9“Government must help to eliminate cars so that bicycles can help to eliminate government.” Dutch Bicycle Advocacy Slogan
Just as various governments have more control than others, so do federal and municipal governments worldwide have various funds, programs, and policies regarding road use by bicyclists. Contrast Chinese bike use with a Dutchman’s commute. From a highly organized network of bike lanes to bicycle-prioritized boulevards to gravel roads which span a continent, ride experience changes across borders.
Governments worldwide are awakening to planning and maintaining roads with us in mind. A connection between energy resources, health, and economic issues that’s always been obvious to cyclists as road-users is at the forefront of societal trends but perhaps not prioritized as a policy everywhere. Bicycle commuters and cyclo-tourism benefit when road planning for us is part of government planning. Bike racers benefit in training from these potentially safer streets and awareness by drivers. We rely on government highway authorities.
The coordination of all the municipalities and agencies is a huge task to make bicycle policy. Likewise, getting a bike race promoted requires liaison with all sorts of government officials. Incentives include tourist dollars, public relations, sponsor exposure, conservation, and traffic control. It requires cash to pay for it. It also requires patrols to monitor it.
The police sirens of every nation blare distinctive warnings in their protective, directive duty. From a French two-beat blare in a minor key to the tranquilo tunes of Mexican police autos, you can hear a peloton coming like heads of state in a caravan!
Share the Road signs warn the American motorist to watch out for us. Perhaps it can remind us as we ride that the responsibility for enabling our especially beloved form of motion is shared with Big Brother everywhere. Us means government and police involvement with cycling in infrastructure, race promotion, sponsorship, and bicycle governance.
Prayer for Government & Police
“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.” 101 Timothy 2:1-2
We confess we take for granted so much as we sling a leg over a top tube to take a ride on the road. We ask for government interest and cooperation in cycling and our safety. We ask blessing on government as they legislate and administrate us.
Ponder What is my government doing for cycling? Affirm I ask not only what government is doing for cycling, but what I as a cyclist am doing for government. Watch Big Brother back and share the rule.
9“Bicycle Quotes,” from Bicycle Humor! Posted on www.atlantabike.org and taken from The Quotable Cyclist: Great Moments of Bicycling Wisdom, Inspiration and Humor by Bill Strickland published by Breakaway Books Series
10The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson