Cycling in Melbourne Australia
Are there other Bicycle Victoria members who, like me, find it unethical that the peak state cycling body accepts sponsorship for a bicycle event from the peak state motoring body?
I know that not all cyclists are environmentalists, but allowing the motoring lobby to apparently "greenwash" their image by promoting cycling as a leisure activity (as opposed to transport) needs to be questioned, if only to ensure there is justification.
Why do I say this is greenwashing? For example, where are the RACV dollars for the Transport Bike Picnic? There have been times the motoring lobby has opposed bicycle infrastructure, and the bicycle movement frequently opposes motoring works. In this light, isn't this naming rights deal hypocrisy at best?
Send an email to BV explaining that you want to stop being a member unless they change their policies. I regularly send them one saying I will never become a member because of things they do like offering a car as a prize for one of their competitions, or RACV and VicRoads sponsorship of their various events.
What we need is a peak body that actually represents the needs of cyclists, and isn't just focussed on raising money while not rocking the boat.
I communicate my dissent, but I'm sort of hamstrung over the membership issue due to feeling safer with the insurance that comes with membership. (Insurance I probably wouldn't need if there were no stinking cars.)
I'm wondering if we could gather a few hundred "angry cyclists" together, along with industry, to campaign for a more cycle-friendly naming rights sponsor for future events. Make it clear that there is no good business for BV in being supported by the motor lobby. Maybe try and get a manufacturer on-side. Avanti GVBR or Trek GVBR sounds a lot better than RACV GVBR (and does the industry some good, too.) Much more positive and mainstream accessible if we show reasonable alternatives.
But the RACV is also an organisation that:
- operates resorts.
- provides comprehensive and third party property and motor vehicle insurance, home and contents insurance, boat, caravan and trailer insurance, landlord insurance, farm and business insurance, home security, financial services and personal loans.
Would you like BV to also reject sponsorship from all other resort operators and insurance companies?
I would have thought that RACV members are better educated about driving with cyclists than the general motoring public, so I am not motorists becoming RACV members isn't a good thing for cyclists.
The objection to the RACV is that the RACV is the mouthpiece of the car lobby. Their other operations are irrelevant to the issue. If other resort operators or insurance companies were also lobbying the government to follow car-centric policies then yes, BV should reject their sponsorship too.
In a way, yes. If you believe in a sustainable environment, the motor car is one of the biggest drains on resources. Not just oil, or coal in the case of electric cars, but all manner of resources at every stage of a car's life, including disposal.
So, with no criticism of you, or anybody who has been sold the magical thinking that 7 billion people can all have 2 tonnes of steel and plastic and the world will be fine (hell, I was sucked in by it in the past), the RACV are campaigning for the end of the world as we know it and ignore the consequences.
So yes, your driving interests (and mine and everybody else's) are at odds with your cycling interests.
The core business of the RACV is to represent motoring interests to the authorities, all other aspects of their business are irrelevant to that core business. The core business of Bicycle Victoria is to represent the interests of cyclists to the authorities. Aside from any other interests either organisation may reasonably and legally represent, those core business positions are in conflict. I would argue that RACV members should perhaps be as unhappy with this deal as I am.
I have a life, a great one, and made great by cycling instead of driving. Because I have a life, I also have a moral imperative to defend that life against what I perceive to be factors which undermine it. I live in a democracy, I believe in the rule of law and I believe our social institutions have a responsiblity to remain true to their legally registered core purposes.
I respect your right to be happy with the RACV arrangement, please respect my right to believe it's wrong. If you want to be politically active in campaigning for the arrangement, bring it, that's democracy and I welcome reasoned resistance. However, I will still try to rally those who, like me, think this is a conflict of interest. I find the simplistic judgmentalism of "get a life" to be trite, unreasoned and little more than a personal attack.
(Declaration: while I don't own a car, I do have to drive on occasion, largely because our society is so severly car-centric that some alternatives are either not available, not legal or not practicable.)