LAB Blog

Catalyzing a Cycle of Change in Communities

o empower more of these local advocates, the League is announcing the recipients of its 18 Community Spark Grants. The Spark Grants of $1,500 each will support local organizations and their projects with a goal to increase opportunities for people to bike as a healthy and active way to get around. 

“There is no better way to keep the momentum of Bike Month rolling than through supporting the work of local changemakers,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “We’re so excited about the opportunities created by the selected projects to use the power of biking to transform lives and communities. These projects are exemplars of how small projects can have a big impact.”

The funding for eight of the 2023 Spark Grants comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as part of the CDC’s Active People, Healthy NationSM Initiative, which is working to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. Separately, generous support from General Motors has funded an additional 10 awards granted this year.

The 95 applications received exemplify the energy of the bike community and a widespread demand for resources to make biking better for everyone in their communities. This year’s recipients include seven event-related projects, six placemaking or pop-up projects, and five additional projects with goals to increase the safety and viability of biking. Each of the 18 projects and organizations chosen demonstrate the broad desire to diversify and expand the accessibility of biking. 

Here are how the 18 recipients of the 2023 Community Spark Grants plan to use the funding to further our shared mission of building a more Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.

13th Annual Mattapan on Wheels: The Musical Flavors of Mattapan – Mattapan, MA

“Mattapan on Wheels (MoW) is a youth led biking event created to encourage Mattapan residents to engage in physical activity, bring the community together, bring awareness to the city of Boston that Mattapan and black/brown people do bike, and provide route options about where riders can go on their bikes from Mattapan.”

Adaptive Cycling Center – Reno, NV

The Adaptive Cycling Center is “a membership-based program that will allow persons with disabilities to access our many adaptive bikes and jump directly on the trail, no bike transport needed. The overall goal of this program is to increase recreational opportunities and remove barriers for persons with disabilities.”

Back on the Saddle Recovery Support – Bowling Green, KY 

“BikeWalkBG is partnering with Hope House, a local non-profit that serves as a recovery program. Numerous studies point to the benefits of physical activity aiding in addiction recovery. BikeWalkBG wants to bring cycling opportunities to addiction recovery patients by taking them to the trails. Together, Hope House and BikeWalkBG will purchase several mountain bikes to kickstart a new program, Back on the Saddle.”

Bike Friendly Cultural Events – Wichita Falls, TX

Two festivals, Loco for Cinco and Los Muertos, will be bicycle-friendly events. “All patrons that arrive by bike will have their admission waived (normally $10) and have a safe place to park their bike with an attendant. Any person that arrives without lights or helmet will be provided one free of charge. Our local advocacy group, Bike Wichita Falls, will host a booth to provide education on safety and promote bike opportunities in our area (promoting MTB, Road, BMX and social rides). There will be Spanish speaking volunteers available for the duration of the event. A local, mobile bike shop, Bicycle ER, has agreed to be on hand for minor tune-ups and repairs.” 

Bike Repair 101 for Farmworkers – Half Moon Bay, CA 

“Coastside on Bikes is non-profit organization focused on providing bicycle access for those in our community who most rely on them for transportation. We will identify ranches and communities who are the main recipients of our existing bike donation program, bring our team to the site, and go over the basics of bike maintenance and repair and safe riding techniques. At each site we will leave a set of bike repair supplies and we will revisit each site bi-monthly in order to refresh and check up on the supplies.” 

Bike Runnel at Capen Hall – Buffalo, NY

If a person biking wants to go from one side of the SUNY Buffalo campus to the other, they currently have to go around the centralized staircase located at one of the busiest crossroads on the North Campus or carry their bike up a large staircase. To promote biking on campus, this grant will facilitate the installation of a “bike runnel” on the staircase.

Borinquen Trail in Playa de Ponce – Ponce, PR 

“This project proposes a ‘Street Painting Day’ along approximately 3 kilometers of community streets in Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico. Playa de Ponce has been suffering the effects of natural disasters and global trends that have disconnected the coastal community from other sectors. This tactical urbanism project consists mainly of a ‘Street Painting Day’ where dozens of community volunteers will be supervised in the implementation of bike symbols and pedestrian crosswalks.” 

Five Points South Bike racks – Birmingham, AL

“The Five Points South Bike Racks Project will provide bicycle storage facilities within the busy Five Points South Commercial District along the Red Rock Trail System in Downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The Five Points area is an historic mixed use area featuring some of the City’s most iconic destinations, including restaurants, hotels, and historic architecture and is one of the most demographically and economically diverse neighborhoods within the metro Birmingham area.”

Flint Better Block – Flint, MI 

“The Crim Fitness Foundation will work with partner organizations to create temporary installations that will serve as tangible, real life examples of Complete Streets and other built environment changes. Local colleges and maker organizations will play a significant role in supporting the installation. This will build the capacity of residents to advocate for the health of their family and communities. Through engagement and education, we aim to encourage and help neighbors understand what it will take to turn these temporary installations into long-term sustained developments of walkable, bikeable districts.” 

Limitless Cycling – Hudson, WI

“Limitless Cycling brings piloted adaptive bicycles to senior living facilities, community centers, local events, parks, and trails in Hudson, WI and the surrounding areas. We provide free rides to those who can no longer bicycle independently and with them create an outdoor experience for our riders and the opportunity for volunteerism for our community. We acknowledge the diversity of our community as we promote the principles of inclusion (for riders and Pilots alike) with a fleet of various adaptive bicycles so that all may enjoy the outdoors and create equity for all.” 

Mayors’ International Bike Ride – Yuma, AZ 

“The ride is hosted by the mayors and elected officials from the cities of Yuma, Somerton, San Luis, Wellton, and San Luis Rio Colorado, Yuma County as well as the Fort Yuma Quechan and Cocopah tribes. The event brings awareness to bicycle riding in our city and the safety needed for our riders. Key leaders of the community participate in the event so they get to see first hand what it is like to be a bike rider in their community.” 

Mobilizing Underserved Community Populations – Grand Rapids, MI 

“Upcycle Bikes donates used adult bikes to underserved community populations in need of an accessible and affordable transportation option. Currently, we provide bikes to refugees and homeless young adults. In 2023, we plan to increase the number of bikes we provide to these to populations and to begin serving domestic abuse victims and addiction sufferers.” 

Pop-Up Protection = Safe Cycling For All – Miami, FL 

“This project will enable BikeSafe to propose bringing pop-up protected bike lanes to schools in neighborhoods that reflect the culturally rich and diverse population of Miami-Dade County. An overarching aim of the project is that the pop-up protected bike lane demonstration will eventually serve as a landmark template for safe infrastructure for the youth who walk, bike or scoot to and from school and that the relevant local entities will utilize this template to improve conditions in their communities.”

Reading Riders Book and Bike Riding Club – Saint Louis, MO 

“The Reading Riders is a book and bike club for youth from the 3rd to 8th grades. Club members have weekly reading and gather on Saturdays to discuss the readings and go on a group bike ride. The club meets annually for six rides. The final ride is a two-day adventure that includes a ride and an overnight campout followed by a ride back to the starting point. The Reading Riders Book & Bike Riding Club offers youth and their families a safe means of developing an interest in biking and a means to build self confidence in order to consider cycling as an everyday means of transportation.”

Safe Street Popup Project – Petaluma and Santa Rosa, CA 

“Our Safe Street Popup Project will create a ‘library’ of reusable materials for the installation of temporary crosswalks, protected bike lanes, curb extensions, and other safety features. Our long-term goal is that these popups lead to more community activism leading to better bicycle infrastructure that makes our street safer for folks of all ages and abilities, resulting in more residents choosing active transportation.” 

St. Louis Traffic Calming Pop-Up Demonstration – Saint Louis, MO

“Trailnet will host a traffic calming pop up demonstration with local community partners. We will target high-crash corridors – streets where data shows a concentration of crashes impacting people walking or biking. This project will expand on Trailnet’s experience supporting and hosting traffic calming pop-up demonstrations. Trailnet offers a Traffic Calming Lending Library from which community organizations can borrow equipment to host their own pop up.”

Tigers Pedal Forward – Sacramento, CA 

The bike fix-it cafe and mechanics courses at John Still Middle School serve not only the students’ growth but also the Meadowview neighborhood, a historically underserved area of South Sacramento. The community does not have a bike shop easily accessible without a car and the closest one is more than five miles away and unaffordable for most residents. The grant will allow for the needed tools, helmets, locks and lights to provide for successful riding.

WyCo Bike-O – Kansas City, KS 

“Because much of our community relies on non-vehicular transportation, increasing the bike culture through safety education and collaborative events will directly impact residents’ comfort with cycling. We believe our efforts will promote a healthy bicycle culture by providing safe spaces to ride and safe riding education. We are working to distribute over 50 bicycles, 100 helmets, and 100 bike lights during bike month.” 

This is the second year of the League’s Community Spark Grants initiative. Our 2022 Community Spark Grants funded projects such as a bike education program that assists physicians in promoting the health benefits of bicycling to their senior patients and an open streets event featuring temporary pedestrian crosswalks, bike lanes and street art to help city officials and residents visualize how streets can be used in a way that prioritizes families and children.

The League is thrilled to be able to support these organizations as they begin to spark change and make a long-lasting impact on their communities through the Community Spark Grant program. We hope to see the benefits of these projects break down barriers within communities and enable this and future generations to know the power of the bicycle. 

Community advocates looking for other ways to receive technical assistance and/or recognition for their work to become more welcoming for people who bike should consider applying for an award from one of the Bicycle Friendly America programs. The BFA℠ program is a tool for states, communities, businesses and universities to make bicycling a real transportation and recreation option for all people and it recognizes those doing it well. 

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Amtrak and Bikes: Upgrading the Experience

In support of our belief that more bicycling means more benefits for everyone, the League of American Bicyclists has taken the lead on reviving the Amtrak Bike Task Force to make bike travel by train easier and more convenient. The task force started in January 2014 when Adventure Cycling Association led the cycling community to engage with Amtrak and we began to explore ways to simplify bringing bikes on trains. We made progress: bike parking on trains and bike accessibility at many stations improved significantly. After leading for a decade,  Adventure Cycling Association has decided to step back. 

Visit the Bikes on Amtrak section of our website

Starting this May the League is taking on that lead role. The task force’s kick-off webinar was a great way to re-introduce the basics of bike travel by train.

Watch a recording of the webinar via YouTube.

Some tips and updates our partners at Amtrak shared during the webinar: 

  • Train travel is popular, so our friends at Amtrak advise booking early, especially if you are traveling with a bike.  
  • They offer both carry-on bike service, with limited bike parking on the passenger cars, and bikes that are boxed that travel as checked luggage. The service does vary by train route and station, so check the Amtrak web-site, which now makes it easy to see what station and what routes accommodate bike parking and bike luggage service. 
  • They are also renovating and upgrading many stations across the country, with an intentional purpose of improving train service for all travelers, including bikes. 
  • They are listening to the public and responding to their needs.

This is a perfect opportunity for the cycling community to engage with Amtrak and promote a new vision for rail transportation. Toward this effort, the Amtrak Bike Task Force wants to hear from you. Please take our Bikes on Amtrak survey and share it widely with your network. Your participation will help shape the work the task force does together over the next year. The train is about to leave the station, we invite you to get on board.

Take the Bikes on Amtrak survey!

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48 Bicycle Friendly Businesses Recognized for Efforts to Make Biking for Travel and Transportation Possible for Everyone 

League of American Bicyclists honors businesses across the country for demonstrating commitment to bettering bicycling  

WASHINGTON, DC — Ahead of Bike to Work Week, the League of American Bicyclists is pleased to honor 48 new and renewing recipients of our Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award. BFB awards recognize exemplary organizations for their efforts to welcome and encourage employees and customers to experience the joy of biking. These 48 new and renewing awardees join a movement of 1,582 total Bicycle Friendly Businesses across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone year-round.

“Every May, we celebrate National Bike Month and the many ways people across the country are finding joy in bicycling and enabling others to discover the joy of bicycling,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “Bicycle Friendly Businesses are such a critical component in making it possible for more people to bike to work, to the coffee shop, and even on their next vacation. We’re thrilled to have these 48 businesses earning their BFB awards this Bike Month and showing leadership to build places where people can safely bike for recreation or transportation.”   

The Spring 2023 round of Bicycle Friendly Business awards includes 36 first-time award recipients, four BFBs earning upgraded awards, and eight renewing at their previous award level. Of the first-time awardees, Pedal It Forward Rogers, a bicycling organization in Rogers, Arkansas, earned a Platinum-level award – the BFB program’s current top honor. 

This round features six Gold-level awards, including Sonoma Clean Power, an electric utility company in Santa Rosa, California, and The Partnership TMA of Montgomery County, a nonprofit in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, both of which earned Gold status as first-time applicants. The Village at Winona in Winona Lake, Indiana, and the Town of Breckenridge Recreation Department in Breckenridge, Colorado, moved up to Gold from their previous Silver-level awards. Demonstrating the diverse types of businesses in the BFB program are two businesses renewing their Gold status: Mitchell Auto Group – Mitchell VW, an auto dealership in Simsbury, Connecticut, and Soundpony, a bar in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

There is always fierce competition among cities to be among the top places with the most BFBs as both a point of pride and to encourage more bicycling tourism. This round, Fayetteville, Arkansas, stood out with 13 organizations earning awards, accounting for 27% of the Spring 2023 BFB cohort thanks to an annual “Bicycle Friendly Business Bootcamp” workshop hosted by Bronze BFB Experience Fayetteville, the city’s convention and visitors bureau. The workshop is held in partnership with the City of Fayetteville, which is both a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community and a Silver-level BFB, and the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, which is also a Silver-level BFB. To date, Fayetteville now has a total of 50 Bicycle Friendly Businesses across all industries.

Increasingly, the hospitality industry is embracing the benefits of welcoming people who bike. In Fayetteville, a place working to draw more people who bike as visitors, the 13 BFB awardees in this round includes five hotels and an Airbnb, Barn on the Hill, bringing the city’s total number of BFBs in the “hotels and inns” category to nine. 

“Once I realized that bicycling was such a big part of Northwest Arkansas, I wanted to do whatever I can to make bicyclists feel welcome,” said Missy Jackson, owner of Barn on the Hill, which earned Silver-level status as a first-time BFB applicant. “I welcomed a friend who owns a bike shop to come visit and tell me what I needed. She guided me to install a wash station and a trailhead with a variety of bike tools needed for repairs as well as purchasing a rubber mat for guests who have no interest in parking their very expensive bikes outside.”

One of Fayetteville’s five BFB hotels in the Spring 2023 round is renewing Bronze Staybridge Suites, which first became a Bicycle Friendly Business in 2020. “We have had several international bicycling teams stay at our hotel thanks to our willingness to let bikes in rooms and the storage lockers,” said Hydisia Bird, front office manager at Staybridge Suites. “In addition, the extra notoriety of having a Bicycle Friendly Business certification goes a long way in cyclists wanting to be supportive of our facility.”

If your business would like to be recognized for its efforts or receive guidance for being an attraction for people who bike, submissions for the Summer 2023 round of the Bicycle Friendly Business program are due on June 15, 2023, at 11:59 PM PT. 

Apply for BFB Status

About the Bicycle Friendly Business Program

Bicycle Friendly Business awards reflect local leaders’ ongoing work to build better places to bike and evaluate those efforts as part of a national movement. Each of the five levels of the Bicycle Friendly Business award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear path for businesses to continuously improve. Visit to learn more about the BFB program.

About the League Of American Bicyclists

Since 1880, the League of American Bicyclists has been people-powered, with a goal to make bicycling safer and easier as a means of transportation and recreation. Today, the League continues to improve lives and strengthen communities through bicycling. We are more than 200,0000 members and supporters strong with more than 1,000 state and local advocacy groups and bike clubs, as well as thousands of businesses, universities, and communities together leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. 

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Better Crash Data That Doesn’t Victim Blame

“Blame is how we control the terror stirred up by the seeming randomness of accidental tragedy. There is nothing productive in this process.”

– Jessie Singer, There are No Accidents

There is a plethora of guides, manuals, regulations and other policies that shape roadways safety and most of them — like the MUTCD — aren’t household names. As part of our federal advocacy, the League works to ensure the voices of bicyclists are included when these policies come up for comments in the Federal Register and through other means. Today’s lesser-known document is the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC). 

Read our submitted comment on the MMUCC

The MMUCC is promoted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Governors Highway Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) as a best practice for documenting motor vehicle crashes. It is coming up on its sixth edition, after first being developed in 1998 and having undergone four previous updates – in 2003, 2008, 2012, and 2017.

The MMUCC aims to standardize the data collected around a motor vehicle crash. With a standard dataset across the country, the goal is to generate the information necessary to improve highway safety at the national, state, and local levels. But any conclusions drawn from the data are only as complete and accurate as the data collected at the outset. 

The use of the MMUCC and conformity with it is voluntary. In most jurisdictions, crash reports are completed by law enforcement officers and are only completed when a threshold of crash severity is met. The MMUCC recommends reporting all motor vehicle traffic crashes statewide involving death, personal injury, or property damage of $1,000 or more. At the outset, bicyclist crashes that do not involve $1,000+ bikes or personal injury, are excluded.

Police crash reports form the basis for traffic safety statistics and the proposed sixth edition of the MMUCC continues an unfortunate tradition of victim blaming people outside of vehicles for crashes while excusing the actions of drivers. The same action, “improper passing”, is attributed to drivers as a “related factor” but to people biking and walking as a “contributing circumstance.” This subtly, or not, means that in official crash reports and traffic safety statistics the actions of a driver are only related to them, but the actions of a person biking or walking are actions that may have contributed to the crash. This difference is both not helpful for descriptive statistics and does not reflect the Safe System Approach promoted by USDOT, which focuses on proactive changes to our transportation system over victim blaming.

Other examples of unnecessarily victim blaming language perpetuated in the proposed MMUCC includes:

  • The data attribute “Dart/Dash” to describe a person entering the roadway, even if they stumble into the roadway. “Dart/Dash” was attributed to more than 100 people aged 75 years or older in the last five years.
  • The data attribute “Not Visible (Dark Clothing, No Lighting, etc.)” to describe an officer’s judgment that the person hit was not visible although other attributes more clearly capture lighting and it is not a crime to wear dark clothing.
  • The data attribute “Improper Crossing of Roadway or Intersection (Jaywalking)” which unnecessarily uses the term jaywalking. The term jaywalking was popularized by automotive companies to reinforce that roads are for cars rather than people. The descriptive terms “Improper Crossing of Roadway or Intersection” fully capture the concept of this attribute. Adding “jaywalking” only serves to scold and blame the person crossing the road.

The United States can do better than victim blaming. Our crash data should inform us on systemic improvements to our roadways that follow the Safe System Approach adopted by the USDOT. The League supports strong data collection practices and our comments to NHTSA on the proposed MMUCC express our concerns that victim blaming is still baked into our data collection. We also point out potential improvements to bike facility, demographic, and vehicle attributes that we believe are likely to lead to better crash data. 

Submit your comment on the MMUCC alongside the League and our friends at Salud America

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Gear Up For Bike Month At Your Business

National Bike Month is coming up in May, and we want to help your business get ready to celebrate! Bike Month is a great time to support your existing bike commuters and to help others try bike commuting for the first time. 

Here are ten ideas to help your workplace get ready for National Bike Month! 

1. Plan a Bike to Work Day event. Host a Bike to Work Day breakfast to celebrate and encourage commuters who arrive by bike that day or sponsor a local Bike to Work Day commuter pit stop for the whole community.

