Many conversations in the world of cycling are, frankly, just about played out: “We need bike lanes!” vs “Bike lanes are for pussies!” … “Cyclists never follow the rules!” vs “Yeah, but motorists are trying to kill us!” … “Bike sharing is a UN conspiracy!” vs “Um, no, we’re really just riding bikes here!” … “Spandex is a the fabric of my dreams!” vs “Spandex makes my butt look big!” And so on. It can get pretty boring, arguing the same damn thing all the time to the same people. Let alone trying to lecture people about why biking is great for you: “Saves money!” … “Improves health!” … “Great for the environment!” These entrenched conversations make it far too easy for people who don’t care about bicycling to tune it out altogether. Something must be done to interrupt the scripts and get at this topic from new angles; it’s time for new, surprising conversations about bicycling and the role of transportation in our everyday lives.
Enter Yay Bikes!. Expanding the conversation about bicycling for transportation is precisely what we’re all about. It’s why we work in the area of bicycle culture — not to create a “hip scene” in town, but to use areas of life like art and faith to get different types of people engaged in different types of conversations about bicycling. Because WE WILL NOT GET MORE PEOPLE RIDING BY REPEATING THE SAME TIRED TALKING POINTS! This is why I’m so excited to pilot our new conversation series: Faith & Transportation.
Each Thursday in February at 7:30pm, a small group will meet at Summit on 16th United Methodist Church to explore the intersections between our spiritual and physical journeys. To my disbelief, I’ve found no evidence that this topic has never been discussed at a church! But places of worship are precisely where we advocates need to be to reach a diverse audience and connect this issue with something unexpected, with our spiritual-not-rational lives. Here’s a series overview:
Feb 2 — Transportation as Ministry: God’s Design for Our Faith Journeys
Why transportation? Why is transportation typically overlooked as a concern of the church? Identifying the opportunities for our own faith journeys in reflecting upon transportation.
Feb 9 — Transportation as Movement: God’s Design for Our Bodies
God’s design for our bodies, transportation deconstructed = body movement. What do we need to think about when machines extend natural human capabilities? Identifying the opportunities for our selves in reflecting upon transportation.
Feb 16 — Transportation as ‘The Commons’: God’s Design for Our Communities
U.S. transportation policy — choices and their consequences. What kind of public space and/or transportation system would God design for us, and why? How might we reconcile some of the fissures our transportation choices have caused? Identifying the opportunities for our communities in reflecting upon transportation.
Feb 23 — Transportation as Transformation: God’s Design for Our Places of Worship
“Radical transportation” — thinking outside the box when it comes to meeting the transportation needs of all congregants. Social services models (transporting people) vs. empowerment models (helping them transport themselves). Creating connections within a congregation through transportation, practical next steps. Identifying the opportunities for our places of worship in reflecting upon transportation.
Please join us to make this a really meaningful conversation. Although there will be a Christian emphasis because that’s what we know, people of all faiths — and even non-faiths! — are welcome. See you there!