More than 200 industry members, including suppliers and retailers, submitted stories about how they are working to improve cycling.
The three $1,000 grant winners were Century Cycles from Rocky River, Ohio, Penn Cycles from Bloomington, Minnesota, and Bicycle Trip from Santa Cruz, California.
"We were pleasantly surprised by the participation in our Build More Than Bicycles challenge," said Tim Bock, senior marketing manager for Bikes Belong. "It was wonderful to learn about all the different and creative ways the industry works to make bicycling better. Supporting national advocacy groups like Bikes Belong and IMBA is very important, but there are additional ways to improve bicycling at the community level, too."
Century Cycles created a Bike to School Challenge five years ago. Today, the program reaches 4,000 students at five northwest Ohio schools during May. Ridership increased from 1-15 percent to 29 percent, sometimes reaching as high as 77 percent. Local mayors took notice and started to build more infrastructure to accommodate the increased bicycling. With the $1,000 grant, Century Cycles will expand the Challenge and help other IBDs replicate it.
Penn Cycles is a founding sponsor of the Minnesota High School MTB Racing League. They have hosted a weekly mountain bike race series for 21 years, provided neutral support for all types of bicycling events, partnered with more than 60 local businesses to promote bike commuting, and last year supplied more than 5,000 free bicycles to children. Penn Cycles will use their $1,000 to increase participation in the Minnesota High School MTB Racing League.
Project Bike Trip is a program created by the Bicycle Trip shop in Santa Cruz, California. Over the past two decades, shop owners noticed a reduction in the availability of skilled bike mechanics. To reverse this trend, they started a bicycle tech class at the local high school. Today, seven of the nine area high schools have dedicated bike classrooms. Project Bike Trip programs offer technical training in bicycle mechanics, preparing youth for job opportunities within the bicycle industry. Project Bike Trip will put the $1,000 grant toward new tools for the classrooms.