Monday, March 20, 2006

Don't Hate Me 'Cuz I Bicycle

I stumbled across this while searching for something else, of course. It's a blog post about commuting, but the interesting bit is that there are currently over 40 comments! We could mine this for material and teachable moments.....Ed

Opinionist: Don't Hate Me 'Cuz I Bicycle

Today's Opinion comes to us from proud biker and DCist's tech guru, Tom Lee.

You've probably never met me, but odds are that you have a grudge against me anyway. It's not that I'm a particularly objectionable guy. I'm generally pretty friendly, and if you and I were to run into each other I'm sure we could make some pleasant smalltalk about music or movies or the Redskins. But eventually my horrible secret would be revealed: you'd figure out that I'm a bicyclist. And if you're like most people, that's when your eyes would narrow.

It took me a while to understand that this was the order of things. I had always assumed that biking around in my helmet and reflective ankle strap made me an object of derision and/or pity — not hatred. I've only recently realized that bike riders are on every city-dweller's list of pet peeves.

...The apogee of this attitude may have come in last year's now-infamous Marvin Kalb commentary on WAMU's Metro Connection. In it, Kalb expressed his desire that cyclists stay out of Rock Creek Park, since they make it inconvenient for him to use the park as a shortcut on his drive to work. In Kalb's and many other people's minds, there really is no acceptable place for bicyclists.

Posted by Hemal Jhaveri in Opinionist


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