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Old 06-23-08, 12:23 PM   #1
jakemohan
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Article on conservative/GOP bikers

I am a freelance writer hoping to do a story on the confluence of bike culture with segments of the conservative/GOP population, if such an overlap exists--I'm convinced there must be at least a little. After all, our 43rd president is an avid biker.

I've had this idea ever since I started reading bike-culture magazines like Momentum. It's almost a foregone conclusion that cyclists are going to be left-leaning: they cluster in liberal cities like Portland, Minneapolis, San Francisco, etc. and tend to support environmental efforts and green living, government subsidies for better transportation infrastructure, community cooperatives, and other progressive causes.

But what about the ones who don't, the ones who love to ride but aren't comfortably ensconced in the overlap of lefties and cyclists? I don't want to write a derisive or condescending piece--I'm genuinely curious what it's like to be politically conservative but also part of a subculture that skews left. In a larger sense, what's it like to agree with a group whose core principles you embrace, but whose secondary or auxiliary causes you have trouble with?

My question to you are: 1) Do you fit this description? and or 2) do you know any websites or groups devoted to conservatives who ride?

As this post suggests, I'm still in the early research stage, so even the slightest lead would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 06-23-08, 12:46 PM   #2
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It depends what you mean by "bike culture". There is more than one. For example, there are plenty of roadies who are Republican. For example, that ****** who runs Little Green Footballs. A few even commute to work, but mainly because they can and they enjoy it. It doesn't mean they'll hang out with hipsters on fixies.

I'm ultra-right wing reactionary, but not Republican.
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Old 06-23-08, 01:06 PM   #3
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I don't fit the description but I have some random thought about it:

1. The right-wing bikers may tend to be on the libertarian side, which blurs the already blurry line between the terms liberal and conservative.

2. This reminds me of another culture-politics crossover - the punk movement. There was a small but significant right-wing movement within early punk culture that was rather unexpected too, you know, skinheads and all that.

Interesting topic, good luck.
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Old 06-23-08, 01:15 PM   #4
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It depends what you mean by "bike culture". There is more than one. For example, there are plenty of roadies who are Republican. For example, that ****** who runs Little Green Footballs. A few even commute to work, but mainly because they can and they enjoy it. It doesn't mean they'll hang out with hipsters on fixies.

I'm ultra-right wing reactionary, but not Republican.



There's really no need to insult those among us who live with a mental disability - by comparing them to individuals who may still vote republican and/or who run with little green footballs. (fyi).



okay ppl, carry on with the discushyun....
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Old 06-23-08, 01:17 PM   #5
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I am a gun owning, low taxes, small government, strong military, anti baby murder, pro big/small buisness, anti social program, conservative democrat. So in the last 20 years that means that I have voted almost exclusively Republican, since the nut cases are running my Democratic party.

I find cycling to be a very conservative activity. It saves me money, and time. It provides me hours of non-Hollywood entertainment.
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Old 06-23-08, 01:33 PM   #6
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My wife says I'm farther right than Ghengis Khan, who, after all, had an "active outdoor lifestyle."

I'm much like the above poster. I own guns, I believe that the Constitution means what it says. I believe in small govt. that sticks to the powers enumerated to it by the Constitution. I believe in a strong national defense and strong borders. I believe in the right to self-defense with lethal force if needed. And many other things that the folks running the 2 major parties disagree with.

I also believe in conserving the environment and habitats, but not in the manner of the greenies. I am pro-people, pro-freedom, pro-market and capitalism. Cycling is excellent exercise and can be used to save gas. It's also much better for my kids to be out riding than inside watching the tube or playing video games.

After this post, I need a ride. I'll be back later.
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Old 06-23-08, 02:43 PM   #7
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Have you not looked at the BF Board to see all the "bike" cultures? Let's see, there are general cyclists, mountain bikers, riders over 50, alternative transportion/commuters, single speeders, the list goes on. To some extent some groups may be more left leaning - say commuters and alt. bikers, but I would suspect the group over 50 is more conservative and maybe some general cyclists. Location also has alot to do with it - there are bikers in every state. Blue state bikers may be more left leaning than red state bikers.

