Are cyclists heroes?
Posted by Elicia Cardenas on August 1st, 2006
[The following ode was written by new contributor Elicia Cardenas and was originally published to the Shift email list almost one year ago. She wrote it in response to someone who questioned why some cyclists act like heroes or “holier than thou” once astride their bicycles. In the future Elicia will be writing about bike infrastructure, advocacy, and other geeky stuff. Welcome Elicia!]
I am heroic because I ride my bike. All of us are.
I am a hero because every day someone almost kills me while I am trying to get to work.
I am a hero because a car swerved into the bike lane and almost hit me, and I kept riding.
I am a hero because I ride even though I have a big bag and wet rain gear that smells a bit and it makes other people uncomfortable.
I am a hero because everyone I know who isn’t a cyclist thinks I’m crazy.
I am a hero because I am trying to make my community safer by staying out of a motor vehicle.
I am a hero because I am trying to make my city more livable by staying out of a single occupancy vehicle.
I am a hero because I am not contributing to air pollution.
I am a hero because I am not contributing to the oil economy that is driving the war in Iraq.
I am a hero because I see my neighbors face to face when I’m on my bike, and I can say hello.
I am a hero because I set a good example when I ride my bike.
I am a hero because I volunteer and participate in my community in whatever ways I can.
Everyone is a hero when they ride their bike.
I am not holier than thou.
I am just a cyclist trying to make the world safer for cycling every time I get on my bike.
That is heroic enough for me.