Legitimate Citizens on the Road

Bicyclists are constantly clawed at with accusations of illegitimacy even amongst people who ride bikes.  How can we stand up and be proud and view bicycling as an equal way to move people so long as there are bicyclists that break the rules?  Bicyclists will never be perfect citizens.  Nobody ever is.  Imperfection does not negate basic rights and the right to be included.  There is no threshold of near perfection to exceed in order to be accepted.  That bar does not exist.  It is a fantasy construct to rationalize bias and apprehension.  Acceptance is unconditional.  Would anyone question the general legitimacy of cars on the road because a motorist behaves irresponsibly?  Cars are completely accepted and viewed as normal and inevitable so we tolerate and absorb the risk and inconveniences.  We don’t profile all motorists or question the basic legitimacy of cars on the road when mistakes are made.  That bicyclists are treated differently is a sign that our perceptions are askew.  The fact that imperfection is categorically held against one group is an old trick to delay acceptance and maintain a comforting uniformity in the mainstream.  This ancient fallacy has been brought out as artillery firing at every marginalized group seeking equal and accepted status.  The real question is why do we put up with the injustice and ongoing damage that putting down bicycling is doing to our fellow human beings and our society?  The delay in viewing bicyclists as completely normal first class citizens is hindering the development of a diversified transportation system with more good choices for all.  The only thing that can free us from perceptual barriers is the critical thinking power of our minds.  If we follow the guide post of freedom and see bicycles as equal and treat bicyclists as legitimate citizens on the road in this moment we will change the world by simply changing our mind.

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