imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Anti-Commodification Effect of Bicycles

by Harv Thursday, Sep. 01, 2005 at 12:13 PM

What the current establishment fears about us bicyclists is not only our freedom, but our manifested alternatives. Alternative transportation, yes, but even more - an alternative value system.

Remember the movie "Easy Rider"? Wyatt (Peter Fonda's character) tells Billy (Dennis Hopper's character) that what those antagonistic local yocals were afraid of is Billy's 'freedom'. What the current establishment fears about us bicyclists is not only our freedom, but our manifested alternatives. Alternative transportation, yes, but even more - an alternative value system.

A system that is counter to the commodification of all things under corporate control. Why do you suppose society turns a blind eye to the 43,000 deaths and the hundreds of thousands of injuries annually caused by driving automobiles? Because to do otherwise would be counter-productive to the commodification of the transportation industry by General Motors, Standard Oil, et al.

Look what these corporations did to the non-auto transportation system already established in Los Angeles up until, what... the 1960's? They ripped up the tracks and junked the light-rail cars, that's what they did. Just to assure that everyone would have to buy in to the expensive car culture.

Enter bicyclists. Not just kids pedalling K-Mart bikes on sidewalks. Serious adults cycling as vehicles, going to work and running errands, as well as recreation and social uses.

Talk about a slap in the face to corporate America! What about that SUV dealership that can't sell us a 30 or 40 kilobuck monster with ten cup-holders and a video entertainment center? What about the oil companies who watch us pedal past their gas stations without spending a dime? What about those insurance companies that can't sell us a legally-mandated policy that costs hundreds of dollars per month? I could go on and on but I am disgusted with listing the money-grubbers already.

So we have our humble bikes to save us all this loot and mitigate the need for wage slavery. They are not free are they? You gotta plunk down some bucks for a nice ride, doncha? Well, no. One of the truly great things about riding a bike is that you can spend as much or as little as you want.

You can build a bike from scrap parts at little or no cost. In Northeast L.A. I see bikes abandoned at the curb frequently. I pedal up the Arroyo Seco bike path and see them hurled into the channel-bottom. I pedal along the neighborhood streets and see them out with the trash on pick-up day.

Yes, they are junk, but they usually have some salvageable parts on them. Or you can probably score a discarded but better bike from a friend or neighbor who had grandiose plans upon exiting the bike shop some years ago, but now just has the bike languishing on a plastic-covered hook in the back of the garage because that monster SUV with 10 cup holders and a two-ton air conditioner has become his/her second home and egocentric self-image.

Imagine what an affront to our corporate consumer culture it is to silently whiz past dense traffic on a zero-cost beater bike built up from junk parts! Having opted out of car payments, insurance, fuel, maintenance, parking fees, traffic tickets, registration fees, vehicle tax, etc (all of which now amounts to 10,000 bucks per annum!), you have succeeded in de-commodifying your transportation. You rebel, you! You counter-culturist! No wonder you get honked at, screamed at, spit at, get trash thrown at you, and are looked upon as a non-conforming weirdo. Or is it fear? Is it fear by that fat, wheezing, angry, impatient, road-raged, car driver that you have somehow beat the system and can exist and be happy without the commodification of every aspect of your life?

Or if you really want to, you can go out and blow hundreds of dollars (or more) on a brand-new shiney bike. All of the above will still be true, won't it? :)

Note: The author's 'beater' was built basically from two discarded bikes. One, a 15 year old all-steel Schwinn Frontier, abandoned by a neighbor upon fleeing the country to avoid prosecution for grand-theft-auto (ironically, an employee of an SUV dealership). The other a kid's 20 inch mountain bike left out with the trash. Tossed into the mix were a slightly damaged saddle donated by a LBS, take-off parts from prior bike upgrades, a 35 year-old pair of steel toe-clips, and a pair of Italian motorcycle handlebar grips gleaned from a dealer's obsolete parts inventory. Only purchased new parts are tires and tubes.

Cyclist Inciting Change thru Live Exchange

Report this post as:

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy