Build the USBRS with Cascade Bicycle Club

May 27, 2016

Cascade Bicycle Club has seen the great success of the Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign and the growth of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) and has sponsored a $1,000 match challenge to keep the momentum going. Donate now to to have your contribution matched by Cascade Bicycle Club

We recently sat down with Cascade Bicycle Club to learn more.

 

Please tell us about your club.

Cascade Bicycle Club is the nation’s largest locally based bicycle organization. Our 15,000 members and 38 staff serve bike riders of all ages and abilities throughout the Puget Sound region.

With a mission to improve lives through bicycling, we teach the joys of bicycling, advocate for safe places to ride, and produce world-class rides and events.

Our signature programs include the STP (Seattle to Portland), Connect Puget Sound, Free Group Rides, the Bike Month Challenge, Basics of Bicycling, and the Major Taylor Project. Learn more at www.cascade.org

Tell us about your club’s history.

United by a love of bicycling, a small group of bike riders founded Cascade Bicycle Club in 1970. Focusing on exceptional opportunities to ride and a goal of transforming the region through bicycling, the club achieved two early successes: Chilly Hilly and the Burke-Gilman Trail.

In the 1970s and '80s, the volunteer-led club went on to create “Seattle to Portland” (STP) and “Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party” (RSVP), two iconic bike events.

Fueled by excellent leadership and professional staff, in the 1990s through 2009 Cascade experienced rapid growth and expanded into bike education. In the 2010s, the organization’s size and stature has continued to grow. In 2014, to better serve its community, Cascade created the Cascade Bicycling Center.

 

Talk about your mission and how it relates to your decision to support the U.S. Bicycle Route System. 

With our mission of improving lives through bicycling, we are excited to extend our support across the U.S.

A connected network of bicycle routes across the U.S. provides individuals with access to local bicycle routes, promotes bicycling for everyday transportation and recreation, and improves lives and rural economies through bicycle tourism. 

What five cycling-related things are you most excited about now?

  1. Protected bike lanes are taking off across the country in major metropolitan areas from Seattle to Minneapolis to New York City. By separating automobile traffic from bicycle traffic, we’re seeing families, kids, and elderly, comfortable and confident in bicycling around their neighborhood and to school.
  2. In 2014, Seattle joined the cohort of cities with a bike share system. Now, residents and tourists who have never considered bicycling in Seattle, or who don’t have room to store a bike, are able to try it out for low cost. Coupled with our increasing all-ages-and-abilities bike network, bike share lowers the barrier of entry to bicycling.
  3. Expansion of bicycling to individuals who live in traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities is becoming a priority. Our programs like the Major Taylor Project (MTP) and She Bikes Cascade are reaching new populations who previously thought bicycling wasn’t for them. MTP is focused on introducing youth from diverse communities to recreational cycling and creating an inclusive culture of bicycling. MTP uses the bicycle to help students expand their worldview and encourages them to explore the agency they have to change themselves and their communities. She Bikes Cascade is a series of social events, rides, and clinics to encourage more women to bicycle.
  4. The growth of family bicycling is booming with the increasing availability and diversity of cargo bikes, trailers, and electric assist bikes, with the expansion of bike-to-school education, and with increasing local shops and resources like Seattle’s G&O Family Cyclery.
  5. And generally, we’re excited about additional infrastructure and technological improvements that will make our cities easier to navigate by bike!

 

Where would you like to see cycling in the United States five years from now?

Cascade envisions a community in which more people bicycle — an inclusive, diverse, and accepting community where people of all ages and abilities bicycle to work, to play, for fun, and for health.

In our vision, bicycling brings people and neighborhoods together and it is widely recognized and appreciated as an important contributor to a healthy and fun life and a prosperous and livable community.

In our vision, our carbon footprint is significantly reduced and health epidemics are eliminated because we are an overall healthier nation of people. 

What would you like to touring cyclists know about you?

Our headquarters, the Cascade Bicycling Center in Seattle, WA, is the perfect place to start or end your bicycle tour. Located off the iconic Burke-Gilman Trail on the shores of Lake Washington, we offer passing cyclists coffee, books, and maps and a great view! 

Top photo courtesy of C.B. Bell | Photo 2 courtesy of Seattle Department of Transportation | Photo 3 courtesy of Cascade Bicycle Club

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Join us in building the largest cycling route network in the world!
 
The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is a developing national network of signed and numbered bicycle routes that link together cities, suburbs, rural communities, and public lands so that anyone, no matter who or where they are, can get to their destination by bicycle. To date, over 11,000 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes have been officially designated in 25 states, and nearly 4,000 miles have been signed. When complete, the USBRS will encompass more than 50,000 miles and open new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional bicycle touring, and commuting by bike.
 
Thank you to Tripsite.com, Visit Bentonville/Bike Bentonville, Destination Irvine, BikeTours.com, Osprey Packs, Exodus Travels, Stan's No Tubes, and all of the generous supporters of the U.S. Bicycle Route System campaign! 

 

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