We're Doing It Wrong
|image by Peter Drew via Carlton Reid|
So here is a question I've been wanting to ask for a long time: Why do some cyclists enjoy calling drivers fat and generally framing bicycling within a fat vs skinny value system? Are they the same people who called other kids "fatty" in the school yard as children, and is bicycle activism a platform they've found for the same behaviour to be acceptable as adults? Because that is how such images and messages can come across to non-cyclists - particularly those on the heavy side. And how do you suppose a heavy cyclist feels seeing this sort of thing - where do they fit in?
I think the only people who will find the above image appealing are those who are fit bicyclists and are proud of their bodies, which they attribute to riding a bike. But by the general population, cyclists are widely perceived as judgmental, self-righteous bullies who are also cheepskates, and this image pretty much feeds right into that. If we want to actually inspire others, as opposed to congratulate ourselves, then perhaps a different strategy is called for. There is enough body dysmorphia in our society without cyclists instilling more neuroticism and insecurity about people's weight.