Fun & Fashion
Fun and fashion might not seem like obvious issues for bicycling. The problem comes in, though, because we tend to forget fun. Too often bicycle campaigns and efforts are set out on a platter of platitudes ranging from health crises to safety. Even courses to learn bicycling are often delivered like sour medicine. All that’s missing is a frowning schoolmarm threatening to bloody participants’ knuckles with her ruler. And expectations of Lycra uniforms covered with safety equipment shun a real desire for fashion.
We do this. Bicycle advocates simply have a tendency to get really good at the facts and figures and forget about the fun, the sheer joy of bicycling. But we must understand this tendency and do everything we can to temper it. Sure, bring those cold figures to the transportation engineers and the naysayer officials. But you know what? Even they can be persuaded when reminded of the fun they had as a child riding their bike like they owned their town.
We can use fun fashion in our presentations and papers right along side the facts and figures. For instance, fun is why bicycling is the best type of exercise for overweight people – they want to keep pedaling! Let’s try for that next hill. And then maybe the next hill looks just as easy to try. In your next presentation, try replacing some of those pictures of frowning cyclists "in uniform" with candid shots of fashionable, everyday cyclists enjoying their daily routines.
We as leaders must make a conscious effort to keep fun in all of our bicycling promotions and presentations. Here are just a few easy words and phrases to keep nearby:
- The joy of bicycling
- Discovering what you can’t see from a car
- Making new friends
- Stopping to talk with people along the way
- The thrill of the descent with the wind in your face
Great examples of the fun of bicycling:
- Jam along with this Scraper Bikes video by a group of captivating bike nuts in Oakland, California:
- Dare you not to smile when you watch Wheelie Boys:
- A montage of bike fun for Portland Oregon’s Pedalpalooza
- Compare your bike riding skills to this video!
Must see cycle fashion sites:
- Find out what makes cycling fun for many woman at Beauty & the Bike
- Keep up with the the latest in cycle fashion at Copenhagen Cycle Chic
And we must make fun a prominent part of our organizations at meetings and through projects so we keep our best leaders happy and helping. Nobody likes boring drudgery. Other movements must have a tough time of this. But we are the bicycle movement! Bicycles equal fun so everything we do can and must include fun.
This video shows a great example of a neighborhood group who found a fun way to take back their street:
One Street will always add fun wherever we can. Look for new ideas and samples on this page and throughout our site. And, if you’re a leader of an organization working to increase bicycling, and you’re afraid you’ve forgotten the fun of bicycling, call us immediately! We’ve got lots of reminders to offer.