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After posting Bike Fort Collins’ “Legal or Not” quiz on my personal Facebook account, I was struck by the fact that one of my very smart, thoughtful friends didn’t know many of the traffic laws that pertain to either riding a bicycle or driving a car near a bicyclist. It’s not like she’d chosen ignorance so much as she didn’t realize she was ignorant. It’s hard to know what you don’t know, right?

So with that in mind, I thought I’d pull out one of my recent posts and try to turn it into an easily sharable internet meme — a bicycle education meme, if you will.

A meme (/ˈmiːm/ meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another…. — Wikipedia

The hope is that the image will be easy to share on social media, will catch people’s attention, and will hopefully get them to dig deeper regarding the rules of the road.

3Things-cyclistswishmotoristsknew-blue-meme

Making the image is the first step. The second is sharing it to social media with the hope that others will reshare it.

To share, either look through the images posted to Pedal Fort Collins on Facebook or Twitter, find the one above and reshare it. Or right click on the image above (control-click if you’re using a Mac) and save a copy to your computer. Then upload to your favorite social media site. You don’t have to ask for my permission to do this. I’m giving it right here, right now. Go for it!

Social media is a visually oriented means of communication. We can post links to well worded articles all day long, but if people won’t bother to read the articles, then we’ve wasted our time. An image, on the other hand, can be glanced at and “consumed” quickly. It might not sink in the first time, nor the second, but hopefully as we continue to get the message out, it will begin to sink in among our friends and colleagues. And hopefully, over time, it will sink in to the point where it becomes a part of our local culture.

When I learn the rules of the road, it makes me a better driver and cyclist. But it doesn’t always make me safer. I need the people around me to know the rules too. So please consider sharing this to your social media pages. Or, if you don’t like this one, watch for future images to share.