Who are we? That's an existential question if I've ever heard one! What I mean by positing that question is, who are we who ride bicycles?
The reason I ask is I want to know if cyclists are second rate citizens and do we have a good idea when we ride bikes?
I recognize we are not second rate citizens, but I can't help but get the impression some people believe us to be. I'm sincerely amazed at some lawmaker's attitudes toward cyclists, and some business owners' attitudes towards cyclists as well. At times I feel frustrated and hurt by how easily cyclists can be discounted. Cyclists' safety and status is often sacrificed for the sake of money. I can appreciate the role money plays in our economy and the timely delivery of goods and its relationship to the road system. It's just disappointing to me when the reality of the world becomes evident. The bottom line is, the disappointing reality of the way of the world is cyclists come second place (if that) to profit.
Here is where I'm torn. I'm all for profit. Dedication and effort should be rewarded. Business is a competition and every factor should be considered to maximize profits. Conversely, I fully appreciate the value of those childhood values of sharing and being nice. Often, these childhood values and the full brunt of the awful bottom line of doing business are in conflict.
It's true, I visualize a utopian existence where those of us who ride bicycles are many and safe and appreciated and perhaps even segregated from vehicular traffic. Those of us who ride our bikes know for certain if only a person would give cycling a chance, they too would become believers and find their lives improved by the activity.
I don't know. I don't mean to be a Donnie Downer, but I would so like for us all to get what we want, and I know that's not possible. Why do I have to be the one on the underdog's side?