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Old 05-11-03, 08:52 PM   #1
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Bike to the right

All too many bicycle advocacy groups are mere extensions of other left wing movements. What we need are some right wing advocacy groups. We should be serious about such right wing issues as crime victims rights, property rights and the freedom to use our bikes where we can, including in various parks and reserves. We need to advocate a cyclist's right to keep and bear arms. There are more than a few posts talking about cyclists being attacked, or victims of road rage. It would be great legally to have the means to deend ourselves, as well as a meaningful right of self defense. Last, we need to view our rights as rights, not as an excuse to curtail motorists' rights.

If cyclists' advocacy is limited to the left, then when the left loses, there is no voice for cyclists.
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Old 05-11-03, 09:42 PM   #2
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How about not affiliating cycling to any particular side of the political spectrum? Why do you wish to alienate half the majority of the voting population?
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Old 05-12-03, 03:00 AM   #3
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Originally posted by FOG
All too many bicycle advocacy groups are mere extensions of other left wing movements.
This is because many people who claim to be "cycling advocates" aren't really cycling advocates at all - and hence we get stupid ideas like "let's ban bikes from this road or that road for their own safety" or "let's build separate paths that go nowhere".

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Originally posted by FOG
What we need are some right wing advocacy groups. We should be serious about such right wing issues as crime victims rights, property rights and the freedom to use our bikes where we can, including in various parks and reserves.
An old chestnut, but one not answered for a while, so here goes. As far as I'm concerned, a separate decision on access for bikes should be made on a park by park basis. There are some areas around here (Nerang State Forest) that should remain open to bicycles, but there are others (Springbrook National Park walking tracks) that should not. It's not about being left or right wing at all, it's about simply having some consideration for the effects and space required for various forms of recreation.

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We need to advocate a cyclist's right to keep and bear arms. There are more than a few posts talking about cyclists being attacked, or victims of road rage. It would be great legally to have the means to deend ourselves, as well as a meaningful right of self defense.
And how far do you realistically expect to get by pointing a gun at a motorist? A bullet cannot physically stop a car, and I know for a fact that many of the drivers around here would simply run you over in a second if you pointed a gun at them. If anything, it would make road rage against cyclists worse than it is now.

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Last, we need to view our rights as rights, not as an excuse to curtail motorists' rights.
It's funny, but most of the posts I see about "banning cars" on this forum seem to come from people who are talking about how society as we know it would disappear if that happened (as if that would be a bad thing) and how terrible it would be. It's not, and never has been, about curtailing motorist's rights.

I honestly don't see how expecting motorists to follow the same laws as everyone else in society is either a left-wing view or an attack on anybody's freedom or rights. I agree with Khuon, let's forget about trying to align ourselves with either side of the political divide. Let's make up our own minds on individual issues.
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Old 05-12-03, 04:07 AM   #4
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Hey, FOG - if you don't like it here you are free to leave and go start your own "right-wing" forum. Still a free country the last I checked.
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Old 05-12-03, 05:55 AM   #5
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And how far do you realistically expect to get by pointing a gun at a motorist? A bullet cannot physically stop a car, and I know for a fact that many of the drivers around here would simply run you over in a second if you pointed a gun at them. If anything, it would make road rage against cyclists worse than it is now.

Chris

I don't think that FOG is saying that the right to carry a gun protects you from accidents with autos but from attacks by thugs or rabid animals. And experience here does not show increased road rage when folks are armed in fact there appears to be less. Read the book "More Guns Less Crime" by John Lott. OK its a dull staticits book but it examines the data and presents a conclusion.

