What the Future Holds for Bikers Across the Globe
This cycling organization wants to make biking better and safer—and they've got riding tips, too
Picture this: 1,000 protected bike lanes in U.S. cities, 50 mountain bike parks, and 20 billion Americans taking a bike ride each year. (Check out Why a Bike is Better Than a Boyfriend.) That would be five times the number we have currently for each-it's a huge increase, and the goal of PeopleForBikes, a charitable foundation and industry coalition of bicycling suppliers and retailers.
"We want to create opportunities for people to ride more often and have those rides be safe, because bicycling benefits our country, our communities, and ourselves in so many ways," says Kate Powlison, a spokesperson for PeopleForBikes. "It's more than just the calories burned-although it will do that too-it creates really rich communities and it's a great family activity too." (You can also Turn Your Bike into a Fat-Burning Workout.)
And their lofty "5X" vision isn't just a random goal: "It's an achievable number based off of what's working in the U.S. towns and cities that are doing the best job of promoting bicycling, like Portland and San Francisco," explains Powlison.
To reach this ambitious objective, PeopleForBikes is building a grassroots army of supporters-and you can join here (it's free!)! "There are millions of Americans who ride a bike every year, but only a fraction who have gotten involved with making bicycling better, so we want PeopleForBikes to connect those people and unify them behind the better bicycling movement," says Powlison. "Together, we can ask our lawmakers and community leaders for the paths and trails and lanes that will help us get to our 5X goal." You may soon be in famous company: "Every week it seems like there's a new celeb riding a bike, and lots of elected officials and CEOs ride, too," says Powlison. "We're working to get their support!"
Getting on board with this org isn't just about helping them work towards this goal-you get something out of the deal, too. "If there's a bike lane going in in your neighborhood, we'll let you know so you can sign a petition or weigh in on plans for other lanes," promises Powlison. Plus, they'll keep you updated on helpful tips to improve your bike ride and connect you with other bikers and shops in your area.
Another way you can help: Just get out there and ride your bike to show lawmakers your dedication. (Need a bike? Ask yourself these questions before you go shopping!) Too cold? Check out Your Outdoor Winter Cycling Guide and stock up on these 9 Staples for Chilly Rides. And if you love your indoor cycling class but are afraid to bike outside, these 10 Ways to Go from Spin Class to the Road can help!