Matt LeBlanc wonders if he should blast his horn or ‘bump’ cyclists on the road

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More people should ride their bikes. More cities, counties, towns, townships and rural areas should make it easier for cyclists. It is known: more cycling, less driving. It would be the answer to so many problems. But some people don’t know that. Some people still think cycling – for health or fun or simply to move from Point A to Point B – is still a joke. Matt LeBlanc is one of those people. He doesn’t think he should give cyclists the right of way. Dude.

“Top Gear” host Matt LeBlanc has angered cyclists after admitting having road rage run-ins. The ex-“Friends” actor, 50, said he blasted his horn if he saw riders straddling the road, and he branded cycling in London a “death sentence.”

He said: “It’s when there are three or four of them, side-by-side so they can chat — but they don’t move out of the way. That’s frustrating. Do I bump ’em with the car? No. But I maybe give a tap on the horn like, ‘Come on, move over.’”

LeBlanc also criticized driverless cars in a chat with Event magazine. But his comments were blasted by Duncan Dollimore of Cycling UK. He said: “Rather than focusing on speed, perhaps Matt needs to try a little patience, and he might find see those horizons expand.”

[From Page Six]

To be slightly fair to LeBlanc, I am also annoyed when cyclists go side-by-side and they’re taking up the entire road. It’s easier to pass them when they’re going single-file if you have the patience for it. But really, the answer isn’t “blasting your horn at cyclists” or “nudging” them with your car (which is surely vehicular assault or something). The answer is becoming more of an advocate for pro-cyclist policies in your location. Cyclists need their own paths and spaces so that they won’t be hurt by a–holes like Matt LeBlanc and the pro-car constituency.

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46 Responses to “Matt LeBlanc wonders if he should blast his horn or ‘bump’ cyclists on the road”

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  1. Jag says:

    Here where I live, cyclists have the right of way. So Matt could get a ticket for doing that to cyclists here.

    My brother was hit twice by cars when he was riding his bike as a teenager. He always kept to the side of the road and obeyed all traffic laws. The last time, he had broken bones and the monster just drove on by. He stopped riding his bike after that. I wonder if Matt were in our area back then?

    • Kelly says:

      We had an issue last summer where a driver purposely rammed a cyclist on the Natchez Trace where cyclists have the right of way and then later tried to claim the cyclist threw his bike at the car. Luckily the guy the cyclist was riding with had on a go pro. Yes, trying to get around them can be annoying but is it really worth someone’s life? Even a “nudge” could kill!

  2. Saras says:

    Sounds like he should use car service instead!

  3. me says:

    Where I live we have a law saying you must leave 1 meter between you and the cyclist when passing them…if there isn’t enough space, you must follow safely behind them until it’s safe to pass them.

    • Caroline says:

      Here in Amsterdam, the best way to travel is by bike. Is faster, easier and cheaper. Traveling by car is too frustrating and parking is a b*tch

  4. Mina says:

    I don’t know where he lives, but in my city, the problem with cyclists is that they want to have the privileges of both vehicles and pedestrians. So they ride on the roads, but don’t respect Stop signs or traffic lights, sometimes they get on the sidewalk or try to sneak between cars causing a huge hazard. It would be great if we could all ride a bike to work, but that’s not reality. When I drive, I hate cyclists, I can’t deny it. They cause a lot of accidents.

    • HH says:

      “they want to have the privileges of both vehicles and pedestrians.” >>> This is my experience with them as well. The only bicyclists I’ve had good experience with are those that are doing it for sport/exercise.

    • Myhairisfullofsecrets says:

      It’s the same way in my city too and I feel the same way you do.

    • Cee says:

      This seems to happen everywhere, and in different continents. I once said cyclists should have a cycling license and insurance and I was laughed at. Well, guess, what, if you use the streets as you please and cause havoc then you should be insured in some way.

