What is mountain bike advocacy?
“Advocacy. Bloody boring. But when it comes good, it’s the best thing in the world.”
For us lot involved in mountain bike advocacy, there is a lot of dull stuff we need to do: spending time in meetings, talking on the phone, emails bouncing back and forth, negotiation with land owners and managers and mediation between the mountain bike community we represent and those we need to convince that we’re a “good thing”.
We could be out riding our bikes instead!
Advocacy can be bloody hard sometimes, occasionally frustrating, often slow progress. But when there’s success, it’s a great, great feeling,..
One of the projects we’ve been beavering away with is trying to open up more access for mountain bikers on the Roaches Estate in the South West Peak District. With the help of Jon Rowe at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust – and the cooperation of Natural England – we secured a 12 month trial of a new permissive cycleway, plugging a gap in the rights of way network for mountain bikers.
The other weekend we held an open day to talk to the public – other users of the Roaches Estate – about the advocacy work we do and why they might see a few more mountain bikers about. There’s loads of news about this project on our website (just search for ‘Roaches’), but rather than read about it, check out this fantastic little video created by one of our members Dan Blaney. It perfectly illustrates advocacy in action. This is why we do it.
Thanks again to Dan Blaney for giving up his time and skills to put together this great little video. Keep an eye out for his Wharncliffe documentary later this year.