I AM NOT A CYCLIST…
A journalist is someone who writes for a living, an artist makes art. Columnist, pianist, economist… all are ways we use to identify people by their profession. Lance Armstrong is (was) a cyclist, making his fortune by riding a bicycle. I am not a cyclist. I am a person who happens to ride a bicycle to my work, shopping and to visit friends.
A cyclist is a stereotype, not a person. People have rights—to freedom of movement, to safety, to equitable access—that are frequently denied to them when they use a bicycle. When we become a “cyclist” in the eyes of authority and other citizens we are seen as equivalents of automobiles, inanimate objects rather than citizens.
We reinforce this dangerous objectification (and loss of our human rights) when we proclaim ourselves “cyclists.”
…I AM A CITIZEN!
Text: Rex Burkholder
Photo: © Hector Ríos