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Old 04-10-08, 02:14 PM   #1
hotbike
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Cycling Advocacy

Someone on another forum asked "Should more be done to promote cycling?".

So I came up with this brief essay; Please give me a critique of my writing:

Cycling is one of the best aerobic sports, it's good for one's heart and lungs.

Cycling is a good way to learn the rules of the road. 99% of cyclists go on to get an automobile, while only 60% of non-cyclists ever learn to drive.

Cycling as a means of transportation can definitely save fuel.
With the price of oil, it's easy to see why people want to ride bicycles. Bicycles only need a few drops of oil on the chain every few months, for lubrication.

But let's forget about cars for a moment. When the bicycle was invented, there were no cars. One had a choice of walking or riding a horse (if one was lucky enough to have a horse.) There were no STOP signs in those days, or traffic lights, or Police with Radar guns. It wasn't necessary, on account of the fact that no-one ever got moving fast enough to get in a deadly accident with massive loss of blood.
(In fact, STOP signs and red lights are the color of blood as a reminder of the blood shed in motor vehicle accidents).

If we compare cycling to walking, a person on a bicycle can go five times further in a day than if he or she was walking.

Cycling should be promoted as a way of keeping obesity under control.

Cities and municipalities should put up more signs with a picture of a bicycle and the words "SHARE THE ROAD".

Modern standards call for travel lanes of roadways to be at least fourteen feet wide. Some roads were built before there were such standards and have been declared to have "Sub-Standard Lane Width". Motorists should be advised that if the lane is substandard width, the cyclist has the right to take the entire lane, and the motorist must wait until there is no traffic coming the other way, and cross the yellow line to pass.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:23 PM   #2
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My critique is that it seems a little disjointed, and reads more like a list of random pro-bicycling thoughts.

My suggestion would be to decide who your target audience is and what you hope to accomplish, in very precise terms. (Like, "I would like to encourage parents to get their kids to go to school on bikes"). When you have that goal, then you can craft a persuasive argument using some of these points that you bring up as evidence, exploring each of them more thoroughly.
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Old 04-10-08, 02:41 PM   #3
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Its disorganized and lacks balance. Who is your audience?
If it's a pro-cycling piece to a general audience that's neither for nor against it/your piece should be more informative than convincing in tone...

based on what you've supplied...

history/ intro /what's the nature of the problem

why it's important/your three primary reasons for advocating for its use with support for those reasons in equal quantity 2-3 reasons or a paragraph for each.

health
natural resources/conservation
alternative transportation choices.

conclusion
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Old 04-10-08, 08:43 PM   #4
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It lacks the rhythm that a writer like Hemingway, while using a lot of commas, was able to inject into his stories.

And it lacks a distinct direction. But gets points for spelling/grammar.
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Old 04-11-08, 09:17 AM   #5
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Yes, I agree, I should go into more depth. What I wrote is only an outline.

The question was asked on Yahoo Answers in the cycling forum.

The Question was:

"Opinions of cycling?
do you think more should be done to promote cycling
and why?
for / against

i just want peoples views on this subject as i am studying it".

So the asker doesn't know much about cycling, and the question was very broad.


I've been thinking that we cyclists should collaborate and produce a piece of writing that could be called a Manifesto. Let's bounce some ideas back and forth, and craft a well-written document. I would like input from other cyclists on the internet because the Manifesto should "cover all the bases" and nothing should be left out.
If there already is such a document, could you give me the URL?
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Old 04-11-08, 09:40 AM   #6
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I blog and run two cycling websites. I've done my part for advocacy.
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Old 04-11-08, 09:57 AM   #7
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What do you think of this Bill of Rights out of Los Angeles?
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Old 04-12-08, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alicestrong View Post
What do you think of this Bill of Rights out of Los Angeles?
That is excellent. Aside from the fact that it says "California", it's just about what I was thinking of.

And it was written by a 'writers colective', which is what I was asking.

Don't put down your pens yet, I want to see another document titled 'The Vehicular Homicide Act". I was thinking the first paragraph should say "an automobile may not be used as a weapon..." etc.

As for the Cyclists Bill of Rights, I have downloaded the pdf and printed it.
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Old 04-12-08, 03:24 PM   #9
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What's the thesis?
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Old 04-12-08, 05:02 PM   #10
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Don't start a sentence with a numeral ("99%"). If you start a sentence with a number, use ordinals ("Ninety-nine percent").
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Old 04-13-08, 11:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Don't start a sentence with a numeral ("99%"). If you start a sentence with a number, use ordinals ("Ninety-nine percent").
Don't correct people on semi-obscure grammar rules, unless you're 100% correct.

Ordinal numbers are numbers indicating order (i.e. first, second, 3rd)

What you mean to say is that you should write out, or spell out, numbers at the beginning of sentences.

(just giving you a hard time )
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