Six Reasons Mountain Bikers Should Vote

by Hannah Dobson 6

It might have escaped your attention, but there’s about to be a general election in the UK. Hopefully you’ve already registered to vote and are planning on exercising your democratic right to do so on June 8th. If you haven’t registered, or you’re not sure if you have, get onto it prontoyou must have registered by 11:59pm on Monday 22nd May. And have you thought about where you’ll be on 8th June, election day? Maybe you’ll be away at an event? Tweedlove International perhaps? In which case, you need to submit your application for a postal vote to your local Electoral Registration Office by 5pm on Tuesday 23rd May.

Don't forget to vote!
Don’t forget to vote!

But why should you bother? You are a mountain biker, a free spirit, a shredder of gnar, and #VanLife needs no top down government. Smash the system, turn on tune in and drop out. No? Whatever your political views, voting does matter, and here are six totally contrived reasons why mountain bikers should vote in order for us to justify a listicle on a mountain bike website about how important it is for us all to vote.

first aid education
You probably want more healthcare than Chipps can provide.

1. You need healthcare.

Whether you want to pay for it, or want to get it through the NHS, you’re probably going to need some healthcare at some point. It might just be a spot of physio for a tender knee caused by too much pedalling, it might be a broken collar bone, or it could be a full on emergency airlift spinal smash horror crash. As mountain bikers we break ourselves in many different ways, and how you vote can affect the treatments that will be available to you.

How much is this actually worth?
How much is this actually worth?

2. You need to buy things

Even if you don’t have a large shed and an n+1 habit, something is going to break on your bike and need replacing. Probably a few days before an event for which you really need it. How much that new part is going to cost you will depend on all sorts of complicated factors like trade deals, currency values and inflation. The same applies to almost anything you buy, including all the boring essential things – which will influence how many pennies you have left over to spend on the fun stuff, like bikes. They are fun, really, even if they do break.

Singletrack towers office chipps desk
Someone should probably legislate against this.

3. You need workplace rights.

Whether you’re planning days off to go bike riding, worried about enforced days off after an accident, or wondering how you’re going to get that pay rise that’s going to pay for the next n+1, your rights at work matter. How you vote could affect your entitlement to holidays, sick pay, collective bargaining, or ability to fight dismissal when you call in ‘sick’ after a big weekend of riding. It’s governments that make these rules so you should be involved in picking one.

A source of unpleasant emissions?
A source of unpleasant emissions?

4. #VanLife is at risk

Maybe you have a nice electric van, but the chances are your pride and joy adventure mobile is running on diesel. Will there be a diesel scrappage scheme? How will our #VanLife emissions (no sniggering) be addressed? Something is almost certainly going to be done, your vote will influence what that something is.

Motorway road
Highway to heaven or road to hell?

5. You need transport infrastructure

We all like mountain bikes, but how good would it be if we could ride to work on cycle lanes? Or to the shops? Or with our kids to school? With all that extra pedal turning, imagine how awesome we’d be with all that extra fitness to take to the trails. Or maybe you’re more concerned with how long it takes you to drive up the motorway to the mountains. If you have a view on what our transport infrastructure should look like, you should vote.

Swinley in 2027?
Swinley in 2027?

6. You don’t want your only bike to be a fat bike

Whether you believe everything is warming up and we’re heading for a desert, or the next ice age is coming, either option is likely to have you reaching for a fat bike – sand tyres or ice spikes. With so many other tyre sizes to choose from, this would be a tragedy. Use your vote to influence environmental policy and prevent this from happening.

Do you know where your polling station is?
Do you know where your polling station is?

Well, if the sacrifice of your ancestors and these six reasons haven’t persuaded you to vote, we don’t know what will. But if you’re now all worked up in the name of democracy then make sure you’re registered to vote (and don’t forget to actually go and put your X in the box on polling day, 8th June).

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Comments (6)

  1. All good points. So here’s a question, just which Muppet do we vote for? Ah well I hear you say 🙂

  2. To all those who feel no party will actually deliver on their manifesto promises, please, please, please remember that a spoiled ballot paper is counted and has a much bigger impact on the political stage than a no-show. A no-show lets ‘them’ think they can get away with anything (kind of proves it, really).

    At the very least you should take the time to go and scribble ‘none o youse corrupt ****s’ – it’s the easiest and most anonymous protest there is.

    (I’d much rather you voted though. It won’t take long to read some independent media facts and form your own opinion on who will at least attempt to effect your own ideology)

  3. My wife, the ever tolerant Marie, has pointed out that people died so that ordinary men and women be allowed to vote. On that basis it would seriously disrespect their memory not to vote.
    You can only choose from the candidates who offer themselves, but even if you don’t especially like any of them, do vote, don’t abstain or spoil your paper as neither does any good. If you truly don’t like all the candidates then stand for election yourself next time.

  4. well said fatoldman… ever tolerant wife Christine admonishes me if i forget to get my arse up and vote for the exact same reasons…shame i cant do the same with her when i want her to go for a ride with me !!!!!!!!!
    Whatever we all think or agree with one thing is for sure….get out there and vote coz there are virtually millions of people around the globe who never even get the chance….

  5. You’re right D4ddydo666. I live in a constituency completely dominated by an MP and political party I disagree with and they will be elected again with a large majority. Even though I am fully engaged in polilitics I haven’t voted for years as my vote has counted for nothing but this time I will be spoiling my ballot paper. If you don’t like what’s on offer Vote None

  6. Vote for anyone who isn’t a tory.
    A huge majority is not good for democracy. Whoever holds power needs to be accountable.

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