Greetings Citizens of Minneapolis.
I write to you as a member of a sophisticated and determined grassroots network. You may have been warned about us. We call ourselves "the Bicycle Lobby." You may call me Comrade Rosovvy.
“Who is this infernal bicycle lobby?” you might ask yourself while moving your car onto the public commons colloquially referred to as “the street” in order to get more room in the garage for a second canoe. Some might think that we are just everyday people, trying to earn a living and be part of our community.
Some people would be wrong.
The bicycle lobby is everywhere. When you see a sale sign come down in your neighborhood and a U-Haul pull up, don’t think this is merely a young millennial couple who just paid five times the market value you did to buy the same sized house. That is the kind of thinking the experienced lobby groups want you to think.
Those young people with one eye full of dreams and the other full of worry are none other than sleeper cells set on bringing about a calamitous revolution against your neighborhood’s character.
Where once you were able to comfortably drive 45 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood full of children, we desire to shrink your street width and force you to drive according to fascist moral code known as the “speed limit.”
Where once you could park in front of your house for an entire summer to make room for lawn chairs, a beer cooler, and a radio blasting Car Talk, we beast heathens require you to park your private things on your own private property in nothing less that a cataclysmic stripping of your rights as an American.
Where once you could park eight feet in front of a business to purchase a hanging plant, we sons and daughters of the morning star will force you to walk one additional city block on sidewalks like a poor person. Your spirit will be crushed and your very feet will cry out for mercy.
Where once a person was only allowed to use the terrifying machine known as a velocipede if they donned $3,000 of neon lycra and promised allegiance to a predominantly caucasian and male community group known as “sport cycling,” these slovenly unscrupulous beasts desire to ride with streamers, wind in their hair and children at their side.
But do not be disheartened! The American Society of Sayings Heralded Oppressively Loudly, Egotistically, & Dishonestly (A.S.S.H.O.L.E.D.) says:
“Based on our extensive study of the habits of all things, we have found that the only true and lasting way to foster business development, neighborhood moral character, and benefit to Americans everywhere is to facilitate miles upon miles of free and unused private automobile parking in common spaces payed for by literally every citizen of every city.
We have found this to be unassailable through an extensive research process which we will only refer to as ‘Common Sense.’”
So when you see us crawling into your community meetings from the shadows with our notebooks and smartphones, do not engage us in civil debate. Only scream loudly these two words: common sense!
When hateful baboons wearing snappy ties present research article after research article indicating the economic benefits to small businesses presented by casual bicycle infrastructure, do not listen to our lies. Only repeat: common sense!
And when we ask you to calm your violently angry voice in order to find a compromise so that all road users can feel safe, certainly don’t listen to us. You own a road bike and a domestic minivan, dammit! You have only ONE God: common sense!
Because it is true: My dear white male land owners in affluent neighborhoods, there is nothing my comrades and I can do to stop you when you call upon the spirit of your destiny manifest. It doesn’t matter how much data we bring. It doesn’t matter how hard we work. It doesn’t matter that we are the measurable majority of citizens in this city.
Hell, It doesn’t matter what living document promises us “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Your free parking is eternal. It always has been and always will be. The automobile is your birthright. The automobile roamed upon the water when this world began, and it will judge us in the life to come.
So, my comrades and I will stay vigilant. We will attempt to prevail. But we are fearful, indeed.
We quiver in fear every time we cash our generous bike lobby paychecks. And we fear for our children (or as we call them, recruits) that they may inherit a world where they bike to school separated only by a thin line of paint instead of in the street with cars driven by people checking sports scores on the internet.
We are radical. We believe in no compromise as we have no common sense.
We are the bicycle lobby. And we are coming for your parking.