In this issue:
ADVOCACY & EDUCATION AWARD WINNERS + THE LEGACY OF KITTY KNOX A VIRTUALLY PERFECT NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT + STAFF PICKS: THE LEAGUE SAG WAGON IN TIMES OF CRISIS, BIKES RESPOND + LOBBYING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS
IS DECEMBER 1!
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IN THIS ISSUE
AMERICAN BICYCLIST • FALL 2020
awa r d s s e a s o n
2020 Advocacy & Education Award Winners Bike advocates across the country nominated awardees—both individuals and organizations— to be honored at our yearly awards ceremony. Take a moment to join us in appreciating these leaders who set the tone not only in their communities, but nationwide.
a d v o c a c y f e at u r e Lobbying in the Time of Coronavirus The pandemic hasn’t slowed down the Bike Boom in America, and we haven’t slowed down our advocacy efforts. Get the latest updates from our work on Capitol Hill.
n at i o n a l b i k e s u m m i t Virtually a Perfect National Bike Summit The League was left to improvise and pivot when it became clear that we’d have to cancel our in-person Summit plans. Despite the challenges, the League engaged its remarkable community of advocates to inspire, unite and learn—all online and with a lot of memorable takeaways.
Centering Equity and Public Health through Bike Education Learn how League Cycling Instructors, community leaders and local students worked together, leveraging federal funding to empower people on bikes.
32 s ta f f p i c k s
s m a rt c yc l i n g f e at u r e
24 What’s Keeping Us Moving: The League SAG Wagon Take a peek at our staff’s favorite bikes, rides and moments as we share the things giving us a sense of momentum and joy right now.
viewpoint 2 Riding, Recovering & Responding Together Bill Nesper, Executive Director
b i c y c l e f r i e n d ly a m e r i c a 6 In Times of Crisis, Bikes — and the League — Respond Ken McLeod
14 Learning from the Legacy of Kittie Knox Lorenz J. Finison
36 Bicycle Friendly America: By the Numbers Amelia Neptune
Editor: Lauren Jenkins, Communications Director Design & Layout: Paul Halupka, with thanks to Brandon Clark for layout support and illustrations
Cover photos: Top row, left to right: Courtesy of Adobe Stock, Joe Gall Photography, Kevin Dekkinga, Sydney Garrison—all others licensed from Unsplash.
RIDING, RECOVERING, & RESPONDING TOGETHER BY BILL NESPER
A C K I N M A R C H , as we adjusted to the reality of life in the global pandemic, many of us searched for silver linings as we dealt with the onslaught of bad news. The surge in bicycling across the U.S.—a new “bike boom”— has been cause for hope. At first, we eagerly took photos of the bike-filled streets and trails. We saw more people than ever, from families to first responders, choosing to bike. This was deeply encouraging for advocates who in turn leapt into action to make sure bike shops were considered essential businesses, to speak out for more space for biking and walking, and to create online resources to help people ride safely. Cities across the country saw big increases in ridership and bicycle sales reached levels that caused shortages. People embraced bicycling as one of the few ways they could still get exercise, relieve stress, and get where they needed to go. I’m sure that many of you, like me, had more opportunities to help neighbors with biking advice and even a mechanical or two. But along with the enthusiasm, the boom swiftly exposed pre-existing cracks; biking was not equally experienced across the country, as many communities lacked the networks and programming to meet increased demand. The pandemic also quickly highlighted the health disparities and racial inequities that exist in our communities. When bicycling isn’t a safe alternative to driving or public transportation, it further exacerbates systemic inequities in the health and well-being of those who stand
to benefit most from biking. Those of us who experience these benefits must use the momentum of the current bike boom to create lasting change. If we focus our energy on these goals, we’ll emerge with more connected, thriving, and sustainable communities that will contribute to our country’s recovery.
Anyone must be able to imagine a future where they can see themselves riding for recreation and especially for everyday trips. Yet, as we consider our future, it’s also important that we account for history. We have seen bicycling booms like this before, and they didn’t last. In fact, the League is a product of the first bike boom of the late 1800s and has seen several rebirths since. The biggest boom of the 20th century occurred in the 1970s—why it crested and fell is central to Carlton Reid’s excellent book, Bike Boom: The Unexpected Resurgence of Cycling and recent article in Forbes. In part, he argues, it was because the larger environmental movement prioritized other issues and didn’t continue to see bicycling as central to their advocacy goals. This is still a challenge now, as much of the focus for change still privileges technological innovations over simpler, commonsense investments to create slower streets,
Students and teachers ride in the Oceano Bike Posse at Oceano Elemenatary, a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business. Photo: Jim DeCecco
connected networks, and better bicycling, as seen in the best Bicycle Friendly Communities®. I think Reid is right about the main reason for the decline of the last bike boom when he says, “those attracted to it were not sufficiently sold on the idea to carry on riding long-term, either recreationally or—critically—for Dutch-style daily transport.” This gets to the heart of one of our movement’s biggest obstacles. Anyone must be able to imagine a future where they can see themselves riding for recreation and especially for everyday trips. To meet our mission to lead the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for Everyone, the League must be representative of America’s diversity. We know from the racism and exclusion in our organizational history, as seen in the story of Kittie Knox in this issue, and in the inequalities that exist on our streets today, that we have much work ahead to be inclusive and representative to truly serve the needs of all people in our communities.
