In just a few days I will be departing for Copenhagen to attend Velo-City Global 2010 – what an opportunity! Andy Clarke, Jeff Peel and I will join the 870 participants from 54 countries to participate, learn and share experiences of bicycling in the 21st century. We will take with us examples of the many different businesses, communities, organizations and people that are making the U.S. a better place to ride. Examples such as New Belgium Brewing Company’s Tour de Fat, which has raised more than $1 million for bicycle advocacy groups since 2000; Seattle Children’s Hospital which gave away 100 bikes outfitted with fenders, a rack, a lock and helmet in six weeks to employees that pledged to ride to work year round, a minimum of four days a week; and the non-profit bike reuse and repair shop Hub of Detroit that is thriving as the city rebuilds from collapse of its auto industry. These are great stories and ones that we share continuously through our Bicycle Friendly America program. They represent small victories happening throughout the U.S. to make communities more bicycle-friendly.
The conference will be a professional highlight of my year, learning first-hand what is happening in the bike capitol of the world and throughout other continents. I will no doubt be envious of the 36 percent bicycle mode share Copenhagen boasts; however, I won’t be traveling there to focus on what we as cyclists don’t have. Rather, I will be celebrating what we do have – a growing amount of communities adopting a Complete Streets policy, the Bicycle Commuter Benefit for employees, the National Bike Summit, and statewide bike summits happening throughout the country, and the list goes on and on. The world’s bicycle leaders need to know that, while America has a lot to learn, Americans have a lot to offer. After nearly seven years in bike advocacy, I realize we have to appreciate the progress we have made. Our small victories are what will eventually get us to a 36 percent mode-share and beyond.
Alison DeweyDewey joined the League in 2008. For four years prior to that, Dewey worked for Massachusetts- based Landry’s Bicycles and served on the board of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition. Dewey has a MA in International Relations and Communications from Boston University and is a graduate of St. Olaf College. She spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal.
League Program Manager, BFB & BFU