Even those of us who consider ourselves "change agents" can get stuck in a particular groove that feels comfortable. The problem is we like to hang out there longer than it's valuable. I know I've been certainly been guilty of this.
But that won't get us to where we say we want to go. If we truly want everyone to be able to participate in active, mindful, sustainable mobility - safely and with confidence - we need brave bold branding. We need to be alluring and compelling to a much broader audience.
So I've got an idea for you, why not challenge yourself to do something that moves you out of your comfort zone once a week and more clearly and authentically signals to the world exactly who you are?
What could happen in your life if once a week you committed to doing something that frankly scares you? Too much to try? Why not once a month. Too little? Why not daily?
For myself personally I've started to dance again in tiny bite sized chews. Throughout my day, as I feel moved to do so - and inspired by the brilliant bold Lane Bryant #ThisBody campaign (video and image on top are from that) - I'm getting up from the computer, putting in my earbuds, tuning my iphone pandora to my "Earth, Wind & Fire" station and dancing for 3 to 6 minutes at a time. That's about all I can do. I'm still really struggling with my energy and stamina but even for that short little bit if feels great.
For Pedal Love, I'm committed to creating brave bold new branding this summer like our new hand-drawn logo. I'm committed to reaching out to one new person each week who could help spread the word of mindful mobility exponentially and...
About a month and a half ago I invited the young singer/rapper Laura Kaye to create a rap for Bike Month. She rose to the occasion creating a wry, tongue in cheek spoof on the pretty girl in the bike video. I'm so proud of her.
From Laura Kaye on creating the video:
"I wanted to make the video more entertaining than just a musical PSA, but I also wanted to sneak some education into the lyrics. When I was looking for inspiration, I was honestly disappointed in the hypersexualization of women in a lot of the popular depictions of bicycling (and in music videos in general). I decided to use the weight of that cultural enemy to fight back, so to speak. Creating the song as a parody made it easier to write, film, and edit, since the vision was clear... and just plain fun!"
I love it. I knew it would push buttons. And sure enough, the first note I received after posting it was one of angry scolding disappointment from a woman who thought that with a name like Pedal Love our website might finally be her tribe - but alas no.
The truth is Pedal Love would have disappointed her pretty quickly anyway. We're too feminist in our approach.
And that's great. Bring on your difference of opinion, but before you do that I respectfully ask two things (and if you're being bold and brave and want to borrow these two requests be my guest!):
1) Before you criticize me - and those who I choose to feature on PedalLove.org and our social media outreach - please share how you're creating true culture shift for active, sustainable, mindful mobility beyond yourself and your own choir who believes exactly as you do.
2) Recognize that we can agree to disagree with respect. We can illuminate and educate without needing to exactly agree on the road to take.
If we really want to move beyond our bike friendly/walk friendly/transit friendly choirs and engage the public at large.. That's why I'm so excited and inspired by how the clothing line Lane Bryant decided to get bold with their branding by demonstrating the beauty of women of all sizes and all colors with their ongoing promotional campaign for #ThisBody.
This year the brand took it a a few steps further and decided to proclaim you can also dance and sing and shake your groove thing by creating a video with the singer/song writer Lizzo, poet & spoken word artist Ashlee Haze and the dance group Pretty Big Movement.
The video has over 1.8 million views on Youtube. I can imagine a time when biking, walking and transit videos are this fun and get these kind of views - can you?
To me, dance is mindful mobility at its best. We're grappling and struggling with growing both the bike industry, and active transportation advocacy, in big part because many have had a very narrow view of who this tribe should be.
Even when we're open about sex, race and income levels, even when we're advocating for those who most often have no voice in these matters, we can lead with long bike rides as our community building, rides that are beyond the interest, skill set and stamina of so many of the people we say we most want to serve.
Our tribe should be anyone who's interested, anyone who's intrigued to learn more and give active, sustainable, mindful mobility a try - whether they can ride 20 miles, 2 blocks, or haven't gotten off the couch yet.
How are you willing to be bold and daring this summer? Email me. I'd love to know.