Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Politics and Bicycles?

I will preface the following link and forthcoming rambling by stating that I am not one to read conservative magazines, articles, and the like on a regular basis; however, they seem to be "finding" me somehow these days. I grew up with a whole-hearted, politically conservative family, and I was/am typically the, well, I guess you could say the lone sheep of the group when it comes to politics. We just don't discuss political ideas because it has potential to turn into heated debates that rarely resolve anything.
*Image from wendmag.com
When I happened upon an article in The American Conservative, there was something about it that just rubbed me the wrong way. If you'd like to read it for yourself, you can find it here. I think what raised my heart rate a bit while reading was the fact that this author (and subsequent responders to said article) seems to believe he's come up with some grand idea that has never before been discussed in a public forum in America. This is not the first recent article I've read concerning right-wingers discussing bicycles and transportation, but what is it that makes people think that bicycles are a "left-wing" mode of transportation? I keep attempting to wrap my head around this idea, and nothing seems to make sense. In addition, there was one commenter who stated that the idea of two-wheeled transportation being viable is ridiculous due to varied weather conditions throughout the country, and stated that no one in his/her right mind would want to cycle to a family dinner or out on a date. Really? Maybe these people need to take take a look at what's truly going on in this country because there are plenty of people and families who are using bikes as their primary mode of transport.
*Image from Bicycle Colorado's website.
T-shirts can be purchased through their website here.
Adrienne of Change Your Life, Ride A Bike has posted numerous times about the adventures she has had riding in SF, as well as those every day activities like grocery shopping with her family. One of my personal favorites of her posts is here, and another here that discusses how her family lives and gives to keep their space to what they actually need.

Many people are aware of Let's Go Ride a Bike, and Dottie and Trisha's bicycle travels through Chicago and Nashville, respectively. No one bikes to dates, or out on friend activities? I think this statement is proved wrong when reading about the women who bike to brunch, or about couples date nights here, or even riding to the market.

And no one cycles in the Midwest either, right? Readers of Simply Bike know that just isn't the case at all. S has continued to ride through varying seasons, including the winter season that has been upon the country for some time now.

These are, of course, just a few examples of individuals and families who continue to utilize the bicycle as their preferred mode of transportation, riding to the grocery store, to events, and the like... and hey, beyond these few examples and the thousands of others out there, I ride a bike too.

3 comments:

  1. Hmm, I read the article and it did not 'rub me the wrong way' at all. In fact, I thought this was the most sane article ever written by a conservative. OK, that's not saying much, cause I generally avoid anything coming from the Right.

    You look good on your new bike.

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  2. I agree with you in the sense that the article itself was fairly rational and sensible. I think what disturbed me most was 1) The commentary that followed from readers, that pretty much went on to say that there's no way bicycles could be a plausible form of transportation for most people; and 2) The author seems to think that the ideas he's expressing are new and unexplored. Though, I think today (after having a couple of days distance from reading it), I am more at ease with the latter issue, as I know that any way that spreads a positive message or supports the idea of people using bicycles for transportation is a step in the right direction. Sometimes, I need to reread thing at a later time when I'm in a different frame of mind. I also realize that we don't want to completely censor others' thoughts on any issue. I suppose I just want to remain hopeful that people will see that it is entirely viable, and perhaps some just need to change their way of thinking, or perhaps we need to restructure our cities and towns to make public transportation and bicycles viable options. But enough about that...
    Thanks for the compliment on the bicycle! I love it and am very excited to be riding it all around. :o)

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  3. Excellent reply! I agree with you.

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