Bicycle Colorado

More than a job

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Scott riding for transportation
Smiles seems to accompany travel by bike

In my role as development director at Bicycle Colorado, I have the good fortune to meet with many of our members, donors and sponsors to talk about the reasons they’ve supported us for many years.  And those conversations often spill over into weekend rides with friends like on a recent ride in Jefferson and Boulder counties.

When I ask how we’ve earned such strong support, I often hear:

“Bicycle Colorado is working to help bicyclists in our state and protecting our interests.”

and

“It’s not one particular program or project that is most important, it’s that you are working to protect and improve bicycle access, safety and education in so many different ways.”

It’s true. While I also hear compliments about specific accomplishments like, “3-feet to pass,” and “overturning the Black Hawk ban on bicycles,” and “Safe Routes to School programs,” supporters value our ability to impact laws, policies, funding and education that affect riding mountain bikes and road bikes in Colorado.

My passion for our successes is evident

And now in my seventh year as a part of the Bicycle Colorado staff, I still become excited and feel proud when given the opportunity to speak about our accomplishments on behalf of people who bicycle in Colorado.  AND, for those that have heard me discuss our current work to produce future results, you know it doesn’t take long before my passion comes pouring out in my words and body language!

For those whom I haven’t had an opportunity to talk with — and for those who would like to read again what keeps me so passionate about our work — here are a few highlights:

  • State rankings:  The first-ever rankings were published in 2008 and Colorado was #22.  Through Bicycle Colorado’s work (and others), addressing each and every criteria, Colorado rose to #2 in 2013 (behind only Washington state).
  • #1 state in legislation and policy, per the national rankings.
  • Safe Routes to School education and programming that is a model for others across the U.S.
  • Law enforcement liaison with the Colorado State Patrol  that turned an adversarial relationship into a collaborative partnership
  • Our newest initiative—regional policy work—to facilitate better investments in transportation infrastructure and programs
  • Regularly overcoming adversity, through diplomacy and working relationships established over 20+ years

…and we still have a lot of work to do!

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Scott and Ted Heyd of Bicycle Colorado in contrasting advocacy "uniforms"
Scott Christopher and Ted Heyd of Bicycle Colorado in contrasting advocacy “uniforms”

Few bicyclists or Bicycle Colorado members and supports would have reason to know that only a handful of states have a similar organization addressing statewide initiatives.  And when seeing the state rankings, the very top states are the ones with successful state advocacy groups; experienced, mature and financially sound advocacy makes a huge difference.

And yet there is still so much work to be done.  For example, some of my friends rode Indiana Street from Jeffco to Boulder County. They encountered fast motor traffic and no shoulders even after the road improvements completed a couple years ago. There have been no improvements for safe bicycling since the first time I rode Indiana—in 1981!  Yes, a great deal of work still to be accomplished.

We need your help to keep making bicycling better

If you would like to know how you can be a part of accelerating improvements for people who bicycle, let friends and family know why you are a Bicycle Colorado member/donor/sponsor and ask them to become one, too.

Encourage others to subscribe to eNews it’s a quick read and is how we get our “calls to action” out (typically 1-3 calls to action in a calendar year).

Donate to our programs or become a business or organization sponsor of our Summit, Gala, Safe Routes to School program, Regional policy work or other advocacy initiatives of Bicycle Colorado.

And if you’d like to get together to talk about what you believe are the most pressing needs for change, let’s get together for coffee or beer or a ride (we can combine a couple of those, too).

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Bicycle Colorado

About the Author: Bicycle Colorado

Bicycle Colorado is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Denver. We use advocacy, education and passion to make Colorado one of the most bicycle-friendly states in the nation. We encourage and promote bicycling, increase safety, improve conditions and provide a voice for people who ride bicycles in Colorado. With the support of our members and numerous partnerships across the public and private sector, we’ve made significant strides in improving bicycling since 1992.

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