Katie Bonomo

Six ways you can help improve bicycling

cyclist on a wide street _small-capWhile biking around town, I do a lot of thinking about how things could be better for people on bikes. I think, why did they design the intersection like this? It could be so much safer. Or, why isn’t there a bike rack at this store? So many people get here by bike. Or, I’m following “bike directions,” but this is actually a terrible way to get where I’m going by bike.

Before I started working for a bicycle-focused organization, I didn’t realize that there were ways that I could help change the things that I found difficult. Now I know there are ways to do it. If you want to help change things for the better but aren’t sure how, try some of these ideas:

  • Bike as often as you can. Ok, I know I’m starting with a softball here, but this really does contribute to better bicycling. The more bikes there are on the street, the more people get used to seeing bikes. The more people get used to seeing bikes, the more they start to keep an eye out for them and the more they figure out how to interact with people on bikes.
  • bike-parking _small-capTalk to owners of local businesses. Thank them for having a bike rack outside, or let them know that it would be really great to have a bike rack. If a business owner knows that a lot of people are biking, s/he is more likely to support things like protected bike lanes on the street in front of the business.
  • Contact your local government. If you hear about a project that accommodates bikes, contact your city council representative or county commissioner and let them know you appreciate it. If they know that their constituents appreciate bike infrastructure, more funds are likely to go towards bike projects. Similarly, if you hear of a project being built without consideration for bikes, let them know that you think the needs of people on bikes should be addressed.
  • Help make bike directions better. Did you know that you can suggest a better bike route to Google? If they agree, they will change their directions. I’ve done it, and it works. It is quick and easy, and you just might save the next person from biking on an unsafe street.
  • bike meeting _small-capActively look for opportunities to participate. Public meetings about bike-related issues do happen, and bike advisory groups do exist. But they are not always well-publicized. Follow the Facebook and Twitter feeds of bike-related groups and your local government, and you may find out about a meeting where you can talk to decision-makers about issues that are important to you.
  • Get involved in the community by joining or supporting a bicycle-focused organization. There are many different kinds of groups—state, local and national advocacy organizations, nonprofits that offer camps for kids and earn-a-bike programs. If you’re able to join an advocacy organization, your financial contribution makes it possible for that organization to do more to improve bicycling. You can also ask about volunteer opportunities or help the group keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in your neighborhood.

Once you start to get more involved with the bike community, reach out to others and invite them to join you. We need a whole lot of voices with many different perspectives to really improve biking for everyone. And if you have other ideas for individuals looking to make bicycling better, please share them in the comments section.

Katie Bonomo

About the Author: Katie Bonomo

COMMENTS (2)

Karen Barber - Reply

I enjoyed your article, thank you. I commute as often as I can during the week and love it. I do see roads that need improvement with regard to commuting. They go between Aurora and Denver. Aurora needs an active group, because of this article I will reach out to Aurora Bicycle.

    Katie Bonomo - Reply

    Thanks so much for your feedback, Karen. I’m happy to hear that you’ll be reaching out to Bicycle Aurora!

Leave A COMMENT

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

Bicycle Colorado
@BicycleColo

It's the last day of #BiketoWhereverWeek, and we want to thank everyone who participated in choosing to ride instea… https://t.co/6mfcwFBoCU

The City of Grand Junction Urban Trails Committee wants area bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers to fill out this s… https://t.co/tk9fvYPEM2

The Latest News

  • Sep 9, 2020
  • by Bicycle Colorado
What bicycling means to Carlos

  • DON’T DELAY: We’re placing another order for #BicycleColorado masks made by our friends at @primalwear TOMORROW (5/14) at noon! Click the link in our bio to get yours now!
•
•
•
We’re thrilled to see so many people out enjoying (and often rediscovering the joy of) riding a bike right now, and we’re asking ALL bicyclists to do their part to prevent the spread of #covid19 by wearing a mask or other face covering when out for a ride. Doing so keeps you, your loved ones, those around you, and all Coloradans safer while helping reduce stress on our medical system. If you still need a mask, click the link in our bio to pre-order one now and support our advocacy work! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased, and to @primalwear for supporting our efforts over the years. Ride on.
  • #BicycleColorado volunteers and staff members spent time today helping @denverurbangardens and @denverfoodrescue deliver “Grow a Garden” food boxes to home-bound families in Denver—via bike! Supporting our community on two wheels makes for a great way to spend a sunny day. Many thanks to our friends @ddchen47, David M., and @juggernautcargo for your help! Head to denverfoodrescue.org or dug.org to learn more about these great local organizations. #rideyourbike
  • Tonight the #BicycleColorado team celebrated Stacey, our outgoing Development Director, with a virtual happy hour. Stacey has been an absolute rockstar for BC. We’re sad to see her leave, but thrilled for her as she heads out on a new adventure (hopefully in the #BikeAdvocacy space!) in North Carolina. Please join us in wishing her well!