Emmett Tyrrell

However, I fear the nation's angry bicycle riders are going to be with us for a while. In a few years, President Barack Obama might be back in Chicago as former-President Obama, organizing illegal aliens or whatever, and the gloomy riders will still be out there arrogating to themselves their bike lanes. Hillary Rodham Clinton will be securely in retirement, all her dreams of presidential grandeur vanquished, and still the militant bicyclists will be riding down the middle of Main Street presuming to slow down traffic to a modest ten miles an hour and making inscrutable hand signals to drivers in every direction. This time around, unlike the late 1970s, their anger is seemingly unappeasable, and they have local government on their side, especially in blue state constituencies.

Now comes a calm voice of reason, a full professor of law from a highly respected university, George Mason University. He is Professor Frank Buckley and he has viewed the pedaling indignados on his King Street thoroughfare in historic Alexandria humanely. Each day, 15,000 commuters pass his house headed to work on this ancient two-lane street. It is barely 30 feet wide. At rush hour it is dangerous. Even in off-hours it is congested. Yet Buckley is glad to have the occasional pedalers with him and his neighbors on the sidewalk. He is resisting their demands to take away street parking rights for dedicated bike lanes. He sees it as a national movement that is anti-automobile and anti-modernity.

Of course he is right. These are not cyclists in pursuit of scenery and good health. If they were, they would be riding along the 35 miles of bike trails that the community has maintained for them. They are angry obsessive utopians that would make their anti-people campaign -- their anti-freedom campaign -- the first battle in an attempt to take over the way normal Americans live. They are a social indicator of unhappy times that, God willing, are about to end.

In Alexandria, as in Los Angeles, Boston, and other cities where the angry bicycle riders have made a lunge for power, they are being resisted. My guess is cooler heads will prevail. Bikes, pedestrians and automobiles have coexisted on sidewalks and streets for decades. The angry bicycle rider is an indicator of angry times. With the passing of President Obama, times will be getting better. With his replacement in the White House, Americans will smile again, even bicyclers.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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