Isn't It an Oversimplification to Insist Everyone Rides Bikes?
RECEIVED Tue., May 9, 2006
Dear Editor, While Mike “Dub” Wainwright's castigating comments aren't lost on me (“Postmarks,” May 5), it should be noted that trying to slap a bicycle Band-Aid on the problem as he sees it, is as detrimental to finding a solution as myopic soccer moms with a built-in sense of entitlement. Look Dub, I'm with you! I'm the first to shout populist/environmentalist platitudes at anyone who'll listen. But don't you think that insisting everyone ride a bike is a gross oversimplification? You call for a march toward “real solutions,” and I just don't think it's as easy as fat asses on bikes. We need to figure out how to help families cart all their kids to various after-school activities using public transport (not all of them are soccer-bound; for some it's music lessons, acting classes, or underwater basket weaving – fuck if I know, I don't have kids), and haul their groceries from store to McMansion. I don't resonate with these folks either, believe me, but I'm a single woman, and I can bike until my feet fall off. People with kids and other extenuating circumstances don't have that freedom. There's a whole dialogue that needs to happen here. People like us have to work at understanding differing needs, not “othering” ourselves out of frustration. It might be fun to look down our noses at people living bloated lives, but you know what? I think it's more fun to fix what's broken, together. We're not going to teach people to pair down their excesses by publicly shitting on their lifestyles. I save that for dinner parties.