Bicycling through the City of Los Angeles, I am constantly struck by the complex bizarre web of relationships and political dynamics, within which I navigate--spatially, emotionally, and intellectually.
I firmly believe in the idea that how we move through space contributes to how we see ourselves and how we interpret society. That is, I believe that our transportation (read: travel attributes, like mode choice, time of trip, travel pattern) affects our identity. Not in a way at all different from race, class, gender, sexuality, age...language proficiency, (dis)ability, citizenship, ethnicity, height, weight, etc.
With any identity comes along discussions of community. And with communities, come notions of convention, normality, hegemony--all the wonderfully fun structures that can create relationships of empowerment, subjugation, inclusion, exclusion, and especially hierarchy and drama.
I want to focus on particular notions of identity construction and entitlement by approaching the question from the intersection of cultural identity and bicycling in Los Angeles. Who IS bicycling in Los Angeles? And who, if anyone, does bicycling belong to?