Micah Mattix on cycling

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.

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