August 27, 2012

This summer, we've faced some challenges -- but instead of stepping back, the League is really stepping up. The new federal transportation law was a blow for bicyclists, but our Navigating MAP-21 initiative is already seeing success in preserving funding for biking and walking. Despite constructive unification discussions, the League, Bikes Belong and Alliance for Biking & Walking are remaining independent organizations -- and the League is redoubling our efforts to make biking better for all Americans. Just today, we've released a new election guide for bicycle advocates and we're almost sold out of tickets for the first National Women's Bicycling Summit just two weeks from now -- register today!



Andy Clarke

League President
New Resources 
An Advocate's Guide to Elections: Making Campaigns Work for Bicycling and Walking 


There's a reason hundreds of bicycle advocates flock to Washington, D.C., each year for the National Bike Summit. Regardless of political persuasion, we all recognize that we need bicycle-friendly elected leaders to build a bicycle-friendly America.  


Still, there's often the misconception that, as members or leaders of bicycle clubs and nonprofits, advocates are limited in how they can get engaged in local, state and federal elections. Yes, there are rules to follow, but there are many effective ways bicyclists can educate and engage candidates on important transportation issues.


To make sure you know how to make bicycling a part of the political dialogue in your community during this important election season, Darren Flusche, the League's Policy Director, compiled An Advocate's Guide to Elections: Making Campaigns Work for Bicycling & Walking."  


The latest report from Advocacy Advance -- a partnership of the League and Alliance for Biking & Walking -- uses clear explanations and real-world examples to highlight best practices for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, 501(c)4 organizations and even individual bicyclists.


Read more and download the full report.
Best Practices for Bike/Ped Advisory Committees


It's a common frustration among cyclists: Elected officials and agency staff often give short shrift to cyclists and more priority to motorists when making decisions about transportation. What can we do to make cyclists and pedestrians an integral, normal part of the transportation conversation?  


A new report by Matt Wempe, the League's State and Local Advocacy Coordinator, highlights the benefits of establishing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) to make sure active transportation has a dedicated seat at the decision-making table.  


Click here to read more and download this new resource from the Advocacy Advance partnership. 

National Events 

Just 50 Tickets Left for the National Women's Bicycling Summit!  



Beyond Spandex, Toward Social Justice; Family Biking and Car-Light Living; Who's Selling Cycling to Women... those are just a few of the critical discussions we'll have at the National Women's Bicycling Summit on September 13 in Long Beach, Calif. (immediately following the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference).   


Registration is open and tickets are going fast. Don't miss this opportunity; sign up today! 

The Summit will provide a unique opportunity to network, share best practices and develop action steps to get more women in your community out riding. It will provide the space for us to create a bike future where women of all backgrounds are equally represented on the streets and in the movement!


The program will include a keynote address from Leah Missbach Day, co-founder of World Bicycle Relief; six break-out sessions, a Cycle Chic Fashion Show and a social event!  


Just a few of the incredible speakers include:

  • Dotsie Bausch, 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Team Pursuit, track cycling
  • Elly Blue, founder of Taking the Lane media
  • Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, director, Ride in Living Color
  • Kit Hodge, Deputy Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition 
  • Mia Kohout, publisher of Momentum magazine
  • Allison Mannos, co-founder, City of Lights and Multicultural Communities for Mobility
  • Ovarian Psycos, all-womyn bicycle brigade 
  • Caroline Samponaro, Director of Bicycle Advocacy, Transportation Alternatives, NYC
  • and so many more...    

The Women's Summit will sell out; sign up today! Questions? Contact Carolyn Szczepanski, League Communications Director at 


This event wouldn't be possible with the generous support of our sponsors: Jamis Bicycles,, SRAM, World Bicycle Relief, Gail Copus Spann and Jim Spann,, Liv/Giant, Trek Women, Momentum magazine, Alliance for Biking & Walking,, and Cali Bike Tours. 

APBP and Safe Routes Partnership Annual Meetings

Long Beach will be bike central during the week of September 10. In addition to the Women's Summit and the Pro Walk Pro Bike conference, two other national organizations will host their annual meetings.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership
2012 Annual Meeting will take place on Monday, September 10 from 1-5pm in conjunction with the Pro Walk Pro Bike Conference in Long Beach, Calif. Learn more.

The Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals will host its annual meeting with a luncheon on Wednesday, September 12, noon to 1:30 p.m. in Long Beach, Calif. Learn more.     


National News
 Navigating MAP-21: The Road to Success! 

Nearly a month ago, the League launched Navigating MAP-21 to tell you, in regular words, what the new federal transportation bill means for bicyclists, for your hometown, for your state. Already, the initiative is seeing success. 


