets and always wear sunglasses. Most will have stubble. All will have mustaches. (If they have no facial hair at all, then they are completely bald and wear shorts in the winter.) They do not ride faster than 12 miles per hour, ever—but they also never stop or even slow for red lights/stop signs/pedestrians/streams of on-coming traffic. They never ride anything nicer than a 15-year old mountain bike that sucked the day it was made, and always, always seem like they're on their way to or from stealing something, possibly even the shitty bike on which they then ride. No exceptions.
Drivers of very shitty cars and very expensive cars are the worst. My pet theory is that owners of old shitty cars have less experience driving, while drivers of expensive cars just don’t care about anyone else on the road. This is an example of The Middle-Class-Is-Better Fallacy.
If you tell a group of people (must be four or more) that you had a scary experience on your bike where an SUV almost hit you, at least one person will counter-complain with a Cyclist-Who-Rode-On-The-Sidewalk Anecdote. You can ask the person if that cyclist was dangerous or merely annoying and what the fuck it has to do with the infinitely-more-harrowing story you just told. But you will ask in vain. To some people, a complaint about a bad or cruel driver they never met is an insult against them personally, and to balance the cosmos they must attack all cyclists as psychopathic hooligans who get sexual arousal from riding on the sidewalk. The momentary inconvenience of pausing mid-stride is an affront that some people can never get over.
In Chicago, Clybourn Avenue between Wellington and Division (a 3.2 mile stretch) smells strongly of poo for the duration, and yet it is the fastest, most bike-friendly street on the entire north side. This is called The Clybourn Paradox.
It only takes one asshole to cement a stereotype in someone’s brain. To drivers who have not ridden a bike since grade school, one cyclist rolling at 8 MPH down a sidewalk or the wrong way down a one way street is evidence that all cyclists should be sent to Bike Prison to think about what we did. To cyclists, one reckless cabbie or SUV driver is evidence that all of that sample set do not know what they are doing, or hate cyclists, or both. 99% of all pro- or anti-bike arguments are thus specious and over-emotional with no scientific basis. Exceptions are: generalizations about Suburu and minivan drivers, the Three-Cops-Per-Unmarked-Car Rule, and the above description of male cyclists between 40 and 45. These are laws of nature.
April to May is the worst time of the year for cycling in Chicago. The streets will be full of novice cyclists who blow red lights, ride on the sidewalk, and generally make the rest of us in The Sisterhood look bad. Novices start riding their bike to work in these months "because it is so nice out." (This is an example of the extremely popular There's Such A Thing As Bad Weather Fallacy.) By June the distribution of bicycles on the streets during morning and evening rush hours will return to January levels.