Denver created the nation’s largest bike sharing program in April but one Republican candidate running for governor of Colorado sees nefarious intentions behind the idea.
Tea Party favorite Dan Maes thinks that bike sharing could be a United Nations plot to destroy the country.
“Dubbed B-Cycle, the program offers offers roughly 400 red Trek B-cycles at 40 B-stations throughout the City,” explained Bridgette Meinhold at the blog Inhabitat.
Like us, you probably though that bike sharing had already starting in the US, but it turns out Denver is the first city to get a large-scale bike sharing network. B-CycleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s bikes will be placed at the B-Stations today and tomorrow, and Ã¢â‚¬Å“ambassadorsÃ¢â‚¬Â of B-Cycle will be on hand to help familiarize Denverites with the program and answer questions. There are 40 conveniently located B-Stations throughout the city, and anyone can pick a bike up, ride it and then return it to any station. Stations are located throughout downtown Denver, Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek and University of Denver, among other areas. By this summer, B-Cycle hopes to have 500 bikes and up to 50 stations.
Memberships keep things simple and relatively cost-effective. A 7-day membership costs $20, a 30-day costs $30 and an annual membership costs $65, and riders can also buy a 24-hour pass for $5. Once you start riding, there is no charge for the first half hour, but afterwards there is a charge for how long you ride the bike. B-Cycle was in part funded by a $450,000 sponsorship from Kaiser Permanente, along with a slew of other funders. Congratulations to Denver, and to other cities considering this option, B-Cycle is exploring other cities for this bike-sharing program as well. Maybe yours could be next.
What seems like an innocent way to keep residents healthy and provide low-cost transportation is just a “well-disguised” conspiracy, according to Maes. The Denver Post reported:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are “converting Denver into a United Nations community.”
“This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes told about 50 supporters who showed up at a campaign rally last week in Centennial.
Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor’s efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”
“This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,” Maes said.
The Post report added, “Maes acknowledged that some might find his theories ‘kooky,’ but he said there are valid reasons to be worried.”
“These aren’t just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to,” Maes said at the July 26 rally. The gubernatorial candidate said he was referring to Denver’s 18-year membership the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).
“At first, I thought, ‘Gosh, public transportation, what’s wrong with that, and what’s wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what’s wrong with incentives for green cars?’ But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty,” Maes explained.
In his nightly segment on Tea Party candidates, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann took on Maes’ theory. “So by now, the international communist bike-sharing conspiracy has had 18 years to worm its way into the collective American soul,” said Olbermann.
“This is all very well disguised, but it will be exposed. The only thing that’s going to be exposed here is what the Tea Party is all about. Paranoia,” he continued.
“Because the international bike-sharing conspiracy has this country by the throat. And the body snatchers are here. And Soylent Green is people,” he joked.
This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast Aug. 5, 2010.