So you want to set up your own Red Bike and Blue Meetup. Congrats, that’s wonderful! Thank you for being a part of the solution, and not the problem.
So there are some things you can do to help your meetup go more smoothly. From ground rules to etiquette, here’s how to set up an effective Red Bike and Blue Meetup.
Step 1: Reach Out
So you have someone in mind who you know doesn’t share the same political ideologies as you. And you kind of want to talk to them about that. Well, let them know!
Try a script like this:
“Hey pal, I know we don’t always share the same beliefs, but I wanted to get to know where you’re coming from a bit better. How about we do a Red Bike and Blue Meetup? You’ll share your thoughts, and I’ll share mine. I’ll send you the link, and you can let me know if you’re down.”
E-Mail your friend this article you’re currently reading: https://healthebiker.com/red-bike-and-blue-meetup/
And this article that talks about the idea as a whole: https://healthebiker.com/biking-for-unity/
If your friend accepts, congrats! You’re helping break down the echo chambers we live in that keeps progress from progressing. You’re ready for step 2.
Step 2: Plan Your Location
We advocate for you to go on a bike ride. Moving your body can help take some pressure off, and a leisurely bike ride still makes it easy to chat.
But biking isn’t the only option. You can shoot some pool at the bar, take a stroll through a park, or sit and have coffee at a local coffee shop. Try a bench by the lake or a stroll through a garden.
When you pick your location, try to choose somewhere that’s neutral territory. The more you can put yourselves in a calming environment, the easier it will be to chat.
Step 3: The Rules
To start your Red Bike and Blue Meetup, agree on how much time you have to dedicate to the meetup. This is designed to be a minimum amount of time you both agree to the meetup.
When you agree on this time, you both agree to stay with the meetup for that minimum amount of time, no matter what. It’s a floor, not a ceiling.
After you’re agreed upon time has concluded, if you both want to continue the meetup, by all means, proceed!
If you only have 15 or 20 minutes, let the other person know and state that in advance. If you’re meeting for drinks after work, and your curfew isn’t until ten, let the meetup last as long as you feel natural.
When you agree on your time, it’s a commitment that you will stay in the conversation for at least that long. But don’t let that time limit hold you back.
Then flip a coin. Whoever wins the toss is the listener. The coin-toss loser gets to share their thoughts for the entire time. Your job is to listen and try to come to an understanding of why this person holds their beliefs.
At the end, try to explain their beliefs back to them. Make sure you don’t get snarky. Show that you’re listening and trying to understand where they’re coming from. Your goal is to understand them and their beliefs better. Not necessarily agree with them.
After the meetup, you both must agree whether you want to meet again. As the listener, the better you are at listening, the more likely the speaker will want to meet again.
Share Your Meetup With Us!
Let us know you scheduled a Red Bike and Blue Meetup. We’ll give you a Zoom link so you can live stream your meetup directly on our site. The conversation will then be archived as part of a Citizens Debate.
We want to know what the people actually think. Share your voice.
Is There Someone You’re Thinking Of?
Some of you may have someone in your life that’s especially hard for you to talk about politics. Maybe it’s a parent. Maybe it’s a boss or coworker. Maybe it’s your political arch-nemesis.
We want to live stream the debates that matter to you most. Let us know who you want to debate and why it’s important to you, and join is in Jacksonville FL. We’ll provide Shuttlebikes so you can have the Red Bike and Blue Meetup you need in style.
Shuttlebike down St. John’s river in the middle of Jacksonville. We’ll have amazing cameras to record the whole event, either in 3D or 360 or both. We’ll live stream directly onto our site, and it’ll go into the archives too.
Set Up Your Own Red Bike and Blue Meetup
We know Red Bike and Blue Meetups can be intimidating. It’s hard to step outside your comfort zone. And it’s hard to hear someone passionate about things that go against your very core.
But you’re doing a huge part in breaking down the echo chambers we live within. We need more people like you to share your voice, and shut up and listen to someone else’s too.