Thanks to in-school bike education and League partners like the USA BMX Foundation, kids across the country are gaining bike skills. We must keep working to empower their continued access to safe places to bike.
as part of our work. Everyone should be able to “Bike There” wherever that there may be— for transportation, for well-being, or for the pure joy of it. Our ambitious vision can only be achieved through the kind of distributed people power we see in these pages of American Bicyclist. I’m thankful that you, as part of the League, show up to make bicycling better and share the joy and benefits bicycling brings to our lives with others by teaching classes, leading rides, encouraging neighbors, speaking up at meetings, or transforming your workplace are all essential components of our national recovery through better bicycling. We on the League staff are proud to be riding with you.
Our goal is to reach every neighborhood and serve every person. But the current reality is that safe, complete bicycling networks, highquality bicycling education, and other elements of top-rated Bicycle Friendly Communities are the exception rather than the rule. We also know that safety means more than just providing education and infrastructure— the fear of racial profiling and violence in communities of color must also be addressed
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POLICY IN ACTION
IN TIMES OF CRISIS, BIKES — AND THE LEAGUE — RESPOND BY KEN McLEOD
T THE LE AGUE, W E K N OW H OW ES SENTI AL BIC YCLI N G I S. Bicycling
is essential for the hundreds of thousands who rely on bicycling as their mode of transportation. Bicycling is essential for the millions who enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of riding a bike. Bicycling is essential for the workers who deliver food, groceries, and other goods every day by bike. When the covid-19 pandemic hit and cities and states began to issue stay at home orders, the League saw that not all public officials understood that bicycling is essential. On March 19th, the Department of Homeland Security issued its guidance on who constituted the essential workforce, and while it covered auto mechanics and retailers, it did not recognize the essential nature of bicycle maintenance to keeping people who rely on bicycling moving. Several states followed suit or otherwise made the fate of bike shops unclear. While some may think of bicycling as only recreation, or at worst a mere “child’s toy”, we know that it is an essential part of our transportation system and knew we had to act to support people biking. We immediately began organizing, reaching out to state and local partners, reviewing state orders and federal guidance, trading talking points, and helping connect threatened bike shops with bike advocates. By the Monday after federal guidance was issued, we had a form letter and a campaign for statelevel advocates to use. We wrote a formal letter to the Department of Homeland Security and
engaged their staff on Twitter. We created a map to help people show that most states understood what we understand—that bicycling is essential. For some states, like New Mexico, where no statewide advocacy group exists, we helped organize a campaign to contact the governor. The next week we held a webinar with advocates from Massachusetts and Colorado, Landry’s Bicycles, and PeopleforBikes. We heard and amplified stories of essential workers—in healthcare, in grocery stores, and many other industries who relied on and preferred riding a bike to work. And we saw results. State after state amended and clarified its orders. By March 28, the Department of Homeland Security updated its guidance and more states recognized bicycling as essential. By April, the policy was near universal— bicycling is essential, and that meant the bike shops and bike maintenance workers who make bicycling possible were recognized as essential workers. Bicycling has shown time and time again that it steps up in times of crisis. Whether people are delivering supplies and care by bicycle when streets are obstructed in a disaster or providing safe and distant transportation for people during a pandemic, bicycles have shown that they provide vital transportation in the worst of times. I hope that policymakers learned that bicycles are essential tools for a resilient world as we face other crises in the future. A world with more bicycling is a world with fewer climate threatening emissions. A world with more bicycling is a world
RECOGNIZING BICYCLING AS ESSENTIAL: Big shifts in bicycling policy in first months of pandemic MARCH 24 – APRIL 10, 2020
ISSUED A PROTECTIVE ORDER, “BIKES ARE ESSENTIAL”
ISSUED A PROTECTIVE ORDER, BIKES “MAYBE” ESSENTIAL
NO PROTECTIVE ORDER
State after state amended and clarified its orders. By March 28... more states had recognized bicycling as essential. with more active people with fewer underlying health conditions. A world with more bicycling is a world with people prepared for resilience and with transportation options. I hope that policymakers learned that bicycling is an undeniably essential part of our transportation system. For all our progress to build a Bicycle
Friendly America, this pandemic showed how some of our leaders still overlook the simple solution and power of the bicycle. As millions of people have chosen to bike throughout this pandemic, and governments recognized bicycling as essential, I hope that it is now impossible to overlook the power of the bicycle.
TÊTE DE LA COURSE
THE LEADERS WHO INSPIRE US OUR 2020 ADVOCACY AND EDUCATION AWARD WINNERS BY LAUREN JENKINS
ROM WHERE WE RIDE in Washington,
DC, the League sees how the work that happens at the local level—writing the letters to the editor, showing up at city council meetings, organizing bike rodeos— enables our work at the federal level. We want to know as many of those stories as possible, we want to know who in our movement deserves recognition. In January, we asked you and bike advocates like you across the country to nominate the people and organizations doing the work to make biking better so we could honor them at the 2020 National Bike Summit Advocacy and Education Awards.
worked to remove barriers to participation by underserved and underrepresented groups in the bicycling movement. Knox was a League member noted for her “graceful cycling” and she was a biracial woman who stood up for her rights. Even after southern leaders in the League successfully instituted a “color bar” in 1894, Knox attended the League’s annual meeting in 1895 and she continued to exert her right to equality on and off the bike throughout the rest of her short life.
Of course, the 2020 National Bike Summit was a bit like heading out on a long ride and 20 miles from home finding a road closed. We had to re-route and explore new roads, and we learned so much more about the resilience and adaptability of our community along the way. By taking the Summit online and going virtual with our programming, we were also able to make our awards ceremony—usually a one-night only dinnertime celebration—something the public could take part in which means we could truly celebrate our awardees properly.
