Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pedaling pre-Occupation!

Inspired by Occupy Wall Street and not feeling like I do my share in the making-the-world-a-better- place department, I pedaled to downtown this afternoon to participate in Occupy Flagstaff.  The "occupation" was the first demonstration or protest I have ever participated in.  At nearly 49, I decided that I needed a change of pace and this felt like a better idea than going all Madame DeFarge in my frustration with the current economy and political climate. 

The woman here on the right is a teacher from Phoenix.  She probably traveled here by car, but that's okay.
It was a peaceful protest of about 100 citizens of all ages, shades of skin and life situations.  Everyone behaved themselves quite well, with no swearing or disrespect to the few car drivers that gave us the finger (and in one case, mooned us).  Overall, the clear majority of the passing motorists supported our efforts and knew what we were protesting since they gave lots of honks and thumbs up.  I prefer to focus on what I support, one of them being funding for transportation alternatives that serve the needs of all.  My husband asked me if I was going to wear a Corporate Zombie costume but that's no more me than Lycra.  I just wore my usual combo of JCrew and Eddie Bauer.  Most everyone dressed pretty much like me, with the occasional Nordic ski cap with ear flaps. 

The bikes not his but he made the sign.
I was not the only cyclist to attend.  Actually, there were quite a few of us.  I wonder if that means bicycles are unAmerican?

Nobody at Occupy Flagstaff wore Lycra.
I also met a very nice woman whose hours were cut back and had her car repossessed.  She rides her bike for transportation, too, and told me she likes it very much, thank you.  I hope things turn around for her soon, and if she needs another car that she is able to get one.  We get a good bit of snow in Flag so it's not always that easy to bike here in the winter.

Visitor from NYC!  I kinda think they've done this before.
I also met this couple from New York City - Stanton Island, to be exact.  They told me they both work in health care.  They were traveling down Rt. 66 on the way to the Grand Canyon and were so happy to see that the Wall Street event had spread to other cities that they had to stop and chat.  Their son is very active in Washington state biking community.  They stayed for an hour, borrowed signs from the sign pile and joined the protest.  When we said goodbye I gave them directions to the Grand Canyon and pointed out the Visitor's Center where they could pick up information on other area attractions.  They told me they like Arizona very much.  For those few hours, I warmed to it as well.

7 comments:

JD said...

There were dozens of bikes at Occupy San Diego; no Lycra. Tell Bob I'm "borrowing" his idea for a sign for this Saturday's march

She Rides a Bike said...

JD: I won't get to go to this weekend's event due to previously scheduled plans but I expect to see the bicycles increase in numbers. Bob will be glad to know someone like his idea.

SuperKat said...

EVERYONE IS PICKING UP ON THE OCCUPY BANDWAGON! HERE IN NYC PEOPLE HAVE BEEN PRETTY MUCH GIVING THE "MAN" HELL :)

inspiredcyclist said...

Glad the protest went well!

JD said...

Karen, let Bob know I got a lot of positive comments on "his" sign; all from people 50 or older...lol. The younger crowd didn't seem to have a clue.

Ben said...

excellent combination of bikes & protesting!

She Rides a Bike said...

JD: Bob is pleased that the Zombie idea worked out well for you. Isn't it funny that the thumbs up came from the 50+ crowd - I'll bet they were all employed, too.