Bike Friendly Richardson

Wanted: Non-Sport Bicycle Advocacy Leader

Posted in Advocacy by dickdavid on November 27, 2009

I’ll be doing a write-up about the inaugural ride later. But first, I thought I would put forth a request to the Richardson bicycling public.

I have been called out by a person named pista on the DORBA bicycle blog that I am not qualified to lead this group of bicycle advocacy for non-sport cycling in Richardson. Quite frankly, I cannot disagree with him. As you’ll read in my DORBA post:

I challenge pista or anybody with the proper ‘experience’ to take the reigns and roll with running BFR – with my blessing and support. I only started BFR because I felt there was a need for non-sport representation in Richardson, and nobody else has stepped up.

My experience with road cycling is, admittedly, limited. You can read more about it on my other blog, Suburban Assault. However, I have been cycling for many years and I’m also aware of the concerns that many ‘new’ road cyclists have with gaining the confidence to start riding – mainly because I am newer to the road and I share their perspective.

To be honest, I’m not sure what experience is needed to start a group that wants to bring bicycle awareness to their town. Who decides that? I’m just a guy who wants like minded people to get organized and generate bicycle awareness.

Also, my goal with BFR is to not be a solo run organization. I welcome anybody who supports advocacy for the non-sport cyclist. I’m a facilitator hoping that those more ‘experienced’ folks can have a platform to build from. BFR can only be as strong as those who participate in the group.

The only prerequisite the folks at Bike Friendly Oak Cliff had for me to start up BFR was that I follow their same goals to support non-sport cycling. That has and always will be the goal of BFR.

I hope that everybody understands my intentions for BFR. I hope that it grows beyond me and that, in some way, I can say I was a part of something great.

Until somebody can step up, I’ll hold down the fort, do my best to not mislead and work as hard as I can to build the group.

21 Responses

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  1. bibliosk8 said, on November 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I thought today’s ride was fun. I think BFR can and will probably bring out a different kind of cyclist than they typical DORBA member. I have nothing but respect for DORBA.

    I was super stoked to see that guy from the City of Richardson’s Traffic and Transportation department there. I thought that was very positive. A guy who said he hasn’t ridden a bike in about 30 years, who works in a relevant department, out riding with us. THAT is positive – a city employee getting to see the city from the casual cyclist’s point of view.

    Pista’s initial comments over on DORBA were, of course, just negative bunk, and detract from the spirit of his later points. If he’s a DORBA member, he represents them very poorly. I’d check it further, but I’m not going to spend an more time on it.

    You handled it very well over there.

    • dickdavid said, on November 27, 2009 at 9:27 pm

      Cheers, Bob. I love your perspective on things. It helps keep me motivated.

  2. Wendy said, on November 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I’m with Bob all the way.

  3. dickdavid said, on November 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    The guy from COR was Dave Carter, who completely impressed me by joining the ride. His efforts there and with the city, give me hope that cycling has a great future in Richardson.

  4. Eric said, on November 27, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Seriously, don’t let this get you down. Do your thing with BFR, have fun, ride. Period.

    And if you wanna organize, then do it. When people follow, then your a leader. Just respect your followers.

    • dickdavid said, on November 27, 2009 at 9:25 pm

      Thanks Eric. I have nothing but RESPECT towards anybody who loves cycling. I choose to do my best for anybody who wants to move cycling forward.

  5. bibliosk8 said, on November 27, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I’d like to respond to one of Pista’s statements, that Bike Friendly Oak Cliff has “extended its brand”. Its my understanding, and I think I’m right on this, that Richard checked out BFOC, liked what they were doing, and wanted to do the same thing in Richardson. He was respectful enough about what they were doing that he actually coordinated with them, rather than just stealing their idea.

    A class-act all the way. Richard did this the right way, which is why there were BFOC at our ride today.

  6. bibliosk8 said, on November 27, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    However, if Jeff actually takes the reigns, I quit!!!

  7. Will said, on November 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    You know what, you may not be the most experienced rider, but you are one of the few out there who was willing to stand up and do something to advocate cycling in the area. And that kind of initiative and desire for advocacy can mean more than experience, so long as you’re willing to learn the things you do not know, to share the things you do, and to know when to ask for help.

    So far, you seem to be doing fine on those fronts.

    Two cents deposited.

    • dickdavid said, on November 28, 2009 at 12:08 am

      Thanks. Your words are very inspirational. I just want what’s best for the bike community and I’ll do whatever it takes. BFR is only as good as the group that supports it. So far, it looks like it’s off to a great start.