Me - middle of the road, independant. Not certain where that puts you.

PS: I do not think this thread really represents cyclist. I suspect many who post here don't actually ride.

There is a website where I suspect all the posters, committed cyclists, are conservative. Go to bicyclegroup.com. Be aware they don't discuss politics there.
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Old 06-23-08, 02:44 PM   #8
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"Article on conservative/GOP bikers"

Both of them?
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Old 06-23-08, 03:29 PM   #9
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PS: I do not think this thread really represents cyclist. I suspect many who post here don't actually ride.
This is a COPY of a thread in General Cycling.

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Old 06-23-08, 03:53 PM   #10
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I am a gun owning, low taxes, small government, strong military, anti baby murder, pro big/small buisness, anti social program, conservative democrat. So in the last 20 years that means that I have voted almost exclusively Republican, since the nut cases are running my Democratic party.
What makes you a Democrat?
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Old 06-23-08, 03:54 PM   #11
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i vote republican and i ride a bike. i am by no means a right wing conservative. i dont care about abortion or any of the hot-button christian issues, i am atheist. i ride a bike purely because i like it. sheldon brown turned me on to the fun of fixed gear bikes and i have been riding them for the past few years. i do not care about gas prices or the environment. i care about fun and getting where i am going quickly. i live in new york city so a car is not required.

Quote:
The right-wing bikers may tend to be on the libertarian side
this is true in my case, although i have no clue if that has anything to do with riding bikes. perhaps i am a tiny bit into objectivist selfishnesss, so i look out for myself first. that means i ride a bike because i like it.

if riding bikes hurt the environment, would be indifferent and ride my bike just as much. i just do not enjoy riding in cars that much. they are kinda stuffy and enclosed.
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Old 06-23-08, 03:55 PM   #12
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What makes you a Democrat?


schizophrenia... (apparently)
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Old 06-23-08, 03:59 PM   #13
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I also believe in conserving the environment and habitats, but not in the manner of the greenies.
Don't be so sure - there are a range of green political philosophies. It sounds like you might be an eco-capitalist, which is more or less the right wing of the environmental movement. For examples (in Canada, anyway) google Frank DeJong and Jim Harris - two right-wing, pro-business, Green Party leaders.

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Old 06-23-08, 04:03 PM   #14
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well, you've come to the right place. BikeForums is about the most conservative-leaning bicycle-oriented forum I've found on the 'net.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:07 PM   #15
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Here's an angle to pursue: as a biker who votes republican, how difficult is it to reconcile the obvious joys and benefits of cycling with the anti-everything-that-is-good-and-beautiful politics of the modern conservative movement?
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Old 06-23-08, 04:16 PM   #16
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well, you've come to the right place. BikeForums is about the most conservative-leaning bicycle-oriented forum I've found on the 'net.


First of all (I dont know if you have or not) post this on other fourms. The lefties are in control here on P&R. sure there are a couple of conservative fiscal guys and a couple who just like to argue but few. I am off the road on both sides, it just depends on the issue. All the cyclist I know personally well enough to know thier politics are the rich democrat types. Good luck sounds like an intersting idea.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:19 PM   #17
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my experience is there definitely is a connection between cycling and liberal politics. at least for adults. sometimes i lock my bike up next to bikes with the "one less ****ing car" stickers, and i chuckle. i dont see why everything is so political. open-air wheeled vehicles are fun, no need to go overboard about it. maybe a smugness reduction is in order.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:21 PM   #18
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I have wondered this very question , because where I have lived almost everyone was right wing. / I have googled phrases like conservative cyclists. I got few hits. Some radio station in LA came up . Some conservative adhearents showed up at some LA Bike expo , but I could find no actual conservative club. / Why should there be. In liberal minded cities, ideology is not a preresiquite to ride. Can it not be, The fun of pedaling is a non partisan event./ I'd hope that would be the case in Republican leaning areas.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:22 PM   #19
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Let's count the things in life that people conflate their politics with:

