Shadow (dariaphoebe) wrote,
Shadow
dariaphoebe

t was Sunday morning, and so my bike ride was quiet. There were fewer cars to compete with on the narrow hillside streets because I wasn't out when people were going to work. Despite the low temperatures - it hadn't reached 50 when I reached the top - I was still a sweaty mess. But the lack of pretty much anything going on around me meant the ride could and would be more cerebral than most of my daily climbs.

The communities I traverse on just my short ride are varied, as well as diverse. They're mixed by race and by class, though the mix of each area is different. In some areas the boarded up houses are being renovated for a sale. In others, it's to keep people from setting up drugs dens in them. That's the sort of variety I mean. It provides fodder for thought. A few weeks ago, an article got some play suggesting that being on a bicycle could offer a metaphor for being on the wrong end of white privilege. I had no doubt that cyclists were at the wrong end of the vehicle privilege spectrum, but doubted it illustrated well the problem. Unable to coalesce my thoughts, I let it drop, mostly. It occupied my mind on my ride again today.

Upon arriving home, I found out an article had appeared today about racism in focus on bikes as transportation. Here was an opposite perspective. This felt closer, but still lacking part of the perspective. But finally, the bullet points, if not the narrative, fell into place. Biking is considered leisure (even if there are people commuting that way, some because they can afford nothing else); Much of the focus on bike infrastructure has been on building it for a subset of users, who are probably better-off if not necessarily in it for leisure; And the people best able to afford the time (and the equipment, tho to a lesser degree), because of the distribution of poverty, are probably white. I already felt the advocacy was being applied poorly, but now I understood a direction for how it might be applied better. I said about the new bike lanes downtown that I am not the target audience. Perhaps what I meant was that I shouldn't be.

Step 70: Thinking about problems may not provide solutions, but not thinking about them definitely won't. Remember though, just because it's not your problem, don't mean it's not a problem.
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