Bike Commuting’s Worst Enemy Isn’t What You Think

The Urban Phoenix

When I tell someone I bike to and from work every day, I typically get one of four responses.

  1. “Hey man that’s awesome, keeps ya healthy, helps the environment right?”
  2. “How do you do that every day?  Don’t you get cold?  What about rain and snow?”
  3. “I like to drive too much, I just don’t get riding a bike like that when you can drive.”
  4. “Oh, that’s interesting, do you not own a car?”

The fourth is more from people who I just met… it’s the “feeler” question, trying to see if I ride my bike because I’m either poor (which I kind of am) or I have a DWI (which I don’t).  But you get the idea.

enlight1-40 When traveling to Rome, New York, I use their bike share program to get around.

enlight1-34 I use bike share to get to where I need to go in Buffalo as well.

These…

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HOW THE AGE OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY JUSTIFIES A MILITANT CHRISTIAN TAKEOVER OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT– SEE BETSY DEVOS, KELLYANNE CONWAY, STEVE BANNON, DOMINIONISTS, AND THE SECRETIVE COUNCIL FOR NATION POLICY FOR DETAILS

ANTHOLOGY

The History of Dominionism

       In the 15th century, Papal Bulls were issued that gave Christian explorers the right to claim, for their Christian monarchs, the land that they had discovered. Any land that was not already inhabited by Christians was decreed to be available for discovery, for claiming, and for exploitation. If any so-called ‘pagan’ inhabitants could be converted, it was possible for them to be spared from enslavement or from being killed.

These Papal Bulls, which collectively came to be known as the Discovery Doctrine or the Doctrine of Discovery, is also a concept of public international law, one that was first extensively addressed in a series of United States Supreme Court decisions, going back to Johnson v. M’Intosh in 1823. It was the means for Chief Justice John Marshall to explain the way that colonial powers first laid claim to newly discovered lands…

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HOW THE AGE OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY JUSTIFIES A MILITANT CHRISTIAN TAKEOVER OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT– SEE BETSY DEVOS, KELLYANNE CONWAY, STEVE BANNON, DOMINIONISTS, AND THE SECRETIVE COUNCIL FOR NATION POLICY FOR DETAILS

Source: HOW THE AGE OF EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY JUSTIFIES A MILITANT CHRISTIAN TAKEOVER OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT– SEE BETSY DEVOS, KELLYANNE CONWAY, STEVE BANNON, DOMINIONISTS, AND THE SECRETIVE COUNCIL FOR NATION POLICY FOR DETAILS

#ChristianAltFacts, or, how the Christian Right Broke America

When reading this, look also at how cycling advocates create their own insular communities. For example 1. The infra only crowd. (All problems can be solved with infrastructure alone.) 2. The vehicular cycling crowd. (All problems can be solved by following rule’s. )

Not Your Mission Field

Christopher Douglas’s article “The Religious Origins of Fake News and ‘Alternative Facts,'” published yesterday on Religion Dispatches, is a must read for anyone who wants to understand why and how America’s asymmetric polarization–polarization from the Right–has led to Trumpism. You cannot understand this apart from the theocratic element and the relationship between fundamentalist psychology and political authoritarianism.

The key, as I explain in this Twitter thread, is to understand the psychology behind the construction of parallel institutions, of enclave communities, by fundamentalist subcultures. These enclave communities–I grew up in one–are designed defensively to protect the group’s “absolute Truth” against facts that are too difficult and painful to face. As Douglas relates in well sourced detail, fundamentalists’ parallel institutions–like the Christian schools, colleges, and bookstores built by conservative Evangelicals–are “bodies of counter-expertise” meant to oppose and undermine credible science and scholarship that threatens the fundamentalist worldview.

People in enclave…

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I see it now

I see it now.

It’s strange how I didn’t see it before. You’d think I’d have noticed. It was there. I even named it once. But back then it felt more like grasping at straws.

I was sitting in a jail cell. Fox News had requested to do an interview with me. Did I have a statement for the C.A.? Yes, I said. I looked into the camera and asked why he was targeting me. Was it because I was poor? Or was it because I was a woman? This last one seemed too absurd to contemplate. I mean really. Who prosecutes a bicyclist for being a woman? Absurd. Right?

I see it now.

I didn’t see it before and I should have. But I was in the forest of misogyny and all I could see were the tree’s.

I’m white. And that helps. At least a little. I commute by bicycle. That doesn’t help. At all. When I’m on my bicycle people don’t see me. I’m no longer human. They see a cyclist. An object. Something in their way. Ruining their day. I’m an ‘it.’

Men tell me they feel the same. I want to believe them. But I think in some ways it won’t ever really be an authentic experience. Just like I, as a white woman, can never truly have an authentic experience as black woman. But I can come close. When I’m on my bicycle.

When I’m on my bicycle I have to think about how to plan my route. Wouldn’t want to make the white men and women angry as I cycle past. Wouldn’t want to be in their way. But my whiteness is a privilege that a black woman doesn’t share. So it’s not quite the same and fuck anyone who says it is. But it’s close. It’s a solid taste. And it’s like poison on my tongue. Just that little bit of a taste. So tiny it’s almost nothing. But it floods my veins with the burning sensation of being dehumanized. In that moment I want to wrap chains around my antagonists neck and pull hard. Pull so damn hard they gasp for air and whisper “I can’t breathe.” I want to do this to the white man who felt that it was his superior right as a driver of an auto, (315 ABJ Oregon plates; white car) to press his car up close to my leg and intimidate me, as he pressed into my lane. My rage was white hot as I pulled up next to him at the light and poured my rage down on him. I think I scared him. Good. I hope he got a little taste of how he made me feel.

I see it now.

But I didn’t see it then. It was easy to compare myself to someone I actually couldn’t relate to, but thought I could. It was easy to deny that being a woman, even a white one, was a handicap. Though not nearly as much as being a woman and being a person of color. I can’t imagine being a black woman on a bicycle. I see why the black community aligns itself with auto culture. It exudes power. Even if it’s a false power. It’s a beautiful lie and one that is easily swallowed. But three handicaps is three too many and it’s tough enough with two.

Misogyny affects us all. Men and women. But we each experience it in a way that is unique to our own experiences. Misogyny hurts men as much as it hurts women. But men have their privilege to act as a buffer. Just as my whiteness is a buffer of privilege for me. It’s hard to imagine how it feels to be on the other side. The side that is perceived as weaker. The part that makes me smile deep down inside? I’m stronger, as a woman, for riding a bicycle. It takes knowledge and courage to feel your fear and live your life with authenticity, in the face of adversity. Each day is a fight and a struggle. You find your happiness where you can and you keep on keeping on. Is that what it feels like to be black? If so; It’s hard. And I’m sorry I didn’t feel your pain before. I’m sorry I couldn’t relate or imagine what it is like for you.

We’re going to win. We’re going to shatter misogyny and racism. We will win.

Come ride with me. You’ll see.