Never Liked Lebron James or the Heat, but...

He's a COMMUTING bicyclist, meaning he rides to and from work. 

That he bikes to games is not new news.

It's been reported before by Streetsblog.

But now it appears there's some new media blitz now that he does this with regularity.

The basketball mag SLAM Online is reporting about how biking keeps him in shape.

USA Today is reporting how he *gasps*...rides at night.

Always been a huge NBA follower, and Lebron James is about as a big a star as it gets in the NBA.

But he's never played for any of my teams, so I've never really liked him.  But this, I can't hate the Miami Heat or Lebron James as much as I did before.

Seems that he even got teammate Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union to join a critical mass.

As far as the bike movement goes, at least they are shining attention on bicycling.  This, using a demographic that does occupy a bit of public attention.  Mega-wealthy young black athletes.   

Usually sports fans on message boards, article comment threads, youtube videos love to either love or criticize this very demographic the most for being disconnected from society and lapping it up in lives of luxury.

I guess that script has changed a bit.  Temporarily.

What Lebron and Dwyane are doing is highly "visible biking."

It's quite a contrast to the days when my favorite player was Michael Jordan, and he would speed off in his small black sports car that is probably super important to people.

Usually, most "visible" bicyclists in America are middle-aged white guys wearing spandex.  "Visible" meaning, they are the demographic thought about most, when people speak about "bicycling" in America.  Inversely, the "invisible" bicyclists would be (usually) Spanish-speaking immigrants on mountain bikes.

Aside from Obama, it's one of the first times in recent memory, I see a high-profile celebrity of color going out of their way to be seen doing this.  So these stories about Lebron James and Dwyane Wade biking are refreshing in that it (temporarily) turns that script upside down.  They are contrarian to the image of the entourage-holding, mega-exclusive, self-important quasi-politicians:  they're actually accessible.

Hopefully more to follow from these guys --- I guess when the playoffs are on, and my childhood favorite Chicago cash cows Bulls, Jeremy Lin's team, and Ben Gordon's team, are probably eliminated, I won't feel as guilty rooting for them.

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