What is it about newspaper editors that makes them so insistent on categorizing someone riding a bicycle as a “bicyclist” [“Man guilty of assaulting bicyclist,” Local Digest, July 4]. I am used to seeing this odd characterization turn up in headlines, but the story on an encounter between a person driving a car and a person riding a bike was remarkable in its determination to continue the pigeonholing. The convicted man is referred to only once as a motorist, in the first sentence, then variously as “man,” by his name and with masculine pronouns. The victim of the assault was referred to only once by gender and repeatedly as “bicyclist,” “biker” and “cyclist.”
I ride a bike to work. But I also drive a car and certainly don’t consider myself a “bicyclist.” Do people who drive to work consider themselves “motorists”? Do they wear one of those leather hats with ear flaps and eye goggles?