Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
Dad told me a story this weekend about an experience a friend of his had. This friend was out for a recreational ride with his buddy. (Of course this is a bike story! What else did you expect? Come on!) As the cyclists went by a car, the driver shouted,
Get off the road, you f****** liberals!
Which made me wonder: What about cycling screams liberal to a driver? And why was liberal, which simply describes a political viewpoint, thrown in as a nasty epithet? In any case, I thought the idea of all cyclists being liberals sounded pretty crazy. After all, presumably runners don’t all adhere to one particular political viewpoint. And you don’t assume a lady is conservative just because she drives an SUV. I would guess that choice of exercise or transportation has as much to do with the exigencies of various situations (running is relatively cheap, an SUV can hold four kids and a dog) as with political leaning. Curious, I posted a poll on the cycling forum I read. The results (n = 92) so far:
- Liberal: ~60%
- Conservative: ~20%
- Other/decline to say: ~20%
These results surprise me. Who would have thought cyclists would overwhelmingly describe themselves as liberal? Why would more liberal people tend to ride bikes, whether for recreation or commuting? Surely conservative people would tend to enjoy cycling as much as their liberal counterparts? And who wouldn’t want to commute by bike, if only to save money or reduce dependence on foreign oil?
Several factors could cause skew that I can’t correct for. First, the forum is mostly women. Does this matter? I have no idea, but it could be that women tend liberal. Second, obviously, the forum is online. Of course. But do people using the internet, and responding to polls on bike forums, also tend to be more liberal? Third, possibly something else I haven’t thought of. But if I had the inclination and resources, I might investigate this more. For now I’ll just file it away in the gigantic box of things I don’t understand (it’s in good company, along with why people wear mullets, what equine laundry is, and how people afford to drive Hummers) and leave it at that.