Six Reasons Mountain Bikers Should Vote

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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 December 12th. If you haven’t registered, or you’re not sure if you have, get onto it prontoyou must have registered by 11:59pm on Tuesday 26th November. And have you thought about where you’ll be on 12th December, election day? Maybe you’ll be busy at a staff Christmas do? Off on a skiing holiday, or a winter sunshine MTB break? In which case, you need to submit your application for a postal vote to your local Electoral Registration Office by 5pm on Tuesday 26th November, or 21st November if you’re in Northern Ireland.

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. We quite like to travel

The next election will determine what the arrangements are in the future for our relationship with Europe. That will include border controls. Will it still be easy to nips over to the Alps or the Pyrenees for a spot of big mountain fun? Or will there be added complications? We can’t pretend we know the answers, but the different parties have different ideas about how all this might work in the future. How do you want it to be?

Motorway road
Will roadtrips to Europe be easy?

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, 12th December).


Join Us – Become a Singletrack member

If you like what we do – if you like our independence then the best way to support us is by joining us. Every penny of your membership goes back into Singletrack to pay the bills and the wages of the people who work here. No shareholders to pay, just the people who create the content you love to read and watch.


When is the UK general election?

Thursday 12th December 2019

How do I register to vote?

Register to vote here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Is there a deadline to register to vote?

-Register by 11:59pm on 26 November to vote in the General Election on 12 December.
-If you want to apply to vote by post, register before:
5pm on 26 November if you live in England, Scotland or Wales
5pm on 21 November if you live in Northern Ireland

What do I do if I’m on holiday when it’s the election?

If you’re going to be abroad on election day, you can apply to vote by proxy after you’ve registered. It takes time to vote by post from overseas.


Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (21)

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

    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)

    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.

    well said fatoldman…..my 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….
    POWER TO THE PEOPLE….

    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
    http://www.votenone.org.uk

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

    Everyone should get out and vote.
    Especially the young, there is a reason that the young have so little representation, and the old do.
    Whatever your views, get out to vote.

    Rather than acting like a child and spoiling your paper you could vote for one of the candidates. You might not like any of them but making a choice between several things you don’t like is part of being an adult and being in a democracy.

    I’m 43 and have voted in every general election I possibly could have and my vote has never counted for anything because of the stupid first past the post code lottery that we have.
    It really does get boring after a while but I will be out again this time casting a pointless vote just because I can, and that means I have the right to moan about the idiots that end up in power……

    I’ve voted in every election be it Westminster, Scottish Parliament, Local, European or referendum since I was eligible to vote. Never missed a single one, but have to say the options to pick from this time round are at an all time low.

    “So here’s a question, just which Muppet do we vote for?”

    Don’t vote for the personality – vote for the manifesto.

    It’s this obsession with personality politics that has turned the UK into USA-light, and why lying, self-serving incompetents like Johnson and Farage get influence and power: “who cares if he’s a turd politically? He’d be a laugh to have a beer with…

    If you disagree with the Tories, then this is your friend: https://tacticalvote.co.uk/

    Picture of coins: 40p as the 50p and £1 coin are no longer legal tender. Mind you if no-one votes that 40p could struggle to even buy you one cable end cap this time next year.

    please keep politics out of my hobby for an escape from politics 🙂

    @howsyourdad1, i don’t think politics is going to respect your wishes.

    I’m happy to read that most of you seem to care about the future of GB.
    In the other states of our common europe, people have been shaking their heads about GB for so long, wondering. It seems to me that they meanwhile don’t care what you do in the end. Let’s stick together, improve the difficult issues and keep europe open, liberal and livable. Greetings from the mainland.

    If you don’t vote, you have absolutely NO right whatsoever to make any comment on the state of this country, the infrastructure or government funded services you may be using.

    Voting should be mandatory, there is no excuse for not doing so. Can’t get to the polling station – simple you have the option of a postal vote, or a proxy vote for those away abroad.

    Many people gave their lives for our freedom, and the ability to choose how this country runs.

    Use your vote, or not and spoil the paper, but vote.

    As a ‘European’ mountainbiker, I like to visit the UK. Super bike spots, very nice people and … ah… reasonable food… . But besides that a Brexit makes travelling to the UK very complicated (probably, at least less fun, waiting at the borders)(and vice versa), bike parts will get more expensive. Not only for you, but also UK parts for us. So maybe even Hope will get out of business if we’re unlucky.

    So please vote something that says “remain”.

    Thanks!

    spoilt paper as childish?
    I personally think that’s pretty harsh. If none of the candidates chime with your opinion, how else are you going separate the vote as “I suppose so” to “fully endorse”. I also think there is a lot mixed up with FPTP and actual MP choice. Scottish Parliament elections are a lot better IMO – choice – so, can elect for green party and in PR order – as well as an actual constituency MSP – so you can deice which one you can approve of.

    There is a particular strain of political thought that would have voters despair that anything will change irrespective of where we put our ‘X’. This depresses voter turn out to the benefit of those with pockets deep enough to secure influence. Change is possible; irrespective of your politics the elections of 1945 and 1979 undeniably shaped the nation for decades to come, we are at a similar juncture today. You have a vote, use it don’t abdicate control of your future to someone else.

    For those that think there vote won’t count for anything as your opposing party has a huge majority just remember what the SNP did to labours huge majority a few years back. your vote counts even if it just helping your favoured candidates get their £500 quid back.

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