Monday 3 December 2012

The Future of Cycling Advocacy: Stop listening to cyclists.

People who cycle now in low modal share cities to not understand non-cyclists.  They have developed strategies to cope with the road environment but do not understand why these strategies are not attractive to others.

We need to make our cities better, but not for existing cyclists. We need to make them better for the non-cyclists.  The kids who get driven to school, the drivers that waste hours each week in traffic jams, the unfit or overweight people who are not able to fit regular exercise in their daily routine, the road accident victims and their families, the people with poor health due to poor of air quality, the pedestrians who are scared by cyclists on the foot path, and the pedestrians who can not get across the road.

This blog post from the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain is a perfect example of a person that would benefit from good quality cycling infrastructure.  Rational, practical and inclusive, rather than religious and elitist.

A non-cyclist's view of cycle campaigning

There is a shift in cycle campaigning that is gaining momentum by not focusing on cycling but people friendly modern cities. These guys are well worth listening too.


  1. > The Future of Cycling Advocacy: Stop listening to cyclists.

    I don't understand... To stop something, it must be started first, right? Until now "cycling advocacy" is done by motorists: cycling advocacy = putting cyclists in ghettos (urban cycling adventure singletrails)= "freie fahrt für freie [auto-]bürger".

  2. Thanks for your comment 2nd_astronaut.

    I am extremely angry at the ghetto conditions I have to travel in and I want change. However I think this change will only come with mass support so we need to include them in the discussion.

    The title is provocative but the point I am trying to make it that cycling advocates should not only listen to people that cycle already. People that cycle already (like myself) will always cycle because we are determined to. However future cyclists do not share this determination and have a different perspective. This perspective is often ignored by determined cyclists, because they feel it comes from a perspective of ignorance. I think we need to change the debate from determined cyclists against everything and everyone to a more inclusive people friendly discussion.