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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 12-31-05, 09:10 PM   #1
randya
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What Does Bicycling Advocacy Mean To You?

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Old 12-31-05, 09:22 PM   #2
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It means promoting and supporting cycling for the benefit of ALL cyclists - no matter what kind of equipment they ride or where they choose to ride it.
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Old 12-31-05, 09:30 PM   #3
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Bicycling advocacy to me means encouraging other people to ride bikes. I do this often when I want my family or friends to accompany me on bike rides, be they for fun or to go to a destination, like the ice cream shop.

Advocacy on behalf of bicyclists, e.g. to protect their right to operate in safety on roadways on the way to the destination of their choice, or to make the roadways more pleasant and convenient for them, I call bicyclist advocacy.
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Old 12-31-05, 09:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
It means promoting and supporting cycling for the benefit of ALL cyclists - no matter what kind of equipment they ride or where they choose to ride it.
+1, Wow, good one chipcom.
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Old 12-31-05, 09:38 PM   #5
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Joining with other cyclists to improve conditions for us all.

Talking to non-cyclists about the usefulness and fun of riding.
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Old 12-31-05, 09:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sggoodri
Advocacy on behalf of bicyclists, e.g. to protect their right to operate in safety on roadways on the way to the destination of their choice, or to make the roadways more pleasant and convenient for them, I call bicyclist advocacy.
Why just roadways? Or perhaps you are just using that as a generic term to describe any 'way' that a bicycle can travel on?
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Old 01-01-06, 03:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
It means promoting and supporting cycling for the benefit of ALL cyclists - no matter what kind of equipment they ride or where they choose to ride it.
+1
Also, I believe in advocating for cyclists of ALL skill levels.
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Old 01-01-06, 04:42 AM   #8
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Ride it, and ride it safe!
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Old 01-01-06, 08:18 AM   #9
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Yup to all of the above.

Especially for me, advocacy means completion of the off-road sections of the Eastern Trail , Southern Maine's section of the East Coast Greenway will connect Calais, Maine with Key West, Florida.

Currently the Eastern Trail is an existing scenic 80+ mile on-road trail mostly following quiet country roads from South Portland's Bug Light Park on Casco Bay to Kittery's Piscataqua River. The ultimate goal is to establish a four-season, multipurpose, transportation and recreation trail that provides a connection between areas of historical and natural significance, existing local trail systems, the beach areas and inland plains and municipalities both on and near the trail.
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Old 01-01-06, 10:09 AM   #10
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Also, for me, advocacy means learning to ride safely in a vehicular manner, then teaching other cyclists how to do the same.

Being able to ride safely on the only infrastructure that provides access to all destinations will encourage others to join us. And it will gain us respect from cagers and other road users.
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Old 01-01-06, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
It means promoting and supporting cycling for the benefit of ALL cyclists - no matter what kind of equipment they ride or where they choose to ride it.
While this is good, and I applaud it in its simple form... I would add: "and working to improve the environment in which cyclists ride."

Which to me means better roads, slower traffic, cleaner air, better bike lanes and paths.
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Old 01-01-06, 01:29 PM   #12
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To me, it means getting more people to ride regularly and safely. It does not mean pushing one set of "be all, end all" cycling rules; it means looking at each cyclists situation and determining the safest course for that cyclist.
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Old 01-01-06, 02:03 PM   #13
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I love how everyone is gingerly avoiding the VC boogeyman.
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Old 01-01-06, 02:15 PM   #14
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I just want it to become a popular form of transportation, not just a fitness toy, and not some low-status transport unit used by only the poor, the college kid, the rebel, the eccentric, or the 40-year-old virgin.

I'd like to see fewer cars used for menial tasks such as retrieving a bag of Doritos from the corner store at the end of the block in particular, but that's a pipe dream.
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Old 01-01-06, 02:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad M
I love how everyone is gingerly avoiding the VC boogeyman.
Well, much to the VC camp's chagrin, VC is not the one, true way. It doesn't work in all situations. And there are some people that refuse to acknowledge or adhere to it at all.

Cycling Advocacy =/= Vehicular Cycling.
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Old 01-01-06, 02:47 PM   #16
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It means a few different things, I'll try to cover what comes to mind:
1.It means always treading a fine line in traffic, being "in the moment" and not woolgathering. Judging whether you are as far to the right as possible, unless it affects my personal safety, trying not to piss off motorists with some VC-hardliner nonsense, but at the same time not be a pushover, and remembering that some "cagers" will always dislike you on sight, just because. Trying to remember to act as if I am invisible as often as possible, because it seems like everytime I've almost been hit, it's been head-on or t-boned, so I try not to take anything for granted, even though I'm lit up like a Christmas tree, nowadays. I tend to be introspective, so cycling is good therapy for me to concentrate on the here-and-now.

2. It means politely telling the guy I work with, who I've inspired to start cycling, that it would be more cost effective to get a new bike than to try to polish the dual suspension turd he got from Wally-World. I tried to break it to him to get his $100 back, and buy a $200 Giant. Well guess what? After buying new cranks,(the ones that came on it had chainrings so bad the chain would slip off if you put any sort of tension on the drivetrain, LOL,) saddle, pedals,(the plastic ones broke,LOL,) and derailleurs, he has far exceeded the price of a new LBS-bike. Kudos to him for sticking with it and not being dicouraged, but I'm sure we lose a lot of potential cyclists this way, because they think it's one big mechanical problem/money pit with the department store bikes.

