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League of American Bicyclists

Old 09-21-20, 03:37 PM
  #1  
surak
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League of American Bicyclists

Anyone know much about this organization? I got on their email list through some Strava challenge a while back, but I don't read their newsletters closely. Very few mentions of them on BF, so just wondering if they do significant work on behalf of cyclists or are a bit player?
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Old 09-21-20, 03:47 PM
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Yes, it has been an advocacy for bicycling for a very long time - founded in 1880. They changed the name from League of American Wheelman a while ago. I was a member at one time before the name change but not currently. History:https://bikeleague.org/content/detailed-history
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Old 09-21-20, 05:14 PM
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I have no use for them; I also got on their email listing somehow. I do support my local bike advocacy organizations and I also pay extra for Share the Road plates I hope that's money well spent....
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Old 09-21-20, 06:04 PM
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They are an outstanding organization. They offer the Bicycle Friendly America program that includes Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University. They set the standards for cities, businesses, and universities all over the country. These programs provide the guidance and direction we need to develop our cities and institutions.

They were also wise when developing these programs to tie them into Safe Routes To School effort. And they have a bicycle riding safety program available. And there is more.

If you ever biked in a Bicycle Friendly Community or you want your employer to become a Bicycle Friendly Business, or have an organization that will support various areas of advocacy, you want to support them. If you talk to your local Statewide advocacy organization, they will lean on LAB for guidance and advice. In a nutshell, they do a great deal for us as cyclists.
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Old 09-22-20, 01:26 PM
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Thanks for the insights. I think I also read somewhere that they've made a big push around e-bikes recently. Does anyone know about that? I didn't see anything obvious in skimming one of their newsletters.

Just trying to figure out if they have a primary agenda focus that aligns with what I'd want to support. When an organization has too much breadth in what they claim to advocate, it makes it trickier to understand what I'd be doing if I were to donate or become a member.
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Old 09-29-20, 04:44 PM
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they do NOT support vehicular cycling
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Old 10-01-20, 10:11 AM
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Any group that supports cycling is a good thing.

I believe they were the first group that supported good roads.
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Old 10-01-20, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Any group that supports cycling is a good thing.

I believe they were the first group that supported good roads.
Yes they are the oldest cycling organization in the United States if I am not mistaken. Helped organize and advocate for smoother and better maintained roads.

From their website: The League was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians. The League draws on a unique history and depth of knowledge and also has a commitment to propel the new, diverse and growing ranks of bicyclists in the United States, recognizing and representing the current and future face of the cycling movement.In an effort to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, more than 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the League to advocate for paved roads.

I have been a member in the past, they were very active in safe streets and safe routes to schools - I remember the most activities around this 10-15 years ago.

They organize an annual national bicyclist conference for over 20 years and lobby for federal funding for bicycle paths and bicycle safe cities.

Overall a good organization although I put my monthly donations to our local bicycle/pedestrian organization Transportation Alternatives.
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Old 10-01-20, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
they do NOT support vehicular cycling
Not many people, cyclists or not, support vehicular cycling (formerly known as Effective Cycling) as it was promoted with the controversial associated theories espoused by the former LAB director and president John Forester and his ardent disciples some of whom were LAB board members.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-01-20 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 10-02-20, 11:02 AM
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Hard to make a left turn without practicing vehicular cycling.
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Old 10-02-20, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Hard to make a left turn without practicing vehicular cycling.
Yeah sure, if "practicing vehicle cycling" means sometimes riding in the street. Hardly would need a separate sticky place on BF for vehicular cycling discussion if that was the case.
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Old 10-02-20, 11:03 PM
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League of American Bicyclists
"Wonder Twin powers activate!"

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Old 10-03-20, 08:29 AM
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Indeed it was the League of American Wheelman that crusaded for better roads. What I find funny is some of the egotistical car drivers that tell bicycles to get off their roads. It is funny because the reverse is actually true.
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Old 10-03-20, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
Hard to make a left turn without practicing vehicular cycling.
LOL. Hilarious. I do it 99.9% of the time.
IF the road is 80% empty and has only 1 or 2 cars waiting there, I might go over to a turn lane.
Blocking cars while stopped in the middle of a road has a ZERO chance with me and most others.
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Old 10-04-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
they do NOT support vehicular cycling
One of the reasons why I never decided to join them, as well as my local bicycle advocacy group. My opinion, is that many bicycling advocacy groups are more focused in trying to implement on road bicycle infrastructure in order to increase their bicycle friendly status, with much less thought about what truly makes it safer for road cyclists, even though it looks good to them on paper.
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Old 10-04-20, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Indeed it was the League of American Wheelman that crusaded for better roads. What I find funny is some of the egotistical car drivers that tell bicycles to get off their roads. It is funny because the reverse is actually true.
It is true that the League of American Wheelman and other cycling organizations in the late 1800's campaigned for better roads. However not many, if any, old roads were improved, or new roads built in the U.S. as a result of this bicyclist oriented "crusade" until the early 1900's with the advent of more affordable automobiles and trucks when the Good Roads Movement was joined and co-opted by automobile and farmer associated organizations.
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Old 10-07-20, 05:06 PM
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I got put on their mailing list a while ago. They rank a bunch of "bike friendly" communities.

https://www.bikeleague.org/community

My city sent my name as a potential respondent. I filled out their survey, but there were a few things that I wasn't kind on.

One of the issues I brought up was eventually fixed (vanishing bike lanes along Centennial St, including near the High School) by remarking the bike lane.

However, other issues were ignored (two off-street bike paths that have a T-intersection, but don't actually connect), and the city only got a moderate rating.

Since then, I've been getting their e-mail once a month or so, but rarely read them.
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Old 10-07-20, 05:47 PM
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Now that I see the website, I recall filling out a local survey for them. The rate my city relatively well overall, but in the categorical areas we are woefully deficient in some very significant areas. And their stats paint a picture of a city with not many riders and a lot of serious accidents.
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Old 12-04-20, 12:33 PM
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Are there other similar national organizations which serve the same function or is this pretty much the go-to one?
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Old 12-05-20, 12:54 PM
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Based on the cycling infrastructure (or lack thereof) where I live, this national organization is not very effective at all. I would get involved at a local level and not waste your time and money with these big groups that probably have a large administrative overhead. Show up at your city council and voice you concerns and suggestions for improvements; speak to your local leaders; organize with local cyclists; report scofflaw bike lane blockages from parked cars and garbage bins to the local cops. A strong local base is what gets things done (see Portland, OR, for example).
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Old 12-06-20, 11:04 AM
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I enjoy the ride reports of cross country cyclist on the site "crazy guy on a bike". Many of those cyclist use the leagues maps.

I joined a while back after getting their magazine for free for a few months. Their magazine is quite interesting. It is not just a picture book like so many magazines these days.

Last edited by rydabent; 12-07-20 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 12-06-20, 05:35 PM
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I'm a member, and was recommended by my local government office because of my involvement with our bicycle co-op. We are a University community and have ample cycling lanes on most of our through fare streets. We also have bike friendly routes throughout the community and in my block the route was changed by one street to accommodate the ADA recommendations for rise per 100 feet being greater than 4%. All good stuff for cyclists. Lanes are being added for routes to neighboring communities as well, and all with the help of the League to make cycling safer. We have developed a rails to trails route that is bike friendly and extends for about fifteen miles with nothing but bike and pedestrian travel. I think they do a lot of good work for cycling. JMHO, smiles, MH
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Old 12-06-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
Based on the cycling infrastructure (or lack thereof) where I live, this national organization is not very effective at all. I would get involved at a local level and not waste your time and money with these big groups that probably have a large administrative overhead. Show up at your city council and voice you concerns and suggestions for improvements; speak to your local leaders; organize with local cyclists; report scofflaw bike lane blockages from parked cars and garbage bins to the local cops. A strong local base is what gets things done (see Portland, OR, for example).
There is no doubt a local base is perhaps the most important. But Portland and all the of the cities that work with the League do it because they also get a benefit. Portland continues to apply for the higher ratings and I expect if you look closely, you will see that they participate in their meetings and other events, as leader and learners.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
I enjoy the ride reports of cross country cyclist on the site "crazy guy on a bike". May of those cyclist use the leagues maps.

I joined a while back after getting their magazine for free for a few months. Their magazine is quite interesting. It is not just a picture book like so many magazines these days.
You are getting LAB confused with Adventure Cycling, both good orgs.
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Old 12-06-20, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Not many people, cyclists or not, support vehicular cycling (formerly known as Effective Cycling) as it was promoted with the controversial associated theories espoused by the former LAB director and president John Forester and his ardent disciples some of whom were LAB board members.
I was trying to find if Forester lead LAB. I never heard that and could not find the info. Are you sure about that? Just curious for my own learning. Thanks
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