I’m not quite sure what the path ahead looks like, or where it leads. But I want to make damned sure there’s a bike on it. Hell, I want to make sure there are many bikes on it!
What are the opportunities and insights that will emerge from our global experiences of Coronavirus? For communities, individuals, Governments and business? And what’s needed to create the change?
The good ol’ humble bicycle has provided so many answers to so many of the world’s most complex problems in recent and historical times. I’m convinced the bike will provide us with answers again today. But what are the questions?
Likely they’re the same questions and challenges that have been facing us for many years. And the answers are those we already know. The difference is that now they’re being understood and experienced in different ways due to the altered world we’re living in.
Commuters are swapping public transport for cycling. More people are appreciating the outdoors and nature. Businesses are finding new ways to provide services, including home deliveries. Governments and communities are transforming car lanes into cycling lanes. Cycling groups are calling for more tracks and trails to accommodate more people using them. Others are calling to reduce speed limits, so cycling is safer. Everywhere, people are advocating for the merits of riding bikes as a mode of mental and physical health. Air quality is improving, in part due to a reduction in transport emissions. More people are working from home, reducing their time spent commuting.
On the other hand: the tourism industry is suffering. Events are cancelled. Many local businesses are suffering. Bicycle repair shops are deemed essential services in some areas, but not others. Cycling is seen as risky and dangerous and is prohibited to reduce the potential impact on over-strained hospitals. And, longer term, there is likely to be a lack of discretionary spend – for bike-related retail, cycling events, travel etc…
I believe the answer of ‘the bike’ is that this altered world we’re living in provides us with an opportunity to better communicate and better position the bike as an antidote to the problems we’ve already long suffered. We are being given a new lens and a new ear. Our world is changing. Let’s see how we can leverage some positivity from this awful situation and use it for the betterment of individuals, communities, economies and the environment.
What are the jobs that can be created during, and post-Coronavirus through the bike? – bike retail, mechanics, tourism…
What does it mean for the potential further growth of e-bikes; and for bicycle parts, manufacture and supply?
What is needed to make cycling the normal, easy, convenient and safe option during, and post-Coronavirus? – policy, promotion, education, infrastructure…
What are the tools and resources that are needed by individuals, communities, advocacy groups and Government to implement effective change? – promotional messaging, business cases and case studies…
What are the innovations and adaptations that are needed? – by the bicycle industry and all related segments, organisations and government?
We will all be longing for a better world ahead and a brighter future. What can we do now to make sure that bikes are a prominent part of that picture?
And what can I do to help you? Let me know what you need. From me. Right now. I am here to help. And I want to make a difference.
feature image credit: Lili Popper, unsplash