#bikeschool: Championing the Champions
Unfortunately due to the ridiculous nature in which our planet has decided to rotate through space and influence time and seasons, I missed last week’s #bikeschool session (9pm EST if you hadn’t got the hang of it yet). This was unfortunate for 2 reasons; the obvious being I didn’t get to have my hour or so of cycling banter while getting progressively more drunk but the more subtle one was that I missed The Boss, @LovingTheBike, throwing down the questions. And there were some real stonkers!
Darryl and I rarely get to go face to face (screen to screen really) during class anymore as #bikeschool has snowballed and the Professor role gets shared around with a guest Professor every so often. Thankfully there is lots of background stuff that goes on to bring you #bikeschool and LovingTheBike.com which allows us and the other two noggin-box geniuses, @egggman and @bikerly to get together online over the week. And so when I came to do my homework and read the questions and answers from the last class session (as every good student should do!) I was very happy to see the old dawg hasn’t lost his spark! We often get asked how we come up with so many questions which rarely duplicate previous class questions… and in all honesty I don’t really know. But what I will say is that when it comes to cycle bloggery and #bikeschool, Darryl is still the king.
So my favourite question from last week that got me pinging all over the web was…:
…and there were some great answers. So below is a run down of the causes, websites and groups that the class suggested were worthy advocates of our beautiful sport. Please check them out and give them all the support you can. They uphold, stimulate and progress the sport and past-time of cycling and we should all be thankful for their existence.
Bike Pittsburgh – @bikepgh
“Bike Pittsburgh is a member-based organization that works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride.
The work we do is at the heart of urban environmentalism – raising awareness about oil dependency, pollution, congestion, safe streets, good urban design, and public health. We are partnering with local stakeholders to improve our streets, bridges, and trails in order to make riding to work, shopping, and exercising by bicycle safe and fun for everyone in Pittsburgh.”
A great local group that are not just promoting cycling, but a way of life. An influential group that is powered by the people who run and support it.
People For Bikes – @peopleforbikes
“Whether you’re a bike commuter, a roadie, a mountain biker or just a casual rider, by uniting your voice with a million others, we can build a national movement to improve bicycling in our country. We can make a statement through our sheer numbers by raising public awareness and demonstrating our passion to our leaders in Congress and in cities and states throughout the country.
Every six years, the federal government allocates billions of dollars to expand and improve our country’s transportation infrastructure. Peopleforbikes.org will use our powerful, united voice to urge U.S Senators and Congressmen to make new, cost-effective investments in bicycling facilities and programs that will benefit us now and well into the future.”
A cause that LovingTheBike.com has supported for a long time and we whole heartedly agree with their assertion that ‘bikes make life better’. You can sign their pledge for a better world for cyclists here.
“The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is a statewide, nonprofit organization. We work with people from all around the state to make bicycling convenient, safe, accessible and fun.
The Bike Fed has a vision of Wisconsin as one of the world’s best places to ride a bike where millions of residents and visitors of all backgrounds who choose bicycling as an integral and convenient part of their daily life. Our mission is to inspire, motivate and unite a strong community of civic, business and political leaders, motorists and bicyclists to move bicycling forward.”
Another local project, this time a state-wide group who are prevalent in many aspects of cycling from winter safety and beginner bike camps to hard-hitting commuter issues.
IMBA – @imbaaustralia
“IMBA Australia creates, enhances and protects great trail experiences for Australian mountain bike riders. IMBA Australia’s objectives are to advocate for access, to gain recognition as the authority on all aspects of MTB trail management and to become the pre-eminent source of professional advice.
IMBA Australia aims to:
• Bring MTB advocates under one group;
• Attract membership from around Australia;
• Educate about MTB trail management, trail design and construction techniques, advocacy techniques;
• Attract professional consultancy projects; and
• Form partnerships to progress objectives.”
The International Mountain Bicycling Association of Australia is an absolute gold mine. Serving as a national hub for other mountain bike advocacy sits across Australia with a mantra of SPEAK, BUILD, RESPECT & RIDE.
