It occurred to me recently, as I've been experimenting more and more with commuting to work by bike, that the bicycle is a curious instrument. When I'm not on it, and just discussing it as a general concept, people seem amazed by the level of commitment it must take to ride 22 miles each way to work. They marvel at the risk, the hills, how I must smell throughout the rest of the day, and how early I must have to get up to get to work on time.
But when I'm actually ON the bike, the reaction is different. Now I'm that thing on the right side of the road that's going to make you 7 seconds late to work. I'm that idiot who doesn't understand that roads are made for cars. I'm that asshole who's using your public roads for free. I clearly have no respect for my own life or the needs of those around me, and why the hell won't I just pull over and stop so you can pass me?
And to some, I'm a game. Can you scare me badly enough to crash? Yay! Hospitalizing people for a giggle is so much fun.
But in spite of people's best and worst reactions to the experience, I've come to realize that cycling is the most Republican form of transportation. Yep: cycling makes me a good conservative.
No reliance on foreign oil.
Cyclists are self-reliant and self-made.
Manliness--20 miles and 1500 feet of climbing stand between you and your destination? HTFU.
Cyclists support the economy locally by stopping for coffee & snacks, and more globally by constantly buying new kit and components.
Cyclists are fitter and generally healthier than those who never exercise, keeping insurance premiums lower.
Cycling sidesteps ethanol/methanol mandates and gas taxes. Good conservatives HATE these.
So the next time you're rollin' through the country with your "Jesus & 'Merica" bumper stickers, blasting Skynyrd from your jacked up 1994 pickup, instead of swerving at me and seeing if you can hit my helmet with your mirror, consider a thumbs-up instead, because while you're sucking down 10% ethanol with a $.45/gallon tax @ ~14mpg, I'm making America great again.