Spread the love!
This Valentine’s Day we’re taking time to spread the love to our fellow advocates, suppliers, and excitement-sharer’s that make the cycling industry so special. From the talented cycling education instructors teaching people to ride, to the government officials advocating for a safer future for our roads and communities, share a hug this February 14th.
Sustainable Street’s goal is to promote activities like walking and bicycling in order to to help build healthy, vibrant, and livable communities. The organization seeks to make active transportation accessible to everyone through individual-level training, public education, and advocacy of complete streets policies. One awesome program that this organization offers is the opportunity to become a Bicycle Friendly Business.
Bicycle Friendly Business is a certification and national award organized by The League of American Bicyclists, as a part of their Bicycle Friendly Initiative program. Through this program, employers are recognized for their efforts to encourage a more welcoming atmosphere for bicycling employees, customers and the community. Deserving businesses are recognized at the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels and all applicants receive valuable feedback and assistance in becoming more conducive to bicycling.
As you can see, Sustainable Streets is great resource for bike lovers and passionate cyclists who care about the future of the activity across the country. Through partnerships with amazing non-profits, educational programs, and bike advocacy, cyclists everywhere can work together to make a huge difference. Check them out!
THE LEAGUE OF AMERICAN BICYCLISTS
Are you looking for a community of bicyclists dedicated to creating safer roads and promoting the many benefits of cycling? Look no further than The League!
Established in 1880, The League of American Bicyclists has been working hard to spread the word on cyclist’s rights and and the value of bicycling. The League is a firm believer that bicycling is an activity that not only brings people together, but also creates healthier and stronger communities. What a dream come true for the bicycle lover. The organization provides many valuable education programs focused on bringing cyclists together to create better biking environments and safer rides.
Over the next three years, The League of American Bicyclists plans to focus on making bicycling a safer, more attractive & convenient option for everyone. By expanding on their programs, The League will be able to connect to America’s most diverse communities. One of avenues they’ll be using to spread the good word is The National Bike Summit!
THE NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT
The National Bike Summit is a fantastic bike advocacy event that unifies and unites the voices of bicyclists on Capitol Hill. This year’s theme is Grass Roots Grow Together. The summit will showcase successful cycling programs at the local level, sharing how they happen and exploring ways to expand their reach. In addition, the summit will offer various workshops and speaker panels focusing on bike advocacy. If you are an active, passionate cyclist and looking to make a huge difference this year, The National Bike Summit is for you!
The 19th Annual National Bike Summit will take place in Washington, D.C. from March 5-March 7. If you are interested in attending or would like to view more information on the sessions and details of the summit, please visit this page!
Pedaling your community – social, economic, and charitable growth through cycling
It’s no secret that a daily cycling routine provides amazing mental, emotional, and physical health benefits. But how can the activity impact an entire community? We’ve listed out a few ways that cycling events can change your neighborhood for the better.
1. ENCOURAGES COMMUNITY INTERACTION
Cycling events like COAST allow community members to interact with their neighborhood, and each other, in a new way. Launched in Santa Monica in 2016, COAST is an open-streets festival that encourages the community to walk, bike, skate, and scoot through two miles of Santa Monica’s most popular streets. Free of automotive traffic! According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, the festival celebrates new methods of environmental sustainability, transportation, and the arts. The first event was a rousing success, drawing more than 50,000 people. When asked about what COAST means to the city of Santa Monica, former Mayor Kevin McKeown said, “We do Coast for two primary reasons; in my point of view, the first is to demonstrate what life is like when you free yourself from the automobile… And the other part of this is it’s a community festival. It’s a chance for us on the city council to speak directly with constituents as they walk by… While they’re on bikes or on foot in a way you could never connect with people through cars.” Cycling events promote positive, healthy interactions with people, art, and experiences that you may have ignored before. They encourage us to be present with each other and the environment that surround us.
2. Brings REVENUE and jobs INTO THE COMMUNITY through small business
Studies show that cycling is not just good for health and social interactions, but also business. According to adventurecycling.org, “Bicycling construction projects create twice as many jobs as regular road maintenance projects – 14.4 jobs created for on-street bike lanes vs. 7.4 jobs for road repairs and upgrades for every $1 million spent.” Cha-ching!
The report also found that people who travel by bicycle spend more than those who travel by motorized vehicle because they spend more nights in an area, need to stop more often for food, and generally tend to spend more locally. When people get out of their cars and on their bikes, they may stumble on new restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, and other new neighborhood gems.
On the business side, cycling trade shows like North American Handmade Bicycle Show (“NAHBS”) can prove to be extremely beneficial for the budding bike entrepreneur. Per bike suppliers on Bicycle Retailer, “We had enough meetings booked with our entire sales staff that we were having to double book meetings. As long as we continue to see this same level of success and can keep the show costs in check then Interbike will continue to provide value.” Shows like NAHBS can help small businesses experience increased visibility and sales, in a more concentrated arena. Now that’s what we call collaboration! (Photo by lalightphoto.com)
3. Raises money for charity and promotes cycling for a cause
Many charities now use bike races to raise funds and awareness, while also touching the lives of those in need. Local events like the LOTOJA Classic have raised nearly $1 million for charities. One charity partner in their event states, “We really appreciate the opportunity that LOTOJA has given us. They are a huge catalyst to help us raise over hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year.” With so many events of varying distances, skill levels, and locations, it is easier than ever to find the right ride for you. Whether you want to fight hunger, raise money for a cure, honor a loved one, or just get in shape and make a difference. Are you passionate about a specific cause? Grab some friends and neighbors then brainstorm how you can not only enjoy your favorite activity, but spread love, joy, and happiness to other peoples lives in the process. (Photo by lalightphoto.com)
As always, thank you for reading! Happy pedaling!