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I have seen a lot of bicycle advocacy content on the web lately. By now, most you have probably already watched the clip of Trek president John Burke’s speech at the Taiwan Bicycle show. A month or so ago, I saw several good posts about advocacy, as bloggers were returning from the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. All this bike advocacy talk in the blogosphere is great and I hope to see even more of in the future. I have mentioned my involvement in local advocacy efforts on this blog a few times, but cycling issues in Greenville, SC are not really the focus of Bicycle Design so in general I have kept it to a minimum.

Recently, I stepped up my involvement in local cycling issues by accepting the advocacy chairperson position on the board of directors of our local bicycle club. I have mentioned before that I love to live and ride in Greenville, so doing my part to help make the city as bike friendly as possible is something that is very important to me. With the new position comes a new blog that I am starting this week. I am not sure what I am thinking, because I don’t really have time for a second blog, but I am ready to give it a try. As many of you know, I write these posts on my lunch hour because it is the only time of day that doesn’t take from work, family, or riding time. As I get the new blog going, posts here will probably suffer a bit. Bear with me, I am not giving up on the Bicycle Design blog, but time is limited so posts will be less frequent for a while. In the meantime, check out Bike Greenville to see how it evolves.

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  1. Tim Jackson- Masi Guy May 2, 2007 at 1:33 pm -  Reply

    Thanks for the mention and good luck with the new blog and advocacy role.

    I know how hard the juggling act of time is… for sure.

    Yes, advocacy is an important thing for us to be involved with because without advocacy efforts, we all end up losing out. The investment in time allows us all to ride… so it’s worth it.

  2. SueJ May 4, 2007 at 3:49 pm -  Reply

    I just have to wonder about the Trek presentation (it’s on their website) – all that talk about practical cycling, but where is it so much as acknowledged in their product lines?
    WHen they make me some turn signals I’ll believe it’s more than This Week’s Buzzword Hype.

  3. James May 4, 2007 at 4:24 pm -  Reply

    Sue, I don’t mean to pick on you, but I have heard a lot of similar skepticism about the Trek video lately, and I just don’t get it. Sure Trek has a marketing interest in supporting and encouraging bicycle advocacy, all bike companies should. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is simply good business to try and grow your consumer base. The more people who feel safe riding, the more bikes they can sell, right? Having said that, I believe that most people in the bike industry, Mr Burke included, care very much about bikes and are sincere in their bicycle evangelism. So why pick on Trek when they mention advocacy?

    Turn signals on bikes are a good idea, so I won’t argue with that. Still, I don’t see how you can say that Trek has not acknowledged practical cycling in their product line. The Lime has been getting a lot of press lately, but what about older bikes like the Portland or the Soho (there are many others, but those are the first two that come to my mind without looking at a catalog)? Those designs may not have all the features that you think a practical bike should have, but they are definitely geared toward commuters and urban cyclists. I don’t know for sure, but I would bet that the marketing and design teams at Trek, and all the big bike companies, consider transportation-oriented bikes to be more than a fad. I think we will continue to see a design focus on those products in the near future.

  4. Anonymous May 5, 2007 at 8:07 pm -  Reply

    Bike company executives can only spend corporate resources in a manner that benefits their, not others’, shareholders. To hold TREK accountable for lack of critical mass in building “practical cycling” bikes misses the main point.

    Practical cycling occurs when our streets are designed to be complete and that is more of a political decision than a bike design decision. Until other potential riders can overcome the fear and discomfort of practical cycling, a broader lineup will not solve any problems.

    Let’s hope Burke and other corporate leaders “get it” and work together. He is on the right track and deserves all the support he can build, which will benefit of all cyclists.


  5. SueJ August 2, 2007 at 3:42 pm -  Reply

    I’m “picking on” Trek because they’re t he one that made the presentation. If I’d seen the blather on another site, I”d have said the same thing. It’s not as if it’s worse than if he hadn’t said anything, either – it’s great that he’s at least *talking* about practical cycling. Is it more than lip service, though? *Is* Trek doing advocacy?
    I’ll assume he’s sincere. As the unitarian jihad says, ” Sincerity is not enough. We have heard from enough sincere people to last a lifetime already. Just because you believe it’s true doesn’t make it true.”

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