Made you look! That headline is partly a joke, partly an experiment, and partly a commentary on this trend of stupidly hyperbolic click bait.
It started with a joke and experiment by Calgary Herald reporter and bike blogger Tom Babin, who tweeted two different headlines for the same story on winter cycling in Calgary. The below tweets are reverse chronology, i.e. read from bottom to top:
Then, Bike Hugger’s D.L. Byron snarked on the overuse of hype for “viral” marketing.
But now, on to the predictions. Bike writer Elly Blue posts her predictions to her “Everyday Rider” at Bicycling Magazine. She believes “the Velo Revolution is happening, and it’s a going to be a real game changer in the US over the next 12 months.”
I’m particularly interested in her fourth prediction because of a major election coming up this year for California’s third largest city: “Bike advocates will be elected.” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed terms out this year, and six people have filed to run in this June’s election. Two candidates — Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese and San Jose Council Member Sam Liccardo — are aggressively courting the bike vote with plenty of glad-handing at diverse bike events.
Pierluigi Oliverio and Rose Herrera have also made appearances at several bike events and voted in favor of bike projects over the past three years. Retired police officer Pete Constant, the only GOP candidate, rides a bike, but he’s historically been critical of bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements for San Jose and has repeatedly nixed traffic calming projects in the district he represents. Madison Nguyen is an unknown to me when it comes to cycling. Former council member Forrest Williams, who also says he plans to run, has been supportive of downtown San Jose bike projects.
Measure B — the pension reform measure backed by the current mayor and council and passed by city voters in 2012 — is a bugbear for those on the current council running for mayor. The police union in particular denounced Oliviero, Liccardo, Herrera and Constant for their support for pension reform. The police union even forced Constant to resign from the union.
Oliviero, Cortese and Liccardo would do the most for cycling in San Jose. With San Jose’s city manager form of government, power belongs to whoever in city government can take it. Cortese and Oliviero are both perhaps a little too nice and easy-going to get their way. Liccardo is friendly and good at consensus building, but he’s also the type of guy who focuses on a task and works to achieve it. I also suspect Liccardo has his eyes on higher office in the near future.
Other 2014 elections
Governor Jerry Brown is eligible to run for his fourth term as California governor. If he runs, Brown right now is expected to easily retake the office, though anything can happen between now and November.
The real action takes place in the legislature. We’ll have elections in all 80 state assembly districts and half of our state senate districts. We’ll also have elections for our 53 U.S. House of Representative seats. I’m sure Dave Snyder and his team at the California Bicycle Coalition are working up voter guides for these elections. Candidates for all of these elections will be selected on June 3, so go register to vote already!
What elections are happening in your part of the world? Are any viable candidates known for their bike advocacy?