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Old 07-26-02, 10:45 AM   #1
RonH
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What are you doing to help?

OK, this is really going to stir up some folks, but this is not my intention, so calm down.

It seems that many cyclists complain about the various faults of bike paths, bike lanes, and other bicycling accomodations, or the lack of.

Anyone can belly-ache about the problems or bad features of almost anything, but if you aren't doing something positive to help or bring about change then you're only making noise.
I know the squeeky wheel gets the grease but maybe grease isn't what's needed. Maybe it needs repair or replacing.

My question is: Do you belong to and/or support through financial contributions and/or active participation any bicycling advocacy organizations in your community or state?
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Old 07-26-02, 06:20 PM   #2
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Well said.

And yes I do.
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Old 07-26-02, 06:23 PM   #3
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Yes. I donate my time and money to trail maintenance. We happen to have a great system for cyclists.
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Old 07-26-02, 06:29 PM   #4
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1) San Diego County Bicycle Coalition

2) California Bicycle Coalition

3) frequent emails to politicians, traffic engineers, etc.

Through advocacy groups and by myself, I have had several successes, but there is still plenty of room for action and improvement!
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Old 07-27-02, 12:00 AM   #5
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Yes, I do. However, I really think many of them totally miss the point. For some unknown reason, many cycling advocates measure their "success" in terms of ribbon-cutting ceremonies and how many 'facilities' have been provided. It's all totally pointless if most of these 'facilities' are totally and completely useless (like those 'bikepaths' we get bombared with constantly).
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Old 07-27-02, 07:19 PM   #6
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Actually, no, I don't belong to or fund any of these groups. As Chris L stated, I think they're off track in their energy and investments.

Don't get me wrong: I applaud their intentions, at least with some such groups, but disagree with their practices.

On one side we have the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition sponsoring the unruly and counterproductive Critical Mass fiascoes. What idiot thought of the idea to provoke drivers to madness by blocking whole sections of a large city? That set us back -- big time. I was truly embarrassed to be a bike-commuter during the time these illegal activities occurred.

On the other hand we have well-meaning organizations sponsoring bike paths and the like -- most of which are meaningless to serious riders (who prefer streets).

Yes, it is true I may be the beneficiary of some of their actions. For instance, to whatever extent they're instrumental in defining bike lanes and such in San Jose, I'm appreciative. But I honestly think they'd be created anyway because San Jose has such a large population of, well, immigrants who have no drivers license.
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Old 07-27-02, 09:10 PM   #7
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I'm calm.

What am I doing to help? I'm out there commuting, every week, all year round. I'm showing motorists that the current laws for cyclists are in effect.

I obey the traffic laws. I train motorists by giving them an example to practice on.



Most motorists are fast learners, I must say!

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Old 07-28-02, 03:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy Dreisch
On one side we have the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition sponsoring the unruly and counterproductive Critical Mass fiascoes. What idiot thought of the idea to provoke drivers to madness by blocking whole sections of a large city? That set us back -- big time. I was truly embarrassed to be a bike-commuter during the time these illegal activities occurred.
Evidently critical mass is perfectly legal, which is why the cops don't put a stop to it most of the time. However, I'm with you. I'd withdraw my support from any group that sponsored this piece of "spontaneous" stupidity. Fortunately, in this country at least, they are a very small minority of cyclists.
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Old 07-29-02, 04:30 AM   #9
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I joined the local cycling advocacy goup, but they are far too cycle path focused.

Emailing local councils has been the most effective action I've taken.

I've helped draw up promotional materials for my local council which I think was worthwhile. I've also taken part in a non-distruptive mass bike ride organised by local cycle groups/Friends of the Earth/Greenpeace/Local Councils to promote cycling in Kent.

I haven't joined the CTC yet, but probably will.

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Old 07-29-02, 08:58 AM   #10
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Yep I am involved with a "Share the Road" commitee with the provincial govt

and a Bike-ways Task force with the City government.

The Share the Road committe is working on a safety pamphlet to be included with the Drivers Ed manual which wil be updated once the current edition is out of stock to better reflect the cyclist road user.

The Biekm Ways Task force is, in a nutshell, to develop a Cycling Master Plan that will include Biek routes (paths, trails AND road), bicycle advocacy/rights, bike lockers, bike racks, bus accommadations, route map, and other cycling facilities.

I am also involved with a local enviromental group, but I am not happy with there train of thought. They want to get people out of their cars and on bikes (which is good) but they are all bike trails, paths and lanes. They do not realize the problems that come with each and where they are a good idea and where they are not - but my preachings fall on deaf ears. They have one goal, reduce motorized traffic no matter what. They prey on people fears of getting struck from behind and the bike lanes are the "way to go" as far as they are concerned.

I am also hoping to become a CAN-BIKE instructor for the Bike-Ways Task force.......someday but this group is just starting to wind up.

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Old 07-29-02, 09:11 AM   #11
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I am planning on joining Bicycle Colorado, who are active in all forms of bike advocacy in Colorado. there big push recently has been to fight all of the rumble strips popping up in Jefferson County.

http://bicyclecolo.org/site/index.cfm

I am new to the boards but it seems there is a real resentment to bike paths. It would be better to have bike lanes on roads, but bike paths do get people out to ride who normally would not so don't be to hard on them.

I have a bike path that I can ride from my house to work and almost stay on the path for 12 miles. The intersection crossings are not too much fun though.
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Old 07-29-02, 09:31 AM   #12
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I too would use bike paths in certain places (if they existed) to avoid certain heavily traffic roads.

I am not dead against bike paths, trails or lanes BUT they do need to be thought out VERY carefully.