1- Guns

2- cars

3- property

4- tobacco

5- drugs

6- bikes

7- everything
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Old 06-23-08, 04:27 PM   #20
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First of all (I dont know if you have or not) post this on other fourms. The lefties are in control here on P&R. sure there are a couple of conservative fiscal guys and a couple who just like to argue but few. .
Ok, to ask what in control means. I don't remember any ideological test to participate in p/r? All have a chance to spout off. Yes, some get banned. For the most part, they had it coming. They could have changed their manners , but they didn't.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:32 PM   #21
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Tim J . Think your list would be the same if it were a joint project. I'd say Economics would come in for the first spot. Everything is pretty nondescript. . Other than that , the only item I find something to get out of sorts over is bikes.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:37 PM   #22
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I have wondered this very question , in part, because where I have lived ; the cyclists I met, were mostly conservative minded people. I have googled phrases like conservative cyclists. I got few hits. Some radio station in LA came up . Some conservative adhearents showed up at some LA Bike expo , but I could find no actual conservative club. / Why should there be. In liberal minded cities, ideology is not a preresiquite to ride. The fun of pedaling can be a non partisan event.
The thing about any "subculture" is you have to go out of your way to get ensconced in it. I ain't part of no hippie marxist hipster pattoulli riding club and I'm a liberal biker in LA, you know?

I don't think there are more groups, clubs, whatever that lean left. I think there are more fixie/urban/commuter/car-free/hipster sort of groups that lean left, but certainly not in road biking/racing or mtb biking/racing.

With all due respect, I think this is a load of crap: "It's almost a foregone conclusion that cyclists are going to be left-leaning".

You tell me, world: Are there more urban commuters, hipsters, fixie riders and the sort like that out there riding bikes than there are mountain bikers and road bikers?

I think the answer is "hell no". The difference is urban bikers, hipsters, etc., probably tend younger and while as a group probably not more politically active, there's going to be a higher proportion of people in that group who are to the point of actually organizing something- especially if it's a new media something. Fixie hipsters getting together to party? Nightly occurance. Fixie hipsters getting together to party and also bring awareness to some political thing? Easy to work into the schedule.

Also the thing about urban bikers is they have a much bigger incentive to be politically active since their safety is at issue everytime a city council makes a decision. Mountain bikers have access issues but it's not the same thing and it doesn't trend toward public works as a solution (and public works... right-wingers don't care about such things- they just want less).

I don't think there's more lefty bikers or lefty clubs or anything, I just think those bikers that are political are going to trend left because the issues that are causing them to be political are issues the left would be concerned about.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:48 PM   #23
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Location plays a huge roll. Our culture pays attention to hipsters because large cities are were our big media outlets are located. But, most of us are suburban or exurban. Hipsters not so common there. I have experienced Christain cycling clubs way out in the suburbs. Doubt they are liberal. Physical fittness can appeal to all regardless of one's politics. / Another possibility with resource shortages and draught , maybe even Republican values might change/ Yes, urban residents with their over crowded highways are likely to have an urban agenda. But, the better bike infrastructure i think is out in the suburbs where there is more space. And likely more Republican. / About Hipster. I hate that adjective. Does one have to be a hipster to be liberal. Hope not. Cause I doubt I could be one.
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Old 06-23-08, 04:51 PM   #24
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CZ on that note, my road club which rides out of a very affluent part of Orange County, CA, tends to be very conservative although there are some liberals sprinkled within.
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Old 06-23-08, 05:04 PM   #25
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CZ on that note, my road club which rides out of a very affluent part of Orange County, CA, tends to be very conservative although there are some liberals sprinkled within.
Orange County is changing. But in days of old, In certain cities of Orange county; did they not bomb your house if you were found to be liberal.
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