i learned about 30 minutes ago that hardin county enacted--quietly or in full public view i don't know--the exact same ordinance considered and tabled by dallas county after a lengthy and well-attended public hearing at which 30 to 40 cyclists and dallas county residents were given an opportunity to address the board and air their concerns, questions, and comments about the legality of the proposal.
among those in attendance was mark wyatt, lobbyist and paid employee of the iowa bike coalition, who spoke against the not-yet-completely-dead brain-child of attorney david vestal, who is circulating this poison-penned proposal on behalf of the iowa association of counties.
when we left that day, the feeling was one of cautious concern, not celebration, knowing that this battle might need to be waged in as many as 97 more counties in iowa, notwithstanding the fact that the same suggestion previously had been rejected by the iowa legislature, who realized the many fatal flaws in vestal's flimsy efforts to help the counties avoid liability for failing to do what counties quite simply have to do--maintain safe roadways within their county limits.
we all agreed the need for vigilance was paramount.
wyatt, as the hired gun for the IBC, seemed to be best-poised to oversee his fragile fiefdom, the highways and byways, and streets and trails of iowa; the rightful yet threatened sovereign domain of any and all bicyclists who might seek to enjoy the roads, trails, streets and more--the bounty of iowa--by bike.
so what happened? hardin county enacted the EXACT SAME ORDINANCE [requiring that any "organized" ride of ten or more riders need a permit, minimum $1,000,000.00 liability insurance policy or face a $750 fine--$1,000 for second offense] that was soundly "set aside for the time being" by the wisened or intimidated board ofsupervisors in dallas county.
yet who informed us, the iowa bike coalition's constituency, the bicyclists of iowa, of the pending action in hardin county?
who rallied the troops with a call to arms?
who covered ALL media outlets with press releases decrying the outrageous efforts by these backward-looking governmental officials?
who saw to it that the hardin county supervisors meeting room was packed to the gills and more with angry and indignant bicyclists of all stripes AND statewide media?
not mark wyatt.
not word one have we heard from this guy, whose JOB it is to do just that.
i have LONG been biting my tongue about mark, hoping beyond hope that mark would get off his ass and prove me wrong; to show me that he really DOES care about the interests for which he is paid to represent and for which he is expected to fight to preserve and maintain. [some might even suggest he is paid to EXPAND these rights, but christ...]
it WOULDN'T be tough to make me think i am wrong. hell, i'd love to meet him JUST ONCE out on a bike ride. but i don't even think he rides! [recall: if i don't SEE it, i'm not likely to believe it. that's why i didn't believe in flying saucers for so long, and why i tend not to believe in bigfoot.]
but mark wyatt absolutely has lost his right to speak on MY behalf about the rights and interests of bicyclists and bicycling in iowa. he has been losing it for his failure to act on behalf of the MANY dead cyclists this past year, and for his failure to follow-up on behalf of the too many dead cyclists from last year [remember all the trips i made to funerals last year? where is evidence of mark's follow-ups on all those?]
nope, by his total lack of meaningful and active leadership, mark wyatt is steering the iowa bike coaliton right off the roads, streets,paths, and trails right back into the garages and basements where--in his mind--all bikes should be stored, the patient and understanding little cyclists that we are.
this guy's GOTTA go, before all we have left are roller races.
mark: i BEG you to respond. do SOMETHING, for christ's sake. show the bicyclists of iowa that you DO REALLY REALLY care about riding bikes, not just raising money and feathering your nest. i am NOT better off than i was [how many years ago?] when you started at the IBC.
it is time for you to go. let us have a REAL spokesperson. we deserve it.