Several people have commented on my rebel speech. Kiril the cycling dude mentioned it. And Da'Square Wheelman of bicycle-diaries fame added his voice to my rant about being mislabeled. Several others left comments. The thing is, I wrote this "piece" quickly one night without thinking much of it, and so I want to revisit it to clarify a few things. For instance:
-When I say that we're in a war whose most obvious benefit will be protecting our access to middle-eastern oil, what I actually meant was the most obvious immediate benefit... I have no doubt that there will be others, as well as plenty of fall-out. No pun. Frankly I don't have information, wisdom, or precognition required to say with any certainty that we should or should not have invaded Iraq, and neither do you.
-When I specify that I am not a "faggot". I am using that word in the context that it has been directed at me. I wouldn't normally refer to homosexuals using that word.
-When I'm called these names, I usually just wearing normal clothes and riding legally in the bike lane. I'm not riding a tall-bike in a Critical Mass or decked out in neon lycra, riding a recumbent 40mph through school-zones.
-In truth, I am kind of a rebel. I ran into one of my former junior high teachers at a dinner party tonight; she informed me that in 6th grade, when I didn't like a certain substitute teacher, I staged a walk-out and then collected 100 signatures from students on a petition to have the substitute banned from my school. So...
-I don't just ride my bike to save the world, it's not that selfless. First and foremost I ride my bike because it makes me happy. Diane Ackerman says it best:
When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart.