3 Large U.S. Bicycling Organizations Unite!!

bicyclist family u.s. bicycling organizations unite

Three of the largest bicycling organizations in the U.S. are joining forces—this has my blood moving and my nerves tingling!

I’ve been wishing they’d do this for a looong time. However, I never thought they would. The leaders of the Alliance for Biking & WalkingBikes Belong, and the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) have decided to untie to make their voice and efforts stronger and more efficient!

“Leaders of the three groups issued a joint statement summarizing the outcome of their recent meeting in San Diego, February 13-14,” LAB just noted on its blog.

“We can transform communities across the United States and accelerate the creation of a more bicycle-friendly America by combining the programs, resources, and members of these three leading organizations,” said Chris Fortune, Chairman of the Bikes Belong board and member of the transition team empowered to facilitate unification of the three groups.

Yes, you can! And I think it makes it much more clear who to go to for information, advice, support, and political lobbying on topics related to bicycling. Not only that, but it offers a more unified vision of our U.S. bicycling society.

I’m all for decentralization, and, as a former director of a community non-profit focused on advancing bicycling in the Charlottesville, VA region, I think that will continue and thrive even better with this switch as local organizations get more support and guidance from this untied national group.

“There is a lot of work ahead,” acknowledged Hans van Naerssen, Chair of the League’s board and a member of the transition team. “We must determine how to combine the diverse strengths of a powerful alliance of state and local organizations, a storied national user group, and a vibrant industry association in a way that preserves their unique attributes and realizes the game-changing potential of a single entity.”

I’m sure there is, and I’m sure you must, but this is a hugely exciting announcement to find in my news feed this morning, and I’m sending you the biggest kudos I can find.

“Our enthusiasm to take this momentous step for the movement is matched by a commitment to do this right,” said Noah Budnick, board Chair of the Alliance for Biking & Walking. “Changes will be implemented carefully and respectfully over time.” I wouldn’t expect anything less from these exemplary advocates and professionals, but I guess it’s nice to read such a statement.

LAB notes that the boards of the three organizations still need to ratify the agreement. But it looks like that’s pretty much a given… otherwise, why would they be making this announcement?

Again, big congratulations and big thanks, and I look forward to seeing more news on this as it develops!

Family of bicyclists via shutterstock

3 thoughts on “3 Large U.S. Bicycling Organizations Unite!!”

  1. Speaking as a former vice president of the League of American Bicyclists, I find this loathesome. For more than a century, the League was a member-run organization. The League was beholden to bicyclists, who elected its board and told the League what to do.
    Bikes Belong, despite its catchy name, is no more than a bicycle industry lobby, similar in mission to the Distilled Spirits council, General Aviation Manufactuers Association, or any of a thousand other industry lobbies.
    The idea that bicycle users would have no interests that diverge from the industry is beyond naive. The world needs checks and balances between user groups and manufacturer interests.
    Of course, the League switched from being an independent voice of cyclists to a hand puppet for the bicycle industry years ago, when several Bikkes Belong personnel joined the LAB board and rewrote the bylaws to put LAB’s board under Bikes Belong’s control. (LAB continues to have “elections” to the board, but these elections are a North Korea-like sham. And yes, we havge specific examples of LAB rejecting free and fair elections.
    Bikes Belong is an enthusiastic proponent of bicycle facility designs that look cute but turn out to be quite dangerous, and are the clear cause of a disquieting number of fatalities. No press release can change that fact. Just because they’re popular doesn’t mean it’s ethical to lobby for them. Just because the public doesn’t understand the danger doesn’t make them right.
    And by the way, your headline is inaccurate. The very largest cycling organization in the U.S. is the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) with more than twice the membership of the League. ACA has, thankfully, stayed out of this scrum.
    — John Schubert, Limeport [dot] org

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top