As summer comes to a close, the League of American Bicyclists is proud to honor 37 organizations in its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) awards. An additional five organizations earned Honorable Mentions. These 37 new and renewing awardees join a total of 1,458 BFBs across America working with the League and local advocates to build safer streets and better bicycling for everyone.
“Time and again throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen how communities and lives are improved when we work together and support one another — and these new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses are evidence of this,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “The League is pleased to honor the businesses, nonprofits, public agencies, and other organizations taking the growth of bicycling to new heights by working in tandem with local advocates, other businesses, city officials, and the League itself.”
Whether through collaboration, sponsorship, or volunteerism, businesses across the nation are working with their community to ensure bicycling is a safe and accessible means of transportation and recreation for all.
Bell Textron Inc, in Fort Worth, Texas, which earned a Bronze-level award as a first-time applicant, is an example of a business improving community bicycling by funneling resources into those most involved in the work. Bell Textron Inc. provided $5,000 in funding to BikeDFW, a local bike advocacy group promoting safe and accessible cycling in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. BikeDFW also co-hosts “Lunch and Learn” sessions with the company to promote cycling advocacy to other employers in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and educate people who bike to work about how to encourage their own employers to become more welcoming to people who bike.
Other businesses, like new Gold-level Red Rock Bicycle Co. in St. George, Utah, help their customers and community by hiring staff dedicated to improving the experience of those who bike for both recreation and transportation. In addition to having an Active Transportation Specialist tasked with promoting bicycle commuting in the community, the bike shop was also able to hire a Trail Maintenance Specialist this year thanks to a partnership with the Greater Zion Tourism Office and Visit Cedar City. Several years after the shop started the volunteer Red Rock Trail Crew to maintain the mountain bike trails in Washington and Iron County, Utah, their new Trail Maintenance Specialist now works on maintaining these trails full-time and year-round.
Bicycle Friendly Businesses are also supporting those who want to explore all that bicycling has to offer by partnering with organizations focused on active transportation. Bronze-level BFB Valley Forge Middle School in Wayne, Pennsylvania, partnered with GVF to launch GVF’s My School in Motion program. The program promotes safe biking to school to students and integrates biking and walking into the middle school’s curriculum. The kick-off event alone doubled the number of kids who normally walk or bike to school.
Also taking education to a new level is the City of Fort Collins, which renewed its Platinum-level BFB status for their Administrative Campus this round. Utilizing the League’s Smart Cycling program, the city frequently offers League Cycling Instructor (LCI) Seminars for the community and extends scholarships for city staff to get certified. In 2016, city staff encouraged those sharing the road with cyclists to do their part in keeping everyone safe by launching the Fort Collins Bicycle Friendly Driver Certification Course, upon which the League’s Bicycle Friendly Driver curriculum is based.
“The course is designed to teach people who drive how to safely navigate urban and rural environments alike. It provides information to safely and legally make decisions while driving and avoid crashes with people on bicycles,” said Nick Heimann, Active Modes Specialist at the City of Fort Collins. “Many City staff have completed the Bicycle Friendly Driver certification training and this course is required for all Transfort bus operators.”