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  1. #1
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    What cycling advocacy should be...

    I came across this blog post, and in my opinion it epitomizes what advocacy is about. The joy and benefits of why we ride... not the endless squabling about getting 'our share' of a diminishing transportation budget or arguing about bike lanes...

    http://foldingbikeblog.blogspot.co.u...-counting.html

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    Well, if the aim of "advocacy" is to make cycling "normal", I think that stories like this, however fine a morale they may have, will never be what it takes to make schoolkids, elderly and most other people ride a bike. People want themselves and their kids to be (and feel) safe when they ride.

    The Dutch didn't revitalize their cycling by telling pretty stories.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Well, if the aim of "advocacy" is to make cycling "normal", I think that stories like this, however fine a morale they may have, will never be what it takes to make schoolkids, elderly and most other people ride a bike. People want themselves and their kids to be (and feel) safe when they ride.

    The Dutch didn't revitalize their cycling by telling pretty stories.
    Hagen -- what is the narrative that describes how the Dutch got to where they are today with cycling? I seem to recall the idea that it was as much a reaction against cars as it was an embrace of cycling. Is that accurate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Well, if the aim of "advocacy" is to make cycling "normal", I think that stories like this, however fine a morale they may have, will never be what it takes to make schoolkids, elderly and most other people ride a bike. People want themselves and their kids to be (and feel) safe when they ride.

    The Dutch didn't revitalize their cycling by telling pretty stories.
    The 'Dutch' cycle for a variety of reason. Perhaps the most significant are that the country is geographically flat and relatively small. Population is dense. Therefore trips are easily made-physically. While there is no doubt that the infrastructure helps, simply translating that infrastructure would not provide the same sort of adoption in the US. People winning others over with stories like I posted will. With adoption, infrastructure will follow... The build it and they will come scenario only works for Hollywood...

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I liked the blog post, thanks for the link. Advocacy should be the promotion of all the positives of cycling. That's what an advocate does, paint whatever he/she is advocating for in a positive light and encourages others to do likewise. The flip side of advocacy is to oppose those things that are counterproductive to the promotion of your cause. What Myrridin posted is indeed a form of advocacy but is just a part of the big picture.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    The 'Dutch' cycle for a variety of reason. Perhaps the most significant are that the country is geographically flat and relatively small. Population is dense. Therefore trips are easily made-physically. While there is no doubt that the infrastructure helps, simply translating that infrastructure would not provide the same sort of adoption in the US. People winning others over with stories like I posted will. With adoption, infrastructure will follow... The build it and they will come scenario only works for Hollywood...

    All of those myths about flatness, density etc. have been treated by David Hembrow, so I'll just link to his blog:

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com...-one-post.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    I liked the blog post, thanks for the link. Advocacy should be the promotion of all the positives of cycling. That's what an advocate does, paint whatever he/she is advocating for in a positive light and encourages others to do likewise. The flip side of advocacy is to oppose those things that are counterproductive to the promotion of your cause. What Myrridin posted is indeed a form of advocacy but is just a part of the big picture.
    That is quite true (I think), but a very far cry from saying that "it epitomizes what advocacy is about"

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    Senior Member bluegoatwoods's Avatar
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    "It epitomizes what advocacy is all about" might have been a bit overblown. But that's the smallest of sins.
    Quibbling about it seems pointless and off topic.

    That blog captured, in very simple terms, one of the joys of riding. It was well done and pointing us to it was also well done.

    I'm something like the writer; I have one car that I don't use much. It's been about 10 or 20 miles a month for some time now. My wife uses it quite a bit, though. And even if I wanted a car for myself I'd have a hard time affording it. And I'm very, very glad I'm not trying to do so.

    One difference between him and I, though; I feel very little desire to drive to work even in bad weather. It has to be just awful before I feel any temptation at all.

    Maybe it's because he's still fairly new at it. He hasn't realized quite yet that even in bad weather bicycling feels better than driving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    Well, if the aim of "advocacy" is to make cycling "normal", I think that stories like this, however fine a morale they may have, will never be what it takes to make schoolkids, elderly and most other people ride a bike. People want themselves and their kids to be (and feel) safe when they ride.

    The Dutch didn't revitalize their cycling by telling pretty stories.
    Well, Davis, CA created a culture of cycling that had a modal share over twice what any Northern European city has ever achieved, and it was done largely with "pretty stories" like the one in the OP. As the cycle-specific infrastructure went in, the rate of cycling fell off until it nearly disappeared.

    Different cultures may well require different methods of advocacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    Well, Davis, CA created a culture of cycling that had a modal share over twice what any Northern European city has ever achieved, and it was done largely with "pretty stories" like the one in the OP. As the cycle-specific infrastructure went in, the rate of cycling fell off until it nearly disappeared.

    Different cultures may well require different methods of advocacy.
    From http://www.des.ucdavis.edu/faculty/h...ke_history.pdf

    "City and university staff attribute this to changing demographics, intercity commuting and increased transit. In addition, during this time bicycle programs have contracted and infrastructure expansion has slowed. Application of theories of public policy change suggest that the advocacy efforts in the 1960s led to a policy shift emphasizing bicycling which continued through the mid 1990s when most programs had dwindled or disappeared"

    By the way:"Over twice that any European city has achieved" is wrong. Many Dutch cities have higher numbers, as has Copenhagen.
    Last edited by hagen2456; 10-16-12 at 02:24 AM.

  11. #11
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    cycling advocacy=enjoy the ride?

    I'm sure the OP recognizes advocacy for bicyclists has to be much more substantial that that.

    But yes, getting people into the enjoyment of bicycling is key to seeing people continue to throw their legs over the top tube.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    All of those myths about flatness, density etc. have been treated by David Hembrow, so I'll just link to his blog:

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com...-one-post.html
    Sorry, but flatness and density when compared to the typical American city are hardly myths...

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    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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    Senior Member silmarillion's Avatar
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    Well, that's different. But like you say, keeping people interested in throwing their legs over the top tube. One would hope that perhaps one day they would be thinking to themselves..."you know I wonder if I could just ride to the top..."
    "Whenever you think you have something dummy-proof, someone builds a better idiot." - Wisdom overheard on the BF

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    Sorry, but flatness and density when compared to the typical American city are hardly myths...
    So, you did not read the article I linked to. That makes a meaningfull discussion rather impossible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    All of those myths about flatness, density etc. have been treated by David Hembrow, so I'll just link to his blog:

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com...-one-post.html
    Nice link Hagen... and it further links to other good articles. The bottom line is the lack of political support in the US for such infrastructure, which of course is due to the laziness of the American public and an overwhelming feeling that Americans are "entitled" to drive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hagen2456 View Post
    So, you did not read the article I linked to. That makes a meaningfull discussion rather impossible.
    Actually, your attitude and lack of reason make discussion impossible.

  18. #18
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    Senior Member bandit1990's Avatar
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    Personally...someone needs to go stick their finger in a ****. I dub thee "Debbie Downer" (Mr. Hagan). Goofy Saturday Night Live reference. Is it a bad thing to just advocate riding your bike? Politics/personal opinions/trolls are going to drag down any effort to effectively communicate the advantages of cycling. I'm done here (well, at least this thread).

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    Senior Member bandit1990's Avatar
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    Really? D_Y_K_# is forbidden? History is lost...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by myrridin View Post
    Actually, your attitude and lack of reason make discussion impossible.
    You must be stupid. Too bad.

    First you repeat your nonsense myths about density etc. as an answer to a link to an article debunking same myths, and when that is pointed out to you, your only answer is that my attitude is bad. So, whose attitude is a problem here, do you think?

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