Groups of people can truly accomplish great things. Some really awful things, too, but mostly good.

What I don’t entirely understand myself is why many groups feel a need to define themselves in some part by what they’re against. I was reading Let’s Go Ride a Bike’s post about the bicycle-centric Tour de Fat (by New Belgium Brewing Company), and it sounded like a fun event that I’d go out of my way to attend someday.

Except for one thing. Apparently the event also has a strong undercurrent of anti-automobile going on, and I have trouble with that. I think bicycles are great, and I love riding. I ride to lunch often, I ride the occasional singletrack on my mountain bike, I enjoy 20-50 mile rides on the road bike, and I can have the time of my life exploring the streets of a city like NYC on a rental bike. I ride enough that people I know through business ask if that was me they saw riding down West End at lunchtime.

But I also love cars! Love ‘em. I love motorcycles and scooters, too. And so I just don’t think I can get into Tour de Fat, because rather than just celebrating the bicycle, they’re demonizing the car. Is it not possible to enjoy and promote bicycles without saying cars suck? Maybe next year they’ll drop the negativity — and get closer to town than a seven-hour drive.

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