One of the many things to explore in the postelection discussion will be the impact on cycling advocacy in Madison, where Paul Soglin unseated Mayor Dave Cieslewicz.
Cieslewicz, a two-term mayor, was a participant in the 20by2020 group driving to make cycling trips account for 20% of all trips taken in the state's capital city. In 2008, Cieslewicz spearheaded the Platinum Bicycling Committee Report, with a goal of earning a platinum designation from the League of American Cyclists.
He also joined a group of cycling advocates and business executives who traveled to Germany and the Netherlands to study transportation options in 2010.
After reading an earlier blog post on the topic, Silent Sports Editor Joel Patenaude sent along a couple links, noting points where Soglin differed with Cieslewicz on bike programs in Madison.
The challenger, who actually served as Madison mayor for nearly 20 years, questioned a contract with Trek's B-Cycle to launch a bike-share program this year. He also criticized Cieslewicz for a budget provision that sacked Arthur Ross, the long-time bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.
On both counts, Soglin focused his criticism more on management style and the process (a no-bid contract for Trek) than on the merits of the moves.
Soglin has professed to support cycling and alternate forms of transportation, but he created a furor a few years back when he questioned the sanity of biking in a snowstorm.
On his Waxing America blog, he wrote: "The bicyclists who braved the week's second storm should be taken out and shot. Spare them and the poor driver, when they skid on treacherous streets and slide under the wheels of a truck delivering fresh vegetables.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: PAUL WROTE THIS TONGUE-IN-CHEEK - YOU KNOW, A JOKE. IT'S CALLED HYPERBOLE. DON'T GET YOUR UNDIES IN A BUNDLE.)
"I will give them a pass on the first storm. Not because it was not forecast (it was), but because every one gets a little giddy and reckless with the season's first major storm."
"While I criticized a specific act under specific conditions, my comments were taken as an assault on a life-style on a conscious environmental, political, social, and economic decision made by many readers. I had attacked their way of life.
"It did not matter to them that my focus was a narrow specific circumstance.
"And the rebuttal was more than just a defense of biking under winter conditions. Note, that if you read all the comments, there are very few that actually defend riding in the snowstorm that prompted the debate.
"Upon reflection, the furor was to be expected. Constantly under assault from the opposition, in this case motor vehicles, some bicyclist took any criticism on their own as an attack on themselves, on their culture, their way of life, and their core values."