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May 31, 2004

When Activism Hurts Cycling

A month ago I wrote about a website promoting an event that I felt would give a bad name to cycling activism.

The piece, about Bicycling in the Buff, got 2 comments of particular note, 1 of which deserves a response.

Pete, I AM large, and am actively working on becoming newsworthy. ;-)

The number of visitors to this place since the relaunch, in March, has far outrstripped the number of visitors to my other blog over the first few months of ITS beginning.

My growing list of links is unique in the Bloggerve..... what's that? You say you thought I was talking about the size of something ELSE?

I thought that was what YOU meant. ;-)

Seriouslly, though, last I heard nudity in most public places was illegal, at least in America.

My problem, though, has much more to do with the Ultra-Liberals, Far-Leftists, Environmentalist Wacjkos, and Anarchists behind the scenes of the Critical Mass Movement, who often have an agenda not neccessarily in keeping with the best interests of Bicycling, and Bicyclists.

The events, and methods of protest, these groups use are often dangerous to cyclists, and motorists, and many folks who attend these events find themselves in situations they didn't bargain for ( My Critical Mass experience ).

Motorists, and others in the general public, witness these events, and come away with negative impressions of Bicycling Advocates, and bicyclists in general.

The Media reports these events as if they were important and newsworthy, when they are not, and in the cases where a protest turns ugly, and arrests result, the media coverage hurts legitimate cycling advocacy efforts.

Is it any wonder some folks hate cyclists, and believe, misguidedly, that we don't belong on the road with them and their Cars?

The truth of the matter is that these protesters, and activists, are a miniscule number among the worlds advocates, and riders, and their positive impact is easily offset by the negatives.

The overwhelming majority of advocates are engaged in efforts that give a positive image of Cyclists, and are accomplishing good, and important, things everyday.

The News Media would do well to notice, and would provide a great service if they covered this more often.

One of my goals here is to do just that, as often as I can, and to also take note of those things I think are not in the best interests of Road Cycling, and Cyclists.

As long as I have been cycling there is still a lot I do not know, but one thing my links, and reporting, will allow me to do, as well as my readers, is to continue to learn.

The more informed I am, the better, and the more informed my readers are, the better off they will be.

By the way, MY spot in society is far from a comfy one, and I don't even own a car.

I'm a recovering ex-Liberal, whose politics are moving steadily further to the right on many issues.

May 31, 2004 in Critical Mass, The Opinionated DUDE | Permalink


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Tracked on Aug 22, 2004 11:22:43 PM


I know some friends that would probably participate in that. Only they are a little more tactful thent his... they usually reserve those displays for Mountain Bike rides for the benefit of the group... not the general public at large. ;-)

Posted by: Ed Hidden | Jun 9, 2004 8:40:11 AM

Well Kiril,

I won't judge this event before it happens.
Naturally, there will be cranks and wackos there. There are lots in the general population as well. I will be one of the concerned and informed citizens hoping to strike a cord in open minded folks about freedom from judgement and freedom from oil (and I do own a car, two, in fact) One is 12 years old and has less than 100,000 km. I don't think one needs to be left or right. They both have their points. However, if no one ever did anything because it was against the law than we would never overthrow any corrupt government, no revolutions could we thank for bringing down tyrants, and the chinese, for instance, would have no hope of ever knowing the simple right to speak their mind. In this event, in Toronto anyway, there will be a police escort...on bicycles! I'm sure that will help separate any hoodlums from the rest of us. That said, try very hard not to jump on folks who think differently. What is wrong with dissent and discussion? This act will not forstall bicycle paths and rights. In fact, it may turn out to be nothing but a bit of fun on the part of some fit folks who've eschewed society's expectations of modesty.
You ought to give it a try.

Posted by: Peter | Jun 11, 2004 10:55:55 AM

Oh, by the way, this site doesn't work on my monitor. All the text is along the right hand side, one word beneath the next. Extremely hard to read. Any suggestions? I am on Explorer but am also on a Mac.

Posted by: Peter | Jun 11, 2004 10:57:45 AM

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