Bike Hate and Individual Advocacy: Solved!

At one time, I did engage in individual advocacy which was trying to convince people to live their lives in better ways.

I naively figured that if I could meet their objections with facts, I could convince people of anything.

The joke was on me.

There were many things I did not know about how people make decisions. I still feel that I am scratching the surface.

However, here’s one thing I learned today, the more someone hates an activity, the more someone will feel that it’s dangerous and not beneficial to society.

I learned this from the the excellent: _Thinking Fast and Slow_.

Although, I had long suspected this fact, now it’s confirmed. I wrote earlier about how people would come to me with horror stories about how someone they knew was hurt by cycling. Usually the person in the story was an idiot, but since they were family members or something, it would be polite to point this out.

Thus, I’d suffer through story after story of death.

Now I realize that this is just their soft way of telling me that they don’t like cycling. Which is a silly thing to do because I really don’t care what they think about my cycling.

This is because I don’t believe in individual advocacy. This does not work.

What am I going to do, talk to each and every person? That would take forever!

Ironically, people accuse me of trying to get them to bicycle all the time.

Last night, I met a guy hiking who accused me of this.

He said, “you are trying to get me to ride a bike.”

I said, literally, not a paraphrase:

1. I don’t engage in individual advocacy.

2. I’m not an advocate at all, though I support their efforts.

Then he said, “But HOW can I ride a bike?”

I told him NOT to ride a bike because it was too dangerous and impractical in San Diego.

He continued his rant on how cycling was too hard due to our hills.

I pointed out, twice, that we had this problem licked in the 1800’s due to advancements in construction and explosives technology.

I pointed out that the freeway that he drove on was a very low grade. I asked him if he had noticed.

He blathered about hills around his house.

I dropped the topic after that.

This morning, when I read a section of _Thinking Fast and Slow_, it clicked.

He didn’t want to be convinced to ride a bike like he claimed.

He wanted to be able to put up sufficient excuses that is to meet my facts with enough objections so he felt “justified” in driving his car because otherwise, he would feel guilty.

I’m not a priest. If you feel guilty driving a car, don’t do it.

Or do it and be guilty.

I don’t care what you do.

I love everyone in the world.

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2 Responses to “Bike Hate and Individual Advocacy: Solved!”

  1. Steve A Says:

    “I’m not a priest. If you feel guilty driving a car, don’t do it.”

    At the risk of appearing irreverent, I’ll say “amen to that!” And ditto if he simply doesn’t want to ride a bike. Walking is still allowed.

  2. Fred Says:

    Yes, I think that walk _should_ be allowed, but currently with the dignity stripping commute I have, it’s not really a decent option.

    Thus, government intervention, in building a road, made walking really difficult, inconvenient, and dangerous.

    Again, I suggest either going all the way and making walking good again, or defuding the roads and letting the whole thing go back to hiking and mountain biking trails.

    Current levels of spending just make walking (and cycling for most of us) suck.

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