Tag Archives: american bike advocacy

Tim Blumenthal: The National Fight for People Who Bike

Bikes Belong Staff Portraits
PeopleForBikes President Tim Blumenthal. Photo courtesy PeopleForBikes

Bike advocacy is a sweeping term that captures a huge array of work. Fighting for better bike infrastructure on neighborhood streets, building new mountain bike trails, organizing charity rides, lobbying elected officials and many other things fit under that rather large umbrella of advocacy. Some might see that diversity of advocacy issues as a problem–that lots of sub-interests competing for limited funding and public attention will curb success for all. PeopleForBikes sees that variety as a boon to bicycling in America. The national advocacy organization helps fund everything from protected bike lanes to mountain bike parks; lobbies government agencies and elected officials; partners with professional cycling teams; provides grant funding; organizes their own charity ride; and much more. They’re guided by the basic principle that the more people ride, the better bicycling will be for everyone, regardless of what type of riding they do.

With over three decades of work in advocacy and bike racing, PeopleForBikes President Tim Blumenthal is a fitting leader. He got his start as a cycling journalist for publications such as VeloNews and Bicycling, worked with NBC on cycling coverage for seven Olympics, and spent 11 years at the helm of the International Mountain Bike Association before joining PeopleForBikes. I spoke to Blumenthal about PeopleForBikes’ work, his career in the cycling world, the value of combining cycling-as-sport and cycling-as-transportation in advocacy work, the strengths and shortcomings of American bike advocacy, and more.

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Elizabeth Kiker: a National Advocate on the Need for Local Advocacy

Elizabeth moderating the National Women’s Cycling Forum Photo from the League of American Bicyclists flickr page.

A little over a decade ago, a coworker convinced Elizabeth Kiker that her 10 mile commute was doable by bike. And in doing so, an advocate was born. Her informal advocacy eventually led her to work for the national bike advocacy organization the League of American Bicyclists, based in Washington, DC. She is now the League’s Executive Vice President, in charge of operations and fundraising. She also runs Every Bicyclist Counts, a side-project that memorializes and compiles data about cyclist deaths in the U.S. I spoke to Elizabeth about her inroads to advocacy, the League’s work, growing bicycling sustainably in the U.S., underdog biking cities, and more.

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