Please have a look at this question:

What tactics other than 'setting an example' successfully encourage friends/family/others to become cyclists?

As it is just now, it's a question that's looking to start a discussion. It specifically is asking for multiple answers, and doesn't really meet the criteria for a useful community wiki question (which, admittedly are still vague).

I've closed it for now, because I think it'll attract chatty answers, and I think the question will be a lot more difficult to improve once it does that. However, I think there's the core of a good question in here.

  • How can this be edited into a good subjective question? (Anyone who hasn't read it may find Good Subjective, Bad Subjective on the SE blog extremely useful.)


  • The best uses of CW I've seen are questions where the answers are useful on their own, and a good reference. If the community wants to re-open this as a good community wiki question, how can it be modified to be a good, evolving reference?

4 Answers 4


Proposed Rewrite:

How to encourage people close to me to become cyclists?

Sometimes you try to help somebody get into cycling (buy girlfriend a bike, fix up a friend's bike, give a bike to family, help friend shop for bike) and they never really get into it and fall back into the previous non-cycling habits.

Other times you do even less work and it "takes" and they get into cycling and stick with it.

It's not clear to me why some attempts succeed and others fail.

What have you found worked to get somebody into cycling? What have you seen work with others? What worked to get you into cycling? What techniques from other areas have you seen work that you think could work with cycling?

In my experience, a good first step is simply setting a good example, but I'm looking for more than just that.

  • +1 That seems perfectly good to me, and it's shorter than the OP's version (but I'm a bit biased because I was keen on the OP's version too and wasn't especially aware of what was wrong with that).
    – ChrisW
    Jun 9, 2011 at 2:42
  • This is more focused than the original question. Unless we hear from @Mathew and he wants to use this, I think it works better as a new question than a rewrite to the original question. (Mathew has a very distinct style and voice, and I quite enjoy reading it.) Jun 9, 2011 at 19:21
  • This would be a CW where people put down the stories of what worked for them? Perhaps making the format more explicit would be helpful, so people know how to format their answers. Jun 9, 2011 at 19:21
  • It's asked (and has a couple answers), and it is CW. @NeilFein: you should feel free to edit my version of the question to ask for a specific format, if you want. I have no particular feelings of ownership.
    – freiheit
    Jun 9, 2011 at 21:20

I think it could be tighted up and turned into a good wiki resource on evangelicism. There are multiple answers, and different answers might work in seemingly identical situations. The people who are looking for help on this issue are also likely to try multiple answers, and to read as many answers as it takes to get what they want. So if we end up with 20 different answers that's actually a good thing. Also, different people will know of difference resources that are broadly similar and it would be better if they were added to one answer rather than scattered through multiple equivalent answers (I'm sure my bike bus suggestion has parallels in other countries, although here BikeSaint stole it from the "walking bus" community).

I'm cautious because of the herd voting effect, where the answers at the top of the rankings attract disproportionately more votes over time, making later answers unlikely to ever get more than a few votes. But then, we will probably only get 10 answers, not the hundreds for "what's a good SF book".

There's also the likelihood of drift into "what makes populations more likely to cycle", because that clearly affects each individual in the population. I'd be tempted to start a second wiki question of "what are effective forms of cycling advocacy" after the second answer like that.

  • There's a question about advocacy, although it's from September 2010, and pretty generalized compared to what you have in mind. Would you want to I agree with the herd voting effect, it's IMO a big problem with SE in general. Jun 6, 2011 at 4:23

I'm a little disappointed this question was closed. The question is, more or less, about community. A question which promotes community isn't necessarily a bad thing.

It's partly a matter of balance. In the beginning of Stack Overflow there were some chatty and jokey topics. Later Stack Overflow grew to have a lot of traffic (several questions per minutes), and if a significant percentage of those were jokey questions that would have been a lot of (arguably too many) jokes: so the moderation became stricter. And besides: programmers ...

But, yeah, this question was a bit unusual for this site; I didn't see the harm in it though: one question. I didn't know that it could be answered either, I don't have answers to it myself ... but I was looking forward to seeing whether/how other people might try to answer it.


As it is just now, it's a question that's looking to start a discussion.

A discussion is a chain of statements, for example: you question, I answer, you reply to my answer, I reply to your reply, etc. This forum isn't suitable for that: the comments aren't designed e.g. for threaded discussions (which is why I occasionally reformat/consolidate Q+A from comments into an answer).

I don't think this question was looking to start a discussion though; it was looking for multiple answers, but wasn't necessarily threatening to reply to (i.e. to discuss) each answer.

I've closed it for now, because I think it'll attract chatty answers

I'm not sure that chatty answers are always bad. Admittedly, for technical or technological questions a precise, dry, specific answer may be preferred; but, as you say, this question doesn't seem to be that kind of topic.

  • If you care enough to downvote I wouldn't at all mind your taking a few seconds to mention why.
    – ChrisW
    Jun 9, 2011 at 2:39

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