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Old 05-12-03, 06:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by khuon
How about not affiliating cycling to any particular side of the political spectrum? Why do you wish to alienate half the majority of the voting population?
Exactly my point- hitching cycling's advocacy wagon to the green party and friends' horse makes lots of folks think long and hard before supporting reasonable pro-biking projects and efforts. Current advocacy has alienated the majority of the voting population. I would like to see cycling advocates do something to BROADEN the base, not keeep it narrow.
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Old 05-12-03, 06:06 AM   #7
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I honestly don't see how expecting motorists to follow the same laws as everyone else in society is either a left-wing view or an attack on anybody's freedom or rights. I agree with Khuon, let's forget about trying to align ourselves with either side of the political divide. Let's make up our own minds on individual issues.
I am saying exactly that-enforcement of current laws is a good thing. I also think that the current laws are adequate to protect cyclists, but are not enforced or adhered to
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Old 05-12-03, 01:36 PM   #8
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Old 05-12-03, 01:54 PM   #9
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Originally posted by ParamountScapin
Hey, FOG - if you don't like it here you are free to leave and go start your own "right-wing" forum. Still a free country the last I checked.
As far as I read it, FOG was merely expressing an opinion on the sort of issues that many cycling advocacy groups concentrate on, and suggesting a few others that they perhaps ignore. I don't recall any criticism of this as a "left-wing" forum or anything else. I don't think it's appropriate to start asking people to "go and start you own right-wing forum" on that basis.
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Old 05-12-03, 01:57 PM   #10
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Originally posted by FOG
Exactly my point- hitching cycling's advocacy wagon to the green party and friends' horse makes lots of folks think long and hard before supporting reasonable pro-biking projects and efforts. Current advocacy has alienated the majority of the voting population. I would like to see cycling advocates do something to BROADEN the base, not keeep it narrow.
That may be true. However I also tend to think that many motorists/motoring groups are a little paranoid about bicycles. If you see their behaviour in traffic you'll see that many of them regard being held up by a bicycle for three seconds as much worse than being stuck in car traffic for three hours. The truth is that a lot of the "hitching to the green party" and so on is just stereotyping that other people attach to cyclists. I don't know of any other activity or concept in the history of mankind that attracts the sort of stereotyping/scaremongering that cycling does.
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Old 05-12-03, 07:46 PM   #11
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Originally posted by Chris L
I don't know of any other activity or concept in the history of mankind that attracts the sort of stereotyping/scaremongering that cycling does.
I am a member of Aircraft Owners' and Pilots' Association, the Experimental Aircraft Association and the National Rifle Association. I am a pilot and a now and again target shooter. I can assure you that the public fears light airplanes crashing into nuclear plants without any knowledge of the mass of the aircraft or the quntities of fuel carried, and the lack of knowledge and gross misconceptions about shooting are incredible.

I am also a motorcyclist. Drivers seem to find lots of excuses to ignore my rights when I am on the sort of noisy bike. Stereotypes abound there.

I am not a sunbather, or whatever title nudists are using, but I have met some, and they appear to be subject to some powerful stereotyping.

I bet there are a million activites which are stereotyped by those who don't participate in them or understand them.

The issue is whether we can gain a large constituency by appealing to groups not favored by the type of cyclist who is involved in critical mass type events.

As an example, can we appeal to pilots by emphasizing bicycle access to general aviation airports. Can we win friends in the NRA by advocating that bicyclists have the same right to carry cased unloaded rifles and pistols that automobile occupants have. Can we also emphasize the utility of off-road bicycles for hunting. bicyclists may be a large group, but think of the potential allies we have out there whom our erstwhile allies have alienated.

p.s. I'd certainly like to contemplate outreach to nudists but that might belong in a different kind of forum.
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Old 05-12-03, 08:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by FOG

As an example, can we appeal to pilots by emphasizing bicycle access to general aviation airports.
I find that's already the case. Remember that bicycles and airplanes share a very long running relationship and common heritage. Aside from the fact that the earliest pioneers of aviation were cyclists and bicycle mechanics (Wright brothers, Glenn Curtis...) you can also see a great influence from the aerospace industry trickle back into cycling. Just think about the materials from which modern bikes are made. On a more social level, bicycles have been a staple of early airfields for ages. Remember all those old WW2 pictures of the green bicycles the field personnel would use? Folding bicycles make excellent transportable transportation for pilots of light aircraft. I've seen more and more of them advertised in pilot magazines. The same can be said for bikes and boats/sailing.


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Originally posted by FOG
Can we win friends in the NRA by advocating that bicyclists have the same right to carry cased unloaded rifles and pistols that automobile occupants have. Can we also emphasize the utility of off-road bicycles for hunting. bicyclists may be a large group, but think of the potential allies we have out there whom our erstwhile allies have alienated.
Well... bikes and guns have already had their links. I mean, there's a whole sport based around riding around a course and shooting at targets (bikathlon).

