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Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day at Vanderbilt

This was by far the most receptive group with which I have dealt.  Sharing a ride with Tom assured we got there and set up 30 min before the official start. Even so, I didn't have a chance to survey the other exhibits before people began approaching  us.  The message was easy, statewide group advocating for better infrastructure, laws and culture to advance walking and cycling as legitimate forms of transportation and if you like that, join us. We have had enough recent issues to make specific pitches to each person's interests.  Bike Walk Tennessee is an easier sell than the 3-feet license plate. About the only people expressing any interest for the license plate had already ordered.

One message repeatedly came back to us.  Cyclists are behaving badly in downtown Nashville. Even among folks who considered themselves regular cyclists, there is a concern for how we are a bunch of scofflaws.  Some were knowledgeable enough to give us a pass on the homeless, etc. but will hold our feet to the fire when it's the guys in full kit blowing though red lights and swerving in and out of lines of stalled traffic.   I'll admit to doing all that before becoming a role model.  We must spread the word that we are all role models.  As Tom has mentioned in an email, this is  perfect example of education for the 501(c)3.

Even if none of the folks sign up, it was a good experience. I encourage all the directors to take advantage of similar opportunities.  Group bike rides seem a good place to sell Bike Walk Tennessee but it is much better to meet people in venues such as the Vanderbilt Clean Air Fair.

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