The power of narrative to affect change is yet to be fully explored.

Heart is a drum


I know. I said I’d retired. Well I’ve relented. Kind of.

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the role and value of narrative in an education setting and couldn’t help but think of the possible implications for the people and organisations involved in working to create change in society. Just a thought. But we’ve got the facts. The research. The data. But do we have enough stories? Are we making the right connections? Developing empathy? I don’t think so. And I’m thinking visual stories.


So, if you agree with this sentiment and would like to make a contribution, why don’t you hit me up. I am feeling in the mood to make another video; to tell another story. I need some props ie. people on bikes and maybe even some leading characters to share their story. A story that conveys the possibility of short, easy, wheeledpedestrian type cycling. A story that connects emotionally. A story that shows what cycling could be.

The plot and all the other details are up for negotiation. I think the new cycle tracks on Quay St should be a key location for filming – for some ‘B roll’ footage.  For a better idea of what I’m talking about, check out some of my previous work… here, here and here. My contact details are here.


Hmm. The response to my offer – to make a video to present cycling as something that is easy and potentially inclusive – was decidedly underwhelming. I don’t want to overthink the reasons for this lack of response. But I do hope that it is not a reflection of where cycling advocacy is currently at. That it does not reflect the existence of a blind spot towards the emotional and psychological components in bringing about behaviour change.

And I was so enjoying my retirement.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat.

Get involved via: Twitter, FacebookFlickrVine or Instagram.



  1. Definitely, connecting with others whether through personal interaction or meeting them where they are with stories and pictures they can relate to is paramount. Although I thought you had been doing that to some degree? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Blinksy, Thanks for noticing my efforts to tell stories. The thing is, I am (clearly) just an amateur. I am hoping that the people at the head of advocacy will also see the value in telling stories and put some effort into it. Change is happening but at a snail’s pace. How do we speed up the change and how do we avoid the #bikelash? The stats and data are on our side. We have working overseas models to copy. But how do we convey this to sceptical/indifferent public/politicians? With stories that speak with heart and emotion. With stories that talk to all people – young and old, cyclists and non-cyclists. Have you seen the Mercury Energy tv commercial? I have people talking positively about that – how it inspires them to ride – people who don’t see themselves as cyclists. Advocacy seems full of engineers talking about the merits of separated cycle tracks. As if there is nothing else to be working on at the same time? Bicycle advocacy needs to be about more than just the tangible; the physical…

      Liked by 1 person

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