“Many hands make light work”
By Phil Sarnoff — Bicycling for both recreation and transportation are definitely coming to the forefront as more communities across Utah are seeing the associated benefits: more physical activity; fewer motor vehicle emissions; opportunities for economic development; and more livable communities.
Our vision for Utah is that everyone, regardless of age or ability, should be able to get where they need to go by bicycle. Kids should be able to ride to school. There should be nearby mountain bike trails and bike parks that are accessible via multiuse paths or safe, on-road infrastructure. All Utahns should be able to start a ride right from their doorstep and get to their destination without being concerned for their own safety.
However, all of these audacious goals need to be continually pursued in order to keep them moving forward. So here are five simple things you can do to make Utah better for bicycling:
Give Some Time
Find your local trails group, bicycle advocacy group, bicycle collective, high school mountain bike team, or any other organization that is working on behalf of your bicycle interests. All of these organizations need the help of interested volunteers in order to advance their initiatives.
You could wrench on bikes; build or maintain mountain bike trails; help kids learn how to ride bikes; or support campaigns to get more lanes, paths, and trails built. All of these small acts help to build toward better bicycling and more people riding throughout Utah.
Give Some Money
There are numerous nonprofits out there that are working behind the scenes to make all types of bicycling better in Utah. They are creating new and better trails, making roadways safer with education and infrastructure, getting kids on bicycles, and, in general, keeping the fight for better bicycling alive.
If you don’t have the time to volunteer, then make a contribution to at least one organization that is working on improving bicycling. Even $10 helps to keep them moving forward. The less these groups need to focus on fundraising, the more they can focus on making bicycling better.
Tell Your Story
Why and how did you start riding? What was your breakthrough moment? Your most memorable ride? How did riding a bicycle change your life? This type of storytelling helps to empower new people to get out riding.
We are always interested in sharing people’s stories and inspiring new people to ride. Write up a paragraph, grab a photo of you with your bike, and send it to us at [email protected].
Spread the Word
There are quite a few efforts underway across Utah to support more and better bike lanes, paths, and trails. Most of these efforts simply need more people to speak up on their behalf. When you see these opportunities to make public comment, complete a survey, or make your voice heard, take the time to share these opportunities with your network.
Support All Types of Bicycling
“A rising tide lifts all boats”
Regardless of your preferred type of riding, take the time to support bicycling in general. Even if you will never bicycle commute, race, or mountain bike, the more support out there for all types of riding will inevitably lead to bicycling being improved for everyone.
Phil Sarnoff is the executive director of Bike Utah, a statewide advocacy organization. For more information, visit bikeutah.org