The politics of cycling

Cyclists. They’re nothing but a bunch of Green-voting, latte-sipping, inner-city trendoids with an over-developed sense of entitlement.

That’s what you’d think if you believed much of the media coverage given to cycling in the past few years. From shock jocks to tabloid TV shows to newspaper columnists, there's always someone ready to have a go at cyclists.

Especially media organisations that favour the conservative side of politics.

How to become a cycling 'ambassador'

There is a rather unlikely new vogue word in cycling circles: ambassador.

I'm trying to get the images of the Ferrero Rocher ad out of my head (the euro-kitsch classic in which those almost inedible bonbons are handed round by flunkies at an embassy party: "Monsieur, with these Rocher, you're really spoiling us"), because actually the cycling ambassadorial role is a fine and noble one.

How to jumpstart and maintain a lively cycling advocacy group

Working daily with budding bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders throughout the US and Canada, I've seen many organizations spark and fizzle while others develop into a lasting flame.

So what separates the groups whose fire is short-lived from those that go on for decades and go on to win big victories for biking and walking rights?

Here are five tips that healthy, lively, and long-lasting advocacy groups almost always follow.


The Best American Magazine Writing 2009: Insights for Cycling advocates

David Darlington's stirring narrative shows the devastating price paid by cyclists when the legal system and society fail to hold drivers accountable for deadly recklessness on our roads.

This article hits home on the issues for advocates in preventing/responding to tragic collisions by motorists with cyclists...

Advocacy for active transport: advocate and city council perspectives in NZ


Effective advocacy is an important part of efforts to increase population participation in physical activity. Research about effective health advocacy is scarce, however, the health sector can learn from the experiences and knowledge of community advocates and those who are on the receiving end of this advocacy. The aim of this study is to explore advocacy for active transport from the perspectives of community advocates and representatives from City councils.

TRAFINZ eNewsletter October 2009

TRAFINZ 2009 brought together over 200 transport professionals and practitioners in Auckland from September 6-9 to discuss the future of land transport, road safety, and planning our cities and towns.

Three Big Themes from the Conference

Theme 1 Transport Future

There was a clear clash of world views between speakers thinking the future will be very like the last 50 years in terms of how we get around, and those who say the world will change and New Zealand risks being left behind. Whatever your world view, the message was scenario planning, New Zealand is not currently in that space.

Theme 2 Safety

We know we will fail horribly in meeting the objectives of the current 2010 Road Safety Strategy. This year 420 – 430 people will die on our roads, the target next year is to get under 300! Transport Minister Steven Joyce said safety is a key element of the increased state highway investment programme. He also discussed ‘Safer Journeys 2020’ saying ‘I want an action plan out of it’. Disappointingly he said of the 60 initiatives proposed ‘it is not Government’s intention to introduce anywhere near all of those items’.

Theme 3 Cities are for People

Keynote speaker Phil Jones from the UK told attendees about Home Zones (UK) or Woonerf (Neth) making streets places for people to be rather than merely to move through. Roads are just to go ‘through’. Movement - design function is to ‘save time’. Public realm - design function is to ‘spend time'. Phil said cycling is a bit of a neglected mode in NZ, cycling needs to become an everyday normal mode, not a lycra thing.

Creating Effective Submissions

A general guide for Cyclists on submissions

  Creating Effective Submissions

  • Submissions are an important part of getting cycling needs heard
  • You don't have to be technical expert or brilliant word smith to be effective (but it helps for some specialist consultations)
  • It is more important to follow a few common rules and add your personal touch

Types of submissions