A time for change progressing towards a more bike-friendly future

An image of councilor elects Melanie Kebler, Anthony Broadman, Megan Perkins, and Rita Schenkelberg.

The last month has been a whirlwind of leaves falling, cold fronts moving in, and welcoming the first snowflakes of winter. As we near the end of a long tumultuous year, Bend Bikes is gearing up for some big and exciting changes!

Voters made their voices heard and with the passage of the transportation bond and a new progressive slate of council members who have voiced their support for people who walk, bike, and roll. Our near-term goal is to ensure there is at least one bike seat on the bond oversight committee and to prioritize projects that benefit people who walk, bike, and roll. Please drop a line to Mayor Russell at [email protected] and when the new Council is convened in January, to all Council members at [email protected] to let them know how important this is to our amazing Bend Bikes family!

These exciting changes in our community could not be better timed since revisions to the state transportation planning rules are underway to comply with Governor Kate Brown’s Executive Order 20-04, directing agencies to reduce climate pollution. Bend Bikes President LeeAnn O’Neill was selected to sit on the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission’s (OLCDC) Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking Advisory Committee. The committee’s work will help inform the OLCDC’s work updating Oregon’s transportation planning rules to focus on meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals while increasing housing choice and creating more equitable outcomes for community members on the ground. Bend Bikes Secretary Elisa Cheng will serve as the alternate for this committee. How the revisions to the state transportation planning rules will impact our own local transportation system plan and how the transportation bond projects roll out remains to be seen, but we are looking forward to creating change from different angles!

As this holiday season sneaks up on us, check out Spurcycle’s new limited edition Sapphire bell! A few times over the years, Spurcycle has made some limited edition versions of their Original Bell. This year they decided to add some purpose to their effort. They’re making them available only on their site and donating $20 from each bell sold to raise money for two of their community non-profits: San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Bend Bikes. With operations in both these localities, they’ve seen firsthand what we do to improve bicycle infrastructure. They like to ride for fun, but encouraging more bicycle use for transportation is really what drives them. With fundraising and Bend Bikes memberships stymied from the pandemic, their support will help us focus on these key advocacy opportunities in the year to come! 

Speaking of our sister organization, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Bend Bikes member and super volunteer Jim Elliott forwarded us this great learning opportunity they are hosting to get families with kiddos on bikes! So if you are family-bike curious, already bike and are considering incorporating your children into bicycling, or are riding with your kids and yearn for a community to share questions, knowledge, and inspiration — join them for a free webinar next Monday November 16th from 5:00-6:30pm PST, presented by the SF Bicycle Coalition and SF Safe Routes to School Partnership. RSVP here: https://sfbike.org/event/webinar-biking-with-children/.

And finally, we are sad to see this year usher some big changes in our board. We have had a number of folks step down due to difficulties with COVID 19 and other life changes, so we are looking for more folks to join the Bend Bikes Board of Directors

  • Do you love to ride your bicycle to work or for errands?
  • Do you wish there were more opportunities to do so safely in Bend?
  • Do you want to roll your sleeves up and help advocate for the safety of people who bike in Bend?
  • Does an overnight bike tour board retreat sound like your kind of fun?

We are a grassroots all volunteer nonprofit organization that advocates for the safety of people who ride bikes and a comprehensive network of bike-friendly routes in Bend. The full Board meets every other month and board members typically work on other projects as their schedules allow.

We are searching for people of all ages and backgrounds who are passionate about getting more people on bicycles in Bend. Interested? Please complete our application by January 25th and we’ll be in touch shortly after! We plan on doing interviews in February with new board members starting in March.