Most of you would know what these misconceptions are, but I'll repeat some of them anyway:
- Cyclists don't pay vehicle registration, and therefore don't fund the roads.
- Cyclists break road laws more than motorists.
- Cyclists must keep near the kerb, and have no right to 'claim a lane'.
- Cyclists hold up motor traffic, simply by moving at a typical cycling speed.
So how do we correct the above misconceptions, and other similar ones? I've tried:
- Discussing them with family members and work colleagues. I try not to overstep the bounds on this, though, i.e. risk alienating these people by pushing my opinions too hard, I just give them the occasional tactful reminder that the above misconceptions are in fact misconceptions.
- Frequently sending letters to the editors of newspapers. Most of the time, they won't get published, but I do occasionally get lucky.
- Posting pro-cyclist comments on YouTube (I never use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, but I guess they also fall into this general category).
- Posting comments via BNV's online feedback form asking them what they're planning to do about a particular cycling-related issue.
The above, of course, only work on a mass scale if a very large number of people do them. What I would really like is for our so-called 'cycling advocacy' organisations to be more active in the media, because to me they just seem to be ineffective.
So I'd be interested in all your opinions: how do we convince a large number of non-cyclists that we're not all freeloading lawbreakers, and do this in a reasonable timeframe?