Friday, March 05, 2010

Advocacy Irritations and being 'full of sh*t'

The Long Beach Cyclists Book Group is currently reading chapters from Cycling and Society (2007), by Paul Rosen, Peter Cox, and David Horton. One of the chapters we haven't reviewed yet is Chapter 4, "Hell is Other Cyclists." This cute riff on Sartre's "L'enfer, c'est les autres" has been on my mind recently, as I become more knowledgeable about bike advocacy and more irritated by some of its practitioners.

I will write more about this later, as I can't figure out exactly how to write about it now, beyond saying that damn, advocacy people can drive me up a wall...


The funny thing is I wrote this BEFORE Umberto Brayj told me I was full of 'sh*t' for saying something he didn't agree with in an lastreetsblog comment.

And the disheartening thing is that first, I hadn't posted to lastreetsblog before, that I can think of. And second, that Umberto, or whatever his name is, started the Bike Kitchen and Flying Pigeon store in Lincoln Heights.

The worst thing is that I seriously had been fantasizing about getting a Flying Pigeon from his store. At this point, I doubt I'll set foot in his store, let alone buy anything from the guy.

And this perfectly illustrates my point about Hell is Other Cyclists. In this case, a pretty famous guy in the LA scene, who has done a LOT of good and is doing a lot of good, but this is the way he chooses to respond to someone he doesn't agree with, someone he has never met. Not cool. Not encouraging.

Perhaps I am just ignorant and full of 'sh*t.' But I think we can be advocates for cycling in general, and our positions in particular, without calling each other names when we disagree.

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