The show of support for bike dealers was approved by the League board of directors just prior to the organization’s signature event, the annual National Bike Summit, held last week March 10-13, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
This year’s Summit featured an energetic women’s forum, a multitude of sessions focused on infrastructure and equity, and a lobbying day where attendees visited Congressional offices to make the case for bikes and bike safety.
The resolution notes “the critical importance of independent bicycle dealers in providing access to bicycles, bicycle maintenance, bicycling information, and creating a community of people riding bikes.”
It continues, “Bicycle retailers provide tremendous support to local bicycling events, charity rides, and local organizations and clubs … We believe that local bike shops are an essential component of the bicycle infrastructure that makes a community bike-friendly.”
The resolution also includes specific recommendations for League members, supporters and advocacy groups “to actively support their local bicycle retailers in every way possible. This includes:
- purchasing bikes, bike parts, clothing and accessories from independent bicycle dealers;
- encouraging members and people with whom you ride to do the same;
- working with local bike shops to host rides, events, classes, clinics and other activities in the stores; and
- including bike store owners and employees in local advocacy and education programs.”
The League also offered some tactical advice to bike shops, urging them “to do more to:
- encourage new participants to bicycling, especially women, people of color and youth – populations traditionally not well served or represented in bicycling;
- support local education and advocacy work;
- become a focal point and resource center for bicycling activity and culture in the community.”
The League has 20,000 members, 100,000 supporters, and reaches hundreds of thousands of cyclists through more than 950 affiliated local clubs and advocacy organizations in communities across the country.
The League’s Bicycle Friendly Community program has long endorsed safe and compelling places to ride as a key component in bicycle-friendly communities.
This may be the first time the organization has openly endorsed bike shops and encouraged its members to buy bike parts and related equipment there. Thriving bike shops are increasingly seen by many as a key part of a healthy cycling ecosystem. The League’s statement supports that view.