During 2020, I spent quite some time in the saddle, and already riding more than 3500 miles this year. While working inside during the COVID pandemic, riding outside helped me keep my sanity and also gave me many opportunities to reflect on the incredible joys of cycling while sometimes also being challenged with concerns for safety.
Culture cannot be delegated. The truth is that our “values” should drive our behaviors. Connecting the way we act with those values is something we strive for. Only with forces more powerful than the forces that keep it the same can cultural transformation occur. Behaviors are observable, describable, and recordable whereas culture is ultimately evidenced in behavior.
What we experience all throughout life impacts the perceptions we carry. The longer we carry those perceptions the more they become the truths we believe, live by, operate under, and use to help us navigate life today. This phenomenon impacts everyone and can create positive and negative biases we carry with us about life and anything in it. Thus, it is clear that it also impacts how we behave on the road; the good and the bad; and that it influences unconsciously every road user. As we all know, you don’t control what others do in this life, but you do control how you show up.
This means a couple of simple things: It means that during every bike ride, every run or walk, every car ride,… you make a difference. You might only impact one person but you never know who’s watching and learning from you. So my message to you is simple: Ride with a smile, have fun, be a friendly and inclusive rider, wave to car drivers, thank them for doing the right thing in sharing the roads with you (even if according to you that’s what they should be doing anyway; don’t take things for granted). It’s my personal belief that every inclusive act we do as cyclists will make our world a safer place!
Hope that things will change is the melody of the future. Having the faith that things will change is dancing to that melody right now
Bike happy! Bike safe!