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The Story Behind a BFA: Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail
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. You can find every award on our Bicycle Friendly America map, but what’s a little harder to capture is the story behind every award -- 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.
Our next installment is Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail of Warner, New Hampshire. Coming in as a new applicant, Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail impressively earned a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business award in our Fall 2019 round. Read more and be inspired by this BFB using miles of trails to connect those who bike, walk and roll in their community.
Q. Is there an individual who is helping you build a more Bicycle Friendly America?
A. The board of the Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail
Q. What moment sparked the idea to apply for the Bicycle Friendly America program?
A. Rail Trails are inherently bicycle-friendly, but we didn't see many listed as BFBs. We wanted to both stand out as an organization and inspire more rail trail groups to support the Bicycle Friendly America program.
Q. What was your biggest barrier in applying to the Bicycle Friendly America program and how did you overcome it?
A. We overcame having no physical office space, which is expected to apply, by pointing out the miles of trail we have constructed, the bicycle Fixit stations we've installed, and the educational assistance we've provided to bike rodeos, indoor bicycle instruction, and overall advocacy for active transportation.
Q. What is the most obvious way bicycling impacts people at your Bicycle Friendly Business?
A. Rail trails serve as a safe place to build confidence riding a bike. People appreciate a relaxed place to practice starting and stopping, shifting gears, ringing a bell, etc. With sufficient confidence, these riders will take to the streets to visit businesses and other destinations. We created a portable covered bike parking structure to spark conversations about where people might bike if there was welcoming infrastructure waiting for them in town.
Q. What one piece of advice would you give others thinking about applying to the BFA program?
A. Apply! For a great many businesses, encouraging employees and customers to bike to your location can make good sense for multiple reasons. Maybe there's a side road or trail nearby that makes your business easy to access than you first imagined. Maybe it helps you recruit new employees in a tight employment market. Perhaps e-bikes are making your business easier to reach.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to share?
A. We hope the League continues to promote the Bicycle Friendly America program.
You can find out more about the BFA program at www.bikeleague.org/bfa. We are proud to be working with communities, businesses, universities, and local advocates across the country to create safe and inclusive places for everyone to bike. If you would like to see your story on our blog or on our social media, share your journey to being Bicycle Friendly with us now.
To see your business earn the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business designation, apply today at http://apply.bikeleague.org or learn more at bikeleague.org/business. The next deadline to apply to the BFB program is October 5, 2021.