>> LEARN MORE about Kittie Knox’s life and legacy on page 14 This Summit’s awards were special for another reason, as well: 2020 was the inaugural year of our Katherine T. “Kittie” Knox Award, recognizing a person or organization that has championed equity, diversity, and inclusion and
The award presented to our award winners is centered on a framed print by Taliah Lempert. See her work at bicyclepaintings.com
I N D I V I D U A L AWA R D S These individuals earned awards in 2020 for their contributions in education, encouragement, leadership, and advocacy.
AWA R D
AYESH A M CG OWA N , an advocate for better
representation in the bike community and an elite racer who made history as the first Black female pro cyclist, was the recipient of our first Kittie Knox award, an honor that made her laugh upon learning the news she said during our awards ceremony on May 7. “It’s amusing that the same League that worked so hard to keep people like [Knox] out are now recognizing her for the powerful positive force that she always was,” McGowan said. “I don’t think Kittie Knox would be even remotely satisfied with the state of representation and inclusivity in cycling today and neither am I.”
McGowan presented at the 2018 National Bike Summit on the need for the bike community to discuss equity and race. Photo: Brian Palmer.
We were grateful for McGowan speaking truth to power and for calling on the League to do more and be bold in our efforts on equity, diversity and inclusion in biking. We know we have much more work to do and a responsibility to listen, learn and act to make our biking and our streets safer for everyone.
>> Learn what actions we’re taking on equity: bikeleague.org/equity
EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
AWA R D
A newer League Cycling Instructor, GAIL & JIM SPANN EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD recipient DEBRA STEFAN noted the award would give her the credibility in her community to reach more people and be more effective in spreading the knowledge of Smart Cycling. “I have been accused of being a little overly passionate about [Smart Cycling],” she joked in her acceptance speech. As one of her nominators noted, Stefan “has such willingness and enthusiasm to create bike education tools for her community. She is eager to share her resources with others.”
2 0 2 0 I N D I V I D U A L AWA R D S
G A I L & J I M S PA N N
AWA R D
Keeping up the enthusiasm, G I N A S I M PS O N took home our 2 0 2 0 SU S I E STE PHE N S J OY F U L EN T H U SI ASM AWA RD . Simpson is a League Cycling Instructor and volunteer leader of Bike Walk Cleveland (Tennessee, that is). One nominator wrote, “she has worked tirelessly to advocate for commuter cycling routes, education, and community outreach.” In the small city, Simpson notes her house is easy to find, “Everyone knows our house because I have a bicycle in the driveway, one on the mailbox, and as you get further onto our property you see more and more bikes.”
OF THE YEAR
Our 2020 ADVO C AT E O F T H E YE AR AWA R D went to REBECC A SER N A , executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, because, as one nominator wrote, “every city should be lucky to have Rebecca at the helm of their local advocacy organization.” The award recognizes someone who goes “above and beyond” and Serna has many times over in her years leading the group. In the last year, the group celebrated several wins, including the city of Atlanta standing up a Department of Transportation and lowering the default speed limit on local streets.
OF THE YEAR
M I C H AEL K ELLEY , policy manager for BikeWalkKC, earned our 2 0 2 0 EME RG I N G L E A D E R O F THE Y E A R AWAR D for the enthusiasm and spirited debate he
brings to community meetings which inspires advocates and grabs the attention of decision-makers. “I do all of this for two groups of people: for folks like Anthony Saluto and Ezrayel Hill who were killed by the inadequate infrastructure we have. I do it because they deserve a voice, the families deserve justice, and no one deserves to go through that,” Kelley said of his work. “But I also do it for my daughter Nora. I want to be able to say I did everything I could to leave her with a place that is better than the one I found.”
O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L AWA R D S The League, as an organization of organizations, recognized two member organizations for their contributions to bike advocacy as well as bicycling as a movement.
OF THE YEAR
The 2 0 2 0 C LU B O F THE Y E A R award went to B L AC K GI RLS D O B I KE , a worldwide club founded by M O N I C A G A RRI S O N (right) seven years ago that has grown to more than 80 chapters. You’ll find members of the club participating in everything from track racing to mountain biking to bike touring to social rides. “We’ve created a path for women of color to not only become cyclists but also to become advocates,” Garrison said in accepting the award. “I hope we’ve gained the reputation for being changemakers in the cycling community. That’s the goal. Most importantly, I hope we’ve created a shift in the cycling community as to what a cyclist looks like.”
OF THE YEAR
ASHEVILLE ON BI K ES earned the J O N G RAFF PRIZE FO R A DVA N C I N G S A FE CYC LING for “making a huge difference in
creating a culture of bicycling for all members of our community … ensuring that all kids, regardless of race, income, or where they live can explore their city by bike,” as one nominator wrote. Mike Sule (inset), executive director of the group, accepted the award, noting: “Asheville on Bikes is a people first movement. We believe that all people have a right to move safely by a variety of modes. Our streets are the public realm and they should be allocated for all people.”
This year’s award winners have continued to inspire us long after the ceremonies ended. In a challenging year, their stories motivate us. Who motivates you? Keep an eye on the League’s website to nominate deserving individuals and groups to be recognized at the 2021 National Bike Summit.
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LEARNING FROM THE LEGACY OF KITTIE KNOX
The Kittie Knox Bike Path connects Broadway and Binney Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
BY LORENZ J. FINISON
The League of American Bicyclists recently presented the first annual Kittie Knox Award, which honors a champion of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the bicycling community. Following that, VeloNews and American Bicyclist have asked me to help tell Kittie’s story, as she was the central character of my first book: Boston’s Cycling Craze 1880-1900. Her life deserves recognition and it is gratifying that the bicycling community is making space to learn from Kittie and its past treatment of her and people who looked like her. Kittie Knox was a young biracial Boston bicyclist in the 1890s. She is perhaps best known in these pages for challenging the “color bar” promulgated by the League of American Wheelmen (L.A.W) in 1894. On the heels of Massachusetts legislation condemning the color bar and with aid from some Boston-area League cycling leaders, she protested attempts to exclude her from the League’s national meet at Asbury Park in 1895. Coming back home to Boston she was both accepted, even lionized as an individual, but twice rejected from participating in club rides. In one case, she was part of a broader group of male cyclists, her compatriots in the all-Black Riverside Cycle Club, which protested this application of the color bar, but failed to gain acceptance. Kittie persevered. Recently discovered news clippings underscore the double and sometimes triple barriers she faced as she rode around Boston.