    • Anners says:

      I hear you Mina. I’ve been on both sides – in my old place I was close enough to bike to work and it was terrifying sometimes (I lived in Toronto and drivers are *crazy*). Sometimes I would ride on the sidewalks because it felt like drivers deliberately drove as close as they could to me in order to prove their control skills. Now that I need to drive to work I am often irritated by cyclists who dart into traffic and disobey traffic signals. Dedicated Bike paths or lanes would be ideal 🙂

    • Magdalin says:

      TOTALLY – this! Cyclists are the bane of driving existence where I live. Incredibly disrespectful, don’t respect the laws and cause severe hazards. I have felt like calling the police a few times to pull them over and ticket them. But of course, that never happens. It really should be outlawed in some areas. If you’re not rolling like Copenhagen, where it’s all about the bikes and that’s the preferred way of transport and folks obey the rules for the most part (or you’re not in a walkable city) – get yourself into a motor vehicle, and fast.

      • helen says:

        I’ve been in a group of cyclists that was pulled over. We were all riding two abreast, as is allowed in the State of Michigan. We were polite to the police officer. So, yes, we get pulled over (even when we’re doing the right thing). About 50% of cyclists cause the accidents they are in and 50% are caused by the drivers. I’ve been hit, I’ve been in a group that was hit by an impaired driver. I advocate for safety and for uniform, predictable behavior by cyclists. I get accused of all sorts of s**t by uneducated drivers and of victim blaming by cyclists. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy, and those incidents seem to be remembered well (too well, if you ask me) by drivers. What about the lycra stirs such hate? And, to a comment above, I can’t wait to ride the whole length of the Natchez Trace in October and for my entry fee to go to help make the route safer.

    • Evie says:

      @Mina: THIS!!! Cyclists scare me — especially in busy traffic cities like Washington, D.C. where they have had cyclist lanes for decades. Complicating matters in Washington, D.C. is that it also has a high number of traffic circles or “roundabouts” as the Europeans call them. This is where things can get really hairy. Many (not all) cyclists zoom in and out of traffic and ignore traffic signals, stop signs and general rules of the road. And in many suburban areas — in Massachusetts where I now live – there are NO bike lanes. Cyclists will ride side by side in twos or threes hogging a two-lane road. I’m never tempted to road rage, because I would be afraid of hitting someone. I slow down and wait for them to go single file. However, if they don’t do that, I will give a couple of short beeps of the horn to let them know I’m there.

    • Melanie says:

      I agree with you. Even when the light is green (for me), when I’m coming off the highway, I come to a complete stop. To many cyclists whiz by when I have the right away. Also when they’re cycling in the street and traffic is backed up.

      • Doc says:

        Are you all effing kidding me? Cyclists ate a hazard??? Statistics please. ONE just ONE incidence of a cyclist killing or impailing a car driver.

  5. Jensies says:

    My husband was killed by a car while riding his bike, even though he was fanatical about following the rules and laws around biking. So drivers like Matt can go f*** themselves.

    Drivers don’t understand how it feels when you’re riding and have nothing between you and the world, you don’t have a whole frame of metal and plastic to protect you, you’re the most vulnerable thing on the road.

    He should perhaps try biking, to experience that, and therapy, to deal with the anger and shame about being an untalented, washed up actor who peaked two decades ago, rather than road rage at cyclists.

    • Einafets says:

      I am so sorry about your husband. My partner bikes to work every day and this is my greatest fear, to the extent I wish he just wouldn’t ride his bike. But he loves it, so that isn’t fair of me to ask of him. We live in Canada and so he doesn’t bike this time of year (poor infrastructure compounded by losing many of the little bike lanes we do have to snow banks). But literally every day he does take his bike, I am distracted by worry until I know he has arrived safely (luckily he is sweet and texts me a quick “here” and “leaving” so I know not to worry/when to worry if he takes longer than expected to get home). I slightly dread nice weather because I know the worry starts again. So, so many “cyclist struck by car” news alerts every single day in my area. Almost always followed by a story about a person who was loved and will be greatly missed mowed down by some entitled asshole that couldn’t be bothered to be careful, lest the human being that was “in their way” slow their progress by a couple of seconds. We also need stronger laws against that here (no equivalent to vehicular manslaughter) but that is another story…

      • Jensies says:

        Love that he texts you when he gets there, I now kind of freak until I get a text from my current partner that he’s arrived somewhere, even by car. I know so many people who have been injured by cars, often with the cars just driving off. I’ve been driven off the road more than once.

