Thursday, May 1, 2014

Good and Bad Excuses for Not Signing Up For Bike To Work Day.

There are good excuses and bad excuses for not taking part in Bike To Work Day.  I’ll start with the bad.  

I met a fellow at the intersection of Gallows Road and the W&OD Trail today.  It is a light that often takes 4-5 minutes to give a signal to let cyclists and pedestrians to walk.  

Me: Have you signed up for Bike To Work Day yet? 
Dude:  I’m okay.
Me: Cool!  BTWD isn’t about just you though. It is about making cycling better for everyone.
Dude:  Really.  I’m okay.
Me:  Do you like how long you have to wait at this stop light?
Dude: It doesn’t bother me. 
Dude behind dude:  It pisses me off!  What can I do to help???
Me: Signing up for BTWD helps all of the local bike organizations by getting a count of the people who commute by bike.  It is a way to stand up and say “I ride my bike for transportation… not just for sport or for fun.”  
Dude behind dude:  I’ll sign up.  
Chick behind Dude behind dude: Me too!
Me to Dude:  You still okay?
Dude: I’m okay.
Dude behind Chick: I’ll sign up! 

Jump forward 2 minutes.  I’ve given fliers to the other 10 people waiting for the light.  I walk back up to Dude.  

Me: Have a great ride!  
Dude:  I’m okay.

Now I don’t really expect to get enthusiastic support from every cyclist for Bike To Work Day… or any other event or initiative that I’m talking about.  This guy definitely had a view that we see a lot in the area… Complete and total focus on himself.  It is cool if you don’t want to talk about cycling stuff.  I get that.  People want their space.  I do tend to push a few buttons to make a point from time to time.  I didn’t expect this guy to change his song after the initial contact.  Him not changing his song actually helped me talk to the other people in line.  

Let’s get onto a good excuse to not sign up for BTWD.

I met a doctor tonight.  He’s a trauma specialist that works specifically with patients that have nerve damage.  HIs skills are unique and he moves between many hospitals every day… sometimes by helicopter because every moment he can save getting to a patient means that he has a higher probability of saving a life or a limb.  

There were others that had great reasons why they couldn’t sign up.  For me, “I’m okay” doesn’t really qualify in that list.  

If we meet face to face and I ask you to sign up and it is something you really don’t want to do, then just lie to me.  Tell me you’ve already signed up.  I’ll thank you and leave you alone.  Better yet, just sign up.   You won’t have to lie and you’ll feel good that you’ve helped the community.  You might even have a bit of fun.  

Nothing wrong with that at all.  

I love and respect you all…. even Dude.  :D


1 comment:

  1. Great stuff Pete! I love your advocacy style.