A Boston Post headline called her “Kitty Knox, Champion Woman Scorcher.” The Post article noted, “She is known everywhere” and that she would be welcome at any track in the country “were it not for the L.A.W.’s edict. Miss Knox is a member of the L.A.W. [she joined before the imposition of the color bar] and is proud of it. Their orders have not stopped her scorching…. She won many races at tracks around the state.” Unfortunately, none of these wins, nor any women’s races were recorded in the press, so this claim is hard to judge. Women’s racing in the 1890s was restricted to occasional professional six-day spectacle races and amateur unsanctioned races at county fairs and other such local venues. The L.A.W. threatened “to suspend any male riders who compete on a track where there are female riders.”
Her life deserves recognition and it is gratifying that the bicycling community is making space to learn from Kittie and its past treatment of her and people who looked like her.
So, Kittie Knox faced opposition due to the color of her skin, and due to the animus against women racing. She also faced opposition from leading women cyclists like Mary Sargent Hopkins, the Boston-based publisher of the Wheelwoman, the only national women’s cycling magazine of the time. Hopkins was a devotee of women’s cycling, but also an ardent opponent of the knickerbockers, bloomers and short skirts frequently worn by cyclists of the 1890s. And she hated scorching, which according to her and her allies resulted in “bicycle face” and a bicycle “hump” from bending over drop bars. Just the kind of riding Kittie Knox did. Wheelwoman gave this contrasting advice: “The fashionable hour for wheeling in and around Back Bay Park is four o’clock, as then the scorcher and the bloomer girl are refreshingly conspicuous by their absence. These fine fall days call out any number of handsomely attired ladies, their color and erect figure tell the story of many a spin at county seat, or by the sea.” Strong women riders who adopted the diamond frame and knickerbockers or bloomers, but who were barred from racing, settled for participating in the century rides. In the Boston area, riders on centuries often set out for destinations such as Newburyport and Providence, favored because they were served by good straight roads. Given her skills on the bike, it should be no surprise that Kittie Knox joined these centuries and ran into occasional opposition. In fall 1895, the Boston Globe reported that “she was evidently much thought of, since on this occasion she was to ride a tandem with a young [white] physician on a Boston to Newburyport century. When the physician found out that the club had ‘refused to admit one of the best women cycle riders in New England’, solely because
she was colored, he grew indignant and did not participate in the run.” Other clubs sponsored century rides explicitly without a color bar and Kittie joined in. Kittie Knox’s record of long distance and century riding stretched through 1899, shortly before her untimely death in 1900. She was buried in an unmarked grave at Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, MA. In 2013, Cambridge issued a Kittie Knox proclamation and dedicated a headstone. Her gravesite is now part of the cemetery’s African American Heritage Trail. In 2019, Cambridge named a Kittie Knox Bike Path for bicycles only alongside a pedestrian-only walkway. Kittie Knox is indeed an exemplar of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Clipping from the Boston Sunday Post, May 17, 1896 edition - via newspaperarchive.com
The cycling literature warned about women racing. Bearings, the cycling trade magazine, in 1895 stated that “the League has done its best to stop women racing, but the objectionable practice still keeps up.” Further, “The spectacle of half-a-dozen females straining every muscle, perspiring at every pore, and bent over their handle-bars in a weak imitation of their brothers, is enough to disgust the most enthusiastic of wheelmen.”
Historian Lorenz J. Finison is the author of Boston’s Cycling Craze, 1880–1900: A Story of Race, Sport, and Society and Boston’s TwentiethCentury Bicycling Renaissance: Cultural Change on Two Wheels.
Across the country and right here in Washington, DC, people who bike benefit from our work advocating to increase federal funding for bike infrastructure.
LOBBYING IN THE TIME OF CORONAVIRUS B Y CA R O N W H I TA K E R
Whenever I’m virtually hanging out with friends and family these days, they all mention how so many more people are bicycling. The Bike Boom happening across America is hard to miss. Throughout the pandemic, more people have reconnected with their bikes for commuting to essential jobs, for exercise, for family time, or just for the fun of it.
