Today I Cycled

I enjoy cycling but don’t jump on my bike as often as I should do. Today, however, was one of those rare occasions when my bike seemed like the perfect mode of transport. I was meeting an ex-colleague for a coffee in Canonmills – about 1.5 miles from home.

So what was it about today that made me pull my helmet on and drag my bike up from the basement?

At one level, I knew I needed some exercise! Working from home means my activity levels have plummeted. Additionally, my indoor hockey session was cancelled this week, so I felt I should replace it with some other form exercise. I quickly reasoned that I could tick two things off at one – I could get where I need to get AND gain some exercise, all for free. It was a win-win all round. Still, for me that’s not enough of a motivation on its own, otherwise I’d be cycling or running everywhere.

Upon reflection, I think location was probably the main driver for my decision to cycle.

In the News

Safer Cycling

Today I stumbled across an article on the Guardian which introduced me to Brainy Bike Lights. It’s an interesting story about a new type of bike light which has been developed based on behavioural insights.  The concept recognised that much driving is done on auto-pilot and that the safety of cyclists might be improved by

cutting brain processing time and allowing drivers extra time to react.

Brainy Bike Lights does this by using a symbol of a cyclist rather than a traditional light, which allows faster identification of cyclists by drivers.

Source: Brainy Bike Lights
Source: Brainy Bike Lights

It is also thought that the use of the symbol subconsciously prompts drivers to see cyclist as a vulnerable person, resulting in more cautious driving.

Reading about these bike lights has made me think about the potential to be more creative when designing any information which is being used to try to change behaviours. What conscious and subconscious impacts are our messages having?