Hello 2019! What does SVBC have in store for you, you ask?!

For 2019, SVBC has a new set of goals, a new workplan and some great new staff. And while we have specific projects and programs we’ll be focused on like increasing the number of riders for Bike to Work Day, advocating for a multi-use trail on the Dumbarton Rail corridor and expanding bike safety education with affordable housing developments, in all of our work there is a theme this year.

That theme is borne out of a harsh reality, one rooted in geography. What do we mean? Take for example the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. While they have plenty of their own challenges, they are fortunate to only have one city and county to deal with.

SVBC is different.  We cover two counties comprised of 35 cities and towns. Each of those cities and towns has its own personality, it’s own set of councilmembers and is at a different place in its bike evolution. The sheer number of square miles and local governments in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties makes our work challenging.

And so, what to do? Raise more money to hire a boatload (pardon the non-bike reference) of staff to cover all those cities? Sure, we’re working on that and if you’d like to sponsor a staff person to be dedicated to your town, please click here to donate! In the absence of the financial resources needed to hire professional staff to cover 35 cities and towns, we rely upon you.

That is why we are calling 2019 the year of the member. (Full disclosure, this will likely not just be one year…)

For 2019 our overarching goal is to invest in our membership. We want to be able to rely on you to supplement the work of the bike advocacy movement.

For example, in Cupertino, there is a group called Walk/Bike Cupertino. It was founded by one man, Larry Dean, who has built the grassroots organization needed to convince Cupertino to prioritize people who walk and bike.

In Los Gatos, Maria Ristow has taken it upon herself to get more kids riding bikes to school and has been at the center of the Town’s work to establish a Safe Routes to School nonprofit.

And in North Fair Oaks, through the Siena Youth Center, kids are leading the planning of bike rodeos and bike safety education.

SVBC is in awe of these community members and sees great value in helping to create more of them. That is why 2019 is the year of the member. Through you all, the bike movement can accomplish more than our staff of ten can. Whether it is going through one of our ride leader trainings and then going out to organize rides or attending one of the SVBC advocacy trainings to then start monitoring your city’s progress on its bike plan, you all can help the bike movement pedal forward further and faster.

People who ride bikes are some of the most passionate and happy people on this planet. SVBC sees it as our job to harness that passion and happiness and channel it in ways that result in a bike friendly world more quickly.

Look for opportunities with SVBC to start getting more involved. Sign up for one of our trainings. Volunteer for Bike to Work Day. Get yourself ready to start attending city council meeting regularly. Coordinate a group of neighborhood bicyclists to pay attention to what you can do in your city. The bike movement needs you! 2019 is the year SVBC focuses on helping you with what you need to feel more comfortable getting involved.