T THE LE AGUE, W E H AV E LO N G FOC USED on advocating for the long-
term policies, funding, and infrastructure that will encourage more people to bike. We want to make sure everyone riding during this “boom” is supported on Capitol Hill by the laws and policies enacted years before and in the years to come. In 2020, we also recognize that our nation is not only confronting the covid-19 pandemic, we are reckoning with systemic racism that permeates our society. In our work on Capitol Hill, the League is working to align our advocacy to address both of these diseases and build an America where everyone enjoys the benefits of bicycling. That starts with acknowledging that “safe streets for everyone” means more than bike lanes and sidewalks. It means that everyone is free to move on our streets, in our neighborhoods, and throughout our cities without fear of violence, racial profiling, or police brutality. We know that transportation has been an area of
inequity across the nation and we have made a commitment to move forward practicing antiracism in our work and to listen, learn and act to truly make our streets safer for everyone. The critical events defining 2020 have us asking ourselves and acting on ways to make it easier for people to walk and bike safely right now. Thanks to our ongoing federal advocacy, the League has been laying the groundwork over the last 18 months to shape a transformative transportation bill that will guide the next five years of America’s infrastructure investments. Thanks to the voices of advocates like you, we are closer than ever to making huge gains for the safety of people who bike and walk. This year, the League has also used our experience and expertise on the Hill to organize around near-term legislation that addresses the acute needs of Americans. In the following pages, we’ll take a look at how the League has been shaping transportation policy in 2020. >>
ADVOCACY IN THE LONG TERM
The CARES Act
A cycle track in Tuscon, AZ
Knowing that Infrastructure—and bicycling— will play a part in our nation’s recovery and future resiliency, the League and our partners kept a close eye on congressional emergency relief efforts like the CARES Act. As Congress developed its initial emergency relief bills, the League saw ways lawmakers could improve bicycling options for essential workers who rely on transit, for a near-term larger investment in our transportation system, and for long-term policy change to build transportation systems that work for everyone’s health and well-being. Emergency funding measures have been critical in delivering immediate aid to essential services and providing economic relief to individuals and businesses. Regarding transportation, the CARES Act included some funding to keep transit systems operating, for personal protective equipment for transit workers, and for regular cleaning of buses and trains. This transit funding was also available for bikeshare operations, and to build bikeshare stations. The League continues to work with transportation stakeholders in the private and public sector on further funding for transit and bikeshare. The League is also asking for user relief: funding to help people who need to use transit, bikeshare or other public options for essential transportation. The League is also supporting local governments as they seek relief from state and federal design and environmental permitting processes (only for projects on paved surfaces) to do quick-build pop-up infrastructure that would accommodate increased biking and walking at a safe distance.
ADVOCACY IN THE LONG TERM
The next Transportation Bill This is the big bill—it’s legislation that will set the next five years of policy and one the League and our members have spent more than a year and a half shaping to prioritize people and our ability to safely move around by bike. Together, you and the League have fought for transformative initiatives, so many of which made it into the House passed version of the transportation bill, the INVEST in America Act. That in and of itself was quite the feat: it was the first time in this millennium the House has passed a reauthorization bill before the current transportation bill expires. A Senate version of the transportation bill was also very good for people who bike and walk.
CHARTING OUR PROGRES S TOWARDS
A NEW TRANSPORTATION BILL THAT’S GREAT FOR BIKES 18
House passes transportation bill
Caron Whitaker, the League’s VP of Government Relations, has built relationships over the years by meeting with staff and elected officials on Capitol Hill, or attending a forums with other leaders working on transportation and infrastructure to advance the rights of people who bike.
As the INVEST Act moved forward in the House amid a dual pandemic of disease and racial injustice, the League saw opportunities to push reforms for better biking even farther. We called on advocates and our members to push for floor amendments to the INVEST Act that would enshrine equity more deeply into federal policy.
The outcome was amazing: the INVEST Act is transformative—it’s the first bill to approach real reform in almost 30 years—and does so much more than simply reauthorize and repeat policies from the past. Within the systemic reforms in the INVEST in America Act are almost all the League’s priorities.
Before finalizing the bill, the committee strengthened it even more by: Incorporating requirements for metropolitan areas with high bicycling and walking fatalities to fix those dangerous areas & giving them access to the resources to do it. Allowing communities to build back roads damaged or destroyed by natural disasters as Complete Streets. Allowing communities to use climate funding to remove underused highways and build public space including biking and walking facilities.
Requiring all states to have a full time Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator. Currently, every state needs to have a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator but several states do not have this as a full-time position. This will increase the capacity of states to build safe and accessible transportation for all modes. Strengthening the fix-it first policy, requiring states to make sure their current roads meet a state of good repair before building new roads. >>
Senate passes transportation bill
Conference committee negotiates final bill
Including a National Road Safety Assessment focusing on bicyclists and pedestrians. It requires the Federal Highway Administration’s district offices to identify and catalog roads and intersections that are unsafe for bicycling and walking. This will create an important tool for state and local governments—and for advocates—to identify priorities. Adding a requirement to the Climate Resilient Transportation Infrastructure Study to outline how federal infrastructure planning, design, engineering, construction, operation, and maintenance impact the environment and public health of disproportionately exposed communities.
A cycle track and crosswalks— transportation infrastructure at work in NYC.
Requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA to issue a rule that motor vehicle bumpers and hoods be designed to reduce the impact on vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle.
Overall, this is a reform bill that, if passed in 2021, will move the country forward in building a safer, cleaner, more equitable transportation system that better meets the needs of everyone. The League and advocates like you have laid the foundation for these changes through our advocacy to Congress over the last year and a half.
What’s Next Even as we got one step closer to a transformative transportation bill, Congress is running short on time to get it completed in 2020. Whether Congress passes an extension to the FAST Act, or a two-year bill, the next Congress will still need to pass a new transportation bill. The League and our partners will work to ensure that what passes into law picks up where we left off this year. Whatever happens, we’ll need your continued advocacy to get us closer to a Bicycle Friendly America truly for everyone.
