GIVE 5: UNIFIED PRACTICES
“Cycling Needs Unified Practices on and off the bicycle that engage Cyclists and the Community, expanding Presence, Awareness, Empathy, Acceptance and the Value of Cycling.”
GIVE 5 practices unify the face of cycling, improving both the cyclist and cycling in the community through Multiple Avenues of interaction with the Community and Government.
GIVE 5Cycling remains a fringe activity among most communities, obscured by an automobile culture that does not understand how to interact with cyclists. Likewise, Cycling practices of interaction with automobiles, pedestrians and even other cyclists are scattered. The Result:
Cyclists remain random unpredictable elements creating reactions ranging from confusion, apprehension, tension, to aggression, with little room for acceptance. The Solution to resolve these problems, as with most lack of understanding, starts with effective communication of a coherent and consistent message.
GIVE 5 creates a uniform foundation for acceptance of cycling by creating a reward system for Cyclist and Community alike, increasing momentum in the Cycle of Advocacy. GIVE 5 builds positive awareness of cycling and engages acknowledgement. Each element of GIVE 5 works like spokes in a wheel to provide support, strength, and to reinforce each other element.
Each Give 5 practice is simple in principle and to execute but the results can produce a dramatic shift in favor of cycling in communities. GIVE 5 practices create reward and positive reinforcement which both participants and observers find common ground and a desire to be part of the greater good of a community that supports integration of cycling as a valued element. Executed regularly and with proper intention, GIVE 5 creates a draw toward community identity with cyclists and cycling as a valued and essential element.
Fundamental to GIVE 5 is the premise that negative interactions and challenged differences will not lead to appreciation and acceptance sought by cyclists.
Regardless of the circumstances, cyclists will not effectively win an argument or change minds of individuals adverse to cycling or a momentary event. Telling someone they are wrong most often fails to inspire reflection and change. Few to none are open to a lecture or being corrected while on the road or path. Correction, reprimand, terse remarks, or derogatory exchanges will not convince other drivers or pedestrians to change behaviors, and will more likely raise tension and antagonism against cyclists. Worse yet, this tension and antagonism will likely manifest in ways that make cycling the road and path less safe and cycling viewed negatively. The cyclist seen in an antagonistic exchange will not create a positive or empathetic response, and most other non-cyclists will perceive cyclists negatively as a result.
Positive reinforcement through recognition and acknowledgement of people raises the value of the cyclist in the eyes of the recipient and observing community. Cycle Advocates seek to set positive examples for integration rather than a reinforcement of negative perceptions and attitudes toward cycling. To be sure, it can be extremely difficult to avoid correction of public interaction and views in the moment when conflict or aggression arises, but the consequences of assertively correcting another, especially on the road or path, do not attain change or sympathy.