All Cyclists are Pot Smoking Hippies

Comments by the masses on news stories are exactly worthless, but as I comb the blogozone and newzozone reading bike stories for blog fodder, I continually run into similarly threaded commentary in article responses.

I wish I could drive my bike around all day and smoke pot all night, but I have a house and kids.

If only I could quit my job and ride my bike around instead, but some of us have to work

Lefty liberal elites think they own the road. Why don’t you get a job!

Or some similar sentiment. The message is that cycling is only for those without real employment or responsibility. And that we are all pinko’s. I think secretly this loathing comes from jealousy, but I doubt an admission would be easy to come by.

Not all cyclists are hippie liberals with no responsibilities. Some cyclists are, but not all.

I’m not so worried about the aspersions being cast on me; haters love to hate that’s just how it is. More that these comments might turn someone off the idea of choosing to bicycle places that they currently drive.

I’m a married father of 3 kids. I work full-time as a Software Developer in Waterloo. Sometimes I have to get in early or home late based on deadlines. I have a mortgage, bills and responsibilities like everyone else. I can still make biking work.

But you don’t know me, and if you’re still not convinced that there are bike commuters who are not employed, then take a look at these guys

Buffalo Bills player who bikes to practice and games.

They don’t get much further from liberal than Jim Schneller.

Seattle mayor (it’s a job) bikes to work and to political events.

So there’s the proof. You don’t need to be unemployed, a pothead, socialist, or elitist to get on your bike for commuting. Conservatives, politicians, pro athletes, software developers, fathers, we can all make it work. Probably anyone can make it work.

Now hand me my hemp jacket and bong… I have to get to Burning Man.

6 thoughts on “All Cyclists are Pot Smoking Hippies

  1. The sentiments expressed by trolls are not very insulting or thought-provoking. The biking commuter crowd is made up of a wide range of people with a wide range of political ideologies. Sure, there’s pot smoking hippies who bike because they want to save the earth, but I’ve never met one. I have only met and talked to cycle commuters that have jobs, kids, a mortgage, etc. In other words, normal people like Rob.
    It’s very convenient to lump people into neat little groups, but from my experience not all liberals are tree-hugging hippies, just like not all conservatives are baby seal killers.

  2. I can’t say how much this drives me crazy, purely because it’s based on ignorance.
    Since when did someone’s form of transport pin-point their political leaning?

    I use to consider myself more right leaning and have voted Conservative a number of times in the past, however with the attitude I’ve seen from the right as of late, with a more anti-bike and anti-alternative energy attitude I truly am finished with even the thought of voting right (conservative). Look no further then Toronto’s new mayor and how he ran.

    If there was ever a reason I’d consider voting for the “left-winged-pinko socialist nuts”, (the NDP) it’s because the Conservative party has forced me to, by calling me a (left-winged-pinko socialist nut) purely because I support biking and alternative energies.

    It is a shame, because not all Conservatives are like this. There was a Conservative MPP who wants the province to pave ALL secondary highway shoulders to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

    I also believe London’s (England) mayor is a Conservative and rides a bike. I just wish Canadian conservatives were more like European conservatives.

  3. Oops, forget to add this about hippies:

    When I mention this to my Dad (all cyclists are hippies), he simply laughs because he grew up in the “hippie era” and he never, not once saw a hippie riding a bike.
    Hippies would mostly walk or drive…After all, that is why that VW van is nicknamed a “hippie van”.

  4. Great post Rob, you bring up a few really contentious threads. Rather than pot smoking hippies, what about the homeless who ride bikes? — i think i have a blog post here …

    The other day as I was looking outside a person on a bike with a trailer was sifting through my neighbours construction debris. My immediate thought was to open the door and scare him this dude off. Now, I don’t think he was homeless, but he didn’t have a bmw parked outside his 3/4 million house. It also gave rise to some dark thoughts that although we both ride bikes, I’m somehow superior because I could afford a car.

    This is part of the hypocrisy with minimalism that I struggle with. If someone does something (dumpster dive, commute by bike, buy second hand clothes, use the library) by choice it’s trendy if some does it out of survival it’s degrading.

    So after initially wanting to scare this guy off, I realized that we actually share a mode of transportation in common. I wish I could rid myself of this air of superiority that sneaks in and realize that we share a common humanity and that brings us closer than sharing a mode of transportation. — yep definitely a blog post in here somewhere.

    Rob great post, thanks for sharing!

  5. Hippy!

    ps.. if all hippy girls looked like that perhaps there would be more hippies in the world?

    pps… notice how many article comments are on the bills player who rides to practice?

  6. Ryan – Biking doesn’t fit with understanding of hippy either. But you obviously know the commenters. Sharp as a pound of wet liver.

    Graham – I usually exclude students as members of the cycling tribe because they either are not old enough to drive, or can’t yet afford to do so. But it’s a mistake. We need to be inclusive rather than tribal.

    Octavian – I know lots of cyclo-commuters too. Also none that fit the profile. IMO this isn’t a valid observation. Probably most of these commenters live within 5 km of work and don’t need to carry anything heavy. So they require another justification for taking their SUV or pickup.

    Brendan – I chose that picture for a reason!

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