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Bikes Belong November '07 Newsletter
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In this Issue:
  • Bikes Belong Ad Campaign Aims to Recruit More Cyclists
  • Bicycle Friendly Communities Program Benefiting from New Support
  • Bikes Belong Awards 150th Grant
  • Bikes Belong Has a New Website
  • Safe Routes Releases New Website, National Report
  • Bikes Belong Busy at Interbike
  • Thunderhead Benchmarking Report Released
  • Federal Bicycle Funding under Attack
  • Meet Bikes Belong's Newest Full-Time Staffer
  • Facts & Stats
  • Join Bikes Belong Today!


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    Bikes Belong Ad Campaign Aims to Recruit More Cyclists

    Bikes Belong has completed creative development on the first phase of a nationwide ad campaign designed to inspire non-cyclists to ride. Entitled "Remember Me," the campaign includes three separate ads, targeting different audiences.

    Each ad features a long-lost bicycle speaking to its owner, reminding former riders how much they once enjoyed bicycling. The ads also appeal to new riders by suggesting how bicycling is fun, convenient, and healthy. Bikes Belong hopes the campaign will spark a positive mental image of bicycling and convince people to get back into riding or try it for the first time.

    The ads will appear in national magazines and on billboards in major U.S. cities. JCDecaux, one of the world's largest outdoor advertisers and also the operator of highly successful bike rental stations in Europe, has generously donated space at bus stops, on street furniture, and in malls. Bikes Belong is also pursuing our connections in the publishing world to secure free placement in large-circulation national magazines. Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines have already committed space, as well as Gen-A Media and Marketing (publisher of Rocky Mountain Sports, Liberty Sports, New England Sports, Sweat, and Michigan Sports & Fitness, among others).

    See the campaign.

    Bicycle Friendly Communities Program Benefiting from New Support

    The Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC) program is expanding with the help of two new sponsors, Trek and REI. This League of American Bicyclists program recognizes cities that support bicycling and works to replicate their successes. Bikes Belong continues as a top sponsor and will contribute additional money and staff support in 2008.

    Trek pledged $1 million over three years to help expand the BFC program's reach and effectiveness. This support is part of Trek's One World, Two Wheels initiative.

    In addition, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) contributed $100,000 to the Bikes Belong Foundation for REI Bicycle Friendly Community Grants. These $5,000-$15,000 grants will be awarded to League-designated BFCs that are using creative strategies and demonstrating success in becoming more bicycle friendly. Communities will be invited to apply by the League and Bikes Belong.

    The BFC program is going strong. In September, eight new communities received BFC awards. Learn more.

    Learn more about the REI/Bikes Belong Bicycle Friendly Community grants.

    Bikes Belong Awards 150th Grant

    In August, Bikes Belong announced six new grants, bringing the grand total to 150 community grants we've distributed since 1999. The latest awards—totaling $46,935—are helping fund diverse bicycling projects, including paths, trails, parks, and advocacy initiatives that will help create and protect great places to ride.

    • Central Loop Trail - Fort Wayne, Indiana
    • Bay Area Regional Transportation Plan Advocacy Initiative - California
    • Blue Clay Bike Park - Wilmington, North Carolina
    • Plainfield Bike Park - Plainfield, Illinois
    • Sustainable Trails Initiative - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Laurel Trail - Johnson County, Tennessee

    Since Bikes Belong's Grants Program began in 1999, we have funded 150 grant proposals in 42 states and the District of Columbia, awarding more than $1.2 million in cash and leveraging more than $450 million in federal, state, and private funding. Our facilities grants alone have helped finance nearly 1,400 miles of bike paths and trails that link close to 6,000 miles of trail facilities.

    Read more.

    Bikes Belong Has a New Website

    Have you seen our new website? Launched in July, the new and improved site provides more in-depth and easily accessible information. It caters to a variety of audiences, including Bikes Belong members, journalists, government leaders, grant seekers, bicycle advocates, and the general public.

    One of the site's key features is a searchable map of all the community grants we've awarded since 1999 (150 and counting). Visitors can see what projects we've funded, and search for projects by location and type.

    In addition, the website features an expanded resources section, including a new press kit for journalists, tip sheets on how to make bicycling better in your community, bicycling photos, and more. We plan to expand this section to provide a growing library of essential information for the bicycling community.

    Check it out.

    Safe Routes Releases New Website, National Report

    The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is making great strides in helping communities implement Safe Routes to School (SRTS). With the release of a new website and a report on the "state of the states," the partnership expands its range of tools to maximize the effectiveness of Safe Routes to School nationwide.

    The new partnership website launched at the start of the school year. It includes an interactive U.S. map that allows users to access pages for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, a robust search function, updated national SRTS news, in-depth policy pages, event listings, resources, and a submit-a-story form.

