I don’t normally use my blog to support activist campaigns, but since Bike Hour was my own amazing idea, I’ll make an exception. Bike Hour is coming folks! Sept 22, between 6 and 7 pm, wherever you happen to be, on your bike. For one rider last time, it looked like this:
Had this marvellous event been the brainchild of some moneygrubbing, egotistical power monger, it could never have gained the traction it has. How lucky we are that Bike Hour was the brainchild or one not wanting for money or fame, but a humble, unusually good looking servant of cycling, seeking only a better world for our children. Not all of our children. Let’s face it, most of the worlds children will grow up to love cars and fast food. It is for those kiddies with an inborn predisposition to bicycle transport that we offer our labours.
Now consider all the press we got last time! This interview on local radio, a story in The Malta Independent Online, a bit in The Star in Toronto in Canada, and an interview on Ride Time commercial radio station 610CKTB in Canada. And that’s not counting the online media that people actually read! As this reliable mainstream media source wishfully states, Bike Hour went viral!
Bike Hour is an hour of observance, between 6 and 7pm (your time) on the two equinox dates of the year. It is an hour when anyone who owns a functioning bike (and survey data tells us, that is just about everyone) simply gets on the darn thing and goes for a ride. You can ride with a group if you like, though most people ride on their own or with a partner. You may like to muster or have drinks with fellow Bike Hour observers after the ride, or you may prefer to head home and have dinner. You don’t have to, but you might like to promote Bike Hour via your website or organisation, or be a champion of Bike Hour in your country or region. Give interviews to your local media, or refer them to me (@behoovingmoving) if you are shy.
Know though, that if you try to profit from Bike Hour, or lock it up with some smart arse abuse of IP laws, a Fatwa has already been issued with a blank space for your name.
When Bike Hour first happened last March, it was a runaway success—at least for those who learned at short notice of its existence. People used the facebook page to share photos of themselves just out on their bikes, in Malta, the US, Singapore, Poland, Canada and of course my country, Australia. Those countries were the main hotspots, thanks to the efforts of individuals who spread the word among their own networks. All of us who played a part, are realistically hopeful of expodential growth in the next year or two, until just maybe Bike Hour yields some measurable impacts. And what might those impacts be?
The idea of Bike Hour is to remind politicians, non cyclists, and especially ourselves, of the locked up potential of bicycle transport and leisure. In my country (Australia) there are 1.6 bikes per household, hardly any of them regularly used. To put that another way, there is a 5 billion dollar transport asset, in a country of just 20 million people, gathering cobwebs because governments haven’t matched their citizens’ private investment with safe cycling infrastructure, lower speed limits, and smarter laws. That’s all we need.