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40


THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 40, July 9, 1998

Untitled Essay

Hobbyt Kudos Winner
(Most Humorous Entry)

Kevin El-Hayek (age 18)
don-tiggre@utah-inter.net

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         One time I was walking down the street, and someone asked me, "Do you have a bike?" And I said, "Yeah, I have a bike." That's what individual freedom is all about. I mean, in how many other countries, can you say, "Yeah, I have a bike"? So our problem here is the fact that we are all allowed to have bikes, but we don't all have them. If we all get bikes and learn how to use them properly we will exercise our individual freedom.
         Say I'm riding my bike, and I'm in a no bike zone ... who cares ... I have a bike, and I'm gonna ride it. In a more serious example, I was riding my bike through Harvard Yard after a tough day of wrestling practice. Now, it is known that it is illegal to ride your bike through Harvard Yard. I've been stopped several times by various enforcers of the law, but I usually just duck out of the way and keep going. On this particular night, an old woman saw me riding my bike, and she said, "No bikes in the yard." At first I was like, "Yeah right, who the hell are you to tell me that I'm not allowed to ride my bike here. Are you an enforcer of the law?" But then I got to thinking ... maybe she's like part of the administration or something, and she'll get a good look at my blue GT Talera and turn me in or something. So I obediently got off my bike, and began to walk it.
         Primarily, the simple thought of me feeling guilty for riding my bike infringed upon my basic individual right of riding my bike. Now sure, maybe if it was really slippery out or something, and there were like a million people walking through the Yard, I'd think, "Yeah, if there was to be a day to actually 'walk' my bike, today would be the day." But I should be able to make that decision, not some old lady walking through the yard. To tell you the truth, I felt like turning around and riding my bike right up her ass! I mean, I go just as fast as people who run in the Yard, but does that mean that they shouldn't be allowed to run? I don't think so!
         When I brought this subject up in a very formal dining hall debate with several students in my dormitory, they argued that you have more control when you are running. You know what I have to say to that? I say what about people on scooters, or rollerblades, or even skateboards? Do you honestly think they have more control on their respective means of transportation than someone who rides a bike?
         When it all boils down, what we have here is a simple case of the cliched "double standard." I argue that many people who walk through the yard have an automatic discriminatory opinion towards bike riders ... just because of that stupid sign at all entrances into the yard:

PLEASE WALK YOUR BIKE

         If we are going to be PC (like we seem to have to be these days in almost every aspect of living), why doesn't the sign say:

PLEASE WALK YOUR ROLLERBLADES, SKATEBOARD, SCOOTERS, OR ANY OTHER MODE OF TRANSPORTATION THAT WILL ENDANGER THOSE OBEDIENT FOLKS WHO SIMPLY WALK THROUGH THE YARD

         Ok, so I got a little carried away on that one, but the point here is that we as Americans can say that we have bikes, we have rollerblades, we can run, we have rights. If we don't learn how to use our rights, what on Earth did our Forefathers spend all that time doing in that stuffy room in Philadelphia? Call me a madman, but I thought they were discussing how to make this country free.
         Anyway, not to sidetrack, but there are just some things we should have the right to do. I have a bike. I'm gonna ride it. If I walk down the street and ask you if you have a bike, you can say no, but I would strongly urge you to go out and get one. And if you ask me if I have a bike, I'm gonna tell you right to your face ...
         "I have a bike."


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