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Reasons for riding - methods for advocacy

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: What is your primary reason for riding a bike?
I like it and think it's fun
27
72.97%
I don't want to pollute the air with my car
2
5.41%
I don't own a car. My bike is my primary transportation
3
8.11%
I think we are too dependant on foreign oil
0
0%
I'm making a social statement not listed above
1
2.70%
Other
4
10.81%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

Reasons for riding - methods for advocacy

Old 02-21-06, 12:49 PM
  #1  
jimmuter
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Reasons for riding - methods for advocacy

It occurs to me that I primarily ride my bike because I think it's fun. It's not that I don't care about vehicle emissions, clean air, oil dependency and all that stuff, but if I wasn't having fun, I would drive my car or walk everyday.

I don't know how effective the message "I ride because I like to" is at advocating bicycling, but it seems logical that people respond better to positive messages. It turns me off when folks start going on about destroying the environment and mean nasty dirty SUV's. I've never heard of an SUV owner being shamed into giving up their vehicle and hopping on a bike. Even if everything an environmentalist says is true, is it an effective way to advocate for bicycling? What do you all think?
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Old 02-21-06, 12:57 PM
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As to how much fun I have commuting on my bike, I represent to eveybody who will listen -- or even pretend like they're listening. I agree that it's a major point in favor of riding, even utility riding, along with savings, safety, convenience, health and environmental concerns.

Specifically this is what I tell people: "Remember how much fun it was to ride a bike when you were a kid?" (They usually agree.) "Well...It's just as much fun now!"
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Old 02-21-06, 01:05 PM
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I need the exercise, and it beats the heck out of running... besides there is a certain thrill about the wind in your face and pushing yourself to 20+MPH through the use of your own power.

There is also a certain thrill to being able to cover long distances under your own personal power.
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Old 02-21-06, 01:07 PM
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I like it and it is fun. Mainly since nothing with fitness is listed. Fun is secondary to fitness for me.

I could really care less about the other issues. They are nice but are not my personal reasons for riding.
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Old 02-21-06, 01:11 PM
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You needed an "All of the Above". It's hard to say the primary reason. Certainly there are also Financial benefits.
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Old 02-21-06, 01:29 PM
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I ride for a lot of reasons, few of which you mentioned.

Primary reason for me is to escape the world for an hour or two. Being on the bike is liberating. THere are no cords attached and the world is left behind if only for awhile. It is the best time to just think about things, sort of like dreaming, but not exactly. I guess i call it, zoning out. Of course i stay aware, but i like to let my mind wander as well.

Other reasons are probably secondary to my escapism. I ride to escape.
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Old 02-21-06, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by oilfreeandhappy
You needed an "All of the Above". It's hard to say the primary reason. Certainly there are also Financial benefits.
+1
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Old 02-21-06, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Primary reason for me is to escape the world for an hour or two. Being on the bike is liberating. THere are no cords attached and the world is left behind if only for awhile. It is the best time to just think about things, sort of like dreaming, but not exactly. I guess i call it, zoning out.
I think "I like it and think it's fun" fits the bill here, then.
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Old 02-21-06, 01:47 PM
  #9  
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I like to ride my bike. I am happier and healthier when I do. I also think that, as a society, we'd be happier and healthier if we all rode bikes. But I can't do anything about other people, I can only do it for myself. If I provide an example to others, great. If not, I'm not going to worry about it.
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Old 02-21-06, 07:58 PM
  #10  
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I'm with the fun and fitness group and most of the other stuff is byproduct. I'd love to be a good guy and say the primary reason is altruistic- like wanting to do something for the environment and not give money to the oil barons but really I just love that I can be having such a good time while putting it to the greedy bums.I do love to act like I'm doing it because I'm such an enviro freak goody goody and could totally jump on that soap box at the drop of a hat but the truth is I'm just out there having a good time.

