Let’s send a big (virtual) delegation to the National Bike Summit

22nd Annual gathering of bicycle advocates will be held online Feb. 28-March 3

Members of the Georgia delegation at the 2018 National Bike Summit

The 2021 National Bike Summit will be held online again this year, making attendance more accessible and affordable for bicycle advocates in Georgia. League of American Bicyclists members qualify for a reduced registration rate. A Summit Youth Scholarship is available for attendees age 21 and under.

Programming for this year’s Summit will start around 1 p.m., each day permitting people from across the country tune in to take part in the movement, highlighted in this year’s theme of Bikes: Our Vehicle For Change. 

Program highlights so announced so far include:

  • A keynote presentation by thought leader and researcher Charles Brown, MPA, CPD, highlighting “the social, political, economic, and health impacts of racial disparities in transportation and examine the ways in which our approaches to transportation research, planning, policy, and design can and must be reimagined to achieve greater mobility, health, and quality of life for all road users.” Brown delivered the keynote at the 2018 Georgia Bike Summit.
  • A session on “Making Cars That Don’t Kill” featuring a discussion with author Angie Schmitt, David Zipperand Dara Baldwin with the Center for Disability Rights about the increasing size and deadliness of cars and trucks on our roads, plus ways advocates can push to make the safety of people outside of cars a priority in vehicle design.
  • A panel getting into the details about “Communicating Active Transportation Benefits to State DOTs” with insights from Toks Omishakin with CalTrans and Julie Harris with Bike Walk Nebraska. 

The summit also includes a virtual Lobby Day during which advocates will communicate with members of Congress, regional online social events, the first U.S. screening of We Cycle Together, and many more sessions on four tracks: Education, Engagement, Engineering, and Encouragement. The next secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation has also been invited to attend.

New League Cycling Instructors are ready to roll

LCI Seminar Participants in Athens
LCI Seminar Participants in Savannah

Georgia Bikes hosted a League Cycling Instructor Seminar Sept. 11-13 with all candidates successfully completing the rigorous training required by the League of America Bicyclists.

League Cycling Instructors are, “ambassadors for better biking through education. After earning certification through a three-day, League Coach-led seminar, LCIs teach Smart Cycling classes to children as well as adults. Their goal is to help people feel more secure about getting on a bike, to create a mindset that bikes are treated as vehicles, and to ensure that people on bikes know how to ride safely and legally.”

The newly certified LCIs are:

  • Jason Perry (Athens)
  • Joshua Crawford (Columbus)
  • Caila Brown (Savannah)
  • Irene Ivie (Athens)
  • Liz Solomon (Athens)
  • Scott Long (Athens)
  • Patti Sistrunk (St. Simons Island)
  • Carmen Kuan (Raleigh-Durham, N.C.)

The seminar was originally scheduled to be held in Macon, but the pandemic required modification of the program’s format. Instruction was delivered by LCI Coach Jenni Laurita through videoconferencing, with candidates meeting at BikeAthens and Bike Walk Savannah for on-bike course modules facilitated by League Cycling Instructors Steven Cousins, John Bennett, and Christopher Mojock. All participants at the Athens and Savannah sites followed strict COVID protocols, including mask wearing at all times. This is only the second LCI Seminar to use the online/in-person hybrid model developed to offer LCI training during the pandemic. 

For more information on Georgia Bikes’ safety education programs, contact John Bennett. 

Bike Month will be different this year, but we will make the most if it!

Bike Month will be different this year, but we will make the most if it!

May is National Bike Month, promoted by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling — and encourage more folks to giving biking a try. This National Bike Month will necessarily be different, with a focus on well-being and connection.

The National Bike Challenge, which coincides with Bike Month is a great way to stay connected with friends and co-workers, while encouraging each other to get out and ride individually. You can search for groups in your community or company, or even start your own. We would be honored if you also joined the Georgia Bikes! group. (You can belong to multiple groups).

Haven’t been on your bike in awhile or concerned about cycling during the coronavirus pandemic? We have assembled information on best practices for health and safety to go along with our pocket guides and other publications. Want to teach younger family members to ride safely? We’ve got you covered there, too, with resources for teaching bike safety at home. In addition, we’ve curated a full calendar of cycling webinars, education programs, and other online events.

