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2023 National Bike Summit Recap

This year’s National Bike Summit, hosted by the League of American Bicyclists, was a huge success drawing dedicated bicycle advocates from all over the country. As a hybrid summit, attendees were able to participate in person or virtually, allowing access for those who would not otherwise have been able to make it, and providing some much-needed face-to-face time for those who were. A joyous reunion for many who have missed the exponential creative energy that inevitably multiplies when you gather enough bike-minded folks together in the spirit of a more Bicycle Friendly America. 

Presentations were offered both in person and online and covered a wide range of topics including panel discussions about how the Federal Highway Administration is shifting toward complete streets and improved safety, the legacy of Black wheel women, federal technical assistance tools and projects, and equitable community engagement. A standout presentation included an opening presentation with Jennifer Homendy, Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, and a panel discussion featuring experts in the field about safe streets for women. As in years past, the League crafted a packed agenda with some of the most forward-thinking, innovative, and influential bicycle advocates both nationally and internationally. We encourage you to explore the League of American Bicyclists YouTube page to review and watch all of the presentations!

BikeMN was also proud to applaud Dorian Grilley, our Executive Director, for being recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as Advocate of the Year! This award goes to leaders of a bicycling or walking advocacy organization and recognizes their tireless commitment to promoting bicycling and walking in their state and community. Dorian truly goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform Minnesota into a great place for biking and walking. His time, knowledge, creativity, and commitment are the highest standard of excellence, and he is a true role model. We are deeply proud!

Kennis Littleton and angela olson answer questions from participants after their presentation.

On Tuesday, BikeMN’s Education Director, angela olson, and owner of Venture North Bicycles and Coffee, Kennis Littleton, presented to an in person and virtual audience about the Adult Learn to Ride program. Kennis gave insights into the importance of working with community-centered bike shops when establishing programs like Adult Learn to Ride that empower individuals and communities. angela shared how essential partnerships are when building access to programs like Adult Learn to Ride, and some important strategies to track grants and gain local and business partners.

Two BikeMN staff pose with Representative Ilhan Omar in front of her office.
BikeMN staff angela olson and Maya Sheikh caught Representative Ilhan Omar while meeting with staff for lobby day!

Closing out the Summit on Wednesday, attendees took to Capitol Hill to meet both virtually and in person with our representatives. Dorian Grilley, angela olson, and Maya Sheikh of BikeMN, were joined by Sarah Risser of Families for Safe Streets as they spoke with staffers from the offices of Senator Smith, Senator Klobuchar, Representative McCollum, Representative Omar, Representative Finstad, Representative Fischbach, and Representative Craig about the E-BIKE (Electric Bicycle Incentive Kickstart for the Environment) Act which creates a tax rebate for people buying electric bikes similar to the tax incentive for buying an electric car, a Dear Colleague letter asking NHTSA to include vulnerable road user
crashes when completing the truck side guard research required in section 23011 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and asking them to sign onto HR 1668, Sarah Debbink Langenkamp Active Transportation Safety Act, which makes it easier for state and local governments to use Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) dollars as local match funds for government identified projects, which can boost critical safety programs and investments.

Wednesday night’s closing reception was a joyous conclusion to the National Bike Summit. We are so very grateful to the League and all their sponsors for pulling together to create a hub of energy and talent and enthusiasm as we move confidently forward into 2024. Many thanks and we’ll see you all next year!

(Right to Left) Sarah R. with Families for Safe Streets, angela olson, Dorian Grilley, and Maya Sheikh standing on the lawn of the Rayburn House Office Building.