I think I understand where you're coming from now. Your original post made it seem like you wanted cyclists to swing towards the opposite end of the political spectrum than where they seem to be perceived by the general public. You're instead saying you want to broaden the image by encompassing the entire spectrum. I personally would advocate making politcal part affiliation a non-issue.

And in case you're wondering, I too am a pilot, and a cyclist and a shooter. However, I consider myself neither a conservative nor a liberal... neither republican nor democrat... because I think those types of labels only serve to constrict one's perception of the world as well as constrict other people's perception of oneself. I don't think it's possible to simply apply a pH-like measurement to the way one views the world. People are more complicated than that.

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Originally posted by FOG
p.s. I'd certainly like to contemplate outreach to nudists but that might belong in a different kind of forum.
You're really tempting someone (possibly me) to repost that picture of the almost-nude cyclist aren't you?
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Old 05-12-03, 08:24 PM   #13
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Originally posted by FOG
The issue is whether we can gain a large constituency by appealing to groups not favored by the type of cyclist who is involved in critical mass type events.

I bet there are a million activites which are stereotyped by those who don't participate in them or understand them.

I'm having fun now.

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Old 05-12-03, 09:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by FOG
As an example, can we appeal to pilots by emphasizing bicycle access to general aviation airports. Can we win friends in the NRA by advocating that bicyclists have the same right to carry cased unloaded rifles and pistols that automobile occupants have. Can we also emphasize the utility of off-road bicycles for hunting. bicyclists may be a large group, but think of the potential allies we have out there whom our erstwhile allies have alienated.
True. However, one might also ask whether there's really any value in alienating our current allies in the hope that we "might" find a few others. The fact is that there is a lot of anti cyclist bigotry out there, and there are simply some people who are never going to support us.
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Old 05-12-03, 11:49 PM   #15
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Old 05-13-03, 09:27 AM   #16
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Chris

Don't you think we could attrack more folks without alienating our current supporters? I think as long as it's low key and not insulting to one group it could be done.

Joe
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Old 05-13-03, 10:57 AM   #17
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There is no need to add new political agendas to attract people of similar views. This is a cycling website, meant to attact cyclists and people who want to learn about cycling.

There is a Political Discussions forum here which allows members to vent their political views freely, which helps to reduce the incidences of threads being destroyed by off-topic political rants.

Since Advocacy sometimes involves political discussion, this thread has appeared in the Advocacy and Safety forum. But I personally think that's stretching the definition quite a bit, given the original post, "Bike to the Right."

It may be out of courtesy to a new member that this thread has not already been moved to Political Discussions.
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Old 05-13-03, 11:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by FOG
All too many bicycle advocacy groups are mere extensions of other left wing movements. What we need are some right wing advocacy groups. We should be serious about such right wing issues as crime victims rights, property rights...

...We need to advocate a cyclist's right to keep and bear arms.
Again, this is clearly stretching the definition of "cycling advocacy."
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Old 05-13-03, 01:45 PM   #19
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All too many bicycle advocacy groups are mere extensions of other left wing movements. What we need are some right wing advocacy groups. We should be serious about such right wing issues as crime victims rights, property rights and the freedom to use our bikes where we can, including in various parks and reserves. We need to advocate a cyclist's right to keep and bear arms. There are more than a few posts talking about cyclists being attacked, or victims of road rage. It would be great legally to have the means to deend ourselves, as well as a meaningful right of self defense. Last, we need to view our rights as rights, not as an excuse to curtail motorists' rights.
Well, FOG, let me take a few minutes to actually respond to a few of your issues:

Quote:
We should be serious about such right wing issues as crime victims rights, property rights........
Who says we don't??? What a pile of rubbish!

Quote:
.....the freedom to use our bikes where we can, including in various parks and reserves....
Are you referring to environmentally sensitive nature preserves?? What on earth would make you think that anything more than a small fringe group of sociopathic idiots would advocate such irresponsibility? I mean, really-there are some places where bikes just don't belong. Or are you of the opinion that "nobody is gonna tell me what to do!!"??

Quote:
We need to advocate a cyclist's right to keep and bear arms.
I'm sorry, but I've already made my views on this subject quite clear. There is never a good reason for carrying a gun while riding a bike. If a can of cap-spray isn't strong enough protection for you, maybe you should try riding someplace safer.