Our weekly emails have explained, in layman's terms, how much money your state will get under the new law; the ways your state could divert bike/ped funding to highways and other uses; the fate of the Safe Routes to School program... and we're just getting started.  


In less than one month, we've mobilized leaders in all 50 states and given them concrete, real-world resources to kick off targeted and effective campaigns to make sure their governors and state departments of transportation use every opportunity in the new law to increase the safety and convenience of biking and walking.  


And it's working. Thanks, in part, to the efforts of advocates at Bicycle Indiana, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels announced last week that the state will NOT opt-out of funding for the Recreational Trails Program. We're working with advocates to ensure those types of commitments in all 50 states.  


So how can you get involved? Sign up for the weekly emails, get involved at the local level, and learn more about upcoming webinars  on the Advocacy Advance website. With your help, we'll put cycling all over MAP-21.

National Safe Routes Award Recognizes Ohio Success

Each year, the National Center for Safe Routes to School bestows the James L. Oberstar Safe Routes to School Award to a local program in the U.S. for its outstanding achievement in promoting safe walking and bicycling to school. Thanks to its creative and comprehensive approach to all five "Es," Chagrin Falls, Ohio, was recognized as the 2012 award winner last week. Although 66 percent of students in Chagrin Falls live within 2 miles of school, less than 17 percent of students walked or biked to school in 2009. Now, 26 percent of students regularly walk or bike to school, equivalent to an extra 70 students every day. Read more

National Bike Advocacy Groups to Remain Separate  

After months of steady dialogue and face-to-face meetings, the leaders of the Alliance for Biking & Walking, Bikes Belong and the League have decided not to pursue full unification at this time. The three groups continue to operate independently, in close collaboration, to make bicycling safer and more enjoyable for all Americans. These unprecedented unification discussions were marked by goodwill and an open exchange of ideas. They helped U.S. bike advocacy leaders agree on a shared vision, goals and strategies that will advance the movement and improve bicycling coast to coast. Read more.

League News 
Be Part of the League's Annual Ride Guide! 


Whether it's a single day or a full year, whether its 10 miles or 1,000, one ride can change your life. And we want to hear about it! We're putting together our most popular magazine of the year -- The Ride Guide & Tour Finder -- and we need your input.  


If you're a League member club or advocacy organization: We want to include your top ride for 2013 in our national list. Please enter ONE ride into our registration system here by September 17.  


If you're an individual League member: Tell us about your favorite ride! Submit 100 words describing the most memorable ride of your life and we'll include them in the issue! Email your submission to by September 17.  

Registration Open for AASHTO Bike Guide Trainings


Release this spring, the updated AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities is a key resource for transportation professionals in designing, building, modernizing, and preserving safe and efficient bicycle facilities.


To make sure officials in your community stay abreast on this important guidance, the League has teamed up with Toole Design Group, the Federal Highway Administration, and AASHTO to deliver in-depth trainings across the country. Taught by professionals from Toole -- a national firm that specializes in multi-modal planning and served as authors of the new Guide -- the training will give local practitioners the knowledge they need to implement innovative design solutions, and new signs, signals and pavement markings for bicyclists.    


Registration is now open for two of the 12 trainings to be held across the nation this fall. Click the links below to sign up for:

Trainings cost $160 and are open and applicable to all interested engineers, planners, advocates and professionals.    


State and Local News
Oregon Advocates' Campaign Results in Lower Speed Limits in Portland

Last year, advocates with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Oregon worked with state policymakers to pass legislation allowing that allows local officials to lower the speed limit from 25 to 20 miles per hour on it streets. Last week, the rubber met the road as the City of Portland officially lowered the speed limit on 70 miles of neighborhood roads. "The logic behind lowering the speed limit from 25 to 20 mph is all about physics," the BTA explains. "At 20 miles per hour, a person has a 95 percent chance of surviving a crash. As speed increases above 20, the chance of survival decreases. Lower speed limits have been effective at reducing the crash and fatality rate across Europe." Read more.  

Missouri Hosts First MAP-21 Action 2020 Workshop


With major shifts in the funding landscape with the passage of the new federal transportation law (MAP-21) , Advocacy Advance has updated its Action 2020 Workshops. This month, the team held its first MAP-21 Action 2020 workshops in Concordia and Jefferson City, Missouri -- and they were a huge success. More than 100 advocates, agency staff, and elected officials met to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of MAP-21, funding sources and best practices, how to make bicycles and pedestrians a priority, and network with other professionals. The workshops were hosted by the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation and the Missouri Association of Councils of Government (MACOG). Read more.  


Share this American Bicyclist Update with your cycling friends and fellow bike commuters. The generous support from the League's members make publications like this possible. Join the League today.

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit
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Header photo credits from left: John Luton, Richard Masoner, Nona Varnado, Allan Crawford
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