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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.

View Poll Results: Do you actively participate in cycling activism/advocacy
I do nothing 22 40.00%
I ride in CM only 2 3.64%
I ride in CM AND am actively involved in other activites 9 16.36%
I am actively involved in pro cycling activities other than CM 22 40.00%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-02-04, 09:01 AM   #1
Mars
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Advocacy/activism poll

The definition of "active" is that you must be actually DOING something. Being a member or intellectually agreeing with something doesn't count.
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Old 12-02-04, 10:55 AM   #2
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Local council bike forum. Doing the groundwork for a BUG here too. I'd ride CM as well, but there ain't one here and it's not congested enough yet... YET.
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Old 12-02-04, 10:59 AM   #3
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So, CM is the only bike advocacy outside of pro racing? That's a very narrow idea of bike advocacy.

Edit: This was a really stupid comment on my part. Sorry.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 12-02-04 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 12-02-04, 12:19 PM   #4
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So, CM is the only bike advocacy outside of pro racing? That's a very narrow idea of bike advocacy.
I think he means pro as in for not pro as profesional. I do not look at CM as bike advocacy, until someone steps up and takes responsibility for the actions of the group they really are not much more than rable rousers. I am a member of 2 cycling clubs and the Washington Bicycle Advocacy.
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Old 12-02-04, 12:30 PM   #5
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I'm an anti-speeding campaigner.
I think that will help cyclists as well as other vulnerable road users.
I believe it is up to ALL car driving cyclists to strictly adhere to the speed limits on the road. I do - off (and on) the bike.
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Old 12-02-04, 12:34 PM   #6
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I counted riding my bike as "some other pro-cycling activity".

To be truthful, other than as an object lesson or example that it can be done, I don't really do much to promote cycling.

Most folks write me off as some kind of crazy person festooned with lights riding through the snow. If they show any interest at all it is sort of like you are some kind of interesting new bug they just discovered.

I don't think you can be talked into utility cycling, you pretty much have to try it and see the advantages for yourself.

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Old 12-02-04, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ngateguy
I think he means pro as in for not pro as profesional. I do not look at CM as bike advocacy, until someone steps up and takes responsibility for the actions of the group they really are not much more than rable rousers. I am a member of 2 cycling clubs and the Washington Bicycle Advocacy.
Now I feel stupid. And deservedly so. Sorry Mars.
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Old 12-02-04, 12:55 PM   #8
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heh, no problem
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Old 12-02-04, 01:23 PM   #9
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Daily bicycle commuter. Oregon Bicycle Transportation Alliance member and volunteer. City of Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee member. City of Portland Community and School Transportation Safety Partnership Advisory Committee member. Critical Mass and Zoobomb participant. Car Free Day event organizer. Shift to Cycling participant and volunteer. Assist in distributing free helmets and lights to low-income cyclists. Write periodic letters to the editor on timely topics related to cycling. What's your excuse?

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Old 12-02-04, 02:28 PM   #10
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Whoa, hats off to randya. Very impressive (claps)
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Old 12-02-04, 03:46 PM   #11
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I wasn't trying to brag , I was just trying to show what's possible... A lot of this advocacy stuff doesn't really even take that much time. Usually a meeting at noon or in the evening once a month, perhaps doing a little 'homework' on your own, writing a letter occassionally, going to a public hearing to speak up for an important project you are passionate about. Rides and other participatory stuff with your friends are usually more fun than attending boring meetings with transportation bureaucrats, of course, but I think both are necessary if you really want significant change to happen.
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Old 12-02-04, 07:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFromDetroit
I counted riding my bike as "some other pro-cycling activity".

To be truthful, other than as an object lesson or example that it can be done, I don't really do much to promote cycling.

Dan
Frankly, I think cycling responsibly on public roads on a regular basis does a great deal to promote cycling.

I recently bought a bike from a "yellow bike" program in my city. I got a really nice old vintage bike and convinced them not to paint it yellow. Mine for keeps. Great bunch, I thought. I started talking to the "head guy" about my bike commuting and he basically admitted he was still a "sidewalk cyclist."

What?

"Advocacy" without real-life experience can actually be counter-productive.
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Old 12-02-04, 09:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Frankly, I think cycling responsibly on public roads on a regular basis does a great deal to promote cycling.

I recently bought a bike from a "yellow bike" program in my city. I got a really nice old vintage bike and convinced them not to paint it yellow. Mine for keeps. Great bunch, I thought. I started talking to the "head guy" about my bike commuting and he basically admitted he was still a "sidewalk cyclist."

What?

"Advocacy" without real-life experience can actually be counter-productive.
Once again, you've gotten to the heart of the matter. I cycle responsibly on public roads everyday, I also give money to Bicycle Queensland (although I'm yet to get around to renewing next year's subscription), as well as looking after the financial affairs of my own advocacy group.

There are, however, a couple of issues that need to be made here. First of all, it's at best questionable whether CM really helps our cause at all. Sure, it's all well and good to make the effort, but just how productive is it? One must also ask the same questions of "car free" days and so on. Do they really help our cause? Or are they just another way for people to get out in a crowd and feel good about themselves for 30 minutes or so?