        My husband was killed in Philly, but as someone who has biked in Chicago, Philly, Michigan, the Bay Area, and Portland, OR, I can tell you that road rage is very real, and drivers have zero clue what is going on for bikers. Like how scary it is and how you jump when a car comes up behind you and honks, like this idiot above is saying he likes to do. You just become aware that you have no protection and a slight nudge from this car could injure or kill you. All drivers should bike a bit, just to experience that anxiety and vulnerability.

      • Einafets says:

        I agree – all driver’s should bike a bit, “walk a mile in another person’s shoes” as it were. Everyone is so focused on where they need to be and what they want to do that other people fall to an abstract concept to them, all too often.

  6. LittleWing says:

    Tsk. Such a crotchety old dude! “Get off my road!”

  7. Juls says:

    My city created a bike-share program. Nobody uses it. A few years later, they took out half of the downtown street parking to accommodate bike lanes. Nobody uses it, and people are enraged that an already frustrating parking shortage has been exacerbated for bike lanes that no one uses. We aren’t an urban-compressed city where it is needed, yet. Most people still have to drive. Perhaps it will be different when all of the urban condos that they are stacking on top of each other are filled. But who can afford them? They have created a supply where there is no demand. I am all for biking as opposed to driving and would do it myself if I could. Perhaps we will get there.

  8. HH says:

    Yes, definitely making the road wider and adding a bike lane helps A TON. Otherwise, I’m with LeBlanc. Cyclists and cars having to share lanes is no fun. It doesn’t happen often in the burbs or rural areas where used to live, but when it does, my patience gets really low.

  9. littlemissnaughty says:

    Cyclists can be assh*les though. Just like car drivers. Where I live, they have their own lanes/paths but then they refuse to stop at the red lights they share with cars. Or even use their lanes. They just drive everywhere. Which means that as a pedestrian, you’re doubly f*cked. It’s so dangerous. Don’t get me started on bike messengers. Lunatics.

    • Cee says:

      a friend of my mum’s was cycled over (?) by a cyclist who refused to stop at a PED XSING just because he was in his lane. He broke her hip and arm. She’s in her late 60s. Ass*ole ran off.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Yes, exactly. Here, their lanes often run parallel to the car lanes so they basically have to obey traffic rules like cars. But they just don’t. They tend to switch between the street, their lanes, and the damn sidewalk as they please!

    • helen says:

      Can you honestly say that you believe all drivers are mindful of bikes in the bike lane? The tendency is to look ahead at the road. I know sometimes I stir anger by riding where I have the right to ride, but I feel safer with an angry driver than with one that isn’t looking for me or doesn’t see me at all.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Yes, I can. Because the bike lanes here are mostly like sidewalks with another separate sidewalk for pedestrians. Or they are part if the sidewalk, not the street.

      • helen says:

        Then how did I end up getting hit while I was riding in the bike lane?

      • OriginalLala says:

        i was hit by a cyclist on the sidewalk, they weren’t going fast so I wasn’t terribly hurt but I really dislike seeing cyclists on the sidewalk now, though I also understand why they would want to avoid the streets. I live in Ottawa and last summer we had alot of cyclist fatalities

  10. Swack says:

    Some of the roads where I’m at have bicycle lanes and that really helps. I am always aware of not only those on bicycles but also walkers and joggers. There are some roads without sidewalks – especially subdivisions. So I look out for them. The ones that bother me are those who do not follow the rules of the road and sometimes put themselves in danger.

  11. Cee says:

    The only thing I hate about cyclists is that they bend traffic rules whichever way they want: wrong way street, cross through red traffic light and stop signs, use sidewalks AND street, ignore their own lanes, etc. Also, they have no responsability whatsoever if they cycle straight into your car.

    I hate driving around them because even if they break the rules I’m the one getting the blame and sentence.

  12. Slowsnow says:

    He’s gonna get ripped to pieces and I’m here for it. I drive in London and the silly description of cyclists taking the whole road to chat is just fiction. Everyone is rushing off somewhere. My friend got “bumped” twice by cars and is now doing physio to recuperate. And unfortunately many cyclists have horrible “accidents” simply because people like thi creep think they feel entitled to the road and their own level of speed. Pollute away Matt!

  13. huckle says:

    I don’t think anybody should take his comment seriously. I have to say that not every cyclist is courteous or willing to share the road. Some cyclists can be downright a-holes just like some drivers. When I ride my bike I get out of the car’s way. I’m not going to play games because my bike against a car will lose every time.