“World class communities have world-class accommodations for moving people by means other than a car. The central Ohio community needs the efforts of an organization like Consider Biking at this time. Given our citizen’s concern for health and sustainability, and the rising cost of operating a motor vehicle, the environment for our growth and success is ripe. In fact, there are over 130 bicycle advocacy organizations across the U.S. that Consider Biking can use as models. The momentum we’ve generated as a trusted resource for objective information, has drawn many to our cause of making Central Ohio more friendly for bicyclists. Our overarching goal is to increase the number of cyclists on the road. We strive to increase the mode share for bicycles by increasing the number of trips made by bicycle to workplace, shopping, errands, and for recreation. We are especially keen to increase the number of children that ride a bicycle to school and other activities. Of course we seek to increase the safety of bicyclists via developing comprehensive bicycling networks and complimentary education and encouragement programs. We seek to implement unified policies across all jurisdictions in the region and increase partnerships and stakeholders to develop and leverage the resources necessary to effectively carry out our mission. Lastly, we seek to increase the sustainability of the organization via sound management practices and development of volunteer leadership, membership, and funding sources.”
They say and do it all! From enhancing physical and mental health, protecting the environment and encouraging energy efficiency, to supporting economic development,creating safer communities and contributing to a culture of inclusiveness, empowerment and fun.
Our mission is to build a better, bike-able Los Angeles by improving the bicycle environment and quality of life in Los Angeles County through the following strategic goals:
Increase bikes as a mode of transportation in Los Angeles County by working with Metro on better bicycle and transit integration, to increase the amount of cities applying for and receiving funding for bicycle infrastructure from the Metro Call for Projects, set regional goals and better policies in the Southern California Association of Governments Regional Transportation Plan, and conduct bicycle and pedestrian counts in collaboration with cities and local advocacy chapters.
Advocate for improved bicycle infrastructure and supporting laws through Complete Street policies, better bicycle master plans, and increased municipal funding, such as Measure R, for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.
Serve as an umbrella organization for all bicyclists in LA County by fostering local chapters and regionally coordinated campaigns and planning through the 88 cities of LA County, and by reaching out to and raising the concerns of low-income, marginalized cyclists of color, through programs like City of Lights, Living Streets, and our Transit Hub Report.
Provide better education to both motorists and cyclists through our Give Me 3 bus shelter ad partnership, our Spanish bike resource guides and safety workshops, and our Sharrows pamphlets for drivers and cyclists.
In a large urban area cycle safety is a major consideration every time you pedal away from home. Despite Los Angeles’ reputation as a car-centric region, LACBC has emerged as one of the most innovative and wide-reaching bicycle advocacy non-profit groups in the US. They have played a major role in the growing cycling movement in LA and have a vision to improve the built environment in Los Angeles, so that all cyclists–low-income, commuter, recreational, families, and women–can safely navigate LA County streets.
“Bike Pure is not for profit organisation registered in Australia. We are also independent organisation for fans, riders and the cycle trade to promote honest, ethical sport and are opposed to doping. We stand together in a united stance to begin a new era for cyclesport. Bike Pure will spearhead constructive, structured reform, to restore the integrity of cycle sport and create a nurturing environment for future champions to succeed.
Bike Pure is committed to redirecting trust to Professional cycle sport. For decades cycling has had a problem with endemic drug use. The cheats have destroyed the public image of cycling. Although the sport is cleaning up, there were over 60 riders caught cheating in 2009 using artificial, performance enhancing methods. Cycling fans worldwide deserve heroes they can believe in: Clean up or clear out. We desire real rider’s that the fans, sponsors and media can have faith in.”
BIKE PURE BASIC PRINCIPLES:
– Preserve the honesty and honour of the cyclist.
– Respect for fellow competitors and the appreciation of all endeavor
– To protect the mental and physical health of current and future champions.
– Upholding the ethics and essence cycle sport.
– To create a positive environment where an athlete achieve one’s natural, maximum potential.
My personal favourite of all advocacy groups. BikePure are quite literally moving mountains in the world of cycling and I DEMAND you go and buy a wristband to show your support. These guys are bomb sauce!
There are many more great advocacy groups out there, this is by no means an exhaustive list, just the ones submitted by class members. Be sure to let the class know about other groups using the #bikeschool hashtag and support your local groups… they deserve it.