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Bicycle Friendly Businesses

The League of American Bicyclists announced their Bicycle Friendly Businesses for 2014:

Top business innovators, ranging from retail to tech, have invested in bicycling as a way to boost morale, increase energy efficiency and encourage healthy living — and they’re reaping the benefits of being a Bicycle Friendly Business.

Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced 80 new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) in 29 states and Washington, D.C. These new awardees join a trendsetting group of almost 700 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 100 companies in 46 states and D.C. that are transforming the American workplace.

Visit the LAB page to view the full list and to read the rest of the article. Congratulations to all the businesses on the list for encouraging cycling and for making a difference!

Why should you cycle to work?

 

The number of commuters leaving cars and public transport behind for their commute to work and turning to cycling to work, and with so many benefits it is easy to see why. Here are some of the reasons why you should make the switch to cycling around London rather than driving:

Cost

Cycling is undeniably cheaper than public transport and especially driving, the money saved, even with just one less car journey per week will quickly add up which of course you can spend better elsewhere.

Skipping the Gym

Why go to the gym to use an exercise bike before your commute to work when you can kill two birds with one stone and spend your time wisely, both commuting and exercising at the same time. If you only use the gym for cardio such as this you could even cancel your membership, making more potential savings each month! Those who mix resistance training with cardio workouts at the gym will find they don’t need to spend as much time on the cardio and get a more effective muscle building workout in in the time instead.

Health

Fresh air and some cardiovascular activity twice per day will quickly pay off health wise. The increased activity can result in weight loss, even without the dieting which can reduce the risks of health problems in later life.

Productivity

The charity Sustrans conducted a study in 2013 and they found that those that cycle to work not only have far fewer sick days than those that don’t but they are also more productive during working hours. Further to this there have been countless studies which found that using public transport is more likely to make you catch bugs and sickness compared to those who travel in cars, walk or cycle.

Cycle to Work Schemes

Even if you do not currently own a bicycle it can be a worthy investment to make. Lots of businesses run the Cycle to Work initiative which gives employers the opportunity to save money and tax on the cost of purchasing a bicycle that they are going to use in order to commute to work. If you are unsure about this, ask your employer for further information. With more and more people beginning to turn to cycling it will also have a knock on effect on the facilities such as bike sheds, cycle paths and other initiatives that are available in order to encourage more to cycle instead of driving.

If cycling everyday isn’t for you, you could always consider incorporating it into your routine gradually. Cycling in London one to two times per week, rather than driving will give you the opportunity to see how these benefits will positively affect you, you may just find you end up hooked!

 

30 Days of Biking and Banjo Brothers

We love our friends at Banjo Brothers. So when they sent us a press release of some good things they were doing, were happy to share that info with our readers.

Proceeds From Merchandise Sales Will Help 30 Days of Biking Support Their Free Bikes 4 Kidz Initiative. One Free Bike to a Child in Need for Every 30 Pledges.

Minneapolis, MN, March 19, 2014–The bicycle advocacy organization 30 Days of Biking has chosen Banjo Brothers, a cycling bag company from Minneapolis to globally distribute its official 30 Days of Biking merchandise. The merchandise will include t-shirts, cycling jerseys, backpacks, phone wallets and messenger bags. Proceeds from the sales will be used by 30 Days of Biking to fund a bike giveaway program for needy children.

For those not familiar with 30 Days of Biking, their mission is simple, but effective. In its fifth year, 30 Days of Biking encourages people to pledge to bike somewhere every day during April, whether it’s around the block or to work, and then to share their adventures online on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social media. 30 days of Biking was founded in Minneapolis by Patrick Stephenson and Zachariah Schaap. Schaap has since stepped aside, but Stephenson continues to shepherd and grow the organization.

Strong social media participation have propelled the participation from 500 to and expected 5000 pledges in 2014. Though the event started in Minneapolis, participants from Somalia, Greece, England, Wales, New Zealand, and the Netherlands made the pledge.

