In a time where more people across the nation are making their way back outside and into local businesses, the League of American Bicyclists is proud to honor 33 businesses with a Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) Award in its Spring 2021 round with an additional six businesses earning Honorable Mentions. These 33 new and renewing awardees join a total of 1,425 businesses across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. working to create safer streets and better bicycling for everyone.
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“As the country begins to open up schools, stores, restaurants, office spaces and entertainment venues, people are eager to get back to physically going there. We have an opportunity to help keep the bike boom going by making sure that people can safely and conveniently get to where they need to go on two wheels,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “Through the pandemic, biking has been a popular way for people to stay active while social distancing and for essential workers to commute; now businesses and communities can keep making biking a real option for people and develop activity-friendly routes to everyday destinations. The Bicycle Friendly Business award recognizes the grassroots efforts of employers and organizations across the country working with and for their community to make biking better.”
In this round of awardees, 22 first-time applicants reflect the number of new businesses rising to join the movement working together to build back and build up their communities through bicycling. This past year has shown the resilience of biking and the urgency of ensuring bicycling as a transportation and recreation option for all. In 2021, businesses are incorporating ways to continue welcoming bike culture and they aren’t doing it alone.
Fergus Falls Public Library staff posing with a couple bikeshare bikes
Silver-level BFB Fergus Falls Public Library and Bronze-level BFB Otter Tail Power Company were both new applicants out of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, which is also a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community and one of the communities with the most Bicycle Friendly Businesses thanks to the work of local bike advocacy group Pedal Fergus Falls. Fergus Falls Library launched a bike-sharing initiative that includes free bike lock and helmet check-outs through the library’s collection.
Businesses like new Bronze-level BFB FTN Associates in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and renewing Silver-level BFB Arconic Davenport Works in Bettendorf, Iowa, have integrated bicycle education and encouragement into employee onboarding and company policies. FTN Associates’ recent addition of a Bicycle Friendly Business Policy and Plan includes providing a floor pump and other bicycle tools for employee and community use, yearly bike safety instruction, a quota for organized recreational staff bike rides and maintaining the role of a designated staff Bicycle Coordinator. FTN Associates is one of seven new and renewing BFBs in this round and 30 total in Fayetteville, thanks in part to a joint effort by the city, Chamber of Commerce, and local advocates promoting bicycling in businesses there.
“Bicycle Friendly Businesses give people the peace of mind that they can bike to work, school, or their daily errands and feel welcomed. As we see people going back to the office, restaurants reopening to full capacity, and children sitting in classrooms again, everyone should have the comfort of knowing they won’t have to search blocks away from their destination for a secure place to lock up their bike in addition to having a safe route to get there,” said Amelia Neptune, Bicycle Friendly America program director at the League of American Bicyclists. “A Bicycle Friendly Business is the kind of employer or destination that offers encouragement, education, and resources to help commuters, both in their staff and in their surrounding communities, bike safely and confidently from day one. The BFB program helps guide these businesses to see what improvements are possible to help achieve that.”
Bicycle Revolution in Madison, Mississippi, is an example of a business committed to improvement, moving up from Gold-level certification to Platinum-level, making it Mississippi’s first Platinum-level designation in the Bicycle Friendly America program and the only current Bicycle Friendly Business in the state. “We are a bike shop and we love to support our local cycling community. Every day we look forward to helping new riders work towards living a healthy lifestyle as well as helping experienced riders move to the next level,” said Jayce Powell, owner of Bicycle Revolution.
Similarly, many businesses, like law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP’s San Francisco office which applied as a new BFB and received a Silver-level certification, see advocating for safe and accessible places to bike as a crucial role in connecting their communities to wellness as we exit the pandemic.
“We would like to increase morale and quality of life for employees, enhance health and wellness benefits, reduce healthcare costs, and support and expand reliable transportation in the area,” said Hilary O’Brien, Director of Administration at the San Francisco Morrison & Foerster LLP. “We believe that ensuring safe and sustainable transportation options will be key in a post-COVID world.”
Morrison & Foerster LLP submitted Bicycle Friendly Business applications for nine of its offices across the country, with three receiving awards and the other six receiving honorable mentions. All BFB applicants, regardless of award level, receive custom feedback to help them improve. The League of American Bicyclists hopes that with this feedback, all Honorable Mention designees and other businesses across the country on the cusp of making biking better will join the growing list of Bicycle Friendly Businesses.
Submissions for the Summer 2021 round of the Bicycle Friendly Business program will close on June 10th at 11:59 PM PT.
About the Bicycle Friendly Business℠ program
Bicycle Friendly Business awards reflect local leaders’ ongoing work to build better places to bike and evaluate those efforts as part of a national movement. Each of the five levels of the Bicycle Friendly Business award – diamond, platinum, gold, silver, and bronze, plus an honorable mention category – provide a clear path for businesses to continuously improve. Visit bikeleague.org/business to learn more about the BFB program.
About the League of American Bicyclists
The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting the rights of people who bike.