The Happiness Chronicles

In our complex world, happiness isn’t always an easy thing to find - and can be even more difficult to get back if we’ve lost it.

Positive interactions with others make us feel happier and more connected. We started Loffi to try and help increase these experiences and ultimately have more fun.

We don't know about you, but cycling makes us feel pretty good and certainly happier at the end of a nice ride.

This page is where we will pull together some of the stories, experiences and thinking around the ethos that Loffi represents. 

  

Episode 1

Carvel Lonsdale had cycled in the past but ‘been on holiday’ from his bike for some years. He works for Lancashire County Council and his cycling goal for 2019 is to ride 2,019 miles. As a result, he has got the most amazing tale of waving.

We connected with Carvel through our partnership with the fantastic LoveToRide organisation who had given him a pair of our gloves in recognition of his brilliant efforts in fostering good relationships between road users.

With extracts from the Love to Ride blog and transcripts from conversations we’ve had with him on the phone, this is his story…

“As a new employee with Lancashire County Council’s Children and Families Wellbeing Service, it was time to lead by example – so cycling to work became my personal well-being project. I have to be honest, I was nervous about both the traffic and my ability to physically tackle the ride. This is the story of how I overcame these barriers – I hope it helps you to begin, or enhance, your ride to work.

To begin with I decided on the route. The choice was either back lanes or major roads. I chose the major roads to be safer. Riding at times when people were rushing to work on narrow twisting roads seemed more of a real problem than fast traffic with plenty of room to get past. The big roads were also flatter, 7.7 miles of rolling terrain. Major roads it was then!

With plenty of lights and reflective strips attached I began my cycle commute. My logic was simple. Car drivers are isolated from the world around them, so I wanted them to care about me on their commute to work as the rider they ‘always’ see. How do you connect with people? You make a massive effort to be nice.

Every single car that made the slightest effort to give me room on the road got a wave, not necessarily for them to see but for the driver behind who saw me waving at the car ‘making an effort’. It was a lot of waving! After a month, travelling at the same time every day the improvement in drivers’ awareness was incredible. How do I know? Massive clearance on overtakes; hazard warning light winks; not overtaking when there is slow moving traffic; cars I recognise stopping traffic to let me out and cheerful horn honking”

Some days it’s hard to keep waving, I’ve got it down to a kind of salute now, but not only is it keeping me safe I feel connected with ‘my’ car drivers. The sense of wellbeing for me is massive, I can literally see the impact of positive relationships."

When we finished reading Carvel's story we thought, we have to chat to this guy! After all, he shares our belief in waving! Here are a few snippets of our favourite bits of Carvel wisdom:

“I’ve been an angry cyclist, being angry has a negative impact on your emotional state”

“Change the narrative of your journey from a battle for survival to an opportunity to make positive social exchanges”

“Be the person that car drivers want to see in the morning - make friends, let them adopt you!”

And with the added benefit of a pair of Loffi gloves…


“I've now got a 360° ability to communicate”

"I cycle past these kids every day when they are on their way to school and the childminder mentioned to me that the kids absolutely love the gloves. She said, 'When I’m trying to get them to school I often say we have to hurry up, otherwise we'll miss him!'"

"I’ve interacted in a positive way with maybe 150 different people and I know from anecdotal evidence that some of those people are talking about me in the pub as the unusual cyclist that acknowledges drivers' efforts to keep me safe... It’s a really nice feeling”

 Waving works

Thanks for reading & happy cycling.
Jack

 

 

1 comment

John Brooking
“Change the narrative of your journey from a battle for survival to an opportunity to make positive social exchanges.” 👍

I’m a big fan of changing the frame. The common framing of biking in traffic as being a war between cyclists and motorists, while it may feel accurate sometimes, is ultimately, in my opinion, counter-productive in making progress for the acceptance of bicyclist road rights, as well as attracting more people to bike for transportation. Who wants to sign up for a war? But it’s a popular framing, partly because reporters are always looking for that conflict that sells the story.

CyclingSavvy promotes traffic cycling as “a dance that you must lead”, complete with music video! 😃

https://vimeo.com/9827254

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