Senate and house vote on conference bill
Transportation bill heads to President’s desk
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Director of Membership and Development Kevin@bikeleague.org | 202.621.5449
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N AT I O N A L B I K E S U M M I T
VIRTUALLY A PERFECT NATIONAL BIKE SUMMIT BY LAUREN JENKINS
The pandemic forced a quick U-turn on the road to hosting our annual Summit Is there anything better than 300 people who love bikes gathered in one place? Whether it’s for an epic ride or an awesome event like the National Bike Summit, we always look forward to when our community comes together. Of course, you know how many “large gatherings” have been able to take place in 2020. With great sadness, the League cancelled the in-person version of our annual Summit that was to be held in March. So many advocates, city officials, and professional planners had put so much time into proposing and developing presentations around our theme, “Safe Streets for Everyone” and hundreds of people were expecting to learn and celebrate ways to make biking better in their cities and towns. At the League headquarters in Washington, we put our heads and shared spreadsheets together and, as quickly as possible, we transformed the National Bike Summit into a virtual event that advocates could attend from their home offices across the country. We cannot thank our presenters, keynote speakers, and attendees enough for their flexibility and enthusiasm at a time of great uncertainty. Amid the scramble to figure out online schooling, child care, job situations, and so much more, hundreds of bike advocates still carved out time to be together— online—in order to further our movement for safer streets for everyone. 24
It was an impossible task to try and recreate everything we love about the Summit, but the glow of the computer screen couldn’t dim how inspired we were by keynote speakers like Amy Cohen, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets, and Keya Chatterjee, executive director of the U.S. Climate Action Network or how big we smiled while swapping stories at the post-Lobby Day happy hour. MEMBER BENEFIT
Watch the 2020 Bike Summit Sessions online: bikeleague.org/Summit2020 Rather than dwell on what we missed by going virtual for the 2020 Summit, we’re motivated by how much we were able to do. When we shifted to an online conference, a number of people signed up to attend the Summit who otherwise would not have been able to travel to Washington, DC. Going online also meant we were able to keep up the momentum from our 2019 Summit Lobby Day at a critical time to shape transportation legislation in Congress.
>> READ MORE about in our federal transportation update on page 17
If there is one night at the Summit the League staff most looks forward to, it is our annual Advocacy and Education Awards night. Throughout the Summit, we get to reconnect with the leaders of the bike advocacy community, but on awards night we get to celebrate and spotlight the individuals and organizations who are pulling our movement forward. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s truly our honor to recognize the leaders in our movement who are taking bold action, leading on equity, and encouraging us to do better in our efforts to make biking better.
As we reflect on the 2020 National Bike Summit, we are looking ahead at how we can craft a conference for 2021 that is accessible and actionable, engaging and inspiringâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and online. Our previous two Summits have been critical in shaping the federal transportation bill to center people who bike and walk. That ongoing advocacy will remain at the forefront of our work in 2021 if congressional action continues to be limited this year. As you look for ways to take action with us to make biking better, consider joining us for the 2021 National Bike Summit online.
>> GET INSPIRED by our award winners on page 8
Keya Talked Climate Advocates Inspired The League Improvised
CENTERING EQUITY AND PUBLIC HEALTH THROUGH BIKE EDUCATION BY ELAINE MARIOLLE
How a community public health agency leveraged federal funding to get more people on bikes
I N P I M A CO U N T Y, A R I ZO N A, we know getting more people on bikes
can help us reach our community-wide health and wellbeing goals. To reach more people in our community, we put equity, diversity and capacity building at the heart of our bike education efforts. Thanks to a Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant provided by the CDC, the Pima County Health Department (PCHD) has sponsored three LCI seminars over the past 18 months, training 29 people as bike educators. Those certified include health educators, middle and high school teachers, community advocates, and staff from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation, and PCHD. LCI status empowers community members to teach bike safety curriculum with more confidence and with a greater sense of equity and diversity. Here are their stories, in their own words:
Advocate and Co-founder, Sugar Hill BIWoC Ciclistas Photo: Lucy LiBosha
“Becoming an LCI has changed my life. Although I rode as a child, I started serious cycling about five years ago. As a high school teacher, I worked with fellow teachers and students as we trained for and rode the El Tour de Tucson 40-mile event. With a newfound love of the open road, I now commute to work 40% - 60% weekly. I became a board member for BICAS (Bicycle InterCommunity Art and Salvage, a nonprofit bike repair/ salvage collective), a Complete Streets Coordinating Council member, and I am collaborating with Pima County Health Department and other organizations to create a bike program for women and girls of color called Sugar Hill BIWoC Ciclistas. I’ve taught three Traffic Skills 101 classes, and assisted with several bike clinics. LCI training makes me a stronger and more versatile ride leader and advocate.”
Lucy LiBosha is an advocate and cofounder of the Sugar Hill Black and Indigenous Women of Color Ciclistas.
Iris Coronado & Victoria Cupis Co-founders, Indigenous Road Warriors (IRW)
“We use our LCI training for cycling in traffic with our youth riders. The good thing about teaching them these skills is that when we see them cycling in the community, they are clearly using the proper signals, helmets, and communication on their own,” said Iris Coronado. “Iris and I have cycled for several years on our own,” said Cupis. “LCI training has given me an appreciation for safe cycling, and especially, an awareness of my surroundings in traffic. I also learned how to prep for long distance and group cycling rides.”
In May 2020, Iris Coronado and Victoria Cupis take a break during a public service announcement video shoot about the importance of bike safety on The Loop during the pandemic. The Loop is a 132-mile system of multiuse paths that has seen a surge of new riders over the Summer.
Thanks to a REACH grant provided by the CDC, the Pima County Health Department has sponsored three LCI seminars over the past 18 months, training 29 people as bike educators.
Photo: Rio Oxas
IRW holds year-round Tuesday evening Rez Rides at the Pascua Yaqui Pueblo that attract 16 - 20 riders of all ages and abilities with a dedicated core group of young riders. In September, IRW began Wednesday afternoon Rez Rides for youth at San Xavier on Tohono O’odham Nation. They also organize weekend rides on The Loop. Training the next generation of well-prepared riders and community leaders is a priority for IRW.
Photo: Elaine Mariolle
Iris is a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Victoria is a Tohono O’odham tribal member.