Stay tuned for announcements on Bike Month events next week, including webinars and a virtual advocacy happy hour! Stay safe and give extra support and ❤️ to essential workers and essential riders who are most at risk right now.

League Cycling Instructor seminar scheduled for Sept. 11-13 in Macon

Update (June 16, 2020): The League of American Bicyclists is currently evaluating the possibility of offering LCI seminars in a virtual format. Please delay registering for the seminar until further notice. We will update as soon as we have more information.

Georgia Bikes, Bike Walk Macon, and the League of American Bicyclists are hosting a League Cycling Instructor Seminar in Macon, Sept. 11-13. After earning certification through this 3-day, League of American Bicyclists Coach-led seminar, instructors are credentialed to teach Smart Cycling classes to children and adults.

The LCI Training Seminar focuses on teaching and demonstration techniques used with future students both on the road and in the classroom. The seminar emphasis is on how to teach bicycle safety and skills so as to provide increased comfort and confidence for new and returning bicyclists and youth. The seminar does not emphasize the content or specific details of the cycling course curricula. It is primarily about teaching, and each candidate will have opportunities during the seminar to practice facilitating parts of the Smart Cycling curriculum, both in the classroom and in parking lot skills drills.  

Successful candidates will have a strong working knowledge of bikes and bike maintenance and a great deal of experience riding in high traffic scenarios. Successful candidates also have strong core values aligned with philosophies of the League, including helmet use, bicycling infrastructure, and full incorporation of the idea that all people who ride bicycles are equal cyclists, regardless of political affiliation, race, gender, age or religion, and that all students deserve respectful, polite and meaningful instruction. Completion of a Smart Cycling, Traffic Skills 101 course is a prerequisite for attending a seminar. League of American Bicyclists membership ($25-40)  is also required for insurance purposes.

The registration fee is $350. More information on the LCI seminar format and requirements can be found on the LAB website.

Scholarships, lodging assistance available

Georgia Bikes is offering financial assistance with the seminar registration fee, along with assistance with League of American Bicyclists annual membership. In addition, Bike Walk Macon will arrange lodging with local hosts for those who request it. For more details and an application for scholarship support and/or lodging assistance, email Elliott Caldwell.

Please note, cancellation and transfer requests must be sent via email to education@bikeleague.org. The cancellation policy applies to all candidates whether the registration is being paid by an individual or by an organization. Please review the full cancellation policy (Click on “What is the cancellation policy?”)

Georgia in 19th position on Bicycle Friendly State rankings for second year

Overview

A few quick thoughts about the state rankings published by the League of American Bicyclists that came out earlier in the week.

GA is ranked 19th, same place we were in 2017 the last time there was a report card. For perspective, we were 40th 8 years ago and 49th 10 years ago.

These sorts of statewide issues are very much our wheelhouse so please reach out if you are doing stories on state bike/ped funding, GDOT policy etc. We can be reached here: info@georgiabikes.org

Funding and Planning

It’s clear from our grades that funding and planning are challenges, as well as collecting data on planned/built bike and ped facilities. Yes, we live in a big state and those numbers are hard to track, but we have GDOT Districts and Regional Commissions who can help in that regard. Use of federal funds and dedicated state funds also can be improved — not every jurisdiction can pay for bike/ped projects and multi-use trails with TSPLOST/SPLOST dollars. And many small, less wealthy communities cannot afford a 10 percent match on a $1 million project.

Legislation and Enforcement 

We are going to specifically ask about the grade on laws that restrict the behavior of people biking/walking; a D+ is not a passing grade in our book. We can push for better policy at the legislature in this area, no question, with equity as a guide in our work around enforcement.

Moving Forward

We’ve already shared these rankings with our partners at GDOT and look forward to working with them on how to not just improve our grade but how to improve conditions for people biking, walking, and rolling to get to work, school, businesses, transit, or for health and fun.

While these grades are all relative to other states and seem a tad abstract, the consequences of lack of attention to crucial active transportation issues are matters of life/death, especially for vulnerable communities.

Bicycling is exciting, joyful, and brings us a sense of hope. But no one should fear not making it home to family because they walk, ride a bicycle, or roll in a wheelchair. It’s on us to help change that reality at the state level and we welcome suggestions on how to move forward.