In 2021, Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business Bell Flight hosted a breakfast rally attended by hundreds, including many local organizations and leaders, like former Mayor Price, who participated in the ride and engaged in conversations on how to make the Fort Worth, Texas, community a better place to ride bikes. Read about what made their Bike to Work Day such a success »

2023 Bike to Work Week will take place May 15-May 21, and Bike to Work Day is on Friday, May 19.

2. Survey your team’s biking interests, skills, and experience levels. Knowing everyone’s experience level can help you plan a Bike to Work Day ride that accommodates first-time/inexperienced riders with a “no-drop” rule, meaning no rider gets left behind, or pair up newer riders with more experienced bike commuters who may be able to help their colleagues prepare and map out a comfortable route to bike to work for the first time.

We co-hosted a webinar with Love To Ride to share quick tips for how any business can hit the mark on an inclusive and engaging Bike Month. Watch the recording »

3. Are there people who haven’t been on a bike in a while? Ask a local League Cycling Instructor to host a Lunch-and-Learn at your business on the basics of bike commuting and bike safety or to help lead a low-stress lunchtime ride with safety tips for your employees. Find an LCI near you on our map!

Tip: encourage your company leadership to join the lunchtime ride to help set a good example and help them understand the value of supporting more biking to/at the office!

4. Contact a local bike shop to bring in a mechanic to offer basic tune-ups or maintenance advice for your employees before Bike to Work Day. You can find local bike shops on our map, too!

5. Reach out to other businesses, local advocacy organizations, and local universities and schools to brainstorm a joint event that would be impactful for the entire community. Download our Bike Month Guide for more event ideas and guidance on planning a great Bike Month event.

6. Order Smart Cycling Quick Guides, ABC Quick Check Bookmarks and Bike Pins to share with employees, customers and guests.  

Place your order by April 19 to receive your materials by May 1, or order by May 1 to receive them before Bike to Work Week begins! Learn more about customizing the Quick Guide to include your company’s logo »

7. If you’re already a Bicycle Friendly Business, order some BFB swag to show off your award status. If you’re not a current BFB, you can apply to the BFB program today! The deadline for our Summer 2023 awards is June 15, 2023.

8. Queue up your company’s social media account for #BikeMonth with the League’s free Bike Month promo materials and Smart Cycling videos. Our newest Smart Cycling videos are available in both English and Spanish, as are some of our Bike Month graphics.

9. Work with your employees to keep track of progress and accomplishments made during the month i.e. minutes or miles spent riding, how many employees participated in group rides, etc. This can be done with a big chart on the wall or online tools like Love To Ride are a great way to have all employees keep track of their rides and miles. Set shared goals to motivate employees and use the data you collect to reward riders! Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures and tag the League when you post them on social media! 

Find us on Instagram and Twitter using @bikeleague or search “League of American Bicyclists” on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Check out our webinar with Dero for more on incentivizing bike commuting »

10. Support bike advocacy and bigger and better future Bike Months by becoming a Business Member of the League and your local and statewide advocacy group.

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Presenting our 2021 Award winners

Our annual awards are always a special event, one where we get to recognize the leaders of the bike movement and listen to what we can learn from them. This year, we are announcing our Advocacy and Education Award winners at the 2021 National Bike Summit and planning to host “bike-side chats” with each of them during National Bike Month this coming May 2021.

Below, meet the people and organizations who in 2020 took action, created innovative solutions, continued pushing on equity, and led in the movement to make biking safer and more accessible to more people.

Club of the Year

This award is for a bicycle club that has done an excellent job at providing a great experience for its members and people who are new to bicycling. The goal of this award is to recognize clubs that do an exceptional job at integrating advocacy into club activities or supporting advocacy organizations while creating exceptional events for new and experienced bicyclists. This award is about recognizing clubs that are inclusive, welcoming, and committed to growing bicycling.

Our 2021 award goes to Oaks and Spokes

Oaks and Spokes, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a club on a mission to foster “the community of people who ride bikes in Raleigh” though events, advocacy, and even tactical urbanism like pop-up bike lanes. We’re so glad to have clubs who share our vision for building places where biycling is “a safe, convenient, and comfortable option for people of all ages and abilities.”

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

“We have loved getting to know the team over at St. Augustine’s University here in Raleigh, which is home to the nation’s first HBCU cycling team. It gives us so much joy to have this group as a part of our community and we can’t wait for them to start racing here in Raleigh so we can continue to support them in person and cheer them on!”

Visit Oaks and Spokes’s website to learn more and follow the club on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

Emerging Leader of the Year

This award is a special accolade for a young person who is new to the bicycling movement and has demonstrated exceptional and inspiring bicycle advocacy. Nominees have demonstrated leadership in their short tenure and show great potential to continue leading in the bicycling movement.

Our 2021 award goes to Joshua Funches of the National Youth Bike Council

Joshua Funches is the co-founder and president of the National Youth Bike Council which was officially started in January of 2017 by a group of youth who were very motivated by the idea of connecting youth across the nation as leaders in the biking community. He’s encouraged and worked with the League to bring youth-directed programming to the 2021 National Bike Summit while also organizing a Youth Bike Summit later in 2021.

Follow the National Youth Bike Council on TwitterInstagram, or joing their Discord

Advocate of the Year

This award goes to a leader of a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization who has shown tireless commitment to promoting bicycling and walking in their state/community. This person goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform their state/community into a great place for biking and walking. Their time, knowledge, creativity, and commitment are the highest standard of excellence exemplifying a role model for peers.

Our 2021 award goes to Sarah Clark Stuart of Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Sarah Clark Stuart‘s leadership led to several of the Bicycle Coalition’s key accomplishments in 2020: conceiving the proposal that led to Philadelphia and Camden winning a $23 million TIGER trail-building grant; naming and building out the Circuit; lobbying successfully for legislation mandating the inclusion of bike parking in new construction projects and Philadelphia’s Complete Streets policy; and advocating for Mayor Kenney to adopt a Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030.

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

My biggest joy is going for a bike ride on Martin Luther King Drive, which the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia was instrumental in getting closed to motor vehicles in March 2020.  It’s a glorious feeling to ride on four miles of an open road without fear or stress.  I feel tremendous pride that we made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy that glory over the past twelve months.

Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award

This award commemorates Susie Stephens, one of the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s founders and an enduring inspiration for many members of the bicycle and pedestrian movement. The honor goes to an individual or group who carries on Susie’s passion for advocating for bicycling as a fun and economical means of transportation.

Our 2021 award goes to Robin Woods

Robin Woods is the founder of Women and Work, a SHERO for the Pittsburgh chapter of BGDB, a Member of the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club (PMTCC), and a Street Team Employee Pittsburgh Bike Share/Healthy Ride. She is also, according to her many nominators, “a true go-getter” and “always ready to strap in, strap up, or get wheels down.”

What change do you hope bikes can be a vehicle for in 2021?

For 2021, my vehicle of change will be to make a difference in the lives of women by improving their health through cycling. Over the winter months I have had several women reach out to me expressing an interest in cycling beginning in the Spring of 2021. An interest to start slow riding less that ten miles was voiced, which is my targeted audience. Some women advised me of ongoing health disparities, others I believe are just new to the sport.

Gail and Jim Spann Educator of the Year

This award recognizes a person who has worked to elevate bike education in their state/community. We’re looking for educators who are current League Cycling Instructors, active in teaching classes in the past year, serve diverse communities, and have shown innovation in their education work.

Our 2021 award goes to Iris Coronado and Victoria Cupis

Iris Coronado, a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Tucson, AZ, and Victoria Cupis, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, are co-founders of Indigenous Road Warriors (IRW). Iris and Victoria lead and plan rides for IRW which bikes to build community, health, and camaraderie while empowering Indigenous people to get active and serve as role models for each other.

What change do you hope bikes can be a vehicle for in 2021?

Biking has always been fun whether commuting or working out, and we are positive that wonderful journeys will continue happening on bikes in 2021.

Katherine “Kittie” T. Knox Award

This award recognizes champions of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the bicycling movement. This award goes to an individual or group that has led in making bicycling more inclusive and representative and has worked to remove barriers to participation by underserved and underrepresented people in their community, state, or country.

Learn more about Kittie Knox and her advocacy for a more inclusive League and bike community.

Our 2021 award goes to Tamika L. Butler

Tamika L. Butler is a national expert and speaker on issues related to the built environment, equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, organizational behavior, and change management. As the Principal + Founder of Tamika L. Butler Consulting, she focuses on shining a light on inequality, inequity, and social justice. Most recently, she was the Director of Planning, California and the Director of Equity and Inclusion at Toole Design. Previously, Tamika served as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization that addresses social and racial equity, and wellness, by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities across Greater Los Angeles. Tamika has a diverse background in law, community organizing and nonprofit leadership. Recently she was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC). Prior to leading LACBC, Tamika was the Director of Social Change Strategies at Liberty Hill Foundation, and she worked at Young Invincibles as the California Director.

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

For my highlight of bike joy in 2020, I would say it was the chance to guest edit Bicycling magazine and share the important stories of Black riders and being part of pushing a conversation on race in the bicycling community.

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Advocacy Organization of the Year

This award goes to a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization or club who, in the past year, made significant progress. Their leaders have worked tirelessly together to grow and strengthen their organization and fulfill their mission. The proof of their efforts is in the growth of their capacity, programs, membership and the victories they have achieved for biking and walking in their state/community. This award is about recognizing organizations that are inclusive, welcoming, and committed to growing bicycling.

Our 2021 award goes to Bike Newport

Bike Newport is based in Newport, Rhode Island, the “City-by-the-Sea” with a mission to create the conditions that lead to more people biking more often, and to ensure that bicycling is a viable, safe and comfortable primary choice for transportation and recreation. Like many groups, they make so much happen with a mighty if small staff including Bari Freeman, the executive director, Allyson McCalla, Director of Community Relations and Administration, and Clare Woodhead, Director of Education, plus nine part-time staff.

