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Attila the Biker


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T.C. O'Rourke's philosophy on securing biking rights/equal access on our public streets [Letters, April 3] is akin to Tolstoy while Dave Glowacz [Letters, April 10] is closer to Ayn Rand. What did Glowacz's parents read to him as a child, "The Adventures of Attila the Hun"? Glowacz leaves out a large chunk of potential bicyclists: 8- to 14-year-old kids and seniors who don't wear Mad Max road gear while shopping or running errands. Both groups, as well as a large segment of the rest of the population, would cycle much more often if we as a society respected cyclists' rights and presence on our public streets.

I am especially saddened when I think about the limitless distances I was allowed to travel as a ten-year-old on a bike. I grew up in a rural area. My brothers and I biked 10-15 miles each way to go to the Mississippi River, state parks, gramma's house, etc. How many ten-year-olds in cities would feel such confidence in transit on bikes? On second thought, I don't think kids' confidence would be the problem--it would be the parents' awareness of the danger of careless motorists. I'm with O'Rourke--this awful state-sponsored tyranny of the automobile, truck, and bus dominance on our public roadways will be adjusted for the greater good with a "larger group presence," aka Critical Mass, more quickly than with one lonely individual/individualist at a time.

Brian Haag


PS: Now that I think of it, even megaindividualist Ayn Rand advocated in Atlas Shrugged that all producers band together and go on strike to get their point across to the nonproducers. In the tradition of strength in numbers (women getting the vote, women owning property, the entire civil rights struggle, African-Americans at the lunch counter, etc.) our time has come as bicyclists. Stay together! Join Critical Mass.

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