Thursday, May 19, 2011

Making an Impact

Ever thought about how your biking habits affect others? Can you make an impact on local, regional and national efforts? Maybe you don't think about those things when you ride - but you do make a difference!

There has been an increase in cyclists over the last decade. In my web surfing, I found some great stats to back that fact up (but I can't remember where, so I don't have any links). As the number of bike riders rises, public health is positively affected, auto traffic is reduced and people are building community! All great things.

There are other reasons to ride. This summer, the "Bike to Fight Climate Change" challenge is being hosted by Clif Bar. Clif bar will donate $100,000 in grant money to one of three non-profit organizations:  Alliance for Biking & Walking, Safe Routes to Schools, or Signing up is free, easy and you don't have to do any fund-raising! Just create an account, join a team which represents the organization you're supporting and log your miles. From May through October, as you ride, log your miles. The team with the most amount of miles at the end of the challenge wins the grant money. (I joined the Red Team.)

Another interesting group that's doing their own fund-raising is the U.S. Bicycle Route System. This is a system that spans across local and regional areas of interest across the country. Folks are currently working on linking and numbering pieces to bring the system together. It's meant to actually be a transportation system - not just a bunch of trails and paths loosely knit together. (Could you imagine the USBRS being taken seriously as the US Interstate System someday?) During May there is an organized fund-raising campaign. There are some fun challenges and ways to double your donation. If you're interested, check it out. Transportation Secretary LaHood supports this effort. And the Palmetto Cycling Coalition recently joined ranks of supporting bike groups. Could there be others in the Upstate?

A few cool links to help make your cycling count and to help improve cycling across the country - and in your own backyard.

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