December 18, 2006
It Isn't December without a Top 10 List: The League's Top 10 2006 Accomplishments
1. Our profile in Washington reached the next level.
The 2006 National Bike Summit, generously sponsored by Bikes Belong, featured more attendees and Capitol Hill meetings than ever before. We have amazing momentum going in to the 2007 Summit, where we will develop a National Cycling Strategy. We are excited to welcome IMBA as a major sponsor this year and look forward to further integrating mountain bicycling issues into the event. Register today!
2. The League teamed up with the National MS Society to develop a new group riding curriculum.
The course is designed to help cyclists enjoy big rides more safely. The class – with an instructor and student manual – is designed to be taught by League Cycling Instructors, giving them another tool with which to share their experience and knowledge of bicycling. The initial audience of some 70,000 “Start to Finish MS” riders is just the beginning for this new BikeEd offering.
3. When you think of Madison, Wis. and San Francisco, Calif., think of bicycling.
Both of those communities earned the gold-level bicycle friendly community designation in 2006, joining another 58 cities across the country. If your city isn’t on the BFC list and you want to see it there, take heart. This year, with the support of the Ruth Mott Foundation and the Education Foundation of America, we launched a program to help communities transform their streets into Complete Streets. Flint, Mich., Hyattsville, Md. and Decatur, Ga. took the training and are intent on becoming more bicycle friendly. Thanks to League members' generous support, we also sent more than 400 mayors a Bicycle Friendly Community kit urging them to learn about, and apply for, the program.
4. We welcomed another 60 local bicycle clubs to the ranks of League affiliates.
These additions bring the total affiliated clubs to more than 580, that’s up from 430 just a couple of years ago. We completed our first ever Club Census this fall to learn more about those clubs and how we can serve them better. Click here to add your club to the list of affiliated organizations!
5. In May, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bike Month.
With the support of Shimano, we mailed out 5,000 Bike to Work Week posters and gave $15,000 in grants to communities around the country to help raise the profile of Bike to Work Week events. It was an appropriately large celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of National Bike Month.
Enter your zip code (or city, or state) and instantly find clubs, rides, advocacy groups, instructors and bicycle education classes in your own backyard. We’re very proud of this, and of our new site (although we’re always open to suggestions for how we can improve it). We also extended the on-line advocacy center to include state and local elected officials and agencies.
7. How do you learn to ride better?
Why, you take a Road I class from one of almost 1,000 League Cycling Instructors around the country! You can also buy the League’s new educational video, Enjoy the Ride. The DVD includes a 7-minute version that is perfect for showing at bike shops—which was a big hit at Interbike—and a 28-minute version for more in-depth teaching. In 2006, four League staff members became LCIs, as did more than 260 people nationwide.
8. League staff got out and BICYCLED this year.
In addition to riding to work and organized day rides, Todd McDonald completed a four-month tour wrenching and riding Tour d’Afrique (Cairo, Egyptto Cape Town, South Africa!) and Elizabeth Preston completed a Seattle-to-D.C. cross-country trip [blog by rider Bill Cook]. Everyone on staff rode in the League’s annual rally, Cycle Across Maryland, and Executive Director Andy Clarke finished the Tour de Tucson with a personal-best time. Make sure you are there to see him do even better in 2007.
9. In 2006, we helped your kids, and ours, get to school more healthily by creating our Safe Routes to School video.
Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this five-minute introduction to the Safe Routes to School program is a great tool for parents and enthusiastic cycling advocates.
10 (plus a little): It’s hard to limit our bragging list to just ten ...
In 2006 the League also promoted and protected rights of cyclists by opposing legislation in South Dakota; responding to an inappropriate American International Automobile Dealers Association editorial; joining a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Transportation for better bikeways; supporting MassBike, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Atlanta Bicycle Campaign, Transportation Alternatives and others with alerts supporting their campaigns, and just last week by sending sent out an alert to help save enhancements funding in Texas. We also launched a legal network to help provide advice to cyclists who have been hit by motorists.
All Thanks to You!
Whew! All of this was made possible thanks to the support of loyal cyclists like you.
The League’s members are our most valuable resource—you give your time, money, and talent—and the staff is proud to be part of a great team.
Next year promises to be better than ever. Whatever your political views, the November elections have great potential to make America a better place for bicycling, with longtime champions of bicyclists assuming leadership positions. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) will chair the House Transportation Committee; Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) will sit on the House Ways and Means Committee; and more than 130 members of the bike-partisan Congressional Bike Caucus were returned to Washington.
If you want to learn even more about our accomplishments, or the communities that still need a lot of work, click here. To give a last-minute (tax-deductible) donation to the League, click here. Keep active, keep involved, and keep building a bicycle-friendly America.