I’m known for saying that mountain biking is not just like other forms of biking, only on dirt. Bike lanes, gravel paths and dirt roads are not what we are looking for. Nor are bike lanes, sharrows or 3′ passing laws. We want single track, lots of it. We want bike parks with lots of jumps and interesting features. For all intents and purposes we should be viewed as another activity entirely.

That being said, if the only way to get someone started talking about mountain biking is to first get them talking about cycling, then lets talk about bike lanes, cycling path, and such.

Just as their are advocates for mountain biking, there are a number of organization who advocate for "road" cycling. I use the scare quotes to indicate that they are normally advocating for more than just what we’d call roadies. They are fighting for eduction of motorists, passing distance laws, bike lanes, sharrows, etc. They want people to feel safe riding their bike so that more people will do it, regardless of whether it is for sport, recreation, commuting or utility.

In the US, IMBA and the League of American Bicyclists have partenred for many years on issues at a Federal level that concern both organzations. Each year there is a Bike Summit in Washing DC where cyclists are in front of legislators for a few days making their case. Right here in Ontario we have a similar organization: The Share the Road Coalition. They’d like to establish a similar relationship with IMBA Canada that IMBA and The League have. We’re making progress towards that. In fact we recently had staff at the Ontario Bike Summit in Ottawa.

The Share the Road Coalition has launched another program, The Active Communities Pledge.

The Active Communities Pledge is an initiative of Share the Road Cycling Coalition to encourage voters and candidates to be champions for cycling and active transportation in the upcoming October 6 provincial election.

I’d like to encourage all Ontarian cyclists (road or dirt) to take it. Why? Well if we don’t let it be known that we actually do support such things then how will the politicians, bureaucrats and other decision makers know that we want better infrastructure and resources for all types of cycling? They won’t, and the money will go somewhere else. With this being a Provincial election year the time is ideal to let your voice be heard. Leveraging traditional and social media we’ll get our voice out there.

I’ve already taken the pledge, will you? I certainly hope so.