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

We had many joyful successes this year, distributed so many bikes to so many people, among other things. But identifying a particular moment of joy is a wonderful question! This summer we rode with a bunch of kids to the beach. They all live here in Newport, “the City by the Sea”, but most had never been to the beach. (“Why” is another conversation that revolves mostly around transportation equity.) But there we were – riding bikes to the beach and then playing in the sand and splashing in the water. Now all those kids have bikes and know how to get to the beach on them. That is real bike joy.

Dr. Paul Dudley White Award

This award is the highest honor the League bestows. The recipient should be an inspiration to others for their commitment to the future of bicycling and someone that has made significant progress in education, safety, rights, or benefits of bicycling.

The Dr. Paul Dudley White Award goes to Ginny Sullivan

“It’s hard to think of anyone in the bike and trails community who doesn’t know, love, and respect Ginny Sullivan and her 15 years of national bike travel advocacy at Adventure Cycling,” writes a colleague. “Whenever you see a U.S. Bicycle Route sign, or board your bike on an Amtrak train without boxing it, or experience bike friendly rural communities, or see a rumble strip that meets bike safety standards, you can think of and thank Ginny.” This award is a special one that honors people whose legacy surpasses the successes of one year, so it is with much gratitude for her years of service that we recognize Ginny.

What was a standout moment in your advocacy that you want to share with folks?

There were a series of milestones and breakthroughs, like a slow drip. But in retrospect, the big moment was in 2009 when AASHTO approved the U.S. Bicycle Route System vision. From that point forward, my work with state DOTs, state and National Parks, Amtrak, and local and state advocacy partners really began. I am truly humbled and grateful to all those people who work every day with the goal to make biking more accessible and safer. Thank you!

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How one business is making it easier to bike — and get a bike!

Since the Bicycle Friendly America program began, we’ve seen so many amazing applications come our way from communities, businesses, and universities across the country. On our map, you can find every current award we’ve bestowed, but what’s a little harder to capture are the creative and unique efforts that make each business or community or university so inspiring. So, we set up a way for the advocates behind the awards to tell us more about the people on the ground building a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone.

Today, meet Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Air Alliance Houston (AAH) in Houston, Texas. AAH is a nonprofit that supports and strengthens communities of color and lower-income residents disproportionately harmed by transportation emissions and regional transportation policies such as disinvestment in multimodal transportation.

Aligned with their advocacy for environmental justice is AAH’s belief that every employee and every resident of the community should be able to bike to work, for recreation, for exercise, or for simple enjoyment with their families, friends, and coworkers. That belief, and their efforts to make more trips bike-possible, earned the organization a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business award as a new BFB applicant in our Fall 2022 round

Did you know? Houston is a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community! Read about the city of Houston’s stand-out efforts for better bicycling.

Making more trips bike-possible is a collaborative effort. It takes building off one another’s efforts to improve bicycling and boost the number of places in the community where traveling by bike is not only possible for employees but encouraged for all. AAH recognizes this by helping to build the capacity of other organizations run by and for communities of color to promote multi-modal transportation in their neighborhoods. The organization partners with and supports Our Afrikan Family (OAF) in Fifth Ward, Houston, which organizes monthly educational community bike rides for a historically Black community facing severe economic isolation due to a proposed freeway expansion. Read more about Air Alliance Houston’s stand-out bicycling efforts below.

What are the biggest advancements your business has made towards better bicycling?

The most significant investment has been updating our employee transportation policy to provide a $500 one-time stipend to subsidize the cost of buying a bicycle, bicycle maintenance, bike accessories, or gear to support bike commuting. Several of our staff did not own a bicycle or needed substantial repairs to begin riding regularly. Because of this policy, those staff were able to buy a high-quality bicycle or pay for necessary maintenance to begin commuting by bike and/or participate in staff rides.

In February, we organized our second Office Bike Ride. This was a 4-mile fun ride on a Friday in chilly-but sunny-Houston spring weather – a perfect way to close off the week! February also marked our first quarterly “Bike Brag,” a meeting for staff to share their experiences, successes, challenges, and questions about biking for transportation or recreation. Our ‘Bike Brag’ meetings are timed to closely follow the Office Bike Rides.

We have also invested in a full-time position dedicated to achieving equitable and sustainable transportation planning and policy in the Houston Area. Our first-ever Transportation Justice Coordinator, hired in March 2022, has a personal and professional passion for multi-modal transportation, so we further empowered her to be our on-staff cycling champion as part of her assigned duties. In fact, her vision led us to the policies and practices we have today.

Finally, we are glad to report that we have received permission to install an outdoor bike rack on our building owner’s private property. An outdoor bike rack will allow more convenient and spacious bike parking for staff and guests compared to our current indoor bike rack. 

What is the most positive outcome of your BFB’s support for bicycling?

We have seen a notable increase in staff riding their bikes to the office, including those who did not often commute by bike in the past. More conversations and encouragement around biking, the ability to safely park your bike at the office, and supportive policies have all certainly played a role in that increase. In fact, buddy bike rides have naturally formed through some staff who live near each other and have commuted to work by bike and public transit together.

Anything you’re looking forward to in 2023?

Over half of our team and some family members of staff are registered to attend a Smart Cycling Class (to be taught by a female ​​League Cycling Instructor) in April. The team looks forward to strengthening their essential riding and bike care skills and understanding of Texas traffic laws through the course!

If you would like to see your Bicycle Friendly Business on our blog or on our social media, share your journey to being better for people who bike with us now. If you would like to see your business earn the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business designation, apply today at or learn more at Applications for our summer round of BFB awards are due by June 15, 2023, at 11:59 pm PT.

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New fatality data for 2021 shows increase in bicyclist deaths

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a detailed overview on the deadliness of our roadways in 2021, the most recent year for which complete statistics are now available. The report shows that in 2021 bicyclist fatalities continued their decade-long climb. From a low of 623 bicyclist deaths in 2010, eleven years later fatalities climbed to 966 people killed while biking. This is the highest number since 1975, more than four decades ago. 

People are killed while riding bicycles in all 50 states, but the ten states with the most deaths account for nearly 65% of all bicyclist deaths. More than 50% of people killed while biking are killed in just the top five states: Florida, California, Texas, New York, and Arizona. In those five states, there have been large increases in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, with a modest increase in California and a small decrease in the number of bicyclist deaths in New York.

For many years, California had the most bicyclist deaths, but Florida has passed California and appears to be breaking away. Florida has a per bicycle commuter fatality rate roughly three times higher than California, and that fatality rate increased at a higher rate between 2012-2016 and 2017-2021. Florida has the highest rate of bicyclists killed per capita at 7.6 bicyclists killed per one million people, more than twice the rate in California. In Florida, bicyclists account for 4.9% of traffic fatalities, which has actually decreased slightly over time as all traffic deaths in Florida rose at a rate nearly twice the national average over the last decade.

Massachusetts, the #1 Bicycle Friendly State, based on last year’s ranking, had only 7.2 bicyclist fatalities on average and 192 fewer bicyclist deaths than Florida in 2021. The per bicycle commuter fatality rate in Massachusetts is 2.6 deaths per 10,000 bike commuters, or about 16 times less deaths per commuter than Florida. In Massachusetts, bicyclist deaths decreased on average between 2012-2016 and 2017-2021 for all metrics that we track.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published its 2021 Fatality data on its Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST). With this initial update, we are focused on select bicycle-related data, updating the following charts:

Look to for additional updates on traffic fatality statistics in the near future, in addition to data on commuting, funding, planning, and public health.

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LCI Spotlight: Brenda Yancor

The League certifies hundreds of League Cycling Instructors every year and there are thousands of LCIs around the country leading bike education efforts in their communities. In our LCI spotlight series, we share the stories of League Cycling Instructors doing what they do daily: educating, mentoring, empowering. You don’t have to be an extraordinary athlete or overachieving student to be a stellar LCI, all you need is the conviction that life is better for everyone when more people ride bikes. 

We love to hear about League Cycling Instructors going above and beyond the call of duty in order to get people of all ages and backgrounds on bikes! Meet Brenda Yancor, our LCI in the spotlight this month. 

Brenda spreads her bike skill expertise across the Los Angeles, California, region, working with several active transportation groups, including as a senior community engagement manager for BikeLA and partnering with Walk ‘N Rollers to promote Safe Routes to School and host bike safety rodeos. Brenda has also been a go-to LCI for Santa Monica Spoke’s summer bike camp program and Sustainable Streets’ Adult Learn to Ride classes.

Her nomination reads, “Brenda is an excellent teacher and LCI. She is a very active LCI within the community, working full-time and even teaching in English and Spanish to reach more Los Angeles residents. Brenda travels all over our large county to conduct Metro “Best” classes for adults and Bike Club meetings at middle schools, in addition to scouting and curating interesting bike rides for the public. Whether through her focus on equity and getting youth outdoors in nature or how she genuinely engages her students, Brenda is a passionate and inspiring LCI and advocate.”

Read more about Brenda below. Know an inspiring LCI we should feature next? Nominate a stellar bike educator here! 


I started biking to get around town in my mid-20s, mainly to aid in my 30-mile commute across Los Angeles County that took two hours one way on public transit. Riding as an adult after having last ridden a bike at around eight years old wasn’t easy. I lacked balance, handling skills and a mechanical understanding of the inevitable problems that would arise on my thrifted bike. As I searched on the internet for the do’s and don’ts of urban cycling, I noticed the need to share best practices (like riding with instead of against traffic) with other cyclists I’d see on the road. I would take note that most of the cyclists I saw riding against traffic (just like I did when I started riding again) didn’t wear helmets or spandex and had thrifted bikes just like me. 

