I hereby confess one of darkest, most distasteful sides of my personality: I own and ride a bicycle.
I know, it's a tough thing to take. After all, it seems the only good thing bikes contribute to society is being something everyone else can all hate together. Pedestrians roll their eyes in annoyance as bikes glide by. Cars honk their horns in appalled irritation when they want to hug the curb. A few weeks ago, Oprah Winfrey looked ready to punch Lance Armstrong in the face. And I don't think it's because he had taken performance-enhancing drugs and then lied about it. It's because he rides a bike.
I guess it's because bikes seem annoyingly in the way: too fast to ignore, but slow enough that cars have to go around. Still, the hate seems deeper. A few years ago, New York City added lots of bike lanes in an effort to make the roads more environmentally supportive. Since then I have never ridden in a taxi without the cab driver pointing out that the bike lanes are taking up so much of the road that the world has become completely ruined. Traffic can't function, the economy will soon collapse, and children no longer know right and wrong. I have been told that bike lanes are the worst thing to happen to this city while being driven by Ground Zero.
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