They problem is they will
1) further enforce the incorrect idea that bikes do not belong
2) what about those places that DO NOPT have bike paths/lanes? What do those cyclists do? Get screamed at "go ride a bike path"
3) attract none bicycle traffic, dog walkers, pregnant people, etc to be fair I HAVE ridden on paths that had mixed traffic and had no problems
4) cross traffic is the big problem, kids and idiots will rip right accross the road to get to the other side without stoipping or looking - SLAM!! Hit by a car.
5) they are expensive when it would be least expensive, more enviromentally friendly, safer to motorists, peds and cyclists if they would SLOW THE CARS DOWN, GET THEM TO PAY ATTENTION, STOP BEING ANGRY, AND STOP BEING IN SUCH A RIP SNORTIN' HURRY. (must calm, remain calm....)


They need to be tought out is all.......
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Old 07-29-02, 09:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by digger
...it would be least expensive, more enviromentally friendly, safer to motorists, peds and cyclists if they would SLOW THE CARS DOWN, GET THEM TO PAY ATTENTION, STOP BEING ANGRY, AND STOP BEING IN SUCH A RIP SNORTIN' HURRY.
'Nuff said.

As for cycling organizations, I believe they are very important in making cyclists' voices heard.
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Old 07-29-02, 01:47 PM   #14
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Our town seems to have a rather progressive approach to cycling. Most of the new paths are designated "Multi-Use" though with bikes being only one of the options to use them.

I still prefer the street for safety and convenience though.

We don't have a local advocacy organization. I just talk directly to my city council people.

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Old 07-29-02, 09:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by digger
They problem is they will
1) further enforce the incorrect idea that bikes do not belong
2) what about those places that DO NOPT have bike paths/lanes? What do those cyclists do? Get screamed at "go ride a bike path"
3) attract none bicycle traffic, dog walkers, pregnant people, etc to be fair I HAVE ridden on paths that had mixed traffic and had no problems
4) cross traffic is the big problem, kids and idiots will rip right accross the road to get to the other side without stoipping or looking - SLAM!! Hit by a car.
5) they are expensive when it would be least expensive, more enviromentally friendly, safer to motorists, peds and cyclists if they would SLOW THE CARS DOWN, GET THEM TO PAY ATTENTION, STOP BEING ANGRY, AND STOP BEING IN SUCH A RIP SNORTIN' HURRY. (must calm, remain calm....)

6) Their treatment of intersection is, to put it mildly, extremely dangerous.
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Old 11-16-02, 08:56 AM   #16
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Yes, I do something to help. I work as a volunteer bike mechanic at a shelter for homeless men on Sunday afternoons. I also rehab bikes to donate. My wife and I collect old bikes and a local dump sets aside discarded bikes for me to take. For these men a bike is their only form of transportation (not to mention being cheap to operate ). It makes a real difference in their lives to have a safe, dependable bike and they really appreciate it.
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Old 11-16-02, 10:58 AM   #17
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I am not associated with any Advocacy or bike groups what so ever; Just a cyclist on and off since childhood. My volunteer and fund raising efforts over the years have focused on supporting Child & Wife Abuse Prevention, Medical Research Advancement along with local civic & political party activities.

First, let me clarify, I am a street rider the majority of time. Bike lanes and paths are great ideas. But, I'd rather see the monies and civic efforts spent elsewhere on more pressing social issues.

If the monies are going to be spent, then bike Paths are the best choice, because they allow the casual biking majority to feel safe while pedaling. In the US, cages are priority, unlike other parts of the world. Bike lanes and paths are a nothing more then luxury expenditures for communities and don't help increase commuters percentages. Bike lanes are used by dedicated speed and distance riders mostly, and we're a minority in the big cycling picture.

Sorry... But, I believe in prioritizing

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Old 11-16-02, 11:33 AM   #18
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I would not give up bike trails so easily.

I have cycled the Danube Cycle Path in 2001 (980 km) and the C&O Towpath + Great Allegheny Passage in 2002 (1500 km)

Bicycle can be used not only for commuting inside a city, but for intercity travel. For example, I cycled from D.C. to Pittsburgh and back on the trail.

Certainly, the C&O Towpath + Great Allegheny Passage is not finished yet. There are only couple of improved camping sites on the way.

But for serious intercity travel the trails are needed. I prefer to stay on camping sites, because I do not like to bring a bike inside a room in a hotel or leave it in a hotel garage.

I plan to cycle next summer in Netherlands. I heard that there is the structured network of bike trails between cities there.

The government taxes fossil fuel hard there and on this money builds bicycle trails. I will check it out.

I write reports about my expeditions also to Russian speaking cycling community.

I read with affection some posts about would-be harmony between cars and bikes on streets. But I have a feeling that the marriage is unequal.

Cars kill, bikes do not. Cars emit toxic fumes and dust, bikes do not.

I realize that we are to cycle on streets with cars for a while. It is realistic.

But still I do not like an idea of settling for crumbs. I'd like better an idea of setting the target high - to reclaim significant parts of a city, some streets for non-motorized traffic only. This is what CM is about.

I participated in Mini Mass today. We could defend our trail for couple of hours.

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Old 11-16-02, 02:36 PM   #19
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I'm not big on joining groups. However, I have always been concerned about some of the dangers around town and last month, I was hit by a car at an intersection that I have long worried about. It has a stop sign, not a stop light and it can be very hairy at rush hours. A lot of cyclists go through there and I am sure I was not the first or won't be the last to be injured there. I've been seriously considering contacting whoever is responsible for that stuff and suggesting they put up a stop light or signal at that intersection. My first big act of advocacy!
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