Ah, Spring is in the air! Seems like articles about cycling are in bloom as well. As a public service to those who have publication that have not written an article about people commuting by bicycle, we present the following media template:
You will first need to find a local cyclist who is willing to give you quotable material. Find a busy street and snag a passing cyclist. Semi-professionals make the best interview. You may also want to get quotes from local drivers – just ask a neighbor, or get the name of a co-worker’s relative who would like to be quoted in the paper as getting a driver to stop and take the time to talk to you will be difficult at best.
Open with statement about how Ms. (or Mr.) Commuter is brave; they ride X miles to work in bleak weather and traffic.
Get quote on the economical benefits or riding a bike. Insert local, average price per gallon of gasoline. If it is too much trouble finding the data, go to http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/
Get quote regarding the environmental benefits to riding a bicycle. If necessary, just say they are “concerned about global warming.”
Get quote on health benefits achieved by the person riding the bicycle. If they don’t offer a good quote, go with the standby “20 minutes of exercise a day makes you as healthy as a person 10 years younger.”
[Note: Avoid making commuting by bicycle sound like fun.]
Explain that cyclists don’t like cars because they pass too close, don’t pay attention to cyclists and go too fast.
Explain that drivers don’t like cyclists because they don’t obey traffic laws, are difficult to see and ride in an unpredictable manner. [Do NOT bother gathering any factual data to substantiate these claims].
Suggest cyclists follow the rules of the road.
Suggest drivers share the road.
End with impassioned plea: Why can’t we be friends?