3. It means that, while I respect everyone's cycling and reason for cycling, I'd like to take a sniper rifle and blow Mr."Riding at 3AM in black clothing with no reflectors or light's" head off. Of course, the same goes for Mr."I'm a fat turd with a carbon fiber bike and I'm gonna lecture you about what a 'real cyclist' wants in a bike." -He's toast, too.

4. It means I'm talking with some friends in the local punk rock community about starting up a long-overdue bicycle co-op. I'll keep y'all informed.

5. It means Chipcom, I just don't swing that way, so quit sending me love letters. You're a nice guy and all, but dang...
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Old 01-01-06, 03:22 PM   #17
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5. It means Chipcom, I just don't swing that way, so quit sending me love letters. You're a nice guy and all, but dang...
But you have such a purdy mouth!
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Old 01-01-06, 03:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad M
I love how everyone is gingerly avoiding the VC boogeyman.
What am I invisible? See post # 10.

More people will want to ride when they learn that it is safe to ride assertively with other vehicles. Also, cagers will respect us more and dog us less.
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Old 01-01-06, 04:55 PM   #19
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To me it means Leading By Example...

- Cruising past stalled traffic hopefully causes those waiting in cars to think, "Man, that looks more fun than this."

- Participating in local bike events builds community support.

- Being fit, healthy, and good natured makes friends and co-workers view bicycle commuting as a good thing.

- More bicyclists on the road will make the local community take notice.

So, all I have to do to advocate cycling vs. auto culture is simply ride my bicycle. It works!
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Old 01-01-06, 05:06 PM   #20
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Taking the time to encourage young people to ride, while riding safely and correctly.

Last year, the Scouts in my troop rode a total of 2081 miles. Along the way they also learned to set up and repair their bikes.

The peak of the bicycling program was the 50 miler. It's great to see the guys set this "unobtainable" distance as a goal and then complete it with energy to spare. Most of these guys are between 11 and 13 years old.

It's been a very good year for me!
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Old 01-01-06, 05:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
What am I invisible? See post # 10.

More people will want to ride when they learn that it is safe to ride assertively with other vehicles. Also, cagers will respect us more and dog us less.
Hey Rood, didn't see ya there.

The $64 question is how do you convince people it's safe to ride a bicycle on the roadways when they don't even feel safe driving on the roadways? IMO bicycling advocates need to join with highway safety advocates to make big changes to the current day-to-day conditions of our roadways before anyone other than us steely-eyed alpha dawgs will feel safe cycling on the roads. Until that happens, the majority of people will opt for cycling dedicated facilities and will continue to see Forrester & Co and anyone advocating VC and opposing dedicated facilities as obstructionists and lunatics.
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Old 01-01-06, 05:43 PM   #22
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sanctimonious ****** who won't shut up about their pet cause(s).

but other than that - riding, obeying the law, and voting.
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Old 01-01-06, 06:41 PM   #23
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sanctimonious ****** who won't shut up about their pet cause(s).

but other than that - riding, obeying the law, and voting
.
Good, but this is like saying that all there is to riding is jumping on a bike--you haven't even scratched the surface.

So you advocate riding where? On the street or bike lanes or paths?

Obeying what law? The vehicular code of your location or pedestrian laws or special laws to be developed?

And voting for who or what? Which candidates or proposals are beneficial to cyclists?
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Old 01-01-06, 06:50 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom
Hey Rood, didn't see ya there.

The $64 question is how do you convince people it's safe to ride a bicycle on the roadways when they don't even feel safe driving on the roadways? IMO bicycling advocates need to join with highway safety advocates to make big changes to the current day-to-day conditions of our roadways before anyone other than us steely-eyed alpha dawgs will feel safe cycling on the roads. Until that happens, the majority of people will opt for cycling dedicated facilities and will continue to see Forrester & Co and anyone advocating VC and opposing dedicated facilities as obstructionists and lunatics
.
I try to convince people mainly by showing them the way I ride. Every day thousands of cagers see me ride safely and responsibly. (Hopefully only a couple see me when I'm really having fun ) People in the grocery store see me efficiently packing my stuff in my back pack, putting on my cool lights, and riding away before carryout even brings them their groceries. Friends see how much weight I've lost and hear how much fun I have.

BTW, far more often, people say they worry about me getting too cold or wet, rather than worrying about my safety in traffic. Is this what you have found too?
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Old 01-01-06, 07:30 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
I try to convince people mainly by showing them the way I ride. Every day thousands of cagers see me ride safely and responsibly. (Hopefully only a couple see me when I'm really having fun ) People in the grocery store see me efficiently packing my stuff in my back pack, putting on my cool lights, and riding away before carryout even brings them their groceries. Friends see how much weight I've lost and hear how much fun I have.

BTW, far more often, people say they worry about me getting too cold or wet, rather than worrying about my safety in traffic. Is this what you have found too?
True, they usually ask if I'm cold, how I keep dry, what great shape I must be in, how much I must save in gas, etc., but when I take a converstation farther than just a few passing words, I often get ' you aren't one of those crazy people who ride in the street, are you?'. I don't think our example is enough, important as it is. More of us doing it would go a long way to making it seem safer, but until they can feel safer on the roads themselves, in their automobiles, odds are they will never feel safe enough to ride a bike on those roads. I think that is our biggest challenge, which is why a speed demon like me (in a cage) has come to the conclusion that an important first-step towards making the roads safer for everyone is stricter, active enforcement of the speed limits.
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