Tips for Suppliers
How bicycle suppliers can make a difference
The bicycle industry plays an essential role in improving bicycle facilities and promoting riding. As an employer engaged in a healthy, sustainable business, you have the credibility and influence to shape government policies. Start by focusing your efforts in the community where your company is based. Then broaden your support to state and national groups and their campaigns.
We know you’re busy. Here are a few tips on what you can do to improve bicycling in America. Pick and choose what best suits you.
Help local bike groups
Local advocacy groups often have small staffs and limited cash. Yet their work is critical to creating bicycle friendly communities and getting more people to ride. Your support of bicycle advocacy groups and initiatives is an investment in the future of bicycling and your business.
- Sponsor your local, regional, and state bicycle advocacy organizations.
- Offer to let them hold their meetings in your company’s meeting room.
- Provide cash and schwag for their important events.
Support your staff
Chances are, your staff includes many avid cyclists. These people are devoted to our cause and have the power to enact change. Be supportive of their needs and create a bike-friendly environment.
- Encourage your staff’s participation in volunteer projects (e.g., trailbuilding, advocacy events, political meetings).
- Provide lockers, bike racks, showers, and other incentives (e.g., cash, schwag, encouragement) to inspire your staff to commute by bicycle.
- Promote team-building staff rides.
- Designate (or hire) a company advocacy coordinator to maximize the effectiveness of your efforts.
Be strategic with your business
Recognize that we’re all in this together. The bicycle industry competes in the marketplace, but needs to cooperate on advocacy and politics.
- Coordinate your advocacy efforts with other bike companies in your area.
- Target advertising at new audiences to recruit novice riders.
- Design new products to appeal to first-time riders.
Link to government and community leaders
Connecting with leaders in your community is key to staying informed and shaping decisions that affect bicycling locally, from park and trail access to road and path planning. Your business puts you in a position of influence. Use it.
- Network with your elected officials. Make sure your mayor and governor know about your business (e.g., number of people you employ, financial contribution to the local economy, your national/international reputation).
- Monitor city council meetings. Attend when necessary to represent bicycling interests.
- Join the boards or advisory committees for local parks & recreation, transportation, open space, and planning.
- Encourage your city to apply for Bicycle Friendly Community status, and get involved in the process yourself.
Support national leadership
Federal decisions shape bicycling at 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 as an industry and as bicyclists.
- Join Bikes Belong.
- Advertise your Bikes Belong membership by using our logos and graphics on your company’s website, catalog, advertisements, packaging, and/or in-store promotions.
- Participate in Bikes Belong’s Employee Pro Purchase Program.
- Make a personal donation to BikesPAC and/or hold a fundraiser at your company (if you’re a Bikes Belong member).
- Participate in important state and federal bicycle lobbying efforts (e.g., the National Bike Summit, state summits).
- Write letters to your members of Congress about key national issues and opportunities pertaining to bicycling.
"By being part of Bikes Belong, I am changing the way Americans look
at bicycling. Yesterday many people viewed bicycles as toys. Thanks to
the efforts of advocacy, bicycles are now seen in a much bigger light.
Today they are a solution for good health, creating friendly
communities, and reducing energy costs."
–Steve Flagg, Quality Bicycle Products
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