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Belgium sees increase in hostility towards cyclists

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Motorists are becoming more hostile towards cyclists since the start of the coronavirus crisis, according to various groups for cyclists.

There are even anti-cyclist groups on Facebook calling for physical violence, NewMobility reported.

“Some friends have joined these groups to see what’s what,” said Valentin Thielemans, a cyclist and admin of a mountain bike group on Facebook. These groups have “photos and posts gratifying violence toward two-wheelers,” according to NewMobility, “with some keyboard warriors even boasting some ridiculous and dangerous feats.”

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Belgian triathlete and world champion Alexandra Tondeur said that she keeps “getting grazed. I’ve had people smash their mirrors on my bike before. Every week, I get slammed.”

The violent drivers are “just one or two nutcases coming home or going to work who want to gain a few seconds by taking reckless risks,” Tondeur said.

Tondeur noticed the situation getting worse since the Covid-19 crisis, for which “the increasing number of bicycles on the road could be an explanation,” according to NewMobility.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times