The High Five Project (Hit ‘em high, hit ‘em low)

There were a lot of great cycling moments in Tucson.

Meeting El Grupo, riding road bikes through foot deep washes (maybe we won’t try that one again), racing like matchbox cars along the swooping, smooth road of Saguaro East, ripping into our stash of Coke ManCans at Windy Point en route to the summit of Lemmon.

But one interaction still stands out.

The high five.

Windy Point on a fittingly windy day. Dan Sharp’s 40th birthday. There’s a life flight helicopter evacuating an injured sledder. We’re turning around.

There on Windy Point, I was descending slowly, weaving my way through the snow revellers that flanked the street, playing while they were parked and waiting for the road to re-open after the rescue. Up on the right, a young man was giving me the thumbs up.

Why? Who knows? Cycling in snowland worthy of a thumbs up? Probably.

I was rolling slow enough to put a hand up in the air as I went by and when he reached up and met me… bam! On-bike stranger high five! Instant human connection. No words exchanged.

What were we celebrating? Why did we do it? What did it mean?

Nothing. Everything.

It was 5,000 shades of awesome.

A random exchange of kick-assness. A spontaneous expression of rad.

Why did I put my arm up in the first place? Because of Colleen Smith.

A few days earlier, I’d been made aware of this. High fives for happiness – the High Five Project. In which six-foot-six-inch tall Smith attempts to spread joy with the simplicity of high-fives doled out to unsuspecting stranger.

Check out her video for inspiration and then go forth and spread the high-fiviness. It’ll make you all kinds of giddy, I promise.

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  1. Love the little boy by the fountain jumping for a high five with a huge grin on his face!

  2. I’ve got something even better: Bikes + NYC + high fives to random strangers hailing a cab. It’s awesome:

  3. That’s hilarious!

  4. wonderful wonderful! Let’s spread this and make some people smile. Your description of the awesomeness is fantastic.

    The video of the guy in NYC is cute, but it isn’t in the spirit. The people are doing catching a taxi and this is startling to them. Getting someone to agree to it is a real communication and brings the smiles.

    giddy and smiles are great!

  5. Thank you Grit and Glimmer for reposting my video! I had so much fun making it and I encourage everyone to go out and spread the High Five Love! It will truly make your day (or week) and make a lot of people smile. Just a single small act like this can create a snowball effect on spreading peace.

  6. Julia W

    YAY!!!!! A group of us did this today in Auckland, New Zealand… got hundreds of high fives and even more smiles and joy.. WAS WONDERFUL! Editing the video, then posting online… will post a link here when its up.. EVERYONE should do this!!! :D


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