Monday, 21 December 2015

Cycling rallies

When anyone holds a cycling rally, here are some things that I would like you to do. This means the rallies to promote cycling, not race.

Try to involve your children and friends if you can. The more the merrier, and children coming helps to signify others who benefit from cycling infrastructure. Get friends who use wheelchairs, scooters or those electric scooters too to come along if you can.

Dress up in your ordinary clothes, just think what you would were if you were walking outside. This will vary depending on the weather, but just think about walking on a nice path in the park. And preferably not bring helmets, high viz or lycra/spandex, and ride whatever you have that as closely as possible resembles an omafiets or if you have one, a bakfiets. If you already have a bakfiets or omafiets, then great, use that. This makes cycling seem very relatable to people, just as easy as driving is, with no special clothes or preparations. This may land you a fine depending on what the laws in your particular area define for helmet laws, but mass civil disobedience is capable of bringing effective change, and if something like 1200 people show up with no helmets, how long do you think it will take for the police to ticket them all? Especially do this with children. Them not wearing helmets is a major rejection of regular advice and helps to show that you demand the infrastructure needed to prevent collisions not have a slightly better chance of getting through a collision alright. Do you think that MLK Jr wore mountain climbing gear and encouraged his followers to do the same when he was protesting? No, he wore ordinary attire and made every effort to make his campaign be relatable to people. Cycling can do the same.

Act like a Dutch cyclist would. 1200 people riding through a stop sign, police won't have the ability to give tickets to you all, and it's a fairly modest fine for most people hopefully, and a quick phone call to the prosecutor can reduce any fines considerably. And given the damage you actually did do, you don't need a big fine, and in many cases no fine at all. Don't endanger yourself, don't ride into traffic, but make it clear that the roads we have now have got to go.

These rallies can really help, but it must advocate for the kind of cycling that people actually are willing to do, not the often appearing out of touch lycra clad kind. This sort of out of touch thing can really make people unpopular. Think of the Bushes after the LA riots and Hurricane Katrina. Make cycling look like something that the common person looks like they are capable and even if slowly, you will gain ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting