Bikes Belong awards three grants to industry members who are “Building More Than Bikes”
September 25, 2012
To inspire a spirit of giving back to bicycling, Bikes Belong held a “Build More Than Bicycles” challenge at Interbike 2012. More than 200 industry members—ranging from small mom-and-pop retailers to large suppliers—submitted stories about how they are working to improve bicycling.
The three winning submissions were announced at the Saris Cycling Group happy hour. Century Cycles from Rocky River, Ohio, Penn Cycles from Bloomington, Minnesota, and Bicycle Trip from Santa Cruz, California all took home $1,000 grants to continue their advocacy work.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the participation in our Build More Than Bicycles challenge,” said Tim Bock, senior marketing manager for Bikes Belong. “It was wonderful to learn about all the different and creative ways the industry works to make bicycling better. Supporting national advocacy groups like Bikes Belong and IMBA is very important, but there are additional ways to improve bicycling at the community level, too.”
Century Cycles created a Bike to School Challenge five years ago. Today, the program reaches 4,000 students at five northwest Ohio schools during the month of May. Ridership increased from 1-15% to 29%, sometimes reaching as high as 77%. Local mayors took notice and started to build more infrastructure to accommodate the increased bicycling. With the $1,000 grant, Century Cycles will expand the Challenge and help other IBDs replicate it.
Penn Cycles is a founding sponsor of the Minnesota High School MTB Racing League. They have hosted a weekly mountain bike race series for 21 years, provided neutral support for all types of cycling events, partnered with more than 60 local businesses to promote bike commuting, and last year supplied more than 5,000 free bicycles to children. Penn Cycles will use their $1,000 to grow participation in the Minnesota High School MTB Racing League.
Project Bike Trip is a program created by the Bicycle Trip shop in Santa Cruz, California. Over the past two decades, shop owners noticed a reduction in the number of skilled bike mechanics available. To reverse this trend, they started a bicycle tech class at the local high school. Today, seven of the nine area high schools have dedicated bike classrooms. Project Bike Trip programs offer technical training in bicycle mechanics, preparing youth for job opportunities within the bicycle industry. Project Bike Trip will put the $1,000 grant toward new tools for the classrooms.
Photos: Bikes Belong’s Bruno Maier and Zoe Kircos present grants at the Saris Cycling Group booth to Penn Cycles, Bicycle Trip Shop, and Century Cycles.