Roads are frequently conceptualized as shared spaces that symbolize freedom, despite the fact that they are also tightly monitored sites where laws and public policy hold sway. The fundamental tension between movement on the one hand and restrictive regulation on the other makes the road a particularly paradoxical expression of “the commons.” Another contradictory aspect of roads is that they are often understood as atopic—places that are not really places, but merely a means of conquering time and space to connect a point of origin to a destination. What does it mean to live one’s daily life in such a liminal common space, especially when that life is already entangled with other species, people, perceptions, and projections? From June 2021 to July 2022, I spent a year engaged in a unique sort of road life. My (human) partner and I bought a tent, tandem bike, and trailer to carry our two dogs on a multispecies road trip. That “bicycle year” is the instigating experience behind this essay. By putting Eleanor Davis’ 2017 graphic memoir You & a Bike & a Road in conversation with Ursula LeGuin’s “carrier bag theory of fiction,” as well as the everyday philosophy of Michel De Certeau (especially his notion of strategies and tactics), I hope to define the Carrier Bag Road Narrative and argue for its relevance in countering ideas about travel, transportation, and mobility that have become entrenched—both figuratively and literally—in our culture and in the built environments that determine how we move through the world.
Recommended Citation / Citation recommandée
"Tandem Travel: Reconsidering Road Narratives and Tactics for Subversive Travel."
The Goose, vol. 20
, article 32,