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Our gender, our age, our abilities, our race, our bodies and much more—even the types of bikes we ride—contribute to our experiences on one, two, three or four wheels. There’s also a lot we have in common: many people ride for their own health, many for the environment, to save money, to connect with their communities, and some ride because it’s their only option to get around town. Together, these diverse and shared experiences form the kaleidoscope that is the bicycle community.
Through our RIDE initiative—short for Respect, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity—we’re celebrating those different voices, as well as what we all share, to build a more inclusive and equitable movement for all people on bikes. Our RIDE work is guided by our RIDE Advisory Board (read on to find out more), sponsored by Quality Bicycle Products, or QBP.
Serving all Coloradans is vital to the work we do at Bicycle Colorado because, while we each ride a bike for one reason or another, some of us are at higher risk to the effects of traffic violence, air quality, profiling, monetary constraints and more that can impact access to bikes and our safety while riding.
In Denver, nearly 40 percent of all traffic deaths occur in neighborhoods with lower incomes and high numbers of seniors, people with a disability, schools and community centers. (Denver Vision Zero Action Plan)
Of households earning $35,000 or less per year, fewer than half are getting 150 minutes of physical activity per week, worsening health and increasing the risk of health issues such as cardiovascular disease. (PFB & Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
Vulnerable communities of color are more likely to be exposed to higher levels of dangerous air pollution than white communities. Car dependency exacerbates this, which leads to increased risk of disease and shorter life spans. (EPA)
Women today account for fewer than 25% of the trips taken by bicycle in the United States. In order to get more people of all genders riding bikes, we need to build a community of bicyclists as well as bicycling infrastructure that is safe and accessible for all types of riders. (Fast Company)
We need to make sure that everyone is included and represented in advocacy efforts, marketing, events and more, especially in our work here at Bicycle Colorado. We are all bicyclists no matter how often we ride, our abilities or what we look like, and you should see yourself and others should see you when we think of bicycling. With better representation, more stories and elevated voices of all riders, we can celebrate this diversity and build a more inclusive space for people who want to ride and improve bicycling.
Our focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a newer part of our work at Bicycle Colorado, formally introduced as part of our 2018 Strategic Plan. Our learning and improvement are and will always be a process. To help us, we are collaborating with external organizations and individuals to deepen our understanding of DEI and actively building relationships and trust with new communities and partners. Our team is grateful for opportunities like the examples below that are helping us better meet our commitment to DEI. Since 2018, we’ve:
These experiences and relationships inform and better our work across communications, policy, events and education, as well as our internal culture and procedures.
If you want to help us continue to expand our understanding and DEI work, please reach out to RIDE@bicyclecolorado.org and let us know.
Bicyclists ride for a number of reasons. For some, it’s recreation, for some it’s transportation and many others it’s environmental justice, climate activism, community, fresh air and fun. Take a look at a few photos from our Why I Ride photo series to hear some personal stories.
We want to hear from you. Whether you have been biking for decades or are new to two (or one, or three or four!) wheels, your stories inform the work we do at Bicycle Colorado and help us build a stronger movement. Share yours by emailing RIDE@bicyclecolorado.org and let’s set up a time to talk.
Since 2018, members of our RIDE Advisory Board have gathered bimonthly with Bicycle Colorado to share their experience, expertise and ideas—as well as perspectives we don’t currently have on our staff. They have supported us in building a more inclusive organization and bicycling movement.
RIDE members help us evaluate our practices and programs, grow our understanding of DEI and hold ourselves accountable as we work to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive. With RIDE’s collaboration and through other learning opportunities, we look forward to better representing everyone who rides and improving access to safe, affordable and rewarding options for everyone to bike and be active.
We are grateful for QBP’s support to help us continue our RIDE work. QBP is the 2019-2020 sponsor of our RIDE Advisory Board and is sponsoring a DEI program in the spring. Stay tuned for more information on that! QBP is also committed to advancing equity internally through their own DEI initiatives, including their Equity and Diversity Internship.
In 2018, we released our Strategic Plan, in which we published Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Here is our commitment:
We are dedicated to ensuring that Bicycle Colorado and our movement are diverse, equitable and inclusive. As a statewide organization, it is our responsibility to thoughtfully serve and represent all Coloradans who want to ride bicycles; doing so makes our movement stronger. It is also, simply, the right thing to do.
To meet this commitment, we will deepen our understanding of and prioritize our work in these areas. By building new and existing partnerships and elevating the voices of underrepresented populations, we will identify, understand and remove barriers—starting with those embedded in our own organization—that prevent all people from experiencing the many benefits of bicycling. We will proceed with humility and empathy; seek out and actively listen to all perspectives; examine, question and learn from our assumptions and biases; and encourage our current members and supporters to join us on this journey.
We value and seek purposeful long-term partnerships, to work with organizations and communities to make a positive impact and connect others so they can form valued partnerships as well.
We take a stand on issues important to people who ride bikes, and do so with humility.
We take risks to discover new and creative ways to accomplish our goals, even when confronted with unforeseen challenges.
We are curious, open-minded, active listeners, eager to improve and willing to learn.
We use our skill and passion to ensure all people on bikes are treated equitably in Colorado.
We are transparent, honest and do what we say.
We value and proactively engage people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and we act with kindness and respect.