October 2019 LCI training seminar with candidates and coaches. Pima County Health Bike Safety Program thanks League Coach, Rio Oxas (kneeling in front) for their great work of bringing issues of equity and inclusion to the fore in all three LCI training seminars.
Joseph Mease & Thomas Cupis Baboquivari Middle / High School Bike Program The Baboquivari MS/HS, located near Sells, AZ in the Tohono O’odham Nation, was awarded an Outride grant and they are receiving 31 bikes and helmets. Mease, a PE/Health teacher and a Tohono O’odham community member, will lead the middle school instruction.
Photo: Joseph Mease
“Our middle school program will run eight-weeks, three days per week during PE and health classes,” said Mease. “This opportunity will have a positive impact on our students in many ways, such as reducing their risks of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and diabetes. We will accomplish this goal by promoting and teaching safe cycling, proper equipment use, cycling laws, bike maintenance and much more.
Thomas Cupis, Baboquivari HS astronomy and physics teacher, avid cyclist, LCI and member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, will lead an after-school program for high school students. Cupis has stated, “LCI training has provided me the additional skills and confidence to advocate for healthy living though cycling for the Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham communities.”
Photo: Elaine Mariolle
Thomas Cupis (top right), Joseph Mease (bottom) and Lucy LiBosha take a break during the March 6-8, 2020 LCI seminar.
“Our MS/HS programs will benefit our students more than ever during this coronavirus lockdown as more students are showing signs and symptoms of depression and mental illnesses. I want to see our students exercising and riding a bike each day to strengthen their self-esteem and their emotional, social, and cognitive well-being.”
Iris Coronado (second from right) and Victoria Cupis (center) promoting Indigenous Road Warriors and collaborating with PCHD bike rodeo during Native American Wellness Day, Aug 3, 2019, at Pascua Yaqui Pueblo.
Photo: Ernesto Somoza
Ernesto Somoza (bottom center) with members of the 2019 Pueblo High School Road Warriors bike club. 20 students trained for and rode either the 50 or 100-mile El Tour de Tucson event.
Ernesto Somoza Pueblo High School (PHS) Road Warriors Building on the after-school El Tour de Tucson bike club, Somoza started a Fundamentals of Cycling class this Fall, during school, which filled fast. LCI certification was essential in receiving approval for the class. “I teach Fundamentals of Cycling at Pueblo High School in Tucson, Arizona. Being LCI certified has given me the confidence to lead my students on bike rides during school and in our after-school program. I have taken the curriculum and techniques I learned from the LCI training and have implemented those skills into making my students confident and competitive riders in Tucson’s annual El Tour de Tucson. Students have shared that they feel much safer on the roads after running through the LCI curriculum and exercises. Before being LCI certified I was prepared to ride, but being LCI certified gave me the assurance that I was ready and capable of riding safely with large groups of riders.”
Elaine Mariolle is program coordinator for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety in the Pima County Health Department. She is an active LCI and has served as an assistant coach for five LCI seminars. During the pandemic, all groups are following CDC guidelines and jurisdictional directives regarding congregation, group size, and face covering.
Social distancing have you spending a little too much time inside. Get some fresh air with a solo bike ride. With features like turn-by-turn directions, recommended local routes and a platform to build and share your own rides with friends and family, the Ride Spot app has you covered.
download day—it’s fr!
Wave Delineator When space for bicycles and other modes of mobility are needed fast, the Wave Delineator is the perfect solution for quickly making safe, welcoming and attractive pop-up protected bike lanes. OUTDOOR | INDOOR | MOBILITY | CUSTOM
STA F F P I C K S
WHAT’S KEEPING US MOVING:
LEAGUE STAFF SAG WAGON The League staff has spent most of 2020 working from home, grateful for essential workers, lamenting canceled races and rides, anxious about child care and school, and finding physical and mental wellbeing where we can. Here are the ways—big and small, bike-y and non-bike-y—we’re staying positive and finding respite through difficult days.
THE ANACOSTIA RIVER TRAIL This spring and summer, I've rediscovered the Anacostia River Trail. It’s a newer 20-mile trail with river views, wildlife and a decent amount of shade. It is only about a mile from my house making a ride on it a perfect lunch time or afternoon break.
TERN GSD Being a car-free family has been tougher since the pandemic hit. Somewhere around day 100, we decided to take the plunge and buy a Tern GSD from our local bike shop (thanks, The Daily Rider!) and it’s been a game changer: expanding our reach and our carrying capacity without needing a car or a cargo-sized storage space. Hauling our four-year-old and groceries up Capitol Hill without breaking a sweat in the middle of a DC summer has felt like I’ve gained a super power, but really it’s just pedal-assist. 32
P R E V E LO B I K E S ALPHA THREE I bought this bike for my son’s fifth birthday and it’s proven invaluable. We spent our summer enjoying area trails and low-stress road routes, testing our distance limits and trying new ice cream shops. The Alpha Three features an 8-speed Shimano drivetrain with a wide range of gearing and a kid-centered geometry. Combined with a TowWhee, the Alpha Three allows us to venture to far-flung beach spots and camp sites. Prevelo is also a generous sponsor of the League! Learn more at prevelobikes.com or towwhee.com
AN EPIC GAP TRAIL ADVENTURE Having a Great Allegheny Passage trail ride booked for August kept me motivated and looking forward to something all summer. My kids and I did GAP exercises together every night (squats, lunges, plank, sit-ups & pushups). It only took about five minutes but we do them every night together. We have also done a lot of biking as a family to get more conditioned for the trip. 147 miles in 5 days, climbing up and over the Eastern Continental Divide! It’s a great motivator.
