“Ya ain't from aroun' here, are ya?”...SATIRE
In modern society, though, nearly everything has a political connotation. I choose to blame Karl “Turd Blossom” Rove for this, but feel free to pick your own personal demon. So how is a cyclist with left-of-center political views best able to express those views while riding a bike? Now remember, I'm in Oklahoma where someone with moderate politics by east coast standards can be labeled as a wild-eyed liberal. The word is an epithet here. I've even been called a liberal in traffic, along with other, less endearing labels. Atilla the Hun would have been a leftie here.
With that in mind, I wondered just how a cyclist could demonstrate his political views without resorting to something as crass as a bumper sticker, not that there's space to apply one anyway, unless we stick them diagonally across our backs. Even MY butt isn't wide enough for that. Oh sure, we can blow through stop signs and red lights as a symbolic rejection of bourgeois middle class values and their arbitrary limitations on personal freedom. We can ride without wearing helmets in defiance of the encroachments of the nanny state. We can ride on sidewalks and terrorize all those plodding pedestrians with their straight-laced complacency. We can ride the wrong way, going against traffic in protest of our nation's current political and economic direction.
Nearly all cyclists do those things already. The challenge is to find something different, something that sets the truly committed liberal cyclist apart from the crowd of wannabes.
My friend Bert was sitting in a bar one afternoon, not an unusual occurrence, when another patron approached and said, “You're Ed's friend, aren't you? I gotta tell you, he ain't right.” Then it hit me. The best illustration of a cyclist's adherence to progressive, liberal politics would be to simply refuse to turn right! It was a flash of brilliance! In one bold sweeping turn, a cyclist can show his total contempt for those neo-conservatives motoring along behind the controls of the largest SUV the world has ever seen, if you consider our government as a gaudy, chrome-encrusted motor vehicle gobbling up the world's oil and loudly demanding ever-wider roads and parking spaces that accommodate it's enormous girth.
Just say NO to right turns! If we categorically refuse to turn right, we send a message to those honkin' neo-cons stuck behind us in traffic. But how do we manage to get anywhere by only turning left, you ask? It's easy! We make 270 degree LEFT turns!
Isn't it simple! Try this on your next ride and I guarantee your politics will be readily apparent to all those running dog imperialist lackeys! I've done this and found that motorists are astonished that someone would demonstrate their liberal credentials in such a positive, emphatic style. Many of them honk, yell words of encouragement, and wave their fists in the air showing their total agreement with our progressive agenda. It feels good to be at the cutting edge of a new movement in American politics.
Meanwhile, other left-leaning cyclists continue riding on sidewalks or against traffic. They routinely ignore stop signs and red lights as they've probably done since the invention of our two-wheeled conveyance. It's time they embraced the 270 degree turn as yet another outward sign of their inner politics. When our country stops its headlong turn toward the right, we'll resume making normal right turns. But until that golden day arrives, make your statement with a 270!
(An addendum to the above: I'm almost certain that some cyclists, when painted as left-leaning, neo-communists, will think to themselves, “Ah ain't gonna ride like no damn pinko liberal! Ah'll stop at red lights, stay off sidewalks, and ride with traffic rather than look like some damned commie bastard! That'll show 'em!” If that's the case, my job here is done.)