Celebrating 30 Years: What’s in the Next Thirty for CSCC?

Dale Campbell: Co-Editor

Looking more closely at the next four bullet points - Educate its members and others.., Promotion of cycling…, Collaborate with national and Colorado advocacy organizations…, and Work locally with leaders and staff of… - I believe that this is where the real opportunity for the Club will be.  Let’s study this point by point:
  • “Educate its members and others in the rules of safe bicycling and adherence to all traffic regulations.”  With the recent graduation as League Certified Instructors (LCIs) of eight members of the Club, the opportunities to provide training to Club members and the community have expanded dramatically.  As the Club’s Educational Team becomes better organized, we’ll begin to see classes on a variety of cycling safety topics.  For me, safety is something that I strive to practice each and every ride.  In some ways, I have a somewhat selfish motivation, as I want to ride safely so that I can get out and ride again in the future!  And, with a safer riding community (and