A CALENDAR FOR A C C O U N TA B I L I T Y The thing that’s been helping me most is a calendar. I had a half marathon training calendar that I was following, then I didn’t have any structure for a month or so, and then I just made up a calendar for biking. I focused on just getting some miles during the week and then trying a variety of routes on the weekends. It’s been really helpful and motivating to get me out the door on days where I need that push. 33
A CALIFORNIAINSPIRED JERSEY As reality has set in that I may not be able to visit my family back home in California for the holidays (not to mention a summer vacation), I’ve become even more homesick for a place I haven’t lived in nearly 15 years. The California-based Eliel has several collections of jerseys and bibs inspired by the place I still call home. Pedaling through the east coast humidity while wearing a Monterey Bay jersey has given me the necessary connection I need. LORNA
WAT C H I N G A S O N FA L L I N LOV E W I T H T H E S P O RT During covid there have been major highs and a major lows. One of the lows have been the reduction of physical activity in general, not going to the gym or not riding my bike with others. One of the highs has been watching my older son start his journey into bike racing.
BEING MR. FIX-IT Being able to tinker with my bikes and help neighbors with their bikes has helped my mental well-being for sure. I have installed new fenders, seats, seat posts, bells, racks, and have done many slight adjustments to improve my riding comfort. I’ve also been able to get a number of people rolling on my street through minor adjustments, patching tubes, and teaching basic riding skills in person (at a distance of course) and over Facetime.
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BICYCLE FRIENDLY AMERICA:
BY THE NUMBERS BY AMELIA NEPTUNE
for individuals, families, businesses, communities, and the nation. Through this, while so many people have turned to biking for essential commutes or essential respite, participants in our Bicycle Friendly America program have been continuing to make progress on building better, more accessible places for people to ride. 2020 H AS PRESENTED SI G N I FI C A N T C H ALLEN G ES
BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES DETROIT LAKES, MN
NEW Bicycle Friendly Communities in 2020
DETROIT, MI HAMMOND, IN
WHEELING, WV CULVER, IN
total Bicycle Friendly Communities
BFCs earning awards in 2020 with populations under 10,000—the smallest is Culver, IN at 1,353 people
BICYCLE FRIENDLY UNIVERSITIES
BEVERLY, MA QUINCY, MA
GREEN BAY, WI
institutions currently merit Bicycle Friendly Univeristy awards
The population of renewing Bronze-level BFC Phoenix, AZ—the largest community earning an award in 2020 to date
Communities have applied for awards since 1995
Keep an eye on our Bicycle Friendly University webpage for updates on the next round of awards! bikeleague.org/university
pasengers traveled in 2019 through the Tampa International Airport, the first major airport to earn BFB recognition (Bronze) OUR 2020 BFBs ARE COMPOSED OF:
bike industry brands
biking and walking advocacy organizations
TOP 3 COMMUNITIES
BICYCLE FRIENDLY BUSINESSES
OF AMERICAN BICYCLISTS
first-time Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business awards earned in 2020 — That’s a lot of businesses rising to our highest award!
Number of employees of Chevron Corporation, based in downtown Houston, TX. They are our largest BFB in 2020 by number of employees.
WITH THE MOST BICYCLE FRIENDLY BUSINESSES
Growth: 2 new BFBs added in Spring 2020
Fort Collins, CO
Growth: 15 new BFBs added in Spring 2020
Growth: 9 new BFBs added in Spring 2020
St. Petersburg, FL
*as of Spring 2020
DRIVER EDUCATION: WDR HAIVT ER STAED TEUC S TAT EAIOCHN: ABWOHA UTT BSTIKATINES G TEACH ABOUT BIKING BICYCLING AND BICYC LE INFRASTRUCTURE HAVE INCREASED
But are drivers taught what to do around people biking?
BICYCLING AND BICYCLE INFRASTRUCTURE HAVE INCREASED
But are drivers taught what to do around people biking?
ADVOCACY. EDUCATION. PROMOTION. THE LEAGUE IS PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WHO BIKE EVERYDAY— whether we’re climbing
Capitol Hill or researching ways state and local laws impact the safety of people who bike. DRIVER EDUCATION
Discover more of our in-depth work and learn more about our investigation of driver education:
DRIVER EDUCATION RESEARCH
BIKELEAGUE.ORG / DRIVERED
From Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business Revolutions Bicycle Co-op, Memphis TN
JOHN FORESTER (1929-2020) THE LEAGUE REMEMBERS JOHN FORESTER as an early champion for the rights of people who bike and as a pioneer of bicycling education. He served in several capacities with the League in the 1970s and 1980s, including League president.
THANKS TO OUR 2020 CORPORATE SPONSORS
OUR MISSION is to lead the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.
STAFF Bill Nesper
Vice President, Government Relations
Director of Membership & Development
Bicycle Friendly America Director
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Ken Podziba Chair
Karin Weisburgh Vice Chair
Max Hepp-Buchanan Secretary
Mark Thomas Treasurer
Danielle Arigoni Jim Baross Maria Boustead At Large
Harry Brull Jackie Martin Ralph Monti
Bob Oppliger Nicole Preston Beth St. John Mike Sewell At Large
Torrance Strong A.J. Zelada
American Bicyclist magazine (ISSN 0747-0371) is published by the League of American Bicyclists, Inc. to help the organization achieve its mission to educate the public and promote awareness of bicycling issues. ÂŠ2020 League of American Bicyclists. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Article queries should be addressed to communications@ bikeleague.org. Your submission of manuscripts, photographs or artwork is your warranty that the material in no way infringes on the rights of others and that the material may be published without additional approval. Opinions expressed by writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of the League.
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