When I initially conceived of this club I brainstormed all kinds of ideas to get people engaged and spread the word. One was to send emails to a bunch of folks asking them to submit a few words on how riding a bike has been a corrective action for them. I was going to in-turn, use these as Instagram posts and blog posts here so I’d have some content in the vault to dole out over time as the club grew.
Or I thought I could collect them all and post them here on the site on a sort of ‘Wall of Action’, and have a form for people to submit their own. I knew some people might only want to submit anonymously – and that was ok too.
What I really wanted was, a. for people to think about how riding bikes affected them – more than the usual “oh, it makes me feel good,” or “I do it for the exercise,” type responses. To really sit with the notion and dig deeper; and b. to compile this varied and honest cross section of how bikes impacted peoples’ lives and hopefully connect people with shared experiences as well as exposing folks to some new ones.
I decided against it because…well…I thought the email’d just be bugging people. And as far as a section on the blog compiling entries – why make more work for myself when people could just use hashtags and just make it their own – incorporating it into what they do already. Isn’t that what hashtags are for anyway?
As part of my initial email pitch, I did sit down and write my own ‘Personal Action’ – how riding bikes has been a corrective action for me:
Like so many other people I’ve riding bikes since I was a kid. For fun, transportation, fitness – the whole deal. Around 5 years ago I quit drinking and abusing drugs and in the resulting clarity I’ve come to realize the bike was giving me so much more than I’d initially thought. Among many benefits, three things stood out.
First it’s a manifestation of my need and desire to move forward in the world under my own power, yet still abide in the support and companionship of family, friends and community.
Second, it’s a reminder for me in this ever faster, changing world to slow down and live at ‘human speed;” to work on forward progress in a way that still allows for human connection and the development of good relationships while continuing to learn, grow and create. It’s an admonition to always try and be ‘the best version of myself’.
Third, it’s a way to move through the world in a manner that is beneficial and respectful to both myself and others – in addition to the natural world around me. It represents my effort to be ‘in’ and ‘of’ the world while trying to leave behind a positive impact and initiate change that I think is important. It reminds me that when I’m struggling for significance in the effort to make change, even the smallest and simplest actions matter. Even when I feel ineffective or lost with regards as what to do, a bike ride is always doing something. Intention breeds action. Ride action is Right Action.
That’s how it works for me. And the thing is, it continues to evolve over time. It’s organic and growing.
If you feel strongly about the positive impact that riding bikes has had on your life, maybe think about sharing your thoughts with the hashtags #correctiveactionbicycleclub or #rideactionisrightaction on social media, or making your own blog post about it. The overarching goal is to connect with others who feel the same as well as maybe introduce some folks who don’t ride bikes all that much to everything that they offer simply through being an example.
If you’d like to feature your ‘Personal Action’ here – I’d love to post it, feel free to drop me a line and we can work out the details.