Pedal Strokes and Perspective


“As a brown woman, I stand out,” says Mary Ann Thomas. “People came up to me just because they were curious, just because they were like, ‘There aren’t a lot of strangers here, we’re just interested in who you are as a person–as a whole person.’”

Mary Ann is the daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s queer and she had always lived in the liberal bubble of big cities on the East Coast. When she embarked on a six-month, 6,600-mile bike tour across the country, she worried most about the prejudice she might encounter as she pedaled through middle America. She was surprised to discover that the stereotypes she had to confront in a profound way were her own.

Check out the blog from Mary Ann’s trip, or find more of her writing here.

Music: Intro by Jacob Bain • If Walls Could Talk by Jacob Bain & Nis Kotto • Last Days by Cleod9Lost Forever by Little Glass MenConviction by Little Glass MenBrothers by Cleod9Simplify by Little Glass MenTightrope Walker by Jason Tyler Burton

Tracks provided by Free Music Archive and with permission from the artists.

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5 Comments on “Pedal Strokes and Perspective

  1.  by  Eli DenBesten

    I feel like this says a lot more about how people on the east coast feel about the rest of the country rather than how surprising it is that people are pretty normal and good in most places.

    •  by  Not Nick

      No kidding. I don’t even know how you can ride across the entire country when you’re so easily thrown into a state of irrational alarm over how you’ve convinced yourself people will react to you. “I’m from an Eastern, accepting and Liberal city. Not like those irrational, violent, hicks!!” then you’re genuinely shocked to find that people on the whole just want to do good.
      Glad I’m Canadian and have never had this reactive, panicked, narrative about my fellow man drilled into my skull.

  2.  by  juliannasdesigns

    I agree with Eli, this podcast made me reflect on how ignorant the people of the east and west coast are about the kind people of middle america.

  3.  by  bchiker2011

    Loved the story, but want to stress that corn is very bad for digestive systems of types of deer, it can cause toxic indigestion and kill them. Also, feeding wildlife encourages human habituation and food conditioning, and groups of deer being fed in a yard can also draw predators such as cougars to the area. I loved the context of this story, but people should be reminded that feeding deer is not okay!! Please don’t feed wildlife and help keep them wild.

  4.  by  Tico Dan

    Well said Bchiker2011. As to the other comments, isn’t insinuating that ALL Americans are the same, ALL east coasters, ALL west coasters are …fill in the blank…a reactive and reductive way of thinking?

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