Just when you thought you'd heard it all..........here comes Gabe lobbing in a molotov cocktail. I love the analogy of the MNR to Malcolm X, but c'mon. You guys sure know how to get a discussion going......and going, and going.....I think Thoreau, Emerson and WEB Dubois belong in there somewhere, too.
Is that what you're about? A social revolution? That's pretty neat......most of us are just trying to get to work, get some exercise, save a few bucks and reduce our carbon footprint. After riding to and from work 5 days a week, I don't really have the energy to ride around town on Monday nights (and get to work on time the next morning).
Could also be that I'm getting old (52). Since me and my friends grew up in the 60's and 70's, we're pretty familiar with the protest movement........some of us remember choking on tear gas and dodging rubber bullets. We thought what we were doing was important.......and it was. We'd like to think we forced dialogue and change by protesting and taking over admin buildings.....and we were mighty disrespectful of authority and rules. They took over the administration building at Harvard in 1969 and carried the Dean of Students forcibly out of the building. They say he was a great guy who loved being around students and the students really liked him.........before this incident. Afterwards, the bond was broken and he became more and more distant. By the time I arrived in 1974, he wasn't much involved with students at all. The professors and grad students told us he was never the same after that day. The lesson I took away is that it is important to stand up for what you believe in, even to the point of taking risk, even breaking rules and laws (especially laws that don't make sense). But you have to be damn careful that you don't hurt others, especially innocent bystanders, in the process. This type of collateral damage is unacceptable and unnecessary.
And, of course, you have to be careful that you aren't just kidding yourselves and mistaking a social event for a social revolution. Or that it's really not about a cause at all, but just all about you.
I love group rides and what they can do to promote cycling (which I actually hope IS becoming a revolution of sorts). But I don't like the way you guys on the MNR defiantly break rules and disprespect others. Justify it all you like.....yes, you're starting dialogue and getting attention, but you're not helping the cause. You're making it harder for cyclists to get respect, not easier. And you're certainly not setting a good example for our young people. You don't remind me of X or MLK.......you remind me more of the hooligan movement in Europe (this is really scary and could easily jump the pond......you can check it out on my son, Brandon's blog, www.wheresmorgan.com). Sorry, guys, but if you really want to make a positive difference for cycling in CBus why don't you do something constructive like helping get children back on bikes, riding to school, or lobbying the colleges and universities to quit paving over green space to create parking for the students and faculty who should be walking and biking around the campus. (I apologize in advance to those of you who I'm sure are doing constructive things like this.)
I'm also really worried that one of you is going to get hurt or worse. Cycling by the rules is dangerous enough, but what you're doing is extremely unsafe. Martyrdom is overrated.
I rode in this morning in the rain......it's been so dry, it felt good. We really need the rain.