Day’s Verse:
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
Psalm 31:24

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.

KF quality

3 thoughts on “Another Thing I Don’t Understand

  1. I would say Katie, based on really quick thought, that probably liberals would tend to live healthier lifestyles as far as exercise is concerned. Have you seen the potluck dinners down south? Also (and this is just a guess), Bikers tend to find themselves in larger cities that are close to mountains. Larger cities tend to have more liberals. Just a thought.

  2. I think liberals tend to bicycle more mainly because they are more concerned about the environment. After all, there are cheaper & easier ways to exercise. As a means of commuting, bicycling doesn’t save much money unless you avoid buying a car all together, which would be a really liberal thing to do….

  3. Actually, women do tend liberal, so if the forum is mostly women, that’s a factor. But then again, the forum could be mostly women *because* mostly women ride, *because* bike riders tend to be liberal. The cause+effect could go either way.

    I think it’s the difference between casual/commuter cyclists and “avid” cyclists. I could see most avid cyclists being liberal, for the reasons Dad Sullivan said above.

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