I then connected with volunteer advocacy groups in Los Angeles working directly with low-income cyclists of color who used bikes as their main mode of transportation, and I started to teach about traffic laws and best practices accompanied by a group ride. In Hollywood and near downtown LA, we would meet up at day labor centers – gathering places for workers who get paid one day at a time – and talk about our experiences riding in LA.

I have now spent a decade working with folks to improve their handling skills with on-bike drills, leading neighborhood bike rides, and teaching children and adults how to ride a bike for the first time. The feeling of accomplishment I see on a student’s face when they successfully scan behind them, complete their first group ride, or pedal for the first time is what keeps me coming back to this work. Helping people feel empowered and confident in their ability to propel themselves forward while doing something that’s fun and good for the planet is such a special thing to be a part of! 


In 2013, I had been doing bike advocacy work for about three years when the opportunity to become an LCI through a grant program was presented to me. I jumped at the chance to learn more about what it takes to be a certified instructor and be the person to support others in feeling empowered along their bike journey. Being certified to do something I found fun and fulfilling is something I’m grateful for 10 years later.

Learn how to get more involved in cycling education in the Smart Cycling section of our website.


I never imagined that my interest in bicycle safety and education would allow me to make a living out of teaching others how to be safe on their bike. In 2019 I was hired by BikeLA (formerly the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition) to administer an after-school bike club program at the second-largest school district in the nation. I collaborated with administrators at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to come up with assessment tools that would allow us to work with students and ultimately take them out on rides in their neighborhoods. Being able to work with students to ride in their communities for the first time felt amazing, especially with students who learned to ride during our program! Although that grant and my time at BikeLA have now ended, I feel so fortunate to have managed three other LCIs while working with 11 schools and hundreds of students and teachers across the LA region.


Make friends with other LCIs! I feel like I have learned so much from other instructors I have met on my advocacy journey. Networking is really important in any field, but especially so for the type of work that we do.


I think people ride bikes because they’re fun (duh, right?). So I think our classes and lessons should embrace that fun as much as possible. In my work with middle schoolers at LAUSD, I came up with a lot of games and interactive activities that incorporated the standard curriculum. Don’t be afraid to create a lesson plan, practice in front of a mirror, and make the material your own. I always learn a lot from my students as well, so remember that learning and teaching is a two-way street. 


I love the active meditation aspect of being on a bike, especially on long bike rides in scenic places. I love that all you’re responsible for is the pedaling motion and being aware of what’s going on around you. I wish that cycling was safer for everyone so that people can be more at peace while they ride, especially folks in historically under-invested areas where traffic violence is rampant. 


When I was biking through the Sierras in Mexico, there was a day of intense climbing. As I pedaled my way through the day, the road brought me higher and higher, closer to a cloud I had been staring at for what seemed like hours. I eventually got to the highest point on the road and was head-to-head with that cloud. It was so exhilarating to feel close to the sky, and the downhill that followed was definitely its own reward. 


I had an amazing opportunity in 2012 to use my bike to get from Los Angeles to Guatemala. I took off from SoCal with a group of friends, and we meandered our way south (via Baja California), with the help of buses here and there, a ferry across the Gulf, and lots of friendly people. From an unbalanced rider to an international bikepacker – I’m living proof of how far a bike can take you!

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Our 2023 Advocacy and Education Award Winners

The National Bike Summit is an amazing opportunity to bring people together and learn from one another. It’s also a great opportunity to honor the people who have made a huge impact in the bike movement through our Advocacy and Education Awards. The awards celebrate the volunteers and advocates who have committed their time and resources to advancing the work of the bike movement, and it’s a chance for us to be inspired by and learn from them. 

We announced this year’s awardees earlier this week and then, during May’s National Bike Month, we’ll have a bike-side chat with each of them for an in-depth discussion that you’ll be able to watch on YouTube.

Now, please join us in applauding the people and organizations who in 2022 expanded and grew the bicycling movement through education, encouragement, and advocacy. Thanks to their tireless efforts, we are building a more Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. 

Club of the Year

This award is for a bicycle club that has done an excellent job at providing a great experience for its members and people who are new to bicycling. The goal of this award is to recognize clubs that do an exceptional job at integrating advocacy into club activities or supporting advocacy organizations while creating exceptional events for new and experienced bicyclists. This award is about recognizing clubs that are inclusive, welcoming, and committed to growing bicycling.

Our 2023 Award Goes To Blue Ridge Bicycle Club 

Blue Ridge Bicycle Club promotes healthy and fun lifestyles through cycling in Western North Carolina, but they are more than just a group of people who love to bike together. BRBC offers mini-grants for bicycling related projects in the Western North Carolina region and provides funding to support building paths and greenways. Promoting bike education and healthy living are also a big part of what sets BRBC apart. For youth, BRBC supports on-bike education in local middle schools and by hosting bike rodeos. For everyone, BRBC’s League Cycling Instructors host monthly cycling skills classes. 

Visit Blue Ridge Bicycle Club’s website to learn more and follow the club on Facebook, and Instagram.

Emerging Leader of the Year

This award is a special accolade for a young person who is new to the bicycling movement and has demonstrated exceptional and inspiring bicycle advocacy. Recipients have demonstrated leadership in their short tenure and show great potential to continue leading in the bicycling movement.

Dasha on one of her epic adventure rides. Our 2023 Award Goes To Dasha Yurkevich

Dasha started biking in her senior year of high school and she quickly fell in love with it. So much so that her and her friends started a group, Youth Bike America, with the goal of biking from San Francisco to New York over the summer. The group raised money for supplies, planned the route, and set out – pedaling the whole time and achieving their goal along the way. That trip inspired Dasha to continue planning and executing epic rides for youth as a way to show her peers the power of bicycling as a key element of climate justice and youth leadership. In the future, Dasha hopes to empower other youth to be leaders in the movement, to plan their own trips and lead their own adventures. 

Follow Youth Bike America on Instagram and TikTok.

Advocate of the Year 

This award goes to a leader of a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization who has shown tireless commitment to promoting bicycling and walking in their state/community. This person goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform their state/community into a great place for biking and walking. Their time, knowledge, creativity, and commitment are the highest standard of excellence exemplifying a role model for peers.

Dorian in front of a tunnel that significantly increased the safety of trail users. Our 2023 Award Goes To Dorian Grilley

As the head of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Dorian has led an organization that has led its state and local communities to lead the nation in being better for bicycling. Under Dorian’s leadership, BikeMN has utilized the League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program to advocate for infrastructure, education, and equitable bicycling and as a tool to partner with and engage local communities on how to improve the safety and availability of a high quality bike infrastructure network. Thanks to this leadership, Minnesota has always found itself high in the League’s Bicycle Friendly State rankings. Dorian’s award reflects his steadfast commitment and belief in the power of the bicycling movement to foster real changes that improve the lives of our neighbors and friends. 

How should advocates seize this moment to shape the future? 

By uniting, and partnering with others, around the message that we understand that biking and walking are not the only solution to issues related to public health, climate, and community sustainability, but that the return on investment in infrastructure and, especially, programming, is incredibly high.

Follow BikeMN on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook

Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award

This award commemorates Susie Stephens, one of the Alliance for Biking & Walking founders and an enduring inspiration for many members of the bicycle and pedestrian movement. The honor goes to an individual or group who carries on Susie’s passion for advocating for bicycling as a fun and economical means of transportation. 

Our 2023 Award Goes To Letamarie Highsmith Leta (third from left) with a group of LCIs recently trained by her.

Leta is an experienced bike educator and recently joined our team of League Cycling Coaches, the experts who train new League Cycling Instructors. Like many, Leta learned to bike when she was young and continued to do so until she turned 16. After she returned to bicycling and took a few Smart Cycling courses, that joy of biking returned, too. Since then, she’s continued to teach and be an advocate for bicycling in her community. Even throughout the era of covid-19 restrictions, Leta was able to continue coordinating and finding healthy and socially distanced spaces for people to convene around bikes and bike education in her efforts to create more riders and more advocates for safe infrastructure and driver education in state drivers’ manuals.

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work? 

My heart always fills with so much joy when our learn-to-ride students start pedaling!  They are often amazed at themselves and I can just see them swell with pride.  Makes me smile. My joy is beyond words when the learners are children. It never gets old.

Educator of the Year

This award recognizes a person who has worked to elevate bike education in their state/community. We’re looking for educators who are current League Cycling Instructors, active in teaching classes in the past year, serve diverse communities, and have shown innovation in their education work. 

Our 2023 Award Goes To Laura Davidson Brienza Laura experiencing some bike joy.

For years, Laura has been a dedicated bike educator. Her support of BikePGH’s youth cycling program, Positive Spin, began more than five years ago. Since then, she has helped create the Positive Spin Toolkit and a Bike ECS (Environmental Charter School) program. Laura officially became an LCI in 2022, after which she launched Cycology by LDB to instruct and mentor new cyclists. She gets to spend her days as a bike educator doing things like leading a 5th grade PE class on a ride around a park to enjoy the sun and bike joy. 

What do you hope the future holds for the bike movement?  

The bike is such a powerful tool to tap into our strengths- physically, mentally, & emotionally. I hope the future holds a space for more children and adults to have access to this tool– including a safe route, someone to learn from, and a supportive group to ride with. I’d also love to see a future where every walk of life believes they truly belong in the cycling community.

Visit Cyclology by LDB’s website and follow them on Instagram.  

Katherine “Kittie” T. Knox Award 

This award recognizes champions of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the bicycling movement. This award goes to an individual or group that has led in making bicycling more inclusive and representative and has worked to remove barriers to participation by underserved and underrepresented people in their community, state, or country.

Learn more about Kittie Knox and her advocacy for a more inclusive League and bike community.

