One bike club wins advocacy award; another disbands

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Congratulations to Bike San Diego for winning the advocacy organization of the year award from Alliance for Biking and Walking.

The Alliance notes that the group has accomplished a lot in just a short time.

San Diego advocacy event

San Diego advocacy event

It raised awareness of bicycling issues in the city among bicyclists and elected officials. Consider this photo from the BikeSD blog of the last memorial ride die-in held as City Hall.

In this past mayoral election, for instance, the candidates tried to portray themselves as the most bike-friendly in order to gain support. Three of the four even submitted bicycle plans. Bike San Diego also helped to launch the city’s first ciclovia, an open streets event dubbed CicloSDias. It also successfully encouraged the city to adopt bikeway design guidelines.

bikesdsmall2All this was accomplished in a short time. The nonprofit bike advocacy organization started in 2009 as a blog,, by three acquaintances in the bicycling community. After successfully tackling some advocacy projects, the blog incorporated as a formal, nonprofit advocacy organization in September 2012 with Samantha Ollinger as executive director.

Here in Washington state, the re-invigorated Washington Bikes was among the nominees for the advocacy organization of the year award. Seattle Children’s Hospital was nominated for business advocate of the year.

See the other advocacy award winners at the Alliance for Biking and Walking website.


Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Dane County Bicycle Association is disbanding after nearly 40 years.

It seems odd that a bicycle group in the eighth ranked bicycle friendly state couldn’t find enough support to keep going, but the newspaper reported that the board struggled in the past few years to get enough volunteers.

The association was created to provide grant funding the support bicycle education, usage and advocacy. They plan to leave their $200,000 financial endowment to a worthy bicycle-related organization to administer.

In the past, grants have gone to a wide range of nonprofits and communities. Grants have gone to community bicycle workshops, graduate students in transportation management, and local police departments to distribute bike lights.

Their annual grant of $700 for a bicyclist’s dream bike tour is certainly unusual, but also would go far to promote bicycle touring..

We’re hoping they find a good home for their money.

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