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Aside from writing items here on occasions, I also provide cycling performance improvement services via coaching, aerodynamics testing and host a cycling tour.

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The Confusion of Cycling Advocacy in Australia

The Confusion of Cycling Advocacy in Australia

Saw a Facebook post today promoting yet another cycling advocacy group in Australia. The Coalition of Cyclists, via change.org. No doubt set up in response to the latest anti-cycling nonsense being promoted via social media.

Yawn. OK, I don't mean to be mean but yeah, let's start yet another cycling advocacy group. This one is sure to be listened to, right?

Wrong.

Cycling advocacy is such a jumbled mess of mixed messages in Australia. We have about 35 cycling advocacy groups at state/national level. How about they all get their shite together? That would be a more effective coalition.

Some organisations have advocacy as their primary objective, for others it is just one part of their remit, e.g. Cycling Australia and their affiliate state bodies are primarily about the sport of cycle racing, but many also have advocacy on their agenda or they seek to be the peak body in the state for all cycling (just look at the Cycling NSW strategic plan for an example).

I won't go into the detail on the issues since others with a passion and are better informed on the history have discussed this before.

Here's a item by Craig Fry from 2014 which sums it up pretty well:
Cycling advocacy in Australia: a minority movement or much more?

and this item by Mike O'Reilly
Cycling lobby groups: Who represents your interests as a bicycle rider?

Do I have an answer?
No, which is unfortunate as complaining without offering solution isn't overly productive. But this is just my personal musings.

I suppose my main message to anyone looking to set up another cycling advocacy group is to ask yourself - what is it that you are going to do that the other 35 groups are not already or can't? Perhaps your enthusiasm might be better directed at working to bring these groups together, to find a common voice.

When I last looked a few years ago these were the groups at state/national level which had cycling advocacy on their agenda (not including local community advocacy groups, bicycle user groups etc). No doubt some have disappeared while others have popped into existence like a quantum virtual particles. If your group is not on the list, please don't be offended. But given the mass of organisations out there it's not surprising I may have missed a few.

List of Australian Cycling Advocacy Organisations

In Alphabetical order:

  1. Amy Gillett Foundation
  2. Australian Bicycle Council
  3. Australian Cycle Alliance
  4. Australian Cyclists Party
  5. Bicycle Federation of Australia
  6. Bicycle Network
  7. Bicycle Network Australia
  8. Bicycle NSW
  9. Bicycle Queensland
  10. Bicycle Tasmania
  11. Bicycle Transport Alliance
  12. Bicycling Western Australia
  13. Bike SA
  14. Bike Safe
  15. Bike Sydney
  16. Coalition of Cyclists
  17. Critical Mass Australia
  18. Cycling ACT
  19. Cycling Australia 
  20. Cycling Northern Territory
  21. Cycling New South Wales
  22. Cycling Promotion Fund
  23. Cycling Queensland
  24. Cycling South Australia
  25. Cycling Tasmania
  26. Cycling Victoria
  27. Cycling Western Australia
  28. Cyclists Rights Action Group
  29. Freedom Cyclist
  30. Freestyle Cyclists
  31. Helmet Freedom
  32. Pedal Power ACT
  33. Repeal Mandatory Bicycle Helmet Laws
  34. Safe Cycling Australia
  35. Upright Bicycle Riders Association of Australia

See what I mean?

Safe riding everyone!

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