I never thought I'd see a group of bike-share bicycles compared to Hitler, but that's what the National Post did today in an item that picks up on the Denver Post news nugget I posted on a couple of days ago.
Hey, satire is fine, but when you summon up the spectre of the man with the wee moustache, you'd better have good reason for it.
The reason for the Adolfism was the report about Colorado Republican candidate for governor, Dan Maes, who accused his Democratic rival, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, of "converting Denver into a United Nations community" through his promotion of cycling. Maes apparently fears that Americans will have their basic human rights violated by bicycle promotion. You'd think that a Republican would like red rental bikes.
Ever since Maes suspicions of a worldwide bicycle conspiracy have been made public, he has been the focal point of much reportage, and some of it incidentally illuminating.
The website Foreign Policy, for instance, notes that the United Nations is not at the forefront of bicycle promotion. In fact, last year, the UN tore out several rows of bicycle racks in its New York headquarters to make way for a building reno. The bike parking area disappeared entirely, to the chagrin of the UN secret cycling agents who would spread their two-wheeled philosophy around America, or at least, ride their bikes to work.
The website The Wonkette did a pretty straight report, except for that bit about rounding up gun owners and evangelicals and putting them into camps.
It was sad to note that the New York Times blog reported that a spokesperson for Mayor Hickenlooper actually felt it was necessary to put some distance between the mayor and the city's cycling initiatives by noting that Denver had signed on to the sinister International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives in 1992, and that Hickenlooper had only been mayor since 2003.
Come on Hickenlooper. Stand tall in your saddle. Be proud to be bicycle-friendly.