Why “TransCyclist”? The “Cyclist” comes from my major identity in life, as a person who gets around metropolitan Boston on her bicycle and tries to make it easier for other people to do the same. I bike for health, for the environment, and because it’s a lot more fun than other means of getting around. I ride quite a bit every day and think a lot about bicycles as transportation and life style and political statement. I try to set an example as someone who almost always bikes to get around (which I found out by Googling is sometimes called “transcycling” for “transportation cycling”), though what I really want to teach people is that choosing the means by which you make any trip should be a conscious decision and not just default to the use of an automobile.
The “Trans” part is more complicated. I’ve been doing a lot of reading (“The Thoreau You Don’t Know” by Robert Sullivan, most recently) and working on a project (New Brook Farm) concerning the Transcendental movement in mid-19th Century America and the ideas concerning community and living in the world which it promulgated. And then there is the feeling that the bicycle transcends its status as a mode of transportation into a way of looking at and living in the world. Last but not least is my recent transition from male to female and the ensuing change in perspective and ways of relating, many of which are taking me by surprise.
I’ve rebooted my life, and enough interesting things have happened that my friends are saying that I should write a book. I don’t think that I am disciplined enough to do that, so I’ll try blogging on a regular basis and see what happens. Maybe if I write things down, I’ll be a bit less long-winded when I try to tell stories orally.
Thanks to Bekka from Bikeyface for inspiring me to get started.
[originally posted December 16, 2011]