  14. KiddV says:

    I got hit by a bicyclist once. I was in my car, he swerved to avoid someone opening their car door and hit my car. It left a dent, but he was OK, just a scraped elbow. When people ask how I got the dent I’d tell them I got hit by a bicyclist, “you hit a bicyclist!?” No, a bicyclist hit *me*. The look of confusion on their faces was fun. LOL

    I live in an area with a lot of bicyclists, not only for commuting to work and school, but on the weekends bike clubs ride up the mountain in packs and they don’t obey the rules. I understand that a lot of times you have adrenaline pumping and you’re in a zone, but that makes them oblivious to their surroundings, they don’t pay attention to cars, lights or pedestrians. It’s their arrogance about it all that pisses people off. They look at you like you’re the a**shole when they’re the one riding down the middle of the road.

  15. Siiiigh says:

    I love the concept of bikes and cycling, but hate cyclists generally – admittedly they are stuck between a rock and a hard place, because the roads are simply not built to handle bike traffic – but the selfishness and utter indifference to their lack of concern for traffic rules makes me never, ever defend them. I appreciate what he’s saying, and won’t get drawn in to a critique of his hyperbolic language. I won’t even criticize him for using his horn as he would toward other vehicles – that *is* why cars have them. His attitude generally, however, and his utter lack of charisma or “presence” makes me so utterly confused as to why he has a career. I just don’t “get” him. He did okay with an easy role on Friends, and got lucky with the fame that show brought him. He is an insufferably grumpy, rude, and annoying person irl. Although I cannot stand the show Friends, when I first saw him on an episode of Top Gear I got excited. I thought he would be funny and eccentric and fun. Nope. He is like a bitter gym teacher desperately trying to create a taste of what he had 20 years ago. Obviously I am in the minority here, but man, he just grates on my nerves. He is such a desperate non-entity.

  16. Bridget says:

    I live in a city with a lot of bicyclists, and a HUGE contingent of them are total assholes. To the point where it’s infamous in our city. Which actually makes the situation worse, because drivers get resentful of the cyclists, and it perpetuates the problem.

    But the thing is, it doesn’t matter how much of an asshole some cyclist is, my car could cause life altering damage should we get in an accident. It doesn’t matter what they’re doing, I need to give them the right of way so they can get home safely to their families. But I’ll admit, if people were riding 4 abreast I might honk. No one should do that on a public street.

  17. Pandy says:

    Sorry to read about Jensi’s husband. That’s sad. xx
    I cycle. Obey the laws because I want to sue a dick like Leblanc if I’m hit! Having said that I see a lot of crappy riders out there which is really irritating. But there’s a lot of crappy car drivers too so I guess we all balance each other out lol. I drive defensively as I’m the one who will be hurt in any car/bike encounter.

  18. mizriz says:

    As a cyclist, I have seen many other cyclists in our club be complete morons about rules of the road. The majority of us are safe and courteous to drivers, but it’s the few idiots that get us killed.

  19. Melissa says:

    I’m a person that rides a bike nearly everywhere, often with my child. I’m always amused by people who use the least efficient, most wasteful, and bulkiest mode of transportation available and complain about how I’m in their way. Apparently self-awareness is not necessary to drive a car.

    BTW, I go at a top speed of 10 mph and stop at all signs and red lights. I see at least one 3 ton car run a red light every time we’re out.

  20. raincoaster says:

    Is being a complete jagoff a prerequisite for a gig on Top Gear, or does being on the show turn you into one?

  21. Colepool says:

    Yes, Matt. Safety on the roads goes both ways. Most cyclists need to be taken down a peg. Even if they see themselves as ‘equals’ on the road they can NOT realistically maintain adequate speeds and they should be using sidewalks/bike trails when possible.

  22. Shannon says:

    To be fair, he didn’t say “blast” the horn, he said “tap” it. There actually is a big difference, and that’s what horns are for. But no, no you actually cannot “nudge” them with your car – I hope that was just a bad joke :/ It does drive me crazy, the side-by-side thing, and I wish more areas had bike paths. I have a friend who directed him in an independent film, and he said Matt LeBlanc was really nice and funny, so I’m hoping he’s either been misquoted or a stupid, juvenile joke popped out.