Tips for Individuals
How individuals can make a difference
The path to better bicycling often starts when concerned citizens recognize the need to get involved. Here are some simple steps you can take to improve riding conditons in your community.
Ride your bike and represent bicycling
Enjoy riding and be an ambassador for bicycling. Roads and trails full of happy, healthy cyclists are the best advertisement. Spread the word about the benefits and fun of bicycling.
- Ride your bike whenever you can. If you usually only ride for recreation, try commuting or riding for errands.
- Share the love. Introduce the joys of bicycling to a friend, family member, or neighbor. Take them under your wing and help them get started.
- Ride to school with your child and/or kids from your neighborhood.
- Thank local retailers and other bike businesses that support bicycle advocacy.
- If your workplace or employer is not supportive of bicycle commuting, tell them why they should be. Encourage them to install bike racks, showers, and lockers.
- Volunteer to support any kind of bicycling project in your community.
Connect with local advocacy
Supporting local bicycle advocacy groups and initiatives is an effective way to improve bicycling in your community.
- Join local, regional, and state bicycling organizations (e.g., commuter, mountain bike, safety, or general advocacy groups). For a list, visit the Alliance for Biking and Walking website.
- Volunteer time with your local group, helping with office work, event coordination, trailwork days, or other duties as needed.
- Attend an advocacy group’s fundraiser.
- If there is no local advocacy group, create one. For tips on how to get started, visit the Alliance for Biking and Walking website.
- Get involved with local Safe Routes to School efforts.
Link to government and community leaders
Connecting with leaders in your community is key to staying informed and influencing decisions that affect bicycling locally, from park and trail access to road and path planning.
- Attend city council sessions and other public meetings. Speak up for bicycling.
- Get to know decision makers and community leaders. Take them on a ride.
- Encourage your mayor and city transportation leaders to apply for a Bicycle Friendly Community designation.
- Join the boards or advisory committees for local parks & recreation, transportation, open space, and planning.
- Stay tuned to key local and state legislation. E-mail or call your elected officials when a bicycling issue arises.
- At election time, know which candidates are bike-friendly and consider supporting them.
- Distribute Bikes Belong’s booklet—Bicycling - Moving America Forward—to your community leaders.
Get involved at the national level
Federal decisions shape bicycling on the local level, whether through federal transportation funding for bike paths and complete streets, or mountain bike access in national forests, parks, and scenic areas. Help influence federal policy by uniting with fellow bicyclists.
- Strengthen bicycling’s national voice by joining the League of American Bicyclists, the International Mountain Bicycling Association, or both.
- Attend the National Bike Summit (organized by the League of American Bicyclists) and lobby for bicycling.
- Write letters to your members of Congress about national issues and opportunities pertaining to bicycling.
- Donate to the Bikes Belong Foundation to support bicycle safety initiatives and programs for kids.
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