Our 2023 Award Goes To Radical Adventure Riders 

Radical Adventure Riders (RAR) was founded in 2017 as WTF Bikexplorers by six friends who were inspired to collaborate on a movement to center gender inclusivity, and racial equality within the bicycle adventure community. Their collective mission is to support, celebrate, and connect communities who identify as women, transgender, femme, and/or non-binary who use their bicycles to explore (be it the outdoors, themselves, each other, etc.) RAR does this by providing education, connection, resources, and support for the community and industry. Notable efforts of the group include establishing the SJ Brooks Scholarship which aims to increase access to cycling opportunities by providing financial, gear, and bicycle support for BIPOC cyclists who are trans, non-binary, genderqueer, two-spirit, femme, and/or women. RAR also established the Cycling Industry Pledge which works to hold the bike industry and nonprofits accountable on their stated commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Learn more about Radical Adventure Riders on their website and follow them on Instagram.

Advocacy Organization of the Year 

This award goes to a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization or club who, in the past year, made significant progress. Their leaders have worked tirelessly together to grow and strengthen their organization and fulfill their mission. The proof of their efforts is in the growth of their capacity, programs, membership and the victories they have achieved for biking and walking in their state/community. This award is about recognizing organizations that are inclusive, welcoming, and committed to growing bicycling.

Our 2023 Award Goes To Bike Walk Knoxville The Tour de Lights.

Bike Walk Knoxville began as a subcommittee of Bike Walk Tennessee’s regional in 2012 and over ten years has grown into a force for change and a trusted subject matter expert in the Knoxville area. The organization’s mission is to make the Knoxville region a better place to bike and walk for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. We’ve seen this in action through their advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels. The people of Knoxville have seen this in action through their Open Streets Knoxville, their work with Safe Routes to School, and the Tour de Lights where you’ll see “bicycle enthusiasts wearing their latest spandex to four-year olds on tiny bicycles to families towing pets.” 

How should advocates seize this moment to shape the future?

Bike advocacy means focusing on inclusivity, equity, and collaboration. Advocates can seize this opportunity to work towards a transportation system that is safe, comfortable, and convenient for all road users.

Visit Bike Walk Knoxville’s website to learn more and follow the group on Instagram and Facebook.

Dr. Paul Dudley White Award 

This award is the highest honor the League bestows. The recipient should be an inspiration to others for their commitment to the future of bicycling and someone that has made significant progress in education, safety, rights, or benefits of bicycling.

Our 2023 Award Goes To Randy Neufeld Randy accepting the award from Bill Nesper at the National Bike Summit

Randy has been a force for change in our movement for over 30 years. First in Chicago as the founding executive director of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, now known as the Active Transportation Alliance, which he continued on with as Chief Strategy Officer as the organization grew into a multi-modal focus, and served on the Board of Directors from 2005 until last year. Randy’s work has reached far beyond Chicago where he was a powerful player in project funding, street design and community engagement. Randy was the founding chair of the Thunderhead Alliance, a coalition of state and local cycling groups, which became the Alliance for Biking and Walking and eventually its activities were folded into the Leadership Institute within the League. Randy was president of America Bikes, strategy manager for the National Complete Streets Campaign, and since 2009 has been the director of the SRAM Cycling Fund, where he leads SRAM’s involvement in bicycle advocacy, corporate grants, and policy from international coalitions to local engagement near SRAM offices. Randy guides SRAM’s collaboration with the rest of the bike industry, working to optimize their associations and coalitions to grow cycling. He delights in developing strategy with cities, advocates and organizations to encourage the significant benefits of scaling active mobility. Many of us can remember the Advocacy Advance program that SRAM made possible. 

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Cruise endorses guidelines for safe interactions with cyclists – and shows how they’ll meet them

In the nascent autonomous vehicle (AV) industry, ensuring those vehicles interact safely with bicyclists  must be a core competency. It’s why the League worked to develop guidelines for safe AV-cyclist interactions. We’re excited to see our vision for safer roads and safer riding endorsed by another other leader in the AV industry – Cruise. 

Cruise is a Platinum sponsor of the 2023 National Bike Summit, March 26-29, 2023, in Washington, D.C. It is also one of only two companies offering paid rides in fully driverless vehicles to the public here in the United States. Last year, Waymo, the other company that offers paid rides in AVs to the public, endorsed the League’s guidelines for safe AV-cyclist interactions. Critically, the vast majority of the miles Cruise’s AVs have done for research, development, and deployment have been in San Francisco, a dense urban environment with lots of cyclists and a large and active cycling culture.

“The League of American Bicyclists is proud to say that with Cruise endorsing our guidelines for AV-cyclist interactions, every company currently offering paid rides in autonomous vehicles to the public acknowledges and recognizes the value of our principles,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “We hope at this industry continues to grow, so too does this commitment to the safety of all road users.”

When we discussed our principles with Cruise, it was great to hear how much Cruise and the League of American Bicyclists share a vision for a safer, more sustainable future for communities across the United States, where bicyclists of any age or experience level can get around town safely. Beyond endorsing the concept of safe AV-cyclist interaction and the utility of the six guidelines that the League developed, Cruise has already taken action to support a safer, more sustainable future. In 2021, Cruise advocated for AB 43 in California which reformed speed limit setting in the state, enabling local communities to reduce speed limits on high-injury networks.

Cruise was also excited to share not just their endorsement of our guidelines, but how they operationalize them. Today we’re excited to share their efforts with you. A recent survey by AAA showed that an increasing number of drivers are “afraid” of AVs, and sharing safety practices is an important part of building trust in these systems as they are developed. If you’re attending the Summit in person, Cruise will be there and we’re excited for attendees to share their experiences, concerns, and hopes with Cruise representatives at the Summit!

In 2021, the League developed six guidelines for safe AV-cyclist interactions – and here’s how Cruise meets them:

  1. Cyclists Should Be a Distinct Object Class
    • Cruise distinguishes between bicyclists and pedestrians in order to be better able to anticipate and safely react to the unique movements and actions of people biking.
  2. Typical Cyclist Behavior Should Be Expected
    • Cruise programs their vehicles to plan for, and react to, typical cyclist actions and less common or unexpected actions that are unique to people biking. Since the Cruise vehicle will never be distracted or intoxicated, and uses sensors that do not rely on ambient light to be effective, the vehicle is always ready to react, any time of day or night.
  3. Cycling Infrastructure and Local Laws Should Be Mapped
    • Cruise regularly updates its system with road infrastructure data, including specific bicycle infrastructure such as bike lanes and bike boxes. By advocating for slower speed limits and safer infrastructure, Cruise recognizes the role of safer street design complementing their advanced technology. The presence of bike lanes is highlighted for users exiting the vehicle to alert them to the potential presence of a person biking.
An example of what a Cruise vehicle displays to exiting riders.
  1. An AV Should Drive in a Consistent And Understandable Way
    • Cruise designs for a safe, smooth, comfortable ride for users, with consistent use of mechanisms like turn signals to show its intention. In their development, this has led to subtle behaviors like the AV shifting slightly in the lane as a fast moving cyclist approaches for a potential overtaking maneuver.
  2. Prepare for Uncertain Situations and Proactively Slow Down
    • Cruise prepares for uncertain situations by using redundant sensors – including LiDAR, radar, cameras, and microphones – to sense the world around the AV and potential conflicts. When potential conflicts are sensed or perceived, cautionary measures including reduced speed manage the potential risk as shown in this impressive interaction with a cyclist emerging after being obscured by a bus.
  1. Cyclist Scenarios Should Be Tested Continuously
    • Cruise uses a mix of simulation and on-road testing, using real world scenarios and pre-designed events to test and re-test for interactions that are common and uncommon.

The League is excited to see how Cruise has approached our guidelines to safe AV-cyclist interaction. We believe that the safety of people biking should not be an “edge case” but must be a core competency of AV systems. We want all AV systems to be safe for people biking and to follow our guidelines or help us improve them. Engaging with safety technologies and making sure that cyclist safety is a part of their advancement is how we hope to create Safe Streets for All.

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Show support for tax credits for e-bikes

Let’s get more people on bicycles by making it easier for more people to choose to bike. Making it more financially accessible for people to purchase an e-bike would do just that. The recently introduced E-BIKE (Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment) Act does this by proposing to create a tax rebate for people buying electric bikes similar to the tax incentive for buying an electric car.

Read more about E-Bikes in our policy and advocacy section

The E-BIKE Act would help replace car trips with bike trips and get more people in our communities to see the benefits of bicycling.

Contact your Senators and Representative in support of the E-BIKE Act

Studies of e-bike usage show that they are car-replacing, greenhouse gas emission-reducing, congestion-improving, and health-boosting. With the E-BIKE Act, Congress would be providing incentives for electrifying transportation to the most efficient form of transportation ever – the bicycle – not just cars.

Join us in supporting this legislation by contacting your representatives in Congress today.

The E-BIKE Act creates a tax credit that:

  • Accounts for the purchase of one e-bike for single filers, or two for joint filers
  • Provides a rebate for 30% of the cost of a new electric bicycle, up to a $1,500 credit. 
  • Allows lower-income workers to claim the credit. Individuals without tax liability can still receive the tax rebate.
  • Includes an income limitation of $150,000 for a single filer, $225,000 for head of household, and $300,000 for joint filers. This is $75,000 lower than the income limitation on electric car rebates.
  • Includes language that limits eligible e-bikes to ones with tested battery systems and which meet one of the Three Class Definitions for e-bikes used by most states. 
  • Prevents fraud by requiring manufacturers to provide a VIN that retailers report to the IRS upon sale.

Let’s get more people on bikes — e-mail your representatives today about the E-BIKE Act!

Take action on the E-BIKE Act now!

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Bikes Count: 2023 Data Competition Launches

For the third consecutive year, we are excited to announce that the League is once again partnering with our friends at Eco-Counter to host the annual Bikes Count Data Competition! The 2023 data competition is open for submissions now through May 4th, and a winner will be announced later in May, during National Bike Month

Are you looking to use bike data to make an impact in your community? Have you been putting off analyzing and communicating that messy Excel sheet on your desktop? Do you have some bike data that never really got used or made a splash? Send us your data!

