Cycling clubs and advocacy
Recently there was a thread about bike clubs. I posted something there about cycling advocacy as a good reason in itself to be part of a club. I can't find that thread now which calls for my very own thread.
The last issue of our club's news letter, Narraganset Bay Wheelmen, with members from Rhode Island, southern Massachusetts and Western Connecticut, listed cycling organizations the club supports. Part of that is duplicated below with some local organizations and some national in reach. Total amount of financial support is about $16,000.
Bike Walk Connecticut
East Coast Greenway
League of American Bicyclists
Rails to Trails
Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
It is my belief that such support and visibility by a bike club, and that support need not necessarily be direct financial aid, contributes beneficially to the overall tone of dialogue by civic planners and cyclists about our bikeways. A small example is providing a mere three feet of pavement outside the white line on busier roads. Many of the roads I ride are very quiet back roads with little traffic so that a bit of extra pavement makes no difference. Often though, I need to connect several areas by a busier road. On these busier roads that bit of extra pavement makes all the difference as to whether I'm comfortable or mildly terrified. Some areas I just avoid as too dangerous. I think a wide and sustained effort over a long period of time will lead to better riding conditions and improved awareness by motorists.