Well everybody, we did it.
In May and June alone, we hosted or supported: the Ride of Silence, The One Speed Open, our Bike Art Show, Ride the Rockies, Bike to Work Day, a Bicycle Friendly Business Development workshop, two installments of YGR Live, and kicked off our Bikes & Biz mixer series. That is on top of our regular programming which includes our great new blog, Safe Routes to School, and running and growing the new Fort Collins Bike Share. And that’s just the event side.
We’re also hard at work building capacity and networks to address the emerging transportation and health challenges that Northern Colorado’s rapid growth presents. We’re examining attitudes and policies and developing positions surrounding land use, development, and planning to make sure that Fort Collins honors our climate action plan and extends our commitment to safer streets to EVERYONE in NoCo.
The third piece of BFC’s vision, “one voice,” means a lot of things: it means we work hard to create a coalition of people who have different connections to bikes and active, sustainable transportation (you, dear reader), and rally you around our shared challenges. It means we work hard to figure out who is riding, and why, and where and how we can make them safer. And- just as importantly- we look at who ISN’T riding, and why, and where and what we can do to make sustainable transportation a more viable option. It means we need everyone to support this vision of safer streets and more people on bikes.
At this point, I’m getting dizzy just thinking about it, but also really giddy thinking about the opportunities we have here and now, to not just advocate, not just react but actually positioning Bike Fort Collins to inform and create the policies and culture that will affect the region for generations to come.
So here’s the thing:
We really need your help.
There are three major ways you can support our vision of more bikes, safe streets, one voice: resources, time and messaging.
We pride ourselves on being really efficient with our supporters’ resources. If we can do it in house, we will. That goes for design, event coordination, website and anything else you can think of that we can learn or fake. We take your financial support very seriously. Keeping the rubber on the road requires money for staff, operational space (office and warehouse), travel, technology, and more. Our programs all have distinct operational needs including materials (Safe Routes to School would look great in a Sprinter Van), and sponsorship for our events and our Bike Share. If you support our vision, you can show that support by clicking on the Join Bike Fort Collins button to the right, by becoming a donor, or by dropping me a line to talk about other opportunities.
The great thing about being an event volunteer for Bike Fort Collins is that we support and put on fun events. You’re outside, surrounded by other people who love bikes, helping spread bike love, and serving the community. In addition to event volunteers, most of our organizational work is done by volunteer committees. Our marketing/communications, resource development, and advocacy committees, as well as our board of directors and our bike friendly business team meet monthly to steer the operation of Bike Fort Collins. We’re always looking for talented, passionate volunteers to join our committee work.
The “safe streets” piece of the vision has a couple of components- changing actual infrastructure through policy, and changing attitudes and perceptions among the general public about why bikes and sustainable transportation matter. There are many myths about bike advocacy and our goals and agenda but the reality is- shifting public mindset away from “cars and convenience at any cost” to building communities around people and around access will not only save lives, it will lead to a NoCo that is healthier and and more livable and economically robust for everyone. Through our blog and social media and live events, we explore and share this position, and provide our supporters the tools to be agents of change in your personal environments. In your schools. neighborhoods, churches, workplaces, and other community groups, you can promote reshaping our culture, and we are working to provide you the tools to do it.
For me, “one voice” is more than just part of a catchy slogan. It’s the heart of what we do. Bikes are so powerful and so important precisely because they are so versatile, and because they mean different things to people who enjoy them and and depend on them to connect with our community. Only by working together can we push forward, a make sure that as Northern Colorado grows, it continues to prioritize safe streets for all users.
What’s more, we like to show our gratitude to our members and partners. Wednesday the 13th, we’re hosting another Community Night at Pour Brother’s Community Tavern. If you checked out our December Community Night, you know the basics: your tips between 6 and 8 pm are a donation to BFC (so tip big!). This time we have an added draw: as a show of gratitude, we’re buying the first round for our current members and Bicycle Friendly Businesses.
This month the Community Night celebrity bartenders are Corkey Odell of Odell Brewing, and Bryan Simpson of New Belgium, and we’ll be setting up battling tip jars so you can help decide the Battle of the Breweries with your tips!
We have even more exciting announcements to come, and continue to work hard towards our vision of more bikes, safe streets and one voice. And we’re grateful for your support.
Chris J. Johnson
Bike Fort Collins