Through a competitive application process, one lucky winner will receive from Eco-Counter:

  • expert cleaning and analysis of your data from our data services team to extract key trends and insights;
  • custom branded infographics, graphs, social media cards and other communication tools with your data;
  • best-practice training on analyzing and communicating bike data;
  • … and more!

The competition is open to U.S.-based organizations with any kind of bike data, including bike advocacy organizations, municipalities, regional councils, neighborhood associations, as well as schools, universities, and businesses that participate in the Bicycle Friendly America program. From automated count data to GPS traces, survey data to manual counts, we want to see it! 

The League and Eco-Counter originally joined forces to host the first-ever Bikes Count Data Competition in 2021, awarding both the City of Charlottesville, VA, and the Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance in Boise, ID. Last year, Lincoln-Lancaster County in Nebraska and a joint project involving Madison Bikes and Bike Fitchburg in Wisconsin were selected as winners of the 2022 ‘Bikes Count’ competition. As winners, these organizations received support and assistance from Eco-Counter to get the most out of their cycling data and to use those insights for meaningful, bike-friendly change in their community – this year it’s your chance to receive the same support!

Check out the infographics created by Eco-Counter for last year’s winners:

Click the image to download the full infographic!

To apply for the 2023 competition, fill out an application at the link below. The application isn’t too long. We just want to hear a little bit about your organization, what kind of data you have, and (most importantly) how this data will make a difference in your community. 2023 applications are due by 5 pm ET on Thursday, May 4. The winner will be announced in late May! Contact with any questions.

Apply now!

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LCI Spotlight: Caryn Davis

The League certifies hundreds of League Cycling Instructors every year and there are thousands of LCIs around the country leading bike education efforts in their communities. In our LCI spotlight series, we share the stories of League Cycling Instructors doing what they do daily: educating, mentoring, empowering. You don’t have to be an extraordinary athlete or overachieving student to be a stellar LCI, all you need is the conviction that life is better for everyone when more people ride bikes.

March is Women’s History Month, and we’re continuing to recognize and celebrate the people who are not only creating more opportunities for women to embrace the cycle but women leading the industry!

Meet our latest League Cycling Instructor in the spotlight: Caryn Davis. Caryn owned Bloomington Cycle and Fitness, a bike shop and Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business in Bloomington, Illinois, for 13+ years. We gave a shout-out to Bloomington Cycle and Fitness and other women-owned Bicycle Friendly Businesses on our blog during last year’s Women’s History Month. Check it out.

Caryn sold the bike shop to Specialized in 2022, and Caryn’s daughter has been managing it since, with an amazing staff that will carry on employing more women. After starting a women’s cycling community called Spokeswomen that hosts weekly rides, Caryn now spends her days continuing to inspire bike joy among new and seasoned women riders. Find our earlier LCI Spotlights in our blog archives.


I became an LCI after the first time I attended the National Bike Summit in DC. I went to lobby for better infrastructure, and after spending much of the week learning about the great work others were doing with bike education, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to add that to my advocacy efforts.

The biggest reason I enjoy teaching is sharing the pure joy I feel when riding and helping others move from “curious” to comfortable and confident.  When you see that light up in someone on a bike, it’s just the best feeling.


Learn how to get more involved in cycling education in the Smart Cycling section of our website.

When I became involved in advocating locally, I recognized the need for action and education to address the push-back from community members that felt cycling on the road was dangerous. Our area had lots of folks advocating and pushing city officials but no quantifiable efforts to address safety concerns. Becoming an LCI and offering classes in our area felt like a healthy and responsible answer to the arguments that were happening in our city council meetings.


Reach out to an experienced LCI to team-teach with you. It made all the difference in the world in gaining comfort and confidence in the role. I team-teach with wonderful LCIs like Cynthia Hoyle from Champaign.


Hearing women tell me I gave them confidence and a sense of community through the rides I lead. I have consistently hosted a weekly women-only ride every summer since 2009. It started as “just a ride”, but it became a way for me to build community and educate women in a fun, non-intimidating way on everything from tire pressure, rules of the road, and group-ride etiquette to changing a flat and basic bike maintenance. It is one of my proudest accomplishments as a bike shop owner, especially when I reflect on the friends I have made and other women who tell me of the friends and experiences they have had in our community they would never have otherwise.


We teach bike skills, but it’s more about building awareness and confidence. 


How lost or present you can get in the rhythm of it all! It’s my favorite way to be meditative on my own and my favorite way to socialize with friends. It is where I truly understand the “mind-body connection”.


Know an LCI we should feature? Nominate a stellar bike educator here!

I have so many it feels impossible to pick just one – but the feeling of independence and self-sufficiency as a kid still resonates in me every time I ride a bike. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of the Apple Cider Century in Three Oaks, Michigan, every summer. I still love visiting that area and hope to catch that ride again someday.

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The president’s 2024 budget: big money for big problems

There is a common adage that you can tell what an elected official cares about by looking at their budget. Over the last few years we’ve seen a real shift in how the White House and the Department of Transportation have developed their annual budget. We now see a focus on safety, not only in their rhetoric, but also in how they propose to spend tax dollars.

The League has been a longtime advocate for increasing federal resources to improve safety and access for people biking and walking. 

Many of you have joined us through the years, advocating for a nonmotorized safety performance measure, increased funding and better policies for the Transportation Alternatives program, and chipping away at the language and culture that has focused the Highway Safety Improvement Program on improving safety for car occupants almost exclusively. 

It has been a long slog, but the new budget – along with other policy moves by the Buttigieg DOT and the Federal Highway Administration – show a real change in policy and practice. Our voices are being heard.

While the White House Budget released last week is considered more of a statement of priorities rather than anything that has a strong chance of being transcribed into law, the signals the DOT and White House are sending through the budget are still an important measure. However, there are more changes in culture, policy and funding within the transportation community we’d like to see. We’ll be working on those changes at the National Bike Summit coming up at the end of this month.

There’s still time to register to attend the Summit in-person or online! Register here »

One consistent message from the United States Department of Transportation under Secretary Pete Buttigieg and President Biden has been that the United States has a traffic safety crisis. Traffic deaths jumped during the Covid-19 pandemic, escalating a decade of increases for people biking and walking to multi-decade highs. With their Fiscal Year 2024 Budget, Secretary Buttigieg and President Biden are requesting big money to deal with big problems in our transportation system that have contributed to our nation’s traffic safety crisis.

Highlights include:

$3.1 billion for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP)
  • HSIP is specifically focused on safety improvements, making it a key part of the administration’s efforts to promote and implement a Safe System Approach. A Safe System Approach acknowledges that people make mistakes, and that transportation agencies are one of the most important agents responsible for proactively putting safeguards in place to prevent those mistakes from being fatal or causing serious injuries. In the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Congress required states where biking and walking deaths make up 15% or more of traffic deaths to spend 15% or more of HSIP on biking and walking safety improvements, a policy the League first championed in 2011.
$70.3 billion in total budgetary resources for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • This reflects funding increases from the BIL, “the largest long-term investment in our infrastructure and economy in our Nation’s history.” While biking and walking investments usually average around 2% of FHWA funding, biking and walking infrastructure is eligible for about 90% of FHWA funding. There are more resources than ever to create safer places to bike and walk.
$60 million to fund the Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment Program (ATIIP)
  • Last year we celebrated $45 million in the budget for ATIIP, a 2022 National Bike Summit priority. It is great to see a one-third increase in this request, “which would provide competitive grants for the construction of active transportation networks, including sidewalks, bikeways, and pedestrian and bicycle trails.”
$14.4 billion for the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program of which 10% or $1.44 billion is set aside for Transportation Alternatives
  • Increasing Transportation Alternatives funding, which has long been the most common source of federal funding for biking and walking projects, was one of the League’s key goals with the BIL, and this record funding means more great biking projects than ever.
$100 million to fund the Thriving Communities program
  • The Thriving Communities program provides technical assistance, capacity building, and other assistance to help disadvantaged communities advance transformative, equitable, and climate-friendly infrastructure projects. Last year $25 million was requested, so this is a big potential increase in available funding.
$100 million, along with $100 million in BIL advance appropriations, to fund the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program
  • In late February 2023 the first round of the Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program funding was awarded to 45 projects that will address past transportation infrastructure decisions that limited mobility within communities.
Over $60 million for several National Highway Traffic Safety Administration research activities, including:
  • $25.7 million for rulemaking, enforcement, and research related to vehicle automation. This could support the League’s long-time request for a “vision test” for automated vehicles in order to ensure they can detect, identify, and safely interact with people biking and walking.
  • $20 million for other research initiatives, including $10 million specifically for researching the impact on driver distraction from in-vehicle technology interfaces including touchscreen controls, infotainment displays, and mobile device integration. The $20 million would also include $2 million for research on the effect of vehicle size, weight, and shape on pedestrian safety. Many experts have pointed towards increasing vehicle heights and weights as partly responsible for increases in pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.
  • $27.1 million for research to support the safe testing and deployment of new technologies, commonly referred to as advanced driver assistance systems, including for large trucks. This funding could support the development of bicyclist-automatic emergency braking (AEB) testing that the League has requested since 2015, vision systems that address blind zones on large trucks and SUVs, and intelligent speed assist deployment.
$49.1 million for NHTSA rulemaking programs and activities, including $11.6 million for the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP)
  • The $49.1 million includes $2 million to support the development of safety standards mandated by BIL, including safety standards for passenger vehicles with advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology.
  • The $11.6 million for NCAP is unfortunately not significantly higher than recent budget requests for NCAP, meaning that tests like bicyclist-AEB are more likely in the research phase than operational.

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2023 State Bike Bills: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

We’re three months into the new year, and state legislatures across the country are in full swing. While more cycling-related bills will be introduced throughout the year, there is no shortage of bills already making their way through the legislative process that could impact the future of bicycling. Let’s look at what’s on the menu for 2023 so far and see what’s good, bad, and downright ugly for three popular legislative topics.

