Tag Archives: andy clarke

Providence Cyclo-cross Festival Reaches New Heights in 2013

With the 2013 Providence Cyclo-cross Festival in the books, the feedback is pouring in and the consensus is that this year’s event was a resounding success. The building blocks for the event’s growth were laid this year and will be built upon when the Festival returns.  The 2014 Providence Cyclo-cross Festival is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of October 3-5, 2014. Some of this year’s highlights include-


New England Bike/Walk Summit-The weekend opened on Friday as the Providence Biltmore hosted the bi-annual New England Bike Walk Summit.  This year’s event featured League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke delivering the opening speech at a reception attended by Mayor Angel Taveras and R.I.  Congressman David Cicciline (D-RI).  Keith Laughlin, President of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, delivered the keynote speech to a crowd of 215 advocates.

Builders Ball – The Biltmore also hosted Friday evening’s sold out Builders Ball in the Grand Ballroom on the hotel’s 17th floor, overlooking downtown Providence.  The event saw 535 attendees presented with the finest in New England craftsmanship, with displays from 22 bicycle and accessory manufacturers.  The impact of this event has grown to such an extent that Saratoga Frameworks, the remnants of the Serotta manufacturing legacy, chose the Builders Ball to debut their newest three models.

Racing/Clinics – The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival also opened on Friday this year, adding an additional day of racing to accommodate the growing fields and the Cycle Smart and LUNA Chix ‘cross clinics. 54 men raced in the Zanconato Single Speed Cyclocross Series, won by Craig Etheridge (Raleigh/Clement). Mo Bruno Roy (Bob’s Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) won the Women’s event.  36 teams of 2 entered the first ever cyclo-cross Madison, the velodrome discipline transplanted to the urban setting of Roger Williams Park.  Tommy and Manny Goguen (Team CF.org) won the overall.

Adam Myerson hosted 15 students for his Cycle-Smart clinic and 30 women participated in the LUNA Chix ‘Cross Clinic.


Saturday’s Category 1 Providence International raised the bar in terms of field size for the event, with over 1,000 entered to race.  Spectator numbers for the day put the crowd at the 8,000 in Roger Williams Park, a number vastly increased when the audience for the cyclingdirt.org livestream and the Behind the Barriers special are factored in.

The ‘cross family gathered for a silent lap in honor of Amy Dombroski, killed in a tragic accident in Belgium only days earlier.  It was a moving tribute, literally, to a popular, talented cyclist taken in her prime.  The UCI Junior Elite event featured a fine performance from Peter Goguen (CF Racing.org) racing on his home turf and on a course he assisted in designing.  Jeremy Powers (Rapha Focus) repeated last year’s win and the women’s event featured a start line that would not be out of place at a World Cup event.  Katerina Nash (LUNA Chix) took the hard earned victory.


Sunday started early for riders in the inaugural Gran Fondo New England, as 200 riders rolled out of Roger Williams Park, led out under rainy skies by Ted King of the Cannondale Pro Cycling team.  Riders rode one of three courses, ranging from 34 to 104 miles before returning to Roger Williams to spectate.  Over 1,000 riders raced again on Sunday.  Nash repeated her victory from Saturday, while Belgian Ben Berden (Raleigh-Clement) took a two man sprint against Tim Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com).

Expo/Food Court-The Providence Cyclo-cross Festival featured a sold out expo and food court in the event infield. 45 vendors displayed goods ranging from the latest in high tech toys from the large manufacturers to the collage art of Doug Dale, member of the Raleigh Boys, the groundbreaking team that opened the door for American cyclists in Europe in the ‘70’s.

Divine Youth-As part of the Divine Youth initiative, the Little Bellas Mentoring on Mountain Bikes program introduced forty girls to the sport through games and q & a’s with professional riders.  In a first for the program, all forty entries were funded by Whole Foods scholarships, riding on donated bikes and wearing helmets provided by the Providence YMCA.  Thirteen young mechanics experienced life in the pits first-hand as part of the Divine Tech program.

Media-The Providence Journal highlighted the Festival in the week preceding the event and featured an article on Eric Weis and his efforts in promoting the New England Bike/Walk Summit.  Richard Fries and Meredith Miller joined hostess Michaela Johnson on the WPRI Rhode Show on Thursday.  Fries returned to the airwaves on WBRU on Friday, along with Jeremy Powers and Helen Wyman.  Powers popular online series, Behind the Barriers, featured Providence in an hour long special, hosted by Colt McElwaine and Michael Creed.  Cyclingdirt streamed the live broadcast from Providence with the action called by Kevin McRee and veteran announcer Larry Longo.

The sixth annual Providence Cyclo-cross Festival is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 3-5, 2014, at Roger Williams Park. For more information and updates, visit www.providencecrossfest.com.

New Bicycle Friendly Communities Announced

Kicking off National Bike to Work Week, the League of American Bicyclists today announced its latest round of Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC), including a new Platinum-level community.

Fort Collins, Colo., moved from Gold to Platinum this round, joining the ranks of Portland, Ore.;  Boulder, Colo.; and Davis, Calif., as the country’s very best for bicycling.

