Not for me.
Even though I could use it as much as the next guy. Especially if the next guy has a bank account that makes Greece look flush.
But actually, I’m asking for you. And every cyclist you share the road with.
Because right here in Southern California, some of the finest bicycling advocacy groups in the country are out there every day, fighting for your rights and the safety of all riders.
And they need — and deserve — your support.
Personally, I’m partial to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. And not just because I’m a board member.
In fact, when I agreed to join the LACBC three years ago, it was because I often found myself working side-by-side with them on various issues. And was impressed with the commitment and dedication they showed in fighting for better bicycling here in the City of Angels, and their willingness to listen to, and support, all members of the bicycling community.
Since becoming a board member, I can honestly say I have never had the pleasure of working with a better group of people, from my fellow board members to the staff and volunteers who run the organization on a daily basis.
Unlike some organizations, the LACBC doesn’t often trumpet its successes, or broadcast the issues they’re working on with various governmental officials. They tend to be far more interested in getting results than taking the credit.
But chances are, you regularly ride streets they’ve played a hand in improving, from Main Street in Venice, to 1st, Spring and 7th streets Downtown. Not to mention the role they’ve played as the incubator for CicLAvia, City of Lights and Bici Libre.
Staff members from the Coalition were also the only people other than myself who attended every single council and committee meeting in support of the groundbreaking bicyclist anti-harassment ordinance passed in L.A. last year, which has set the standard for similar laws in cities around the country.
And the LACBC is currently working to play a role in next year’s Mayoral and City Council elections, to ensure the voices of cyclists are heard in City Hall — both before and long after you cast your vote.
Unfortunately, that sort of advocacy doesn’t come for free.
Like any other enterprise, the LACBC has to pay for office space, supplies and computer systems, as well as travel and other expenses. Not to mention the salaries of those people out there fighting on your behalf on a daily basis.
And that’s where you come in.
If you’re not a member, take a few minutes right now to join, and add your voice and membership dues with a few thousand like-minded bike riders.
Or take a moment in this season of giving to give to an organization that needs and deserves your support. If only because they’re out there supporting you.
It doesn’t matter what you give.
A $10 donation means as much, and is just as challenging, to some as $1000 is to others. So give a dollar. Give a hundred dollars.
But give something.
Of course, the LACBC is not the only bicycle organization that deserves your support. Put your money where your heart is, and support the organization that means the most to you.
Like the newly revitalized C.I.C.L.E., which has been on fire lately leading rides and workshops for local cyclists. Bikeside LA appears to be inactive these days, yet they remain the area’s only registered nonprofit bicycling political organization. And while LA Streetsblog isn’t an advocacy organization, they do more than anyone else — myself included — to keep us informed about the news and events effecting transportation issues in the Southland.
A little further south, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition could use your help. As could BikeSD, the new organization co-founded by Sam Ollinger, one of the brightest and most dedicated bike advocates California has to offer.
On the state level, I’m a huge fan of the California Bicycle Coalition, which as done a great job of representing the interests of bicyclists in the state capitol. And while I’ve had my disagreements with the California Association of Bicycling Organizations, aka CABO, you might find they’re the ideal group to support your views in Sacramento and cities around the state.
It’s up to you to decide where your money will do the most good. But let it.
And don’t forget, donations to most, if not all, of these groups are tax deductible. Which is something that will come in handy on April 15th if you make a contribution before the end of the year.
I’m always reluctant to list people or groups for fear I’ll inadvertently leave someone out. So if you’re aware of a bicycle advocacy group worthy of our support, please let me know in the comments below.
In a step virtually no one other than they seem to understand, the League of American Bicyclists has selected the PR and Communications Director for the national AAA as the keynote speaker for next year’s National Bike Summit.
Maybe she has something to say about how we can work together to improve safety for everyone. But maybe AAA should stop opposing bike safety on the local level first.
Thanks to George Wolfberg for the heads-up.
The LACBC wants your support for bike lanes on Westwood Blvd between Santa Monica and National Blvds. In case, like me, you missed the opening Saturday night, you can still catch the ARTCRANK LAX exhibition through next Monday. Neon Tommy looks at DTLA’s upcoming Bike Nation USA bike share program. The first phase of the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk opens at 10:30 am today at Paula and Garden Streets in Glendale. LADOT and CD4 Councilmember Tom LaBonge will rededicate the Alex Baum Bicycle Bridge from 10 am to noon on Thursday. Burbank’s Bike Angels will give away 150 refurbished bikes to local families this month. Cycling Unbound says you can tell the NHTSA is a joke because it has TSA in its name. A driver in tiny Durham CA didn’t mean to kill that cyclist, and he’s really, really sorry he did, then ran away like a coward.
Protected bikeways nearly double nationwide in 2012, and are expected to double again next year. How about a hidden minibar in your handlebars? Chicago business needs protected bike lanes. Boston is working for more, and safer, bike commuting. Bikeyface advises drivers on avoiding doorings and kangaroos. A Massachusetts paper asks why hit-and-run drivers flee. Lovely Bicycle offers advice on how to ride real slow. The Washington Post says it’s time we stopped living with streets that are killing us. Hit-and-run drivers are suspected of beheading several bollards protecting a separated bike lane; on the other hand, those might have been cyclists if the divider hadn’t been there. Jacksonville FL has killed 28 pedestrians and nine bicyclists this year alone; that compares with five bicycling fatalities in Los Angeles this year, with over four-and-a-half times the population.
Just like with cyclists, the only official solution to Toronto pedestrian deaths appears to be brighter clothing. Greater horsepower brings greater responsibility. Over half of all UK cyclists don’t feel safe on the road. A 15-year old Brit phenom returns to racing over a year after breaking his back in a racing fall. The unofficial highway code for cyclists. London cyclists drive to work to show how much they don’t contribute to traffic; something tells me most motorists didn’t even notice. Russia’s Katusha pro team is ticked off about not getting a ticket to ride in next year’s UCI WorldTour. New Zealand’s PureBlack racing team is about to go belly up, again. A local rider says Christchurch should be a cycling city. Australian authorities are looking for a teenage cyclist who was severely beaten by a bus driver in a road rage attack.
Finally, bike are great for transportation and recreation — and evidently, stalking potential serial killer victims