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The Reflective Essay describes a research journey that started from an idea that was significantly revised during the course of his deep and thoughtful engagement with sources and with people. The ascent of bicycling in the past decades has been the concerted result of political innovations. Cities across America have begun repurposing space to accommodate the bicycle. In examining this social trend and its impetus, this paper locates dissent as the primary vehicle of transit change in favor of bicycling. Contextualizing the bicycle in urban theory, critical spatial analysis, and its own history of being a radical technology, the paper provides an acute explanation of how the bicycle is a subversive technology, and why the movement has proved effective. Portland, Oregon’s history of political innovation and dissent drives the concluding analysis—illuminating the role of dissent in the bicycle movement. The paper’s implications inform the work of community groups, planners, policy-makers, and dissenters alike.

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