I’ve never understood the occasional conservative prejudice against bikes—specifically, the riding of bikes on roads, which, according to the historically myopic argument, were built exclusively for cars and trucks. I get it that some cyclists are entitled jackasses, who seem to go out of their way to slow traffic down by riding three abreast. But blaming a group or a machine instead of an individual for stupidity (or anything else) is a very unconservative thing to do. People slow traffic down, not cyclists or bikes.
Plus (yes, I’m going to be a bore, but I’m almost done!), bikes are wonderful machines. Cars are great, too, mind you. Like bikes, they can be both elegant and efficient. But in a car, everything except the sun and speed is an abstraction. On a bike, you feel all the particulars of travel—the sun, speed, hills, wind, and biting cold. Also: without bikes, we probably wouldn’t have motorcycles, which every freedom-loving person knows is the most metaphysical form of ground transportation.
All this to say that I have enjoyed Grant Wishard’s dispatches from his bike trip along the US-Mexican border and found it entirely fitting that they should be published at the preeminent conservative publication in America (if you’ll allow me a prejudice of my own). In one of his latest, Grant writes about sleeping in a ranger station and losing one of his biking companions.
Marxism And Environmentalism: The Unholy Alliance