The grass roots of the rolling revolution
Is it a revolution? Yes, a fun-loving, fender-equipped, wind-through-your-hair rolling revolution. More people are riding their bikes. They are going to work, school, the dollar store and the coffee shop.
How is this happening? Regionally, the work is being driven by many organizations and leaders. Here in Cleveland Heights and University Heights, the Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) plays a small role in advocating, educating and encouraging in the cycling arena (visit www.bikesintheheights.org). HBC organized three years ago to help make CH-UH more bicycle friendly. Cycling advocates in Shaker Heights recently formed Bike Shaker and are working on the same mission in their city.
While working on our own communities can bring results, collaborating is also important. Last spring, the two organizations produced a regional bike map and they continue to keep in touch about other possible joint projects.
Working locally does bring change, but a larger organization with a larger reach has emerged as well. Bike Cleveland (www.bikecleveland.org) formed in 2011 and works to improve cycling infrastructure and policy in Cleveland, and is a valuable regional advocacy group that is a strong and consistent voice for cycling.
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of Bike Cleveland is that it has funding and membership to support two staff members. The organization promotes cycling in many ways and is the go-to resource for bicycle issues for government officials, business and other nonprofits.
If you want to be part of the cycling revolution, join and support these groups. A single bicycle on the road is not powerful, but a large peleton (that's bicycle-ese for a group of cyclists), can make real change.
Heights Bicycle Coalition
The Heights Bicycle Coalition was formed in 2010 to make the Heights more bicycle friendly. The group’s mission is to educate and encourage citizens to use bicycles as a sustainable and healthy form of transportation and recreation. And . . . to have fun!