  8. Myles/ rattrappress said, on November 28, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I would say don’t worry about it, but if you’re like me you’ll be pissed off for a while. First of all what is the “requisite experience” for a position that didn’t exist before you created it. Second, who at DORBA does Golman think you need to learn from before you start the excruciatingly difficult, mentally exhausting (yes, I’m being sarcastic) task of organizing a social ride and inviting city officials to attend? I think you are well on your way to being an effective advocate for cycling in your city. In this situation I think initiative is more important than meeting some ill mannered, random guy’s undefined qualifications. My guess is that you probably won’t have anybody step up to take over BFR. If you run into a situation where you need highly experienced advice, you already have a group of people that you can call on. Please carry on.

    • dickdavid said, on November 28, 2009 at 12:39 am

      Thanks, Myles.
      This opinion of one, although a bit deflating to my enthusiasm form today’s ride, carries some merit. Like with what the leaders and members of BFOC, I want what’s best for Richardson.
      I will always leave this invitation on the table and hope that as this group grows, great leadership will emerge.

      BFR is not ME. It’s US – the cycling community.

  9. Michael said, on November 28, 2009 at 1:03 am

    It’s day one, and you’ve got your first official hater. Congrats. Get used to it, there will always be that one heckler until the end of time.

    I think what you are doing is awesome. Nothing better than being proactive.

    No need to ever doubt yourself or feel you need to meet any standards/qualifications. You’re stepping up the plate and that’s what matters.

    A wise friend of mine once told me “it’s because you enjoy(ed) it..for the fun of it… that’s what got you on a bike in the first place”.

    Keep it up. Ride Strong.

  10. Sean said, on November 28, 2009 at 5:42 am

    The comments above do an excellent job of saying you are on the right track. I just want to add my voice to the chorus of good job and keep up the good work!

  11. Chrissy said, on November 28, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Richard, you did a fab job organizing this event & it was a super fun ride with a GREAT turn out!! Try not to let this guy get you down. It was wonderful to have such a mix of people who have the same focus… ride your bike & have fun!

  12. mannytmoto said, on November 28, 2009 at 10:03 am

    You guys are right on track, and don’t let any amount of detractors slow your efforts. The funny thing is, the naysayers actually embolden us, and If I had a dime for everyone that put me or BFOC down when we started, we could install bike racks throughout the city. Standing up means you’re going to take arrows…it comes with the territory. Keep up the great work!

    Jason Roberts
    Bike Friendly Oak Cliff

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
    Edmund Burke

  13. JaegerWulf said, on November 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Yeah, they’ve all said good stuff, but I want to point out one more thing.

    If you started this with a crap load of experience, you would begin with a “know-it-all” mentality. That would put you in a concrete position and that would not be conducive to working with the city and with bicyclists.

    Instead, you have begun with a “I want to improve our city” mentality and the idea that you still have a lot to learn. That gives you a quality conducive to adaptability and learning the many ways that Richardson can be improved.

    You want this quality. You want to be able to learn from your mistakes and move forward. Richardson isn’t Oak Cliff, isn’t Plano, isn’t Dallas Proper, isn’t Fort Worth, etc. Richardson is it’s own city with its own visions, ideas, problems, and solutions. Continue what you’re doing. Continue to learn and continue to improve, both yourself, this organization, and your city.

    We’ll help you along the way πŸ™‚

  14. JaegerWulf said, on November 28, 2009 at 10:24 am

    Oh, yeah, one more thing…. Give me a darned write-up of the ride (with pictures!!!). I wasn’t able to make it so I demand a way to live vicariously through the interwebs!

    See, just another person demanding something of you. Gawd… we’re horrible!!! Ha!

    • dickdavid said, on November 28, 2009 at 1:15 pm

      It’s coming. Right now, my wife has me on garage clean up duty, mixed with busting out the holiday decorations. LOL!

  15. Rod said, on November 28, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Just keep trying to help and don’t give up. Looks like one person made a difference for at least a day.

  16. Bill Johnson said, on November 29, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    I “live” on DORBA as a mountain biker and a commuter. I understand both Cycle Dallas’ view on commuting/bike riding and I understand Austin on two wheel’s view. Both think they are right and the other is wrong.

    I believe that both do not need to be wrong. We can all work to build a better cycling community in the Dallas area, build awareness for bicycles on the roads, in the bike lanes, on the bike trails. BFR seems to be looking to go toward that end… Let’s keep it up and see where it goes.

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