The Wheels of Change

Cyclists For Norman Siegel, originally uploaded by stacyrosenstock.

It was five years ago this August that I made the decision to return to cycling. At the time it seemed like a good way to drop a few pounds, get some exercise, and a cheap way about town. I never expected to quit smoking in in the process. It never occurred to me that cycling might be political.

But that was August 2004 — just days before the Republican National Convention protests and days before the infamous Critical Mass of August 2004.

Now, five years later, cycling has come a long way. We have a bike friendly Department of Transportation, over 200 miles of new bike lanes in the City. We even have their own candidate. Former Executive Director for the New York Civil Liberties Union, Norman Seigal, who among his many other causes, defended cyclists’ right to free assembly and to ride in crital mass, is running for public Advocate.

I’ve followed Norman for years, watched him argue against the death penalty, for the First Amendment, for 911 families, and against police brutality. Apparently he even defended Bill De Blasio’s right to be on the ballot and run against him, who quoted Norman as saying “some moments are bigger than the issues.” Advocacy is what Norman does. He deserves our vote.

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