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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-02-05, 05:29 PM   #1
matthewbarnhart
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Suggestions for Commuting evangelism flyers?

A friend and I (both of us are bike commuters) were talking today, and came up with the idea to create a simple, to-the-point flyer or brochure promoting bike commuting, and then distribute it at local gas stations, bike shops, and around the local college campuses.

While I'm definitely of the pinko/lefty stripe, my thought would be to make something that makes an appeal to people's practical side ("Save money! Get in shape! It's easy!") rather than something that plays upon guilt and political motivations ("Stop driving that SUV, you greedy such-and-such! Cars are evil! Bomb a Hummer").

So, aside from possibly getting hassled for solicting at a gas station, do any of you think this is a good idea? If so, what "talking points" should I include? I'm thinking it would cover pretty general bike commuting Pros, basic bicycle safety and equipment tips, and then list a bunch of links to informational web sites.

Any thoughts are appreciated. I don't know if it will do a whole hell of a lot of good, and I'm typically the kind of person that doesn't evangelize and lets people discover things on their, but with all of the horrible events these days I'm motivated to do SOMETHING good.
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Old 09-02-05, 06:20 PM   #2
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Don't the Mormons have a corner on the market for bicycle missionaries?
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Old 09-02-05, 09:36 PM   #3
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If you really want to proselytize, I think you're on the right track. I was just talking about this with my aide; some yahoo called the talk radio station right after a very sensible guy who talked about commuting to work. The yahoo sounded like he was spitting on his phone as he shouted that people who drive SUVs are evil and have "no social conscience." Blah blah blah.

That's not how you change a free man's behavior. You change a free man's behavior by selling him on the idea that your way will work better.
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Old 09-02-05, 09:58 PM   #4
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With bike silhouettes....

-------------------
My wheels get
10 mpp
(miles per pancake)

----------------------------------
Heck yeah, I'll have dessert.
My commute burned 500 calories.
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Old 09-03-05, 12:24 PM   #5
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Don't the Mormons have a corner on the market for bicycle missionaries?
I think so. I just saw a couple of them in their cheap ties and china-mart bikes today. I need to remember to find some Wicca literature so I have something to give them in return.
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Old 09-03-05, 12:58 PM   #6
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It'll be a waste of time and paper. People don't read flyers at gas stations. They drive up, hop out of thier car, walk three feet to the pump, swipe thier card, pump thier gas and drive away.

You'd have to actually stick the flyers on the gas pumps themselves for anyone to even see them, and they still wouldn't read them.

People at bike shops and college campuses are already fully aware of the idea of commuting by bike. If they're not doing it, it's going to take more than a few lines saying "It's fun and easy!" to convince them.

And no one's going to read a full-page essay on bike commuting off a flyer. They might read a short list of bullet points, but that's not likely to convince anyone to change something they've been doing everyday for years.
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Old 09-03-05, 05:58 PM   #7
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I'd go retro with it if I were you. Once apon a time (think WWII) bikes were common in America. Lots of older folks used to ride for transportation. Bikes are not some new fangled fad-- they are a time tested solution.

I'm pretty low key about any car vs. bike debate-- I use what's called the *negative close* is sales pitch lingo. I tell people that cycling will never be big in the USA because we are rich, soft and lazy. Only tough old-school Americans ride-- the same type that rode out the Great Depression and won WWII and built the richest and most powerful country in the world.

Bikes were good enough for Grandpa and the're good enough for me!

Modern Life is already too complicated-- bikes simplify your life.

Pedal power is self reliance. Nothing brings a person more joy than having the ablity and gumption of traveling using only their own power.

Whenever I try to win a bike convert, I tell them that I believe that they don't belong with the fat lazy Americans who drive everywhere and have given up the fight. I tell them they seem like the kind of person who has the toughness and pride to make it as a cyclist.

Someday everybody I know is going to get together and compare notes and realize that I gave them all the same *You're-better-than-the- driving-masses* speech and my goose will be cooked!
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Old 09-03-05, 06:05 PM   #8
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I've wondered about wearing a T-shirt with something like, "I saved $200 in gas this month" on the back. I need to wear my badge in order to exit the secured parking lot where I work. I leave it on until I get out of "Ford Country". I work by Ford Motor Company World Headquarters and about 10 square miles is owned by them and it is like a college with the different engineering buidings, etc. all around. I have found that the morning traffic is more tolerant of me, since the gas prices spiraled and if I look like a commuter rather than a recreational roadie blocking their roads and slowing them down.
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Old 09-04-05, 02:59 PM   #9
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This is a good time to plant the seed of bike commuting.

In a similar vein, I have thought about putting together a "how to ride your bike more and drive your car less" class through my LBS, Sierra Club, colleges, etc. Just a couple of hours of outlining how to commute by bike, run errands, etc.

Also, the local paper might be interested giving some free publicity to such an effort especially with gas prices making the news. The local paper here in Memphis did an article on high gas prices a few months ago. A couple of local bike commuters (including yours truly) were profiled along with Prius owners, carpoolers, transit riders, etc.

Ride on.
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Old 09-04-05, 04:03 PM   #10
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Include the message that biking helps reduce America's dependency on middle east oil. That might make a few people think before they throw the flyer away.
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Old 09-04-05, 07:06 PM   #11
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I think the two best steps for proseletyzing commuting are:
1. Being out there on your bike, visible, riding responsibly and safely.
2. Get some local media coverage
("Tired of $3.50/gallon? Area man rides bike to work, saves on gas and health club fees")

I'm afraid the days of the effective pamphleteer campaign are gone.
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Old 09-05-05, 09:25 AM   #12
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Instead of random flyers start a commuter challenge for the most days biked to work at your job, town or city. (I'm in the process of that right now) Make it into a group mentality (it worked with the auto) and you might have luck.
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Old 09-05-05, 09:37 AM   #13
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Don't do it!!! I don't want my bike paths all clogged up with people!
On the other hand if everyone rode a bike then the roads would be our bike paths, wouldn't they?
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Old 09-05-05, 09:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outashape
I've wondered about wearing a T-shirt with something like, "I saved $200 in gas this month" on the back. I need to wear my badge in order to exit the secured parking lot where I work. I leave it on until I get out of "Ford Country". I work by Ford Motor Company World Headquarters and about 10 square miles is owned by them and it is like a college with the different engineering buidings, etc. all around. I have found that the morning traffic is more tolerant of me, since the gas prices spiraled and if I look like a commuter rather than a recreational roadie blocking their roads and slowing them down.
Our busses here in Portland say "247 (or something like that) cars are off the road because of me" Your shirt could say "1 car is off the road because of me and you can have the gas I saved...if you wanna pay $5.00/gal."
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