21 January 2017

Why I Didn't Ride Today

Thick gray clouds blanketed the sky.  Still, today was mild for this time of year, with the temperature rising to 45F (8C).  Even after a week of sunshine and temperatures in the 70s, as I experienced in Florida, I would have gone riding on a day like today.

But I didn't.  Why?  

Well, believe it or not, there was something I felt I simply had to do.  If you followed the news today, you probably know what I'm about to tell you:  I marched in Manhattan.

To tell you the truth, I spent more time standing than marching.  A few hundred thousand other people can say the same:  At times, we were literally standing shoulder-to-shoulder.  

I should have known how crowded the streets would be when I rode across the 59th Street/Queensborough Bridge and, as soon as I descended the ramp on the Manhattan side, I could ride no further.   

Even though there seemed to be no room even for another flyer or sign on the Manhattan side, I found a signpost on which I was able to lock my LeTour.  I returned, hours later, to unlock and ride it back over the bridge.  

Some might say that I wasted my time, that such a march "won't change anything".  Of course, it won't nullify the result of the elections.  But it did bring together people who feel the same way: that the result of this election does not represent them, does not represent us.

Why was it important for us to come together?  We--most of us, anyway, I suspect--are angry about that the Orange Man was inaugurated yesterday.  We were not, however, acting upon our rage: doing so would have brought us down to the level of his campaign and the hatred it manifested.  I realized as much when I saw how respectful, even nice, marchers were toward each other.  Each of us, I think, was happy that the other marchers were there, whatever their reasons or motivations.  Many of us are "outsiders" or "minorities" of one kind or another; just about everyone else, I suspect, loves or is loved by someone who fits those descriptions.  Because we were there, together, we were not alienated, and the message behind our signs and shouts is that we will not allow ourselves to be alienated by the powers that are seizing control.

Tomorrow, I hear, will be like today, weather-wise--at least until mid-afternoon.  Perhaps I will ride.  But I will not regret that today I could ride over the bridge a mile from my apartment, and no further.  There is still further to go.  I can still go further.


  1. Interesting to see Trumplethinskin and his sycophants' efforts to delegitimise yesterday's marches and demonstrations. It speaks volumes about this administration's insecurity regarding its own legitimacy and so-called "mandate." i hope the People keep up the pressure on the Liar-in-Chief.

  2. The forth reich must be eliminated before it gains momentum. Crush bigly liar's ego...

  3. I hope everybody realizes what is happening. These marches are more or less spontaneous (with a little help from the social media) and are at least TEN TIMES bigger than the "big" anti war marches of the 60's. This will not be ignored by the administration. I only hope the movement is able to keep up a high enough level of momentum. Good work.


  4. Mike, Coline and Leo--I came across an article in which a classics scholar compares Trump with the Roman demagogues of Caesar's time: http://www.villagevoice.com/news/the-romans-tried-to-save-the-republic-from-men-like-trump-they-failed-9575234.

    Thanks for your encouragement!

    1. In Plato's Republic he wrote an exact and detailed description of how your new fuhrer would gain his tyrannical power and how he would behave. Paying the cost of taking classics out of the curriculum...

  5. Coline--I don't want to endorse any religious tradition. Still, I think a certain verse from Ecclesiastes is apropos: There is nothing new under the sun.