2020 has taught us many lessons, and one of the biggest things we’ve learned is that the world is widely connected and so are its challenges. Many of them are BIG challenges — the kind we might often think a bicycle has nothing to do with.
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, as many of The Bike Cooperative’s independent members have experienced, the world rekindled its love for the potential in two wheels: for recreation, transportation, health, community, mobility and more.
With more people cycling worldwide, the intersection of challenge and potential is clear. As the bike industry experiences unprecedented demand, it’s also clear that bikes and bike retailers can make a real difference.
Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes’ new President and CEO, put it best in her recent op-ed, “We are witnessing a momentum for bikes as an instrument of change. Bikes can be a smart solution to help improve urban mobility, air quality, traffic congestion and mental and physical health. Bikes can also play an important role in our climate change goals, resiliency planning and mobility justice.”
Children are our future, and the role our communities play in amplifying their potential has never been more clear. That’s why The Bike Cooperative is excited to support PeopleForBikes and the Youth Bike Summit with nearly $13,000 in donations from member retailers across the U.S. (listed below), as well as matched donations from The Bike Cooperative itself.
The donated funds will help support youth cycling groups nationwide complete their Youth Bike Summit Justice Journey, where they will ride bikes in their communities to raise awareness and funds for accommodation and transportation to the Youth Bike Summit in fall of 2021 in Atlanta.
As a co-op of local bike retailers, community is critical to us. Bikes empower kids from communities across the country to experience things that might not have been possible without a set of wheels, and our members are excited to make that happen for more kids.
As local retailers know: when nearly 70 cents of every locally spent dollar stays local, the result is better funding for community programs like trails, classes, programs and more. As a cooperative of independent bike retailers, this dynamic is central to everything we do: empowering local bike shops to stay local and sustain the cultural, social and economic advantages they bring to their communities.
Bike Cooperative members noted the importance of bicycle retailers in promoting advocacy efforts and engaging their communities through bicycling. “We feel that it is incumbent upon us brick and mortar retailers as pillars of the cycling community to support advocacy efforts of all types geared towards inclusivity and supporting efforts to groom the next generation of cyclists,” said Nik Obriecht, general manager of Race Pace Bicycles in Baltimore. “Partnering with The Bike Cooperative and PeopleForBikes in these efforts is a win for everyone.”
“We are happy to support the Youth Bike Summit by donating our buydown refund,” added John McConnochie, owner of Cycle Alaska in Juneau. “We feel the summit provides a great venue to engage the next generation of bicycling enthusiasts.”
This year we’ve learned that powerful change starts small, and we firmly believe that passionate kids riding bikes will do the very same for cycling and their communities.
The Youth Bike Summit is a three-day, annual conference which brings together cycling-centered youth community leaders to educate, share and advocate for a better world through bikes. Educators, researchers, policy makers, community leaders and advocates from urban areas across the U.S. and Canada join with student leaders for workshops, tours, presentations, discussion and visioning about how they can make a difference through bicycling in their own communities.
This partnership wouldn’t be possible without the support and financial contributions from our member companies. It is because of the businesses below that we can help foster and support the next generation of bike riders.