Sunday, 24 February 2013

Cycling's "C" word

C is for "Campaigning", the unglamourous, dirty word of cycling...

I have been actively involved in cycling campaigns for over 20 years, I vaguely remember an early London Cycling Campaign demo, back in the early 1980's, riding round and round Parliament Square in London in about 1983, so it may be as long as 30 years.

The cycle campaigning is one of those activities that can be utterly wonderful and reinforcing or utterly crap and demoralising.The high point for me have been the early Reclaim the Street parties in Bristol and the best of the Critical Mass bike rides where the people prepared to get out on the streets have supported and reinforced each other.

The low points are the people who hijack cycle campaigns to forward their personal agendas, seeking to gain personal status via other people's efforts. These people often earn their living building crap cycle facilities or offering cycle services that take the route of compromise rather than confrontation. They try and persuade the local campaign groups to justify their pathetic efforts when in truth they have simply wasted public money.

It is this sort of shit that inspired me to create blogs like this, and confront the waste of public money on token facilities.The time for cosy relationships with councils and government is over. We must scrutinise cycle facilities and demand that the cycling professionals deliver high impact facilities that enable far more people to cycle in out cities.

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