SLIDER

the bicycle as symbol of freedom


photo: giffard riene
yesterday, my English professor brought up the subject of freedom of choice in modern society. he went on joking on the idea of the individual in society having the freedom to choose on buying a car but then questioned how much freedom do you then have when you make the choice to buy into something that gives constraints, through laws written by society that determines how you drive. although modern society loves the idea that the individual has "freedom of choice," society limits our individuality with given constraints that limits our freedom to choose as we are told what is right and what is wrong. as always, i like to challenge assumptions and connect my experiences with the bicycle. for me personally, historically, and perhaps universally, the bicycle is a symbol of freedom. when i was at the Velo Expo in Paris, i had noticed that many ads and posters used the bicycle as a symbol of liberty, this got me thinking of the bicycle throughout time and how it's meaning has played a role in our view of freedom. in how i personally have come to view the bicycle as a symbol of freedom is rather political; freedom from capitalistic development, a symbol of resistance against harming the environment and buying into the life that i'm taught that is meaningful. i know i live in a world that has been given to me, not by my own choice, but to me the bicycle is a form of freedom of choice where i can go off and discover the world without any restrictions and to me this is transformative to how i view the world and choose to live life.

i really hope i don't sound too academic up on here but this was something that provoked a lot of thought in how we individually and collectively view the bicycle, you feel my groove? it means something different to each of us right? so, what does the bicycle mean to you?

4 comments

Kelley Kronic said...

it means freedom to go where i want to me. and it makes me feel empowered and fit and happy and joyful...and i love it and im gushing i will quit now

Barb Chamberlain, Bike Style Spokane said...

Love this. What a great graphic!

I wrote a 4th of July post on how bicycling gives me a sense of independence and freedom: http://bikestylespokane.com/2011/07/04/independence-and-freedom-courtesy-of-the-bicycle/

For women in particular, we're often socialized away from mechanical competence. I'm much more capable of dealing with things that go wrong on my bike than with things that go wrong on my car. I get a thrill every time I see a woman work on a bike in some way, whether it's adjusting saddle height or flipping it upside down to work on a flat.

barb from Bike Style

citygirlrides said...

barb, i love that post btw. i will have to add it my link love list i have stirring for next week. thanks for sharing it.

马特 said...

Have you ever read Frances E. Willard's "A Wheel Within a Wheel"? It's her personal account of learning to ride as a 53 year old woman in 1895 - totally awesome, made me vividly remember what it felt like the first time I rode my 2-wheeler.

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