I joined the Bike League this month. There are two reasons I joined.
The first reason is that I know that cycling education can make things safer for any cyclist, regardless of experience level and available infrastructure, and it is the ONLY step a cyclist can personally take to BE safer while riding. Need I repeat? Alone amongst national bicycle organizations, the Bike League has an organized program to teach cycling, and to certify the instructors, and its program has a sound basis. This may change some day, but for now, in Texas, LAB is it. While PM Summer and I may not agree on all things, just today, he advised: "I recommend that San Antonio's bicycle coordinator contact a local LCI (League Cycling Instructor) in order to learn how to ride safely and confidently. She'll be glad she did." THAT says it all. Thanks, PM. What's more, that is good advice for pretty much anybody. I know I've picked up useful information from each unofficial and offical Bike Ed I've had, and I've been riding longer than my loyal reader has been alive.
The second reason is you have to join to become a certified instructor. LCI class is next weekend.
So, in reality, if someone wants to know why I joined, and why I don’t quit, I’ll pinch a scene from “AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN,” where Officer Candidate Mayo, when harassed by the Gunnery Sergeant about why he doesn’t just quit, yells back “I got nowhere else to go!” Actually, that’s a pretty good reason, and I can think of quite a few people I respect who belong, and remain in LAB, for exactly that reason. I know others that have left LAB because of the feelgood mumbo jumbo and because LAB has drifted from its roots, but, in my mind, I'll put up with that because it retains the one element that cyclists can take advantage of to proactively make a choice to be safer. And nobody else has that element.