Bikes Become Target of Conservatives' Vitriol

Is biking a partisan past time? If you listen to conservative leaders, you might think bikes were created as part of a liberal mission to spread socialism and curtail personal freedoms. Cycling is the unlikely new front in the culture wars.

"IN SOME WAYS, the bicycle seems profoundly unsuitable as a political lightning rod," observes Jordan Michael Smith. "True, zero-emission transport is a kind of liberal dream, but the bike is also an icon of self-sufficiency, designed for use by individuals who rely on themselves for upkeep and mobility. Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush all were photographed on their bicycles." 

"But as health and government officials have begun peddling bicycles as healthy, environmentally responsible alternatives to cars, and cities and towns spend money on new bike infrastructure, conservatives have started to sense a new target," he explains. "They have begun to deploy 'the bike' as a bogeyman in political debates—cast in a role anywhere from physical annoyance to a genuine threat to the American way of life."

Full Story: Conservatives’ new enemy: Bikes

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00