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My training journal tells me I rode over 1500 miles in 2010 doing short errands by bicycle.  According to the League of American Cyclists:

There are more people riding bikes than ever. Yet half of all U.S. trips are three miles or less, and more than 90 percent are made by car. The National Bike Summit has improved bicycle-friendliness and livability in many communities, but the need and opportunity to improve physical activity, safety and livability in the U.S., while reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on oil – remains greater today than a decade ago.

These issues seem difficult to solve but the answer is simple. The answer is the bicycle. Now is the time to ask Congress to make strategic transportation investments that foster healthy people and healthy communities. Join us March 8-10 in Washington, D.C. to act on a simple solution – the bicycle.

Visit the Bike Summit website at the League of American Cyclists.

BlahBlahFreddie believes bicycle advocacy should be concerned primarily about promoting safety and not the advocacy of ideals related to “improving physical activity” or “reducing congestion & greenhouse gas emissions” or even “dependence on oil” – these are topics that get opponents fired up to fight back.  Advocacy that relates its cause and success to local economic improvements tends to make potential opponents stop and listen.  Anecdotal evidence is available regarding economic benefit to the local economy when bicycling safety improves; cyclists tend to visit local businesses in greater numbers.  The city of Portland, Oregon has numbers to support these claims.

The overall impact in the reduction of green house gases, reducing congestion and dependence on oil are so very slight in the short term, relative to total numbers, that opponents are compelled to argue against expenditures for advocacy programs since the benefits, relative to overall measures, are very slight and difficult to quantify.  Any conversation regarding “improvements to health” should be avoided altogether;  opponents who embrace a general conservative philosophy fight hard against “social engineering.”  Nothing gets people more fired up to battle against a cause than when they think your idealism rails against their lifestyle.  It’s practically tantamount to being anti-American.

BlahBlahFreddie’s position on bicycle advocacy: It’s all about the safety stupid.

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