With this impressive round of 17 new BFCs, there are now 259 BFCs in 47 states. The BFC program is helping transform the way communities evaluate quality of life by assessing investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and municipal policies.

“We’re excited to see another ‘Platinum’ city in the west,” saidAndy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “And with new cities climbing the ranks in the East, it’s clear that civic leaders are investing in their communities by embracing the benefits of bicycling. That investment will be returned many times over in the health, environmental, transportation, and quality of life benefits of a thriving, attractive community.”

See the full list of Bicycle Friendly Communities here. An additional 18 communities received Honorable Mentions.

A bicycle culture is evident in the top BFCs, and in Fort Collins, a new Platinum community, bicycling is, simply, a “way of life.”

“A bicycle culture is key in defining the fabric of what makes Fort Collins a great place to live, work and play,” said Fort Collins Mayor Karen Weitkunat. “We know it is a primary means of transportation for many, a major form of recreation for most, and a significant factor in attracting new businesses and new residents. Our City works alongside many community organizations to build a seamless bikeway network and ensure a safe cycling community. Bicycling is a community value and a way of life in Fort Collins.”

In the East, Cambridge, Mass., a new Gold-level BFC, has seen its ridership grow threefold in the past decade alone. Cambridge’s Harvard University was also honored with a Silver Bicycle Friendly University award last month.

“Cambridge is proud of its reputation as one of the best cities for bicycling in the U.S.,” said Cambridge City Manager Robert W. Healy. “The City has actively invested in making cycling a priority, including establishing the Hubway bike share program and creating an expansive network of bicycle facilities. The popularity of bicycling here can be seen in the exponential growth in cycling, with numbers tripling in the past decade. The bicycling culture here is epitomized in such events as the award-winning community bike rides, which highlight the collaborative nature of our work, with citizens, local businesses and the City working together.”

And the long, snowy winters in Anchorage, Alaska, which moved up from a Bronze to Silver community, haven’t put a stop to the thriving bicycling community there.

“Anchorage bicyclists are so committed to bicycling that nothing can stop them,” said Lori Schanche, Municipality Of Anchorage Non-Motorized Transportation Coordinator. “Anchorage’s eight long winter months come with darkness, frozen roads and snow but our bicyclists have adapted by gearing up with cold weather gear, lights, fat tires and studs. When summer arrives we all enjoy almost 24 hours of daylight to be out cycling our miles of beautiful trails and bike lanes.”

Learn more about the program and view the full list of Bicycle Friendly Communities at www.bikeleague.org/bfa.

League of American Bicyclists releases Bicycle Friendly State Rankings

On the first day of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly State ranking.

For the sixth year in a row, Washington continues to lead the nation, with high performance in all categories. But up-and-coming states — including Delaware, Illinois and Arizona –  charged up the ranking in 2013, shaking up the top 10.

“We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Delaware, Colorado and Oregon,” said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. “But as the scores clearly highlight, there’s much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and planning in every state.”

Click here to see the ranking chart.

Click here to view the map. 

Click here to see the state report cards. 

The 2013 Bicycle Friendly State ranking is now even more comprehensive, capturing more information than ever before and delving more deeply into the issues embedded in becoming a more bicycle friendly state.

The BFS program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff will work actively with state officials and advocacy leaders to help identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.

Delaware took a leap in the 2013 ranking, moving from No. 10 to No. 5 in just one year. U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)praised Governor Jack Markell, the state legislature, congressional delegation, advocacy organizations and the people of the First State for prioritizing biking.

“Creating more walkable and bikeable communities boosts air quality by reducing the amount of time cars and trucks idle on our roadways releasing harmful emissions.” Sen. Carper said. “Biking also helps decongest our transportation system, allowing individuals to spend more time working or relaxing with their families instead of wasting time and money sitting in traffic. The benefits of biking are countless, and that’s why I’m proud to support dedicated federal funding for biking and walking infrastructure, as well as the efforts of the League of American Bicyclists and others to promote biking as an invaluable piece of the American transportation system.”

Also making a strong showing in this year’s rank is Colorado — and Gov. John Hickenlooper says he plans to be No. 1 very soon.

“An important part of making Colorado the healthiest state is encouraging people to be more active in their everyday routines,” Hickenlooper said. “We’re proud that our bicycle-friendly policies have skyrocketed Colorado’s rank up 20 places in just five years, and we are committed to being No. 1 in the near future.”

In the Southwest, Arizona moved back into the top 10. Among other strides, the state completed its Bicycle Safety Action plan to improve bicyclist safety on Arizona’s highways.

“The goal is to reduce the number of bicyclist fatalities and injury crashes with motor vehicles,” said Michael Sanders, Arizona Department of Transportation’s bicycle and pedestrian program coordinator. “We ‘crash-typed’ nearly 750 reported crashes that occurred over a five-year period to better define the sequence of actions leading to the collision. For example, we found that over half of all crashes occurred while a motorist was making a right turn. The Plan consists of action items addressing potential changes to policies and education programs, or new tools, such as bicycle road safety audit guidelines, to improve bicyclist safety.”

