Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: norton ohio 5.5 miles from center road tow path trail head
Bikes: cannondale t400 1987 model and a raleigh gran prix from 1973
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Waht is cycliing advocacy?
Lets post what advocacy is to each of us.
To me cycling advocacy is trying to change others attitudes towards cycling and cyclists/ Some times this means alot of work other times it may e a 4 minute stop lite conversation with a couple teens in their honda.
Last week i pulled up to a stop light and a couple teens were razing me about riding a bike i cracked the joke well yeh but i bet i can lift 3 times as much as you can with my legs and laughed. They returned the laugh and started asking serious questions about riding things like how much it costs to get a decent bike how much upkeep was and if i knew any good places to buy a decent bike. Also asked how many miles i ride per week i told them in general i never do less than 21 per day and that day i was planing on about 40 to 60 total. Gave them a couple buiss cards for the closer bike shops in the area. They made it a point to put the cards in their wallets and not on the dash. That tells me that they were realy intrested in at least checking out the shops to see what the prices etc were.
I think as cyclists we should organise not only cycling events but parties and events at local parks for cyclists and non cyclists alike. Do things like hand out pamplets detailign the health benifits.Buiss cards for local bike shops includeing their web sites if they have one and other cycling related sites. Along with things like bycyling street smarts that detail bike related laws and rights of cyclists etc. We all tend to only interact with motorist who dont show us respect on the road. Things tend to be diffrent if you meet them out side of their cars in a frinedly invironment. Maybe you can get that driver who always passes you far to close for comfort into cycling.
Obviously its not going to be a 100% solution there is no such thing. But i mean realy even if you only get one motorist to change theres a fair chance he will be in the car with some one who passes to close and will tell the driver thats dangerous and maybe just maybe that driver will be more respectfull to cyclists as well. I mean realy what driver in a car wants to take a chance that he will pass to close to a cyclist causeing him to wreck and get killed when it could very well end up being his friend next to him.
Many here speak of advocacy but realy dont do any thing to promote cycling. I think its time we start trying to. And im not talking promoting things like VC or bike lanes to cyclists but more general forms of cycle advoccy. Meeting drivers trying to get them more aware of why we ride bikes and how to help us to stay safe etc. If a driver want to pass me and its not safe for them to give me 3 or more feet of room they can pass me much closer if they slow way down and wait for me to move over and signal them to pass.
The guy with the lawn care trailer does it about every other time i return from my silver creek ride. He double taps his horn waits for me to aknowlage him and wave him by when i move over. hes passed me with in 1 foot to 18 inches many times. Ive never felt like i was in any danger at all from him.
Examples like that given to other motorists in a hurry might very well be enough to get them to wait for us to let them know when they can pass us closer than normal at a slower speed. As a cyclist i dot want to hold up cars all day long. Ill gladly set up a condition where i can let them pass me closer than normal and still let me remain safe.
Id say most conflicts with drivers are do to them thinking they need to pass us as fast as they can before we dart out in front of them. Some like the guy in the white van probably will never change how they behave towards cyclists. But these are not the people we should even bother trying to convince with cycling advocacy.
Now i ask what things do you feel we as cyclists can do to promote safty and cycling in general to non cyclists. Please leave Bikelanes and VC out of it.