Why Take Sides?

I am a new member of the SFBC. I joined because I am an advocate of bicycles and bicycling. I have been a planner and participant of many bicycle charity fundraisers in several eastern states. Recently, I decided to move to the Bay Area, because of the open-minded attitudes and diversity here.

I understand that the SFBC exists to promote bicycle use, and to lobby the local government for bike lanes and fair treatment of cyclists. When I read the front-page article in the [April/May '03] Tube Times entitled, "It Doesn't Take a War to Power Your Bicycle," I became confused. The article does an excellent job of stressing how we can act locally to reduce our global dependence on oil. Unfortunately, it also takes a clear side in a question that does not relate to bicycles at all. Why would the SFBC choose to alienate members and the public who do not agree with the writers' opinion on the war? DAN POLLAK

We recognize it is not the place of the SFBC to act in a partisan fashion, nor to let large political events divide our strong membership. Yet we felt we could not ignore the vast political movement that sprung up to protest the war when the issue is so deeply related to transportation.

Please rest assured that our first and foremost goal is to advocate for better biking facilities within the city of San Francisco, and to encourage the use of the bicycle for everyday transportation, whatever one's political beliefs. ŅEd.

Peace on Wheels

You folks may take some heat for the Tube Times cover story, "It Doesn't Take a War to Power Your Bicycle," but don't let anyone tell you that pointing out the peace-nurturing qualities of bicycling is none of the SFBC's business. The right to safe, humane streets is an essential message of the SFBC, and that safety is not isolated in our own neighborhoods. Resource-exploitive habits in our own hometown diminish the safety and humanity of public space for everyone, here and abroad.

As the SFBC works to defend and enhance San Francisco's peaceful public ways, its successes influence and improve the neighborhoods of the region, the nation, and the planet. Let liberty and justice for all start with your own two humble wheels! P. SANHARMONIE

Send letters to tubetimes@sfbike.org or 1095 Market St., Ste. 215, SF 94103. Please keep them brief; letters may be edited.