Learn more about the BFS program at www.bikeleague.org/states

Top Businesses Ring in Earth Day with Bicycle Friendly Awards

As businesses race to retrofit their buildings, streamline waste policies, and purchase more and more recycling bins, some companies have already targeted a free and easy way to be more environmentally conscious: bicycling.

On this Earth Day, the League of American Bicyclists announced 63 new Bicycle Friendly Businesses (BFB) from across the country that are leading America toward a greener future.

The BFB program has now expanded to 44 states and Washington, D.C., and these new awardees join a visionary group of more than 500 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

Click here for the full list of BFB awardees. 

“More and more business leaders are realizing that bicycling is a simple and cost-effective way to move toward a more productive company,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “Promoting healthy transportation is increasingly attractive to employers and prospective employees – and it’s moving America toward a more sustainable future.”

Bicycle-friendly businesses encourage a more bicycle-friendly atmosphere for employees and customers alike. Through cost-effective investments, BFBs attract, reward and retain staff that are not only healthier and happier, but more productive, driven and passionate about the work they do and the communities they live in.

Award winners in this round include:

  • Texas Instruments Inc. (Bronze)
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah, Wis. (Moved from Silver to Gold)
  • The World Bank Group (Moved from Bronze to Silver)
  • Peace Corps, Seattle and Chicago offices  (Bronze)

Texas Instruments, a new Bronze-level BFB, worked with its local government to secure funding to build a 35-mile trail that will enable employees to bike to work safely, in addition to widening transportation options for those living in the community. TI also has employee representation on the City of Dallas Bicycle Advisory Committee as it updates the Dallas Bike Plan.

“Texas Instruments sees great value in supporting alternative commuting solutions for employees. We’ve invested resources to build bike paths that connect to local trails, added bike racks, repair stations and onsite showers, and created social networks that support TI bike commuters,” said David Thomas, Vice President of Worldwide Facilities at TI. “We want to make it easy for our existing bike commuters to get to work safely and to encourage more employees to try biking to work. We continually seek new ways to educate, encourage and engage employees in safe bike commuting.”

To apply or learn more about the free BFB program, visit the League online at bikeleague.org/businesses

Ivy League Continues the High Marks in Bike Friendliness

It looks like the age-old rivalries among the Ivy League are taking a new shape: the race for gold in bike-friendliness. Harvard University now joins the likes of Princeton and Yale as Bicycle Friendly Universities (BFU).

Today, the League of American Bicyclists announced the designation of 14 new Bicycle Friendly Universities, expanding the program to 58 colleges in 30 states across America.

Click here to see the full list.

“More and more young people are getting on their bicycles instead of in their cars,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “The League commends universities like Harvard that are embracing that trend by providing better access and improved safety for bicyclists on their campuses.”

At Harvard, a new Silver-level BFU, there are plenty of options to travel by bike at the Cambridge, Mass., campus. With a Departmental Bike Program — which involves 20 departments and offers the purchase of bicycles over reliance on a car or taxi around campus — and two bike share programs, Harvard has cemented its commitment to bicycling as a sustainable, healthy and environmentally conscious transportation choice.

“Our students, faculty and staff have created a vibrant bicycling community and, in partnership with Harvard’s Schools, departments and community partners, we’re working to make the University safer and more accommodating for bicyclists,” said Harvard University Commuter Choice program coordinator Ben Hammer. “Harvard’s strong support of bicycling makes the University stronger and helps our community explore alternatives to driving that are healthier and better for the environment.”

The high marks don’t end with the Ivy League. Also taking home honors this round is the University of California, Berkeley, which received a Silver award for its efforts to make bicycling accessible on campus.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award from the League,” said Greg Haet, Chair of the Campus Bicycle Committee at Berkeley. “The number of students, faculty, and staff coming to the campus by bicycle continues to increase, and we’re working hard to make Cal a better place for our growing cycling community. This award confirms that we’re on the right track, and motivates us to continue making improvements.”

In the Midwest, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was awarded with a Silver, as well. The campus’s new Outdoor Adventure Center is just one of the reasons the Lincoln, Neb., university received the award. It provides bicycle repair opportunities, access to 24-hour end-of-commute shower facilities and bike locker storage. The University is also working on a new master plan, which will include multi-modal transportation priorities and projections for new bike infrastructure.

“The Bicycle Transportation Committee has worked diligently to evaluate, assess and execute a number of initiatives to support the university’s goal of becoming a Bicycle Friendly University,” said Steve Smith, University of Nebraska-Lincoln spokesman. “Bicycling is on the rise at UNL, and is increasingly seen as a healthy, supportable method of getting to, from and around campus. We’re pleased that UNL’s new designation will bring renewed attention to the university’s as well as the City of Lincoln’s progress in this important area.”

The BFU program provides the roadmap and technical assistance to create great campuses for cycling. To apply or learn more, visit www.bikeleague.org/university.