National Bike Summit: Pedaling for a Sustainable Future

The League of American Bicyclists’ virtual 2021 event drew the most attendees ever, and the organization plans to challenge participants at next year’s hybrid event — which they hope will be even larger — to think about how to link bicycling with climate change.

Author: Casey Gale       

2022 National Bike Summit

Date: March 27–30, 2022
Place: Virtual and Washington, D.C.
Attendees: 1,100
Website: bikeleague.org/summit

Carmen Segovia illustration

Editor’s note: Renowned anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall has said of the climate crisis, “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” With that in mind, we are dedicating the November/December edition of Convene fully — our first single-topic issue — to the climate crisis, and what the business events industry is doing to address this global challenge. Find stories from the Climate Issue here, and read our cover story, “A ‘Watershed Moment’ for Events — and the World.”

First founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880, the League of American Bicyclists has grown into a diverse community with the goal of protecting and promoting the rights of people who bike to create a more bicycle-friendly America. The organization’s first event was held in 2000 with just a few advocates. Two decades later, the National Bike Summit has become a gathering place for more than 1,000 people, including national active transportation advocates, bike educators, thought leaders in active mobility and sustainability, public officials, and bicycle retailers, among others.

“We host discussions and workshops on a number of bicycle and active transportation-related topics, celebrate some of the remarkable people pedaling the bicycle movement, and top it all off with Lobby Day,” said League of American Bicyclists Communications Coordinator Raven Wells. On Lobby Day, she said, advocates meet with their Congressional representatives “and ask lawmakers to support transformative investments in transportation.”

According to Wells, the 2021 virtual National Bike Summit was the most well-attended in its 21-year history. By hosting a hybrid event in 2022 — in person in Washington, D.C., and online — the League of American Bicyclists hopes that the summit will be “even bigger.”

Bike Path

The 23rd Annual National Bike Summit next March is themed “Choosing Our Future,” a nod to the many choices ahead about how the bike movement can shape the future for the next generation. It is meant to challenge participants to think about how to link bicycling with climate change by promoting better, safer, and easier biking as one of the key solutions to building a cleaner, more sustainable future for the planet, Wells said.

“This year has presented major investment opportunities in building better infrastructure that makes biking easier and incentives to encourage individuals to bike, like an e-bike tax credit, that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” she said. “The summit will be the place to talk about how best to implement and promote these opportunities.”


Rideshare

Group bike rides for attendees are a key aspect of the National Bike Summit. The types of rides throughout the event include:

  • Social rides to local breweries
  • Fitness rides for a morning workout
  • Slow rolls to observe local bike infrastructure

Casey Gale is associate editor at Convene.

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