Also noting the point from Dan above, I get similar "interesting new bug" attitudes toward my utility cycling -- even though I've been demonstrating the benefits for years. I think people will only become serious utility (or any other kind) cyclists if they have a basic desire to do so. Organising all the "spontaneous" protests, painting all the lines on the road and all the rest of it might be a lot of fun, and it might make one able to say they've done a lot, but I'd like to see a quantifiable result here, because I'm not so sure there is one.
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Old 12-02-04, 09:25 PM   #14
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I dont know of any of them so i dont do anything.
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Old 12-02-04, 09:32 PM   #15
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Frankly, I think cycling responsibly on public roads on a regular basis does a great deal to promote cycling.
To a degree. But let's face it; no one notices you until something bad happens, etc.

I agree that cycling responsibly is important, and that any cycling by a courteous cyclist does good for all of us. However, the truth of the matter is that people in general don't remember the good ones, and only remember the bike messenger who got too close and made them drop their cup of coffee.

It's always the bad ones who stand out.

Critical Mass in NYC is a perfect example. 10 years of absolutely peaceful, quiet, and uneventful events. One bad one in August and now all of a sudden Satan rides in it with liberal hate America whackos.

It's all perception.
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Old 12-02-04, 09:36 PM   #16
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Old 12-02-04, 09:38 PM   #17
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I am very active in the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, somewhat less so in the California Bicycle Coalition. I advocate safe accommodations for bicycles and I try to set a lawful vehicular example when I ride. I also do something for cycling by being alert, cautious, and courteous to cyclists when I drive.

I send emails to the city traffic engineer or public works when I encounter nonresponsive traffic signals or obstructions in bike lanes or shoulders.

Sorry CM fans. I share your objectives and sympathize with you, but I have concerns regarding the efficacy of your methods.
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Old 12-02-04, 09:39 PM   #18
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Sorry CM fans. I share your objectives and sympathize with you, but I have concerns regarding the efficacy of your methods.
I used to think that way...
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Old 12-03-04, 02:57 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by vincenzosi
It's always the bad ones who stand out.

Critical Mass in NYC is a perfect example. 10 years of absolutely peaceful, quiet, and uneventful events. One bad one in August and now all of a sudden Satan rides in it with liberal hate America whackos.

It's all perception.
Yes, there are perceptions, and cyclists are hugely stereotyped, and I agree that we shouldn't let it affect our behaviour. However, something I've often wondered about critical mass or a lot of the other methods. There's a lot of talk about people trying to defend critical mass from the negative publicity, but I'm still waiting to here of a single positive thing it's ever accomplished.
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Old 12-03-04, 07:03 AM   #20
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Okay -

1. I am a member of League of American Bicyclists

2. I am a member of Bicycle Colorado (Advocacy Group)

3. I was active (writing letters to the editor, making phone calls, internet notification and organizing of bike clubs) in fighting successfully a recent attempt to limit road bikes on certain portions of our trail system around here.

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Old 12-03-04, 08:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenzosi
To a degree. But let's face it; no one notices you until something bad happens, etc.

I agree that cycling responsibly is important, and that any cycling by a courteous cyclist does good for all of us. However, the truth of the matter is that people in general don't remember the good ones, and only remember the bike messenger who got too close and made them drop their cup of coffee.

It's always the bad ones who stand out.

Critical Mass in NYC is a perfect example. 10 years of absolutely peaceful, quiet, and uneventful events. One bad one in August and now all of a sudden Satan rides in it with liberal hate America whackos.

It's all perception.
You make a good point, Vincenzosi. But I would argue that I am very much noticed.

Everyone at work notices. When the weather changes, they ask if I rode my bike to work in inclement weather. When I stop in at the store, a lady at the checkout says to me, "Hey, bicycle-man!" People notice me on the road, for good or ill. I get comments ranging from, "How far do you ride?" to "Get on the sidewalk!" Truth is, I stick out like a sore thumb.

What does that accomplish? I think it is like when you scratch the surface of glass with a glass-cutter: it doesn't look like you've done anything, but a little pressure in the right place and the glass comes neatly apart.

Most people where I live have always thought riding a bike on the street was out of the question.
Now they know I do it regularly over distances they all thought were impossible. Now, they know it's possible, because here I am to prove it.

Changing painted lines and signs and laws can all be done, but perhaps the most important change needed is in the minds of people who don't believe the bicycle is a valid form of daily transportation.
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Old 12-03-04, 08:44 AM   #22
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When I shop at stores that try to have a public face of environmental responsibility, I ask to receive my cyclists' discount. I haven't gotten any to change their official policy, but I have saved a few bucks on coffee and groceries.

I plan to pass two dollar bills out my car window to bicyclists, to thank them for saving the world, though, I haven't worked up the gumption to do this yet.

Oh, I've talked to a powerless cog in the parking office, at work, about improving cyclists' accomodations, and written suggestions for the suggestion box, located in " the bike cage".
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Old 12-03-04, 09:00 AM   #23
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i just ride my friggin' bike. that's active enough.
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Old 12-03-04, 10:52 AM   #24
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Cris L,
A single positive thing? Well, on any given night on a CM ride, we encounter cyclists riding on the sidewalk. We call thme out onto the street and tell them about the laws supporting their presence there and the statistics regarding safe vehicular riding. I have since seen many of those riders...riding on the street.
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Old 12-03-04, 01:41 PM   #25
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"Other."
I wear a "One Less Car" sticker on my helmet, and speak eagerly about commuting to anyone who asks.
Also, as someone upthread put it, I'm VISIBLE. Who knows how many car drivers pass me and think, "Hmmm, if she can do it, it must not be too difficult!"
We have a Critical Mass chapter here, but I've never ridden with them. The G.R. police are too handy with the pepper spray, I've heard.
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