Author Topic: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!  (Read 2180 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« on: April 27, 2018, 01:59:01 PM »
I am about to start a very exciting short-term contract with a local cycling advocacy group as coordinator for a few different programs they run, such as:
- community workshops for people to learn bike maintenance skills (emphasis on older adults who have a bike but haven't used it in years)
- guided bike rides (again, emphasis on getting people aged 55+ comfortable with riding or back in to riding)
- the bike recycling program (getting people to donate bikes, finding organizations to give the bikes to, and recruiting volunteer bike mechanics)

I feel mostly ok with the programming itself, but my main concern is adequate promotion and marketing. As an active, engaged cyclist in this town, I've often found out about cool events *after* they happen, so clearly there's a bit of a gap between organizing and promoting. I really want to try to overcome this. As the target audience is 55+, I really have to think outside the box in terms of how to reach those people. So I come to you seeking help, because the forum hive mind is infinitely wise.

So far I have a list for places to promote created from brainstorming with my parents (older people who have bikes but stopped using them ~10 years ago), my sister (avid cyclist) and some friends (coincidentally, I am only friends with avid cyclists). Here goes:
- mailing lists that older people are on (possibly something sent out by a government department or council? Can tie in with health/social benefits)
- Rotary, Lions clubs etc
- city council
- library noticeboard
- liquor stores, brewery (posters on public noticeboard)
- retirement homes
- local restaurants that have a more senior clientele
- men's sheds (not sure if there is one in town), habitat for humanity, gardening/woodwork clubs
- fliers/posters on popular bike routes; fliers to tie around people's handlebars (this would be more for the bike maintenance workshops, or finding volunteer mechanics)
- local military base newsletter
- recreation centres/yoga studios
- kijiji (under the community/events/free category)
- local multicultural centre (get people new to Canada set up with a bike, a maintenance workshop and a guided tour of the city)
- the mall (mall walkers!)
- local bike stores

Any other suggestions would be hugely appreciated! And batsignalling the following folks who have all been mentioned as good resources: @monstermonster @GuitarStv @Stasher @GT


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 09:37:39 PM »
Congrats on getting the job.

As mentioned in your own thread the stuff that is missing is Social Media, socmed.  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on.

For me, Twitter and Instagram (I don't do stalkface) are how I find out about stuff like rides/bikecamping/races/secondhand sales.  55+ people are definately on Facebook as they use that to keep track of their kids and grandkids lives.

I still follow Bike User Groups (BUGs) in Brisbane and am following some of the relevant ones here in Melbourne, so that keeps me in touch with advocacy, though I'm yet to do anything relevant here in VIC.  I have a couple of stores I buy stuff from that have socmed that I follow so get knowledge about rides and bikepacking events.  And then there's the clubs I follow for info about races.


  • Bristles
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Re: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 09:41:09 PM »
Since the target audience is 55+ I would make an effort to include ebikes.  As an ebike shop, those are my main customers.  They tend to her very enthusiastic about their bikes and love group rides and events.

Le Poisson

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Re: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2018, 07:02:02 AM »
If you are looking for old bikes to be re-built, don't overlook recycling centres and the dump. Sometimes perfectly fine, but older bikes are dropped off as trash. Even if the bikes aren't fine, you can likely recycle them for parts.

If you have a scrap metal yard, offer them scrap value for the bikes.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2018, 10:42:13 AM »
Thanks Prospy, GT and k-vette!

Social media will definitely be a big part of it, I'm looking forward to either starting or rebooting a languishing Instagram account. Bikes are so instagrammable! I'll have to check if they have a twitter handle or if there's one I can start up specifically for these programs.

I have a friend who is incredibly skilled at finding stuff on the side of the road, which often includes bikes. I'm definitely telling her to keep her eyes peeled for me. And the dump is a good idea too, I wonder if I can put a sign up there promoting the scheme. I'm sure people would rather get a $25 donation receipt than pay to get rid of their bike.

I agree e-bikes and recumbent bikes are an interesting prospect for older people. I'm not sure if any of the local bike shops sell them, as our town is pretty small and a lot of a the bike paths don't allow any sort of powered vehicle. But it's still worth investigating and including.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 09:49:41 AM »
Hands down for the cycling community is create a simple wordpress based blog for your group

Then create a facebook page (here you post news, updates,events etc) for it as well as the community page based off the main page where the members can all chat and post their own content and network.

Instagram is more important than twitter, develop a hashtag for the group and encourage your riders/friends/colleaques to use it when they ride, then share their images.

I don't have an Instagram account for our club yet as honestly I'm avoiding it because I am too damn busy with my other stuff. Here is our Facebook page so you can see what we are up to

As for 55+ , here locally anyhow, the 55 age crowd are huge MTB and Roadbike users. They are all using Strava and Trailforks so they aren't tech or media adverse


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 01:25:00 PM »
How about the local newspaper, as an insert?  Newspaper readers are getting fewer - and older.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Cycling advocacy gurus, lend me your ideas!
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 08:12:51 AM »
Meetup might have some cycling related groups/events in your area