Bicycle Diaries: <i>Velo</i>tarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!

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Velotarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch!

of the world unite!

My apologies to Marx & Engels: as many of you now, I've been working on the concept of the velotariat. I don't think it's as politically radical as proletariat. The latter, according to classic Marxist-Leninist theory, refers to that class of society which does not have ownership of the means of production; whose only worth is their labor in exchange for a wages. Velotariat is a socially radical concept instead. First, it's classless. Working-class Latino immigrants frequent our streets as often as bougie commuters. Second, what all bike riders share is an embrace of the alternative.

Finally, whether they're too poor to afford a car or too impatient to fret about parking the damn thing, velotarians have created a new reality in our public spaces; one that challenges the social hegemony of cager culture. Bikekultur is definitely protean. Just scan the bike blogs and you'll see a wide range of often contradictory definitions. And so, with further apologies to the following creative minds, here's my take on the velotariat:
The three great problems of this century; the degradation of man in the velotariat, the subjection of women through hunger, the atrophy of the child by darkness.
Victor Hugo

The bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie have armed themselves against the rising velotariat with, among other things, "culture".
George Grosz

History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the velotariat.
Rosa Luxemburg

Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle. The modern industrial velotariat does not belong to the category of such classes.
Vladimir Lenin

The velotariat uses the State not in the interests of freedom but in order to hold down its adversaries, and as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom the State as such ceases to exist.

Friedrich Engels

Admiration of the velotariat, like that of dams, power stations, and aeroplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age.

Bertrand Russell

Whatever crimes the velotariat commits
It can't be beastly to the Children of the Ritz.
Noel Coward

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