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we need to view our rights as rights, not as an excuse to curtail motorists' rights
Well, at least you said something that makes sense.
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Old 05-13-03, 08:15 PM   #20
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Bike to the right, or bike to the left?

I see as many reasons to associate pro-bike movements with left-wing politics as I see to associate them with right-wing politics.

For instance, "Fog", you talk of the right to use bikes anywhere (or almost anywhere) as a right-wing idea, I could say that's also a very left-wing idea, maybe even a socialist or a communist idea. For instance, preventing cyclists to use a bridge because it's designated as "freeway" could mean that they have to buy more stuff, a car, and consume more (petrol), when the alternative would be much simpler and much more cost-effective.

Likewise, the vehicular cyclist proponents à la John Forrester could equally be viewed as left-wing (let's share the road and everything else) or right-wing (I have the freedom to be anywhere I want).

That's just an example, but all the points presented in your post and in many of the followups show that a real pro-cycling agenda (as opposed to an anti-car agenda) is neither right-wing or left-wing. It also means that there are people who are pro-bike and who also have political views, and that's fine.

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Old 05-13-03, 08:45 PM   #21
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Originally posted by D*Alex
There is never a good reason for carrying a gun while riding a bike. If a can of cap-spray isn't strong enough protection for you, maybe you should try riding someplace safer.
There are three good reasons to carry a gun while biking-

1- to defend myself- I cannot ride somewhere safer in terms of crime, because I live where I live. (However, I don't ride armed because I believe in following laws restricting activities which are mala prohibita when there are substantial adverse consequences). Further a gun may provide deense against hostile animals, wild or domestic. If I move to a state which allows more carrying privileges i may carry one for self defense while biking.

2- to transport a gun from one legal place of possession to another. Why should I have to use my car to go to the shooting range when I could bike there.

3- to engage in firearms related activities on a bike, such as hunting. Note that I would suggest that anyone combining these two activities develop a good plan for remaining safe, which would at a minimum include avoiding accidental discharge of the gun and avoiding being mistaken for a game animal if transporting one.
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Old 05-13-03, 09:13 PM   #22
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Originally posted by joeprim
Don't you think we could attrack more folks without alienating our current supporters? I think as long as it's low key and not insulting to one group it could be done.
It's already being done that way (read the post from D*Alex for more clarification). However, because of the non-polluting nature of bikes and the perception of us as a "poor relation" in terms of transport, we're always going to be stereotyped as "tree huggers" unless we actually attack the other group. Of course, this stereotype is probably what attracts the support of the other group in the first place, but so what?

It seems to me that there are only two possibilities for getting the support from those we don't have:

1. Attack those who do support us directly (not something I'd recommend, given that we aren't necessarily guaranteed to gain any new support this way)

2. Try to promote ourselves better. This is something I believe cycling advocates generally do very poorly. For example, forget about campaigning for separate, inadequate impractical facilities the way many advocates do. Learn to say "no" to inappropriate facilities in the planning stage instead of the current stance of "we'd better use it, otherwise they won't build any more". And for God's sake, ditch this circus called "critical mass".

In short, let's stop trying to promote the risks and "dangers" of cycling and start promoting the benefits. Then we just might get more wide-ranging support.
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Old 05-13-03, 09:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by FOG
3- to engage in firearms related activities on a bike, such as hunting.
As far as I know, there's no law preventing you from doing this now, apart from the general fire-arm laws governing your part of the world which don't specifically relate to bicycles.
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Old 05-13-03, 09:27 PM   #24
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Many people enjoy cycling from all walks of life & many religions (for many of us cycling is a religion ) we are intitled to our own belief,s & pet theories ect but the trick is to keep an open mind & evaluate inpartualy what is being said , be preparied to change your points of veiw, I know I have been known to change my perception of thing with the right information (reluctantly albeit )
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Old 05-13-03, 09:52 PM   #25
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Personally I think Fog is stereo typing the advocacy movement himself a lot of the things he mentioned' like the right for cyclists to bear arms is already there and victims rights and all that is a whole 'nother issue. And by the way the advocacy group i belong to has a former governor, County administrator and a couple of legislative types that come from the right this is not a left or right issue nor is it really an environmental issue the issue is to give us all the privileges along with the responsibilities that we are entitled to under the law. What it sounds like is another disgrunteld politic that is not happy because we do not chose to embrace their agenda that goes for the right and the green!
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