A philosophical enquiry into biking

I've been doing a lot of bike riding lately, which is a great joy to me. All thanks to Jenny letting me use her sweet baby-blue-with-yellow-fenders bike. The obvious question is: does riding all over the city on a girls' bike challenge my masculinity? The answer is no, for two reasons: 1) living in China, where bikes are not gendered, has mostly eroded my need for a straight bar on the bike to reassure me that I'm not a woman; 2) it's such a sweet-looking bike!

One of the most pleasurable things in life is to sail past all the poor fools in their cars stuck in traffic. "How I am lost in admiration! How I laugh! How I rejoice! I'm full of exaltation then as I see so many great kings who by public report were accepted into heaven groaning in the deepest darkness!" There's some pretty obvious unhealthy slave morality stuff going on here. But the thing about slave morality is it's so satisfying. Who wants to give that up? And it's pretty hard to avoid ressentiment when drivers insist on almost killing you every time you go biking.

I did Critical Mass last week, which is definitely the most fun quasi-protest I've been in. What makes Critical Mass different from conventional protests includes: 1) no annoying speakers beforehand, 2) no hopelessly simplistic slogans that make you think about all the nuances that are missing, 3) you get to bike instead of walk, 4) no ISO or Spartacist contingents to make you realize how bad the left is doing, 5) you wave at onlookers and wish them happy Friday instead of shouting at them, 6) Critical Mass usually features a naked guy standing on a median holding his bike above him. Sure the lack of an explicitly anti-car message is a bit dissatisfying, but as we lay the groundwork for an anti-car coup d'etat we might as well have a good time.

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