Saturday, September 01, 2007

Different (Pedal) Strokes for Different Folks

There are many things in the world I don’t understand—the ongoing appeal of country-rock music, how even 30 percent of Americans could think that Bush is doing a good job, my inability to leave my fucking keys and wallet in the same place all the time so I don’t have to dig around my house frantically trying to locate them as I’m rushing out the door—but I’m okay with that. Not having answers is a good thing; it keeps me wanting to puzzle things out and reaffirms the essential mystery of all existence.

Or something like that; at any rate, it helps prevent me from being an even more insufferable know-it-all.

Last night, for instance, I couldn’t understand why anyone on the Critical Mass ride would have passed up the opportunity to stop at Seattle Center, hang out, ride the Cyclecide peddle-powered amusement park rides, and catch another show by Vancouver’s B.C.Clettes, the bicycle-inspired dance performance troupe of which I am arguably the biggest fan around.

But many did; the Mass, some 200 strong, split up at that point as those more interested, I suppose, in riding, headed towards Mercer to continue the parade, while those, like me, unwilling to pass up the more unusual opportunity to play on clown-designed bicycle carousels and Ferris wheels and watch performances, piled up their bikes and stayed put.

The good news, I suppose, is that it made the lines for the rides shorter and the performance more intimate. But I had to fight the part of me that wants bicyclists everywhere all together all the time, we are the world, we are the people.

In the end, I take it as an affirmation of the “big tent” that cycling is; there’s certainly room in the two-wheeled world for all these many perspectives on what counts as preferable.

It probably doesn’t matter if we all love each other, the important thing is that we all love our bikes.


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