A Boulder-based organization is making a case in defense of the bicycle. The mission behind Bikes Belong (BB) is to “make bicycling better” and “put more people on bicycles” more often. The organization crusades for more bike trails and bike lanes; safer places to ride; healthier, sustainable communities; and strives to send the message that bikes are better than cars. If the U.S. can create safe, convenient spaces to ride, BB believes, people will get on their bikes and climb out of the driver’s seat.
Bikes Belong works in cooperation with the bicycling industry; its 400 members are suppliers and retailers who believe that more bike trails and better infrastructure for cyclists leads to better sales. BB is also tracking how federal funding on cycling projects impacts sales. Their non-motorized transportation pilot program is charting the effects of improved cycling conditions in four U.S. cities, from 2006 to 2009. The pilot will measure health, ridership, congestion, and energy savings, as well as sales. Although the cat’s not yet out of the bag, it’s a safe guess that more cycling, enhanced safety measures, and more trails will mean better health, increased ridership, less traffic, and a sizable energy savings.