    Earlier this month, the partnership released a national report, Safe Routes to School: 2007 State of the States. It examines progress with the national Safe Routes to School program, discusses program needs, showcases early success stories, compiles observations, and identifies Safe Routes to School resources. Deb Hubsmith, the partnership's director, presented the report to Congress on October 2.

    Bikes Belong provided initial funding for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership in 2005 and has been a top sponsor ever since.

    Read more about the report.

    Check out the new website.

    Bikes Belong Busy at Interbike

    Bikes Belong was productive and busy at Interbike in September, following the signing of a 10-year alliance with the bike industry's U.S. tradeshow producer. The agreement, which makes Interbike a top financial supporter of Bikes Belong, will boost efforts to get more Americans riding bicycles. As part of the deal, Bikes Belong agreed to officially endorse Interbike as the U.S. bike industry's trade show and collaborate with Interbike to make the show even better.

    To celebrate this new partnership, Interbike and Bikes Belong served 1,000 cups of coffee in commemorative mugs on the show's opening morning.

    The rest of the show was a flurry of activity for Bikes Belong. We:

    • Hosted a BikesPAC reception to raise money for the bike industry's political action committee, which we administer
    • Presented a seminar to 150 retailers on how to improve community bicycling and grow sales at the same time
    • Held the first face-to-face Bikes Belong Foundation board meeting
    • Moderated a 90-minute discussion among more than 30 national bicycle advocacy group leaders
    • Sponsored an Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition seminar
    • Displayed large banner versions of our new "Remember Me" ad campaign
    • Appeared several times on cycling.tv

    Learn more about the new partnership with Interbike.

    Thunderhead Benchmarking Report Released

    A Thunderhead Alliance report on the status of bicycling and walking in the U.S. has been published as part of Thunderhead's Benchmarking Project. Bikes Belong contributed $10,000 to the project, supplementing a $50,000 grant from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ongoing project aims to collect available bicycling and walking data, identify gaps in information, measure progress towards increasing bicycling and walking, and provide the information and statistics needed to build support for bicycling and walking.

    Read more.

    Federal Bicycle Funding under Attack

    The mid-August Minneapolis bridge collapse sparked a wave of finger pointing that included shrill criticism of government bicycle and pedestrian funding. During the August 21 PBS News Hour, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters claimed that bike path and trails money is the number one misappropriation of federal transportation dollars, saying that these projects "are really not directly transportation-related."

    U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (OK) then proposed an amendment to the 2008 federal transportation funding bill to prohibit all bicycle project funding and divert the money to bridge repair. The Senate soundly defeated the measure 80-18, thanks, in part, to supporting statements made by Senator Kit Bond (MO).

    Attacks on bike funding are likely to intensify, particularly as the 2009 reauthorization of the federal transportation bill nears. Bikes Belong will continue to work with other national bicycle organizations to counter these arguments. In addition, we are developing our strategy to maximize funding for bicycling in the upcoming bill. Our industry and all bicycling proponents will need to be well informed and vigilant to assure that bike projects receive proper support.

    Read more about the attacks.

    Read more about the defeated amendment.

    Meet Bikes Belong's Newest Full-Time Staffer

    After two years serving as our intern extraordinaire, Mat Barlow has joined Bikes Belong's full-time staff. Mat graduated from the University of Colorado in August with a bachelor's degree in International Affairs. This education will come in handy as Mat assists with grants, membership, and special projects at Bikes Belong. Mat is already working on a Bikes Belong multimedia project that will tell the story of how Boulder, Colorado, (our headquarters city) became a top-ranking bicycle friendly community.

    Mat has bicycling in his blood, having grown up in Crested Butte, Colorado, and Moab, Utah. (That's him at left, age 6.) His father started Mountain Bike magazine in 1983 and his mother is executive director of the Moab Trails Alliance. During high school Mat worked in a bike shop to feed his habit. He now owns 10 bikes and enjoys riding singletrack and competing. He won the Super D expert class Colorado State Championship in 2007.

    "Mat's a hard worker who always has a smile on his face," said Tim Blumenthal, Bikes Belong's executive director. "He's very creative, simply loves bicycling, and adds a lot to our team."

    See the complete list of Bikes Belong staff.

    Facts & Stats

    Have you heard about JCDecaux's short-term bike rental program in Paris?

    • 20,000: the number of rental bikes in JCDecaux's Paris fleet by the end of 2007
    • 1,450: the number of docking stations in the city by December 2007
    • 6.7 million: the number of rentals between July 10 and mid-October 2007
    Learn more.

    Join Bikes Belong Today!

    Bikes Belong members make this important work possible. Please join or renew your membership today.

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    Bikes Belong Coalition | P.O. Box 2359 | Boulder | CO | 80306 | 303/449-4893