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When cyclists yell obscenities and spit on motorists (both have happened to my family), it just inflames the situation. Neither side has been polite about this.

I want to comment on this because you hear stuff like this a lot. I've been driving for almost 30 years, and I've never had a cyclist spit at me or yell cyclists. My experience is a driver -- and a cyclist -- is that cyclists leave motorists alone unless motorists do something egregious.

If you find yourself often assailed by cyclists, either you drive like Mr. Magoo, or you have a chip on your shoulder.

Oops, "yell cyclists" should just be "yell."

It's the classic issue of mistaking one's perspective for objective truth. If the only time you ever get on a bike, your top speed is 8 mph, then thinking bikes can operate safely on multi-use paths is logical. If you are a motorist frustrated at having to share the road, then all motorists must be frustrated (and by extension, those causing the frustration are at fault). If you as a motorist have to have a license to operate your vehicle of choice, then all vehicle users must.

People like Ms. Need are not malicious. They're your neighbors, and they need to be communicated with in a way that engages respectfully but forcefully, and that disentanges the muddy logic here (inconvenience to motorists is completely unrelated to lawbreaking, and licensing cyclists is an expensive and unworkable solution in search of a problem).

...and make cyclists pass a "driving" test and get licensed to ensure that they all know that they must follow the same rules as cars when they are on the road.

Yeah...because it works so well for motorists.

All I can say is, thank Baal for peak oil. The end of cheap, easy motoring can't come soon enough for delusional people such as Ms. Need.

Crickey7, people like Ms. Need are not malicious...until they get behind two rolling tons of armor and become frustrated by, well, anything.

It's your fault for making motorists toodle. You know how hard that is to get out of velour?

Crickey - I think your is a really nice bit of elaboration on the notion of perspective. We frequently point to 'windshield perspective' as one of the reasons that drivers can't seem to identify (much less empathize or even sympathize) with those of us on two wheels.
But a catch-all 'windshield perspective' may not be enough. There are plenty of motorists who do ride and plenty (thankfully) who don't get pissed at cyclists.

What's worse is that often they're more than just your neighbors...I imagine we all have family members or coworkers who disparage cyclists now and then. I, for one, struggle at communicating with them in a convincing manner.

But back to Ms Need... toodle ? WTF? It's not even the right choice of word.
Really funny if you look it up on Urban Dictionary, though: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=toodle

@Bilsko, on that link you posted, definition number 2 reads:

2. toodle 23 up, 9 down
to ride a bike about in a casual and fun way
the gang of us went for a toodle


No, it's the right word. See definition 3.

@ Blue-Eyed
...Exactly. Definition # 2 reads:

to ride a bike about...

not toodle a car.

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