Every time the online edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal includes a story about bicycling or bicycle facilities, or even about a bicyclist injured or killed by an incautious or inept motorist, some online readers will post vitriolic anti-bicyclist comments. In addition to malice and ignorance of the law, these comments often make ridiculous assertions that violate all available evidence.
A good (?) example comes from the comments to today's 2-paragraph news bite in the C-J about the mayor's admonition to motorists to watch for bicyclists tomorrow during Bike-To-Work day. One person who frequently posts nasty comments about bicyclists wrote, "If you ride a bike to work then you are a loser. The only exception is a kid under 16 doing a paper route or if your name is Lance Armstrong...any other person is a loser. Put down your huffy and find a real job so that you might be able to actually afford a car."
A typical bicycle commuter in greater Louisville saves about $1000/year in commuting expenses and $1000/year in health care & insurance costs, while improving her or his quality of life. Many bicycle commuters enjoy the ride to & from work, and miss it if circumstances force them to take another mode of transportation for a day. How many motorists can say that? If saving money, feeling better, and having fun while commuting makes me a loser, than I'd rather be a loser than a winner.
Perhaps it makes more sense to ask, what game do I want to lose or win? It sounds as though the comment-writer seeks prestige above all else. If so, at least for a few more years, commuting by car will provide more prestige than commuting by bicycle. I would prefer to win the game of health, happiness, environmental stewardship, and household economics. For that, commuting by bicycle scores a big victory over commuting by car.