Turn Black Friday into BIKE Friday
Crazy year creates space for new traditions
Thanksgiving is wackadoo this year, anyway. So let’s just go ahead and flip everything on its head: let’s use this notoriously over-indulgent holiday to launch some new family traditions that build long-term health and community prosperity. Here is where I’m starting:
Turning Black Friday into BIKE Friday
The dubious shopping day known as Black Friday already has a dark past—from its origins in 1869 when gold prices triggered a securities market crash to the modern-day viral videos that prove it spurs some appalling public behavior.
I’ve never been much of a Black Friday shopper (or much of a shopper, for that matter), but I’m drawing a line in the sand and taking the kids for a bike ride instead.
I’d like to ask you to join me in making this shift. Here are some benefits I see to BIKE Friday:
· Get exercise: physical activity is good for our brains and our bodies. And, outdoors is better than indoors right now. We get our money’s worth from the great Florida weather for which we pay. (Yes, the cost of living may be low, but we pay in other ways; Florida Man, anyone?) The temps and skies in most of Florida should be glorious for outdoor exercise this Friday.
· Build transportation independence: Bicycling helps kids build transportation independence. They learn to navigate the environment while also picking up an activity they can do increasingly autonomously as they get older (or when the world has to go on lockdown and group activities are cancelled.) Being physical also helps kids learn to fall down, which I often lament is a skill that needs more emphasis. (I think this guy is my hero.)
· Create a more bike able Florida: We can contribute to a more bikeable future by logging the ride in the free Love to Ride Florida program. (There are prizes to be won, as well, for rides logged by Nov. 30!)
· Save Money: Bicycling on Friday instead of shopping at big-box stores or national chains saves money for a better way to spend, such as …
Supporting “Small Business Saturday”
Shop local: Small and locally owned businesses need our support now more than ever. Last year, Americans spent $19.6 billion at independent businesses when they “shopped small” on Small Business Saturday. If we collectively have enough disposable income this year, I hope we far exceed that number.
Bike to shopping: How about a stretch goal? Let’s combine our bike-riding and our small-business-supporting by cycling to and from the shops. I have a place nearby where I can do so safely and comfortably, even with the kiddos in tow.
And wouldn’t you know it – people who walk or bike to shops tend to spend more money in their communities than people who drive cars for their shopping trips. Imagine the impact we can have, on our own family’s health and well-being, as well as our community’s prosperity and vibrancy.
No matter what, how or when you do your cycling and shopping, please follow social distancing guidelines and comply with mask mandates; keep in mind that masks might be required by local government OR by shop owners. And even if you don’t plan on shopping, tuck a mask into your favorite cycling attire just in case of an emergency or if you need to stop for a drink.
And now, in honor of my mom whose desserts I can’t go without and my dad whose off-color jokes will have to be yelled loudly this year so we can all hear from six feet apart, here’s my favorite Thanksgiving joke:
Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?
A: Pumpkin pi.
(Bonus joke: What’s a mom joke? It’s like a dad joke, except funny.)
What’s your cycling story? Is it in the Messenger? Our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure, just visit the FBA website Home page . Want a hard copy of our Messenger? FBA members have the Messenger delivered to their door every quarter. Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members to pick up a copy and use the membership form inside to join!