Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What it means to have bicycle

My mom used to tell me a wonderful story about the "bicycle" quality. She and her friend were out walking in their neighborhood when they noticed a cute shirtless guy working on his bike. They giggled and gawked at his attractiveness until they realized he was their quiet, nerdy classmate. Yet, my mother maintained that there was something utterly alluring about him when he fixed his bike. She coined the term "bicycle" to describe his ability and confidence in that moment. It's an idea I've retained and it comes to mind when I see a person do what they do best. Say, for example, cooking "bicycle", singing "bicycle", or public speaking "bicycle" (the latter of which I envy the most, by the way).

I've noticed my own kind of bicycle lately, and ironically, I have found it within a bicycle activist group. I've become a member of Bike Friendly Arlington, a non-profit bicycle awareness group in North Texas. I've met up with them to go on group rides, I've attended public hearings in support of the group and publicly defended the city's bike lane master plan. I organized a successful pub roll to gain local business support for bikers, which drew in longtime bike activists from a neighboring city. I was even featured in a photo for the University Bicycle Program (above). Through all of this, I've realized something that I had paid little attention to before. I have activism "bicycle". I have organizational "bicycle". I have meeting people "bicycle". I have movement follower "bicycle"!

I watched a great talk about this topic on TED, Derek Sivers: How to start a movement. He humorously says, "the first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader". Being a leader is a lot of pressure, but being a follower of a worthwhile movement is as easy as being myself, as easy as a bike ride in the park.

What kind of bicycle do you have?


Steven317 said...

I'll have to remember this in my writing "bicycle". (I hope I used that correctly)

Emma said...

You got it! Hey, your reading on the radio this Thursday aren't you? Post a reminder on my facebook. Good luck and don't forget what you've got going for you ;D

Emma said...

Question to readers: what kind of "bicycle" do you have?

lauren lee said...

Good question... I can relate to your cycling movement "bicycle". Keep up the fantastic momentum!!!