Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Be an Ambassador for Cycling

Here is a portion of a great article by Bob Mionske from Bicycling Magazine. You can find the entire article here:

Just because there’s some road rager out there who wants to mix it up with cyclists doesn’t mean that we have to dance to his tune. The most powerful things we can do to effect positive change in the road environment are proactive, not reactive. You have the power to bring a positive influence to your road environment, just as you have the power to bring a negative influence to your road environment.

...Second, lead by example. This means getting our own house in order, and keeping it in order. The obvious place to begin is by obeying traffic laws so that the widely-held societal view that cyclists are arrogant scofflaws is no longer reinforced by our actions. We may be adept at rationalizing lawbreaking to ourselves, but such actions turn the majority of our fellow citizens against us.

Build bridges with other road users—pedestrians and motorists—by leading by example. We ask drivers to respect our rights, and our lives, and then we fail to respect the rights and lives of pedestrians. They are entitled to due care from us, just as we are entitled to due care from motorists, so lead by example—ride courteously and carefully around pedestrians.

With the relationship between cyclists and motorists so often adversarial, it’s natural that we would focus our attention on our legal rights. It’s easy for all of us—motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians—to forget the importance of the pro-social, cooperative and supportive behavior that would enable all of us to safely get where we are going. We have the power to change that, however, and we exercise that power when we lead by example.

...And don’t think this is the same thing as abandoning our rights. Instead, it’s just acknowledging that our rights are the minimum to which we are all entitled, but that a cooperative road environment requires us to go above and beyond the minimum, by treating each other with common courtesy and kindness.
(Research and drafting provided by Rick Bernardi, J.D.)

1 comment:

dale said...

Recently I've been dancing to the wrong tune.

Last week, for the first time I slammed my fist against an suv that was squeezing me out.

Then today, was buzzed on 144th st. Saw he turned east on fort and saw him a mile later at the gas station. Snapped a pic of his licence plate as he and his friend were coming out. Tense words from all, foul mouth from the passenger. Driver took pic of me.

I'm going to call police and give the license number. If he's reported again, hopefully more action can be taken because of dangerous driving pattern.