“We couldn’t be happier to work with the 30 Days group again, “said Mike Vanderscheuren, founding Partner of Banjo Brothers. “ For the past four years this simple challenge, ride your bike 30 days in a row in April, has united cyclists across the globe. Banjo Brothers’ role is to provide critical infrastructure for the 30 Days group. Rather than monetize demand for 30 Days merchandise, they’ve decided to leverage the demand to a worthy cause – kids who might not otherwise get the chance to own their own bike.”
banjo brothers
The free bike initiative was spearheaded by 30 Days’ co-founder Patrick Stephenson and business development expert Pete Basgen and is a partnership with the Minneapolis non-profit Free Bikes 4 Kidz (http://fb4k.com). Since 2008 Free Bikes 4 Kidz has donated over 20,000 free bicycles to children in need.

The simple arrangement the 30 Days group has worked out is to provide the money to fund one free bike for every 30 pledges. Cyclists can make the pledge to ride on the 30 days of Biking Website (http://30daysofbiking.com/pledge). 30

Day of Biking management expects to help fund 160 or more free bikes in 2014. “There are many worthy causes, but allowing a needy child to experience the joy of biking we feel is a worthwhile extension of our core mission to create a large community of joyful cyclists,” said Patrick Stephenson, founder and
Managing Director of 30 days of Biking. The funds for the free bike donations will come from a variety of sources including rider donations, sponsorships and sales of 30 Days Branded merchandise. 2014 is the first year merchandise has been offered. Merchandise will be available for ordering on the Banjo Brothers website. (banjobrothers.com)

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Mike Vanderscheuren at 612-310-7795 or email at mvander@banjobrothers.com.

News from the National Women’s Cycling Forum

The National Bike Summit is in full swing up in Washington, D.C. We’ve got Mir on the case and are hoping for some detailed “insider reporting”. In the meantime, lots of good stuff is going on as part of the National Women’s Cycling Forum, including this discussion on building bike advocacy with some new angles:

The National Women’s Cycling Forum is like a day-long master class in how to infect women and communities with the bicycling bug. For the hundreds of professional advocates and rising-star activists in attendance, there is a ton of great advice and inspiration being offered up. In one session this morning, Cultivating the All Powerful Bike Lobby, we were introduced to several women on the front lines of community-based bike advocacy.

The session was moderated by Leah Shahum, the 13 year veteran leader of the 12,000 member San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. She knows a lot about the bike lobby and the power that can come with putting it to use.

Read the full article by visiting the Bike Portland page.

We’d love to hear from our readers — what are bike advocates doing right? What are we doing wrong? What sorts of techniques do you think we should focus on to take transportational cycling out of the “niche” and make it more acceptable to the mainstream? Please leave your comments below.

DC Events: The National Bike Summit & Women’s Bike Forum March 3-5, 2014

Holla Bike Commuters: break out your cardigan sweaters and flat-heeled boots, cycle ladies, and for you DC cycle gents, maybe your oxfords and V-neck sweaters! It’s Capital bike time… For those of you in the DC area, come check out the National Bike Summit and the National Women’s Bicycling Forum March 3-5, 2014. I’ll be there, lurking, casually… and attending related free-events as much as possible!

Don’t be turned off by the storm, see you there!

Registration is closed online, but still available on site.

I’ll be weaseling my way into the 4pm event this afternoon. If you’re in the hood and looking for a last minute excuse to pedal power before the storm hits, join us!

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Capital Bikeshare bikes at DuPont Circle

 

UNITED SPOKES: MOVING BEYOND GRIDLOCK

National Bike Summit 2014
March 3-5, 2014
Agenda

Printable Agenda Available Here 

 

Online registration is now closed. You can register on-site at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C., on March 3.

Sunday, March 2

4 – 7 p.m.

Media Training For Bicycle Advocates
Renaissance Hotel: Congressional B
Whether you’re showing off a new bike lane, drumming up support for federal bike funding, or calling attention to a safety hazard on your corner, you’ve got a story to tell about biking. Reporters want to help you tell that story — but you need to know how to work with them. Or, you can tell that story yourself! Join us for the first-ever National Bike Summit media training — hosted by the League of American Bicyclists, Streetsblog and Streetfilms — on Sunday, March 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Renaissance DC (999 9th St NW). Read more and register.

7 – 9 p.m.

Streetsblog party! 
We love meeting our readers and bringing together our online community in real life. We’ll be hanging out post-media training at RFD (Regional Food & Drink) in the back bar. We’ll provide some yummy appetizers, and RFD’s full menu of entrees is available if you’ve worked up a serious appetite. RSVP hereRFD back bar, 810 7th St. NW (two blocks from the Summit hotel). $10 at the door gets you a free drink.