Bicycling subcultures signal a sensibility that stands against oil wars, environmental devastation, urban decay and monocultural sprawl.
[In] this bike subculture there's no person who is the best, who is winning, or getting the most money. It's a pretty equal community in that everyone can excel, but not have to be the top dog -- Robin Havens
A funny thing happened during the last decade of the 20th century. Paralleling events that transpired a century earlier, a social movement emerged based on the bicycle. This "movement" is far from a unified force, and unlike the late 19th century bicyclists, this generation does not have to rally around the demand for "good roads." Instead, "chopper" bike clubs, nonprofit do-it-yourself repair shops, monthly Critical Mass rides, organized recreational and quasi-political rides and events, and an explosion of small zines covering every imaginable angle of bicycling and its surrounding culture, have proliferated in most metropolitan areas. Month-long "Bikesummer" festivals have occurred in cities around North America since 1999, galvanizing bicyclists across the spectrum into action and cooperation.
This curious, multifaceted phenomenon constitutes an important arena of autonomous politics. The bicycle has become a cultural signifier that begins to unite people across economic and racial strata. It signals a sensibility that stands against oil wars and the environmental devastation wrought by the oil and chemical industries, the urban decay imposed by cars and highways, the endless monocultural sprawl spreading outward across exurban zones. This new bicycling subculture stands for localism, a more human pace, more face-to-face interaction, hands- on technological self-sufficiency, reuse and recycling, and a healthy urban environment that is friendly to self-propulsion, pleasant smells and sights, and human conviviality. read more here