I’ve been thinking about the whole world of advocacy recently. If you’re reading this, you probably know that I bong on about responsible riding, letter writing, going to meetings and producing things like The Advocacy Files a fair bit. Sorry if it’s tiresome. Not sorry really.
But is it all wasted effort?
Again, if you’re reading this you probably recognise the value of the work of groups like Peak District MTB, Ride Sheffield, Open MTB and dare I say it, KoftheP.
You are the echo chamber.
But does it really make a jot of difference if such a huge proportion of riders either don’t know about the effort being put in, or more worryingly – simply don’t care?
It’s a very fine line; being seen as a trusted guide or the bloody “fun police”.
And god knows those of us heavily involved in advocacy work hate being called the bloody fun police.
Folks, we’ve all been there, we’ve all ridden it. We just recognise what can come from some give and take. And we’re the ones in the room finally having the conversations which are making the difference to access. There are, however, shedloads of people online who couldn’t give a monkeys’.
So let’s assume that all of you reading this think that advocacy – the boring stuff – is worthwhile. What can you all do to help? Well, there’s the obvious step of getting involved in a dig day or chipping money into a crowd fund [do it, bloody important and really worthwhile!]. But what about the less obvious stuff? Share the message, advise online, have the argument with the ‘i ride where I like crowd’ and help promote what it’s all about. What do you reckon you can do? Individual? Media folk? What can you do?
It’s not all about ‘the end’. Sometimes it’s about the ‘means to an…’
Do you know what? Screw it, be the bloody fun police, cos the fun police are fighting FOR fun, not against it, and if you join the force you’ll get even better biking sooner than you might think.
Nee nar, nee nar.