Vimeo

Bikes, coffee and friendship

Done! And I’d like to think that it’s my best yet. But I’ll let you be the judge of that. At the end of the day I really just wanted to provide an antidote to that dreaded ‘Bike Warrior’.

Without wanting to patronise the intelligent readers of this site, the point of this video was…

I wanted to tell a story – about the potential role of the bicycle in our cities.
I wanted to convey – freedom, the buzz of city life, a to b transport, ease, coolness, simplicity.

Imagine you are off to meet someone for a coffee at a cafe…

It’s empathy that we so desperately need in this world. And as we know, narratives are a good way of achieving that.

Finally, a big shout out to my bike model and friend Emilio.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat. As easy as walking, but faster.

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Riding a bicycle in Japan looks like this

I have commented before on this site that capturing images of people riding bicycles in Japan is akin to shooting fish in a barrell. Bicycles are an integral part of daily life in Japan. All members of society are represented. There’s the 80+ year old gentleman riding to his chess club at the local community centre, the school students travelling to and from school, the young children hanging out in the afternoon, the mums transporting their young child and groceries home, the stylish teenage girls socialising at a restaurant, the elderly women doing the shopping.

The bicycles are similar in style – practical, comfortable, easy to ride. Apart from extensive bicycle parking provision, infrastructure for riding bicycles is largely absent. People on bicycles seem to be treated as fast moving pedestrians. In many cases I watched people on bicycles following desire lines. It was not unusual to see people riding contra-flow. Unfortunately, like everywhere else in the world, the car is the dominant urban force in Japan. But despite this, it is quite remarkable that city streets are relatively congestion free and people on bicycles are ever present.

I also noted that some of the tourism focused cities in Japan offer bicycle rentals. I captured one of those experiences and turned it into a short video. You can check it out, here.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat. As easy as walking, but faster.

Get involved via: Twitter, FacebookFlickrVine or Instagram.

It’s about more than just the ‘cycling’.

The response to the above vine has been muted compared to previous ones. I can see that it doesn’t obviously fit into the themes presented in previous vines. But let me explain the rationale.

If you are a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person, then the government’s recent announcement to continue spending the lion’s share of the transport budget on motorways for the foreseeable future would probably give you the sense that you really are going round in circles; that little progress is being made. What’s the point? Spend more time with your family, go tend to the garden. Do something that provides you with more positive and immediate feedback.

However, I would like to offer an alternative interpretation. Research shows that the most effective strategies for achieving behaviour change is to model and induce the behaviour that you wish to see and be consistent and repetitive about it. If we accept this to be true and accurate, (I can vouch for it because I use it to great effect in the classroom everyday), then it has very serious implications for the quality of the message that is being conveyed.

Wheeled Pedestrian Cycling is all about presenting the image of cycling that appeals to the people who are not currently riding a bicycle. Hence the tag line;

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

That’s the message I was trying to convey in the video, below. It’s not about cycling. It’s about everything but. If you share that understanding, please watch it again and share it with friends and family. It’s far from perfect and it will be met by derision and skepticism by some, but share it anyway. Because it will help present an alternative vision of what riding a bicycle is all about. And that is what we really need. The World needs more #wheeledpedestrians.

Oh, and the vine was also an opportunity to practice my video editing techniques for a video I am currently working on this summer holiday. Stay tuned.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat. As easy as walking, but faster.

Get involved via: Twitter, FacebookFlickrVine or Instagram.

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