Like a Republican Needs a Bicycle: Conservative Cyclists Break the Stereotypes of Bike Politics


| 10/14/2008 3:30:55 PM


bikes leftA wiry thirtysomething guy bikes out of the Whole Foods parking lot, a pannier of organic produce strapped to his rack. He’s on his way home to make dinner after a couple of hours volunteering at the local Obama campaign headquarters. He inches down the driveway, waiting for an opportunity to turn right into the busy rush-hour traffic.

He sees an opening and jumps into the lane, pedaling quickly. But he’s not moving fast enough for a hulking SUV whose impatient driver doesn’t want to change lanes. She tailgates him for several yards, laying on the horn, then swerves into the other lane and tears past him, yelling something about getting on the sidewalk. The cyclist gives her a one-fingered salute, then notices a McCain-Palin sticker on her bumper.

Typical.

We are all guilty of certain prejudices. In the escalating (and increasingly dangerous) tensions between car commuters and bicycle riders, battle lines are drawn. As an avid cyclist leaning fairly hard to port, I had very little reason to interrogate the stereotypes embodied in the scenario above. But eventually a few needling questions penetrated my insulated sphere of thought: What if there are conservatives who ride bikes? What the hell do they look like? And where can I find them?

On the Internet, of course.



“I am a gun-owning, low-taxes, small-government, strong military, anti-baby murder, pro-big/small business, anti-social program, conservative Democrat,” wrote Maddyfish, a poster on Bike Forums, an Internet discussion forum where everyone from the casual hobbyist to the obsessive gearhead can discuss all things bike-related, from frame sizes to the best routes downtown. There are dozens such forums for bicyclists and I recently crashed three of them—Bike Forums, MPLS BikeLove, and Road Bike Review—with a simple question: Are there any conservative cyclists out there? Maddyfish (an online pseudonym) was one of the first to reply: “I find cycling to be a very conservative activity. It saves me money and time.”

JLBTECH
6/5/2009 11:27:47 AM

I am a proud libertarian. I hate nearly everything the socialist Democrats stand for. Hate that Obama is our president. Hate Pelosi period. I bike to work from home. I don't believe global warming is man made. I don't think the cost of gas even at $4 was an issue. I do hate DC traffic and paying $270/month to park my car. I do love the exercise, escape, and fun of biking to work and other places.


JLBTECH
6/5/2009 11:26:36 AM

I am a proud libertarian. I hate nearly everything the socialist Democrats stand for. Hate that Obama is our president. Hate Pelosi period. I bike to work from home. I don't believe global warming is man made. I don't think the cost of gas even at $4 was an issue. I do hate DC traffic and paying $270/month to park my car. I do love the exercise, escape, and fun of biking to work and other places.


bhammer
3/5/2009 10:45:53 PM

You needed to devote more space to Old Scratch from Bike Forums. Your article would not have been so boring and pedantic.




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