E-Bike Rebates May Be Coming To Your State 

A handful of states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, all recently passed or implemented a statewide electric bike rebate program. Now more states are primed to follow suit. Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, DC, have E-bike rebate programs introduced this session. While we continue to push Congress to pursue a rebate program at the federal level (it didn’t make it into last year’s Inflation Reduction Act), states are stepping up. Be on the lookout as more states introduce electric bike rebate bills this year. 

The Good, Bad, And Ugly

E-bike rebate programs are inherently good, but not all programs are equal. 

The Good. Ebike rebates like the Ride Clean Program for e-bikes proposed in New York provide the rebate at the point of sale. These types of rebates are the most equitable and effective, because they make e-bikes more affordable by providing an instant discount on the full cost of the electric bike. New York’s proposed rebate program covers up to 50% of the original price with a maximum rebate of $1,500. 

The Bad. Post-sale rebates, like the one introduced in Oklahoma, reimburse the e-bike purchaser after the sale, meaning only individuals who can afford the full price of an e-bike can utilize the rebate. Getting the rebate check typically requires an application or submission of reciepts, another hurdle in the process of getting more people on bikes. 

The Ugly. Tax credit rebates are the least accessible and equitable type of e-bike rebate. The purchaser must be able to afford the total cost of the e-bike and wait until their taxes are filed to utilize tax credit rebates. Depending on their tax situation, they might not even see a refund from the rebate. Fortunately, these types of e-bike rebates are not the most prevalent in state houses right now, but New Jersey has one working its way through the legislature. 

No One Size Fits All Approach to Safety

Cyclist safety is always a top priority here at the League, so we’re glad to see states making it a priority too. Proposed safety measures range from helmet requirements and side-view mirrors to lowering speed limits in high pedestrian areas, safe passing laws, and limiting when officers may stop cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles. 

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good. One key element of cyclist safety and overall road safety is speed. Simple physics tells us the faster a vehicle is traveling the more likely it is to kill in the event of a crash. Lowering speed limits to 20 mph in high bike and pedestrian areas will save lives, but lowering speed limits is not always easy and can often be expensive. Hawaii’s bill could help municipalities lower speed limits by removing the time-consuming and costly requirement for an engineering study before making reductions to maximum speed limits. 

The Bad. We should all wear a helmet when we ride. It’s a simple and effective safety measure. Despite wearing helmets being a no-brainer, requiring people to wear one can negatively impact bicycle use and bicycle safety and the League does not support mandatory helmet laws. Currently, New York State has a bill that would “require every person operating a bicycle, E-Bike or E-Scooter in New York City to wear a helmet.” Bills like this might not seem harmful but could have serious equity and justice implications and simply haven’t been found to be effective in increasing helmet use.

The Ugly. The League of American Bicyclists has a long history of advocating for cyclists’ right to the road. At times, that has included advocating for treating bicycles like vehicles, but bikes are not the same as cars and trucks. 

Bikes are lighter weight than cars, generally travel at lower speeds, and have better visibility and maneuverability. Public policy should reflect that bikes pose much less danger to other road users than cars and trucks. 

Several bills this session get this wrong. For example, cyclists should not be charged the same fines as drivers of vehicles as a bill in Massachusetts would do. Bicycles should not have to be registered and display a license plate like SB 1372 would require in NY. In New Hampshire, one bill would require cyclists riding anywhere with other modes of transportation – while riding in bike lane or not – to have a 4” diameter mirror on each handlebar. Laws like these only make cycling less inviting and lead to more interactions with police which disproportionately impact BIPOC individuals. 

Cyclists Need Safe Infrastructure To Ride

What good is a bike without a safe place to ride? Having well-designed and safe bicycle infrastructure is vital for all cyclists. Whether you ride to work, hit the trails on the weekend, or love to ride your local streets, we all want places to ride where we know we’re as safe as possible and can focus on having fun or getting to our destination. 

The Good, Bad, and Ugly

The Good. The creation of new bicycle infrastructure and the upkeep of existing infrastructure is (almost) always good. House Bill 408 in New Mexico requires “a protected bike lane be incorporated when making a roadway improvement within the limits of a municipality of at least ten thousand.” This bill would apply to the twenty largest cities in the state and appropriates $5 million for the creation of  bike lanes. 

The Bad and The Ugly. Arizona advocates are fighting back against a trio of bills that would restrict the creation of bicycle paths and other related cycling infrastructure. Senate Bill 1313 removes the requirement for General Plans to include bicycling, meaning all future developments could lack proper accommodations for people who bike. Another Arizona bill would change the funding rules regarding the use of sales tax revenue in Maricopa County, resulting in the inability of the local community to fund bike and walking-specific infrastructure projects. 

Thankfully, with the help of advocates, Senate Bill 1697 – which would have banned the planning, design, or construction of bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways parallel to and separate from state routes – did not make it out of its Senate committee. The bill would prohibit the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) from accepting funds from the federal government if a condition of the funding includes constructing a bicycle path or pedestrian walkway. If passed, this bill would mean complete streets are not allowed, and incomplete streets are required. Between 2015 and 2020, 21% of pedestrian deaths and 17% of bicyclist deaths occurred on ADOT-owned roads. This ugly bill would keep those roads dangerous. 

Take action against these bills that limit and cut funding for building better, safer places to bike and walk in Arizona.

Your voice is critical not just at the federal and local levels, but at the state level as well. Connect with one of the many League member advocacy organizations in your area to get more involved in shaping how federal resources are utilized in your neighborhood. Find state and local member organizations on our map »

The year is young, and there’s a high chance we’ll see more cycling-related legislation being introduced across the country. Regardless of where you live, be on the lookout for more information on what’s happening in states and ways you can get involved in making cycling safer and more accessible for all. 

One last thing – Go Ride!

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International Women’s Day: Why Bicycles Really Matter

Happy International Women’s Day! The following is a guest blog written by Karen Miltner, a tour specialist at WomanTours (a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business!), recognizing the importance of bicycles in women’s empowerment. WomanTours is a company that specializes in bicycle tours by and for women. Karen lives and rides in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Today is International Women’s Day. In the bike world, it’s an opportunity to celebrate all the women shattering stereotypes of what the typical cyclist must look like and recognize the ability of bicycles to empower women. For WomanTours, International Women’s Day is also the first day of our Cross-Country: Southern Tier Tour. For the next 58 days, 26 women and three guides will cycle from San Diego, California, to St Augustine, Florida. 

Yeah, it amazes me too. 

WomanTours has been offering these types of outdoor adventure experiences to women since 1995. Throughout my lifetime, the bicycle has been a means for both practical transportation and joyful recreation. It has strengthened my body, boosted my confidence and introduced me to new people and places. It has helped me feel more at home and at ease in the world. Just as I have enjoyed so many fundamental civil liberties, opportunities and freedoms that were denied generations of women before me, I have taken the bicycle for granted. 

In Europe and North America, women’s emancipation through bicycling began in the 1890s, when bicycles themselves were becoming more accessible, thanks to the invention of the safety bicycle. Unlike its risky predecessor, the giant-wheeled penny-farthing, the safety bicycle had reasonable, equal-sized wheels and pneumatic tires, and more or less resembled the bikes we ride today. Middle- and upper-class women immediately took to the sport, thrilled at its capacity for travel, fresh air, exercise, women-only and co-ed social engagement, new-found mobility and freedom. 

Of course, there were the nay-sayers: the doctors who warned “wheeling” would damage a woman’s constitution (and sexual organs), the husbands who feared their wives would not come home in time to cook dinner, the moralists who mourned the sartorial shift from long skirts and petticoats to bloomers and tights.

Bicycling as an act of women’s freedom continues today. 

In Pakistan, Girls on Bikes rallies have become an annual event in larger cities such as Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. These rallies are an offshoot of the Aurat March movement, which has set aside International Women’s Day as a day for women to leave their homes and march (or pedal) for equality.

In Afghanistan, where the Taliban’s return to power in 2021 has led to dire setbacks in basic human rights as well as a crumbling economy, many Afghans have to rely on bicycles as their sole means of transportation. But women have lost even this core freedom. 

According to Shannon Galpin, the American activist and writer who worked with Afghan women to form a competitive cycling team, the Taliban resurrection instilled such fear that athletes went into hiding and burned their jerseys and other cycling possessions to protect themselves during searches. There are glimmers of hope. Last summer, after months of hanging in limbo, members of the national women’s cycling team resettled in Italy, where they can pursue their dream. 

As Galpin was quoted in one article: “We’ve seen this first generation of women become cyclists. And they did it not just because of sport; they did it because cycling is freedom of mobility, cycling is access. And so when I speak about bikes being a tool for social justice, I am looking right at the Afghan women, I’m looking at women who are using bikes to challenge the gender barrier to have the same freedom of mobility that their fathers and brothers have.” 

Throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, bicycles are improving the lives of girls and women in very real and concrete ways. In Zambia, the Ministry of Education and World Bicycle Relief have distributed more than 36,000 bicycles to rural schoolgirls. A study from this campaign reported a 19% decrease in the dropout rate, a 28% improvement in absenteeism, and a 22% drop in harassment incidents. In Tanzania, globalbike has set up a network of rural bicycle rental and repair shops that give women entrepreneurs a leg up on their livelihoods. Compared to walking, reliable bike transportation frees up 65% more time for women to gather water for their homes and businesses, care for crops, and to get medical care. WomanTours is proud to partner with globalbike through our Tanzania: Service, Cycling and Safari Tour, donating all tour proceeds to globalbike and Tanzania. 

As I cheer on our 26 cross-country cyclists on this International Women’s Day, I plan on taking my own bike ride after work. It won’t be as long as theirs or as hard. But it will give me enough time to reflect on just how far women around the world have come in our journey toward self-determination and how far we still have to go. 

I hope you’ll join me.

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