Saturday, August 1

Beyond Advocacy

I've often said on this blog that I am "NOT AN ADVOCATE." That's because many, if not most, advocates strike me as people with their hands held out for money that may or may not make things any better at all for cyclists. LAB is merely one of many in this regard.

Still, there are lots of things that each or any of us can do to make things better for cyclists in big or small ways. Good words about new bike racks is one thing I noted here. The bike racks in question were not optimal, but they WORK and are a lot better than anything any of their competitors provide. Similarly, not too long ago I got told that McDonalds did not allow cyclists to go through their drive-through line. The first time I went through, I had no problems. The second time, I was told I could NOT be served "for your safety". BS - if it is dangerous to have a drive through, the business in question should not have one. I have not noticed stories about carnage in McDonalds drive through lines, though I HAVE seen stories about SUVs driving up on sidewalks. In the receipt I got (after going inside), I took the opportunity to indicate that I did not appreciate them groundlessly shutting out cyclists. I got a personal phone call from the franchise owner and, probably because I requested one, a follow-up email.

In many cycling forums, you hear a lot of "advocates" whining that McDonalds is opposed to cyclists. I have NEVER seen any of these whiners get an "official" response. You can see what I got below. IMO, this is beyond advocacy, and it didn't cost the taxpayer a single penny.


GreenComotion said...

Nice one, Steve!
This is about Customer Service.
I am quite happy to read the response of the Franchisee.
I have had very favorable interactions with the BK here in Roswell, GA.
I can walk, rollerblade, paddle board on asphalt, ride on horse and still get my $1 Caramel Sunday :)
Peace :)

Trevor Woodford said...

A good result to a reasonable request Steve.....

Khal said...

Word, Steve.

Justine Valinotti said...

One thing I have learned, both as a cyclist and a transsexual woman, is that the real advocacy happens in our daily interactions with people. Steve's experience with the McDonald's franchise is an example of that.

cafiend said...

Advocacy with a capital A is often just another example of how people would rather hand off to a professional -- or scrape off on a servant -- things they think are too complicated or are beneath them. It's much easier to send or spend money than to make contact and present an articulate case for one's particular interest. However, Advocacy groups fill a role in the political process at the legislative level to keep genuine opponents of cycling from passing hostile laws that would trap riders on closed courses out of the way of the busy, important people who matter. And they can produce some large, public efforts like PSA advertising and broad educational programs.

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