Submitted by NYBC Board President Paul Winkeller
“Happy Bike Spring.” These words make sense in any context, even if some of us still have snow to shovel, which unfortunately is still the case in many parts of New York State.
Thanks to our former intern and now Interim Program Coordinator Collin Hodges and an NYBC Board that has really stepped up since Brian Kehoe departed, we are in the midst of a seamless and productive springtime transition to a new executive director, who is expected to take the helm on April 15th.
A number of very strong candidates applied to become the leader of our staff. Whether it was the strong state of bike advocacy, an economy that needs to generate jobs, or perhaps the many good things happening involving NYBC, both online and off (we hope you have noticed!), we interpret such strong interest as a very good sign for the bicycling movement. There is so much important work to be done right now to get more folks across New York on a bike, and to be able to do so in a riding climate that is safe and shared, whether on-road, off-road, or somewhere in between.
More New Yorkers Riding Safely – another five words that make sense in any context, and which sum up NYBC’s approach to advocacy during this period of transition.
Considering that phrase, we would like to thank all our members and donors for their support and for continuing to help make the NYBC mission a reality. In addition, we sincerely hope that any non-members visiting our website will consider joining NYBC or supporting us with donations.
If you would like a few more reasons to join NYBC and support our staff, keep reading to discover just a few of our organization’s ongoing focuses and upcoming initiatives.
1) Bike clubs have been among NYBC’s longest and most consistent supporters during our organization’s twenty year history. The leadership at many bike clubs understands that advocacy is fundamental in creating a shared and safe climate for riding a bike, especially in large groups. We plan to continue to engage with these groups, and hope to work with them to make our advocacy efforts even more effective.
2) With a renewed focus on bike shops, NYBC plans to show how advocacy can promote safer road and trail conditions, which gets more people on bikes, which finally translates into a bigger and healthier bottom line.
3) The Alliance for Biking and Walking’s Winning Campaigns Training this August is fast approaching. Led by former NYBC Board President Matt Van Slyke, this training will have a regional flavor thanks to close coordination with our colleagues in CT and NJ. Check out the link and consider attending with a specific project you want to focus on in your own community, county, or region.
4) Thanks to yet another year of heroic hard work from NYBC Board member Harvey Botzman, and with support from Rich Conroy, and Ken Fagut, we will again be staffing a booth at Bike Expo New York this May. Stop by and say hi! In addition to representing NYBC, they will be distributing tourism-related information from more than a dozen counties in upstate New York to the 37,000+ participants of the annual Five Boro Bike Tour. Bike-based tourism is a growing industry, and NYBC has been on the cutting edge of this important economic development activity, which brings tens of millions of dollars annually to our state economy.
5) NYBC’s Bike Lawyer Directory is coming together quickly this spring. This fast-emerging initiative is providing legal information pertaining to biking and walking in New York State as well as access to bike lawyers who are experienced in defending the rights of individuals that are hurt while biking or walking. This is one of the many tangible services that a statewide bike coalition like NYBC endeavors to provide for its constituents.
6) Our Bicycle Events Calendar has become the one stop shop for anyone seeking to take part in a group ride anywhere in the state. This calendar is another service for our members and the public, and also provides NYBC with much-needed revenue through ad sales and featured event listings.
We are excited to continue to serve and support the growing bicycle movement in New York State, and look forward to maintaining our momentum during the spring as we transition to a new executive director.