I seldom throw the bike on the car just to go do a bike ride elsewhere. I always ride to group rides or if I do put the bike on a car it's to get a ride home late at night or after too many miles of riding. There's one more thing that's harder to define and it has to do with a kind of rebellious streak. There's something about the "car culture"- all these people trapped in little metal boxes that just doesn't jibe with who I am.

So, yes, fun and fitness.

But the final and most primal reason for me may be freedom.
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Old 02-21-06, 08:17 PM
  #11  
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I need physical effort to reduce the stress in my life. Call cycling inexpensive therapy that does not go on my record. That I get to spend time with nice people helps. Been cycling long enough to have a lot of stories to tell.
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Old 02-21-06, 08:20 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by buzzman
I'm with the fun and fitness group and most of the other stuff is byproduct. I'd love to be a good guy and say the primary reason is altruistic- like wanting to do something for the environment and not give money to the oil barons but really I just love that I can be having such a good time while putting it to the greedy bums.I do love to act like I'm doing it because I'm such an enviro freak goody goody and could totally jump on that soap box at the drop of a hat but the truth is I'm just out there having a good time.

I seldom throw the bike on the car just to go do a bike ride elsewhere. I always ride to group rides or if I do put the bike on a car it's to get a ride home late at night or after too many miles of riding. There's one more thing that's harder to define and it has to do with a kind of rebellious streak. There's something about the "car culture"- all these people trapped in little metal boxes that just doesn't jibe with who I am.

So, yes, fun and fitness.

But the final and most primal reason for me may be freedom.
+1

Well put...

The reality is the fun, but the reward is acting the rebel and the enviro freak, and dammit, just breaking the mold.

I can't help but enjoy riding past a line of autos waiting to inch ahead during "rush hour."
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Old 02-22-06, 11:51 AM
  #13  
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Yeah, I've found that preaching environmental goodness or whatever doesn't inspire anybody to ride a bike.

Talking up the health benefits can (at least at my age). At my age and above, stress relief, escape from a busy world, and fun all count as health benefits.

Most people know they should get exercise, but a lot of exercise is boring. The fun aspect of riding a bike does make it attractive, a potential exercise regime that will stick, so I do play that up to people.

Most people have already made up their minds about the environmental or politcal aspect of it, so it does little to bring that subject up. Let people bring that up first if they like.

I wouldn't discount fun as a trivial thing. It's very important.
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Old 02-22-06, 12:09 PM
  #14  
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I love riding my bike and I don't know why - I can't say it is fun, going against 25 mile an hour winds, pedaling down hill and barely reaching 8 miles an hour is not my idea of a good time.

I rarely ride to get anywhere - I just ride to ride

I think it is the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when I am done.

But nothing can beat a 75 degree day with blue skies and no wind (in North Dakota no wind days are treasured)

And YES in North Dakota we do have hills (In the Western half anyway )
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Old 02-22-06, 02:18 PM
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"All of the above", and more.
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Old 02-22-06, 03:46 PM
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Fun is my most important reason.

Exercise matters too. I love the efficiency of getting my workout while at the same time going where I need to go under my own power. I like the challenge.

Environmental and social concerns matter to me; maybe if cycling weren't fun, I'd still do it for those reasons -- but I'm glad I don't have to choose.
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Old 02-22-06, 04:06 PM
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I like to bike because it's fun, just as you said. I don't think there needs to be any other reason to ride a bike than that. If anything, the environmental zealots take all the fun out of riding a bike; I like to ride because I want to, not because I feel like I have to. I already have too many things I have to do, and having the choice to either ride a bike or drive a car simply adds variety to my life and shortens that "Have-to-do" list.
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Old 02-23-06, 11:36 AM
  #18  
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Fun and fitness here. I used to run but I notice a big difference between that and riding. I like to ride, but I had to make myself run.
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Old 02-23-06, 11:42 AM
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I like it and it is fun. Plus, if I have had a stressful day at work, it is a great way to relieve the stress. I am i a much better mood and my family can tell the difference. Just another great side benifit of something I enjoy.
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Old 02-23-06, 12:13 PM
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I need an "All of the above" option
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