Johann Weber is our Partnerships Manager, and is a PhD in Public Policy (exploring the implementation of bicycle infrastructure across the United States). He loves to help cities, regions, and workplaces get more people on bikes.
Many tourists visit DC in March to enjoy the cherry blossoms (which are in full bloom this week, I’ve heard), others are there for an even more exciting occasion: The National Bike Summit! In it’s 16th year, the National Bike Summit is an annual gathering of North American advocates, industry, experts, and officials organized around an exchange of ideas and a bit of lobbying on Capitol Hill. The first few days offer plenaries and panels, and the final day gives the choice of lobbying or training sessions.
Love to Ride Sponsors 2016 National Bike Summit
This was Love to Ride’s first year as a sponsor of the National Bike Summit, and my fourth Summit as an attendee. My first Summit was 2011, a very tumultuous time for transportation policy, and in the years since that first Summit I’ve observed a number of changes which indicate important progress underway within the bicycle advocacy community.
In past years, attendees have been given critical ‘asks’ to take to their legislators such as federal transportation funding, safety programs, restrictive requirements or access legislation, and the like. The tone this year was markedly different, the result of a shift away from transportation as a priority legislative issue thanks to a much-needed five-year transportation funding authorization passed at the end of 2015 (the FAST Act). Instead, those of us who had the pleasure of sitting down with legislative staff on the final day of the Summit focused our time on thanking those who made the FAST Act possible and advocating for the PHIT Act*.
Equity was a Core Focus at the Summit
Another evolution on display was the folding in of the Women’s Forum, which had been a more recent stand-alone event preceding the Summit, and a greater emphasis on diversity in Summit topics and presenters. Every breakout period offered at least one session on inclusion, engagement, or leadership in gender or racial equality, making those the common themes of the Summit for 2016. Compared to previous Summits, this was a welcome change toward a more equitable representation of communities of “invisible” riders as well as those who are interested but concerned, and may in fact stand to gain the most from bicycle advocacy.
It’s a great sign that we no longer need strong asks, thanks to years of persistent advocacy and steady progress in messaging and coalition-building. Equally exciting is the growing diversity of attendees and perspectives represented at the Summit. In future years I expect the bicycle advocacy community will face a different challenge: pushing beyond the moderate successes of the past twenty years and into a leadership role in transportation policy locally and nationally. As the bicycling community better engages and represents, the opportunity to lead will surely present itself. I hope we’ll be ready to take it, and bring bicycling to the forefront of the 2020s!
*A bill that would allow individuals to use pre-tax money from their Health Savings Accounts on fitness items, such as a bike.
Photo credit: Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
Sam and Jack from our UK team participated in last week’s Smarter Travel Live Presentation. Sam’s presentation on, “What have we learned?” was highly requested!
If you can not see the above embedded presentation, you can download a compressed PDF version of it here for your consumption. If you would like a full version, or to discuss the presentation you can contact Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be posting our own recap of Smarter Travel Live in the next week!
For 2016 the popular Bike More Challenge based in Portland, Oregon will be using the Love to Ride behavior change platform.
The 2016 Bike More Challenge, historically the Bike Commute Challenge, is an annual month long event run by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance with the goal of increasing bike riding in the Portland area and beyond. Since 1998, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has built the Bike More Challenge to be one of the largest and most effective month long bike challenges in the United States. In 2015 they had 1,152 businesses and 10,772 individuals take part in the program.
This Challenge is a perfect match for the Love to Ride platform, which uses behavior change, competition, and gamification to effectively encourage non-bike riders to try riding during a month long challenge (then continue riding) and to encourage existing riders to ride to work.
“The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is very excited to partner with Love to Ride on our 2016 Bike More Challenge. The Love to Ride Platform is packed full of great features that focus on community building, encouragement, goal-setting, and celebrating individual accomplishments with badges and prizes and is truly built for an awesome user experience. We are thrilled to refresh our month long Challenge with this great website and to re-energize our participants and new riders to #bikemore!”- Nicole Davenport, Bike More Challenge Program Manager
CEO and Founder of Love to Ride, Thomas Stokell, is excited about the BTA and Love to Ride partnership. Stokell explains the partnership further, “The BTA and the City of Portland are leaders in the cycling world, and there is a lot of alignment in our goals and mission. Our aim at Love to Ride is to have the best online platform for encouraging more people to discover and starting riding. The BTA have taken the time to really understand what we do, what we offer, and the value we can provide them.”
Creating a great user experiences takes a lot of expertise, energy and money. The BTA had previously worked with a website development agency to manage their own challenge platform which they found to be time and resource intensive. “They have now realized that partnering with a world class cycling platform to handle the technology side of the work will allow them to deliver an even better user experience through their Bike More Challenge,” says Thomas Stokell
Many new Love to Ride features will be integrated within the 2016 Bike More Challenge including badges, stories, additional app connections (e.g. Strava, Moves, Map My Ride, Endomodo), and year-round behavior change messaging so that the encouragement doesn’t end after the Challenge.
England has recently received great news for cycling! The DfT’s recent announcement of the Transition Fund provides £20m of much needed revenue funding to continue the good work that’s being done by local authorities across England to promote cycling and sustainable transport. Due to the timing of the Fund, the DfT are looking for schemes that can get up and running quickly, having already been proven to work.
Love to Ride is an established programme that has been running Workplace Challenges and successfully growing cycling through behaviour change in the UK since 2008. Local Love to Ride town/city/region web platforms will be up and running within 2 weeks of the project being signed off.
The requirements the DfT have set for the Transition Fund include that the DfT are looking sustainable transport projects that have “proven successful in the past”, and that incorporate “measures that support cycling and walking, and that will bring about an increase in numbers of people cycling safely.” Love to Ride is a proven approach which achieves these two objectives and many more.
Get in touch with Sam@LovetoRide.org or read our 2-pager on what we have developed for 2016/17 and see how we can help you by adding a programme proven to grow cycling into your Transition Fund activity.