LAB Bike Summit

 I enjoyed the LAB Bike Summit. It gave me the opportunity to put faces to the names of the other university bike programs. I met Tim Potter from Wisconsin, David Takemoto Watts from UC Davis, Ariadne Scott from Stanford and Rich Holt from George Mason. Meeting them really deepened the relationships that we are building and I hope that we can continue to look to them for support. It was tremendously uplifting to hear what the LAB felt about our programs at UMD and of course I got a photo with Andy Clarke.

However, I also came to realize that we have a unique opportunity here at bikeUMD. Our unique built environment here in College Park puts us in a position to show the way to other universities and small communities on the East Coast. The schools that won Platinum and Gold are out west, have great weather and newer built environments. Their programs are truly awesome but in some ways they don’t face our same challenges with changing the hearts and minds of commuters when it comes to choosing to bike.

 Some of the conversations I had reminded me of a project I wanted to get started last year but couldn’t. That is the idea of the Cyclovia.  A cyclovia is a car-free Sunday program that is internationally recognized.

 I also liked the goal I heard, I believe for Greensboro, Where they would like 20% of their poulation to bike 20% of the time. That is what I am always trying to articulate here. We are not asking everyone to stop driving all of the time. We are just asking them to explore the real health, wellness and sustainability benefits that come from developing a community that welcomes cycling.

Anyhow, I believe more great things are to come from these relationships. Next year promises to be better than the last in terms of biking at UMD.

This would be an excellent way to blur the lines between the campus and the community. We are going to start doing that by planning bike valet services for Maryland Day but getting started on plans for a campus Cyclovia would be another great start.

Speaking of Cyclovia, the recognized founder of the idea is coming to our area to speak!

Gil Penalosa started cyclovia in Bogota, Colombia and it has since expanded to 75 miles in the country. He is coming to speak in Colombia Maryland on Thursday April 7th from 7 to 9 pm. To rsvp email

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3 Responses to LAB Bike Summit

  1. Eli says:

    I think its very important to blur the lines between the campus and the community. Ever notice how many different cycling groups do stuff in the College Park area yet no one seems to try and present them in a unified way and work together? (i.e. make it easy for someone to find rides to do or maps of the area)

    Just a few I know about:
    College Park Area Bicycle Coalition – has a nice bike map of the area
    Potomac Pedalers Touring Club(PPTC) – year round has a group ride out of Buddy Attic park in Greenbelt every friday, during the summer has group rides wed afternoon, and some other rides during the year
    Route 1 Velo- the race in Greenbelt park every wed during the summer
    There are at least 3 bike shops close by campus (College Park Bikes, Proteus Bicycles, and Arrow Bicycle) and REI which has a cycling dept. With at least Arrow bikes have group rides (Women only on mondays and for all on Sundays)

    And College Park isn’t that far from DC (metro or just ride there) to do stuff with WABA or any of the multiple groups rides that happen there. (I come from Greenbelt and do one most Saturdays for Bike Rack DC that goes up Beach Drive)

    So there is alot going on, just not easy to know about. Seems like more people would bike for the fun of it if they knew there was a larger community of cyclists and rides they could join.

    • Beverly M. says:

      Hey there Eli!!

      We have links to all of the local bike shops on this blog, on the right hand side under the calendar:
      We are also working with the old leader of CPABC to update their old map. The one that you reference.
      WABA was one of our sponsors for bike week last year.

      I think a lot of our students do not bike to DC. But you have a good point. I will put together a page about rides and the local cycling community.

  2. Eli says:

    Must have missed those links, sorry. I’m pretty sure most biking as College Park is just for short trips to nd from classes and the like. Also don’t think there are that many people who would actually do long group rides so don’t think it should be a focus. Just think it may be worth pointing out what is possible and avalible to do so people know there is much more that they can do if they start enjoying biking.

    I just remember my early years at College Park when I didn’t know about trails like Northwest Branch or thought DC was far away and had no clue how to bike there so no point in trying to bike into DC.

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