Speak Up & Be Counted
The League Board Election begins today --- click here to cast your vote in the elections. There is one at large seat up for election, as well as candidates in Regions 2, 3 and 5. Click here to read the candidates statements (pdf), here to see what region you are in, and here to cast your vote! The elections close on February 1, and winners will be announced on February 15.
Getting What We Pay For ...
Students of Stephen Leavitt’s Freakonomics know the power of incentives on our behavior. So, in the last couple of weeks the inestimable Internal Revenue Service has issued two important announcements. First, mileage reimbursement rates for car travel in the course of work rise to 50.5 cents per mile – but only 14 cents per mile if you are driving for charitable purposes. Second, parking and transit benefit rates have also risen slightly to $220 and $115 per month respectively…still nothing for bikes. Even worse was the realization that the tax expenditure estimate for this second item is $4.4 billion for 2008, in “lost” revenue. That puts into perspective the $4.5 billion we were delighted to score for bicycling and walking out of SIX years-worth of federal transportation spending, let alone the paltry $75 million cost of extending the benefit to bicyclists.
NHTSA Releases Fatality Statistics
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and NHTSA comes out with its annual safety facts. In 2006, 773 pedalcyclists (as we are quaintly referred to) were killed in collisions with motor vehicles, imperceptibly down from 786 the year before. More alarmingly, the number is practically the same as ten years ago (765), and at 2 percent of all traffic crashes still more than twice the percentage of trips made by bike according to the NHTSA. For all the slightly dodgy numbers in the report – there’s no true exposure rate; the “injuries” number of 44,000 seems like a nice round number; and it still doesn’t reflect any non-motor vehicle related crashes – there’s some useful comparisons to be made between the numbers for each state. Click here to see how your state stacks up: (click on Bicyclists and Other Cyclists under 2006 Traffic Safety Fact Sheets).
Stand Up for Cyclists' Rights with the League
The speeding driver that killed experienced rider Bill Bliss was convicted of a misdemeanor and given a fine. Matt Wilhelm’s killer, who was downloading ring tones onto her mobile phone, got six months probation and a $1,000 fine for her fifth traffic violation in 17 months. Read more about how the League is working to prevent these kinds of injustices – and please make a contribution to support our critical work in this area. For more information, read Bicycling Magazine’s excellent piece, "Broken," in its Jan/Feb 2008 issue. Take action by contacting your Senators and Representatives and letting them know how important this issue is it you. Better yet, attend the 2008 National Bike Summit and speak to them (and their staffs) in person. Read about other tragic crashes in which innocent cyclists were killed. And join advocacy organizations and clubs in your area (enter your zip code) and help get local laws changed.
Richard DeBernardis Wins League's Highest Award
Richard DeBernardis, president of Perimeter Bicycling Association of America and host of the annual El Tour de Tucson, is the 2007 recipient of the League’s most significant distinction, the Dr. Paul Dudley White Award. Bernardis was given the award to recognize his 25 years at the helm of El Tour, which has been a catalyst for change in Tucson and helped to create a gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community. Recipients must have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of bicycling and the furtherance of bicyclists’ rights. The award is given in honor of the “father of modern cardiology” whose pioneering efforts to encourage physical fitness – especially cycling – to prevent heart disease led millions of Americans to embrace cycling for fun, fitness, and transportation.
Help Us Climb Capitol Hill in 2008
The legendary polka dot jersey is given to the best climber in the Tour de France. Become a champion of bicycling by climbing Capitol Hill, March 4-6 as a participant at the 2008 National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Pack your suit and discover the power you have to influence national transportation, energy, environment and health policy for the better: For bicycling. Click here to read more about the Summit, and here to register.
IMBA Launches Ride Center Program
IMBA has unveiled a major new initiative to build a network of state-of-the-art mountain bike facilities. IMBA Ride Centers will be extensive trail networks, designed for mountain bikers of every skill level and built by professional trailbuilders. They will serve as social and educational hubs, where visitors can connect and learn new riding techniques. The centers will provide the full range of mountain biking experiences today's riders crave, from long singletrack journeys to family-friendly loops, and areas with expertly designed technical challenges - including sustainable downhill and freeriding options - to test accomplished riders. Five IMBA Ride Center projects are already in development in Cuyuna Lakes, Minn.; Fraser Valley, Colo.; Payette Valley, Idaho; Santos Trails, Fla. and Uwharrie Mountains, N.C. For more information, contact Mark Eller, IMBA communications director.
Virgin Vacations Chooses Bike Friendly Cities
Using criteria very similar to the League’s own, Virgin has chosen the 11 most bicycle friendly cities in the world. See how your assessment stacks up against theirs.
Bicycle Leadership Conference Coming Soon
The 2008 BPSA Bicycle Leadership Conference is just after the first of the year - January 18-20, in San Diego, California. Released at the conference will be original, ground-breaking research with outside-the-industry researchers taking an in-depth look at the largest single issue facing all sectors of the U.S. bicycle industry: lack of growth! BPSA president John Nedeau states: "Growth has been flat for more than ten years. And if we want to change that fact, we have to be willing to take a hard look at its causes." The complete agenda, registration, and hotel information is available on the conference web site at www.bicycleconference.org.
Wild Turkeys Are Running Free in Davis, Calif.
You thought your neighborhood was tough to ride in! Listen to this NPR story about how wild turkeys are bedeviling the residents of platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community Davis, Calif.
Donate from Your IRA to the League!
Did you know that if you are over 70.5 years old, you can make a tax free charitable contribution from your Individual Retirement Account to a non-profit institution? Act now, this tax free exemption ends on December 21, 2007. The exemption is part of the Pension Protection Act of 2006. Contact your IRA custodian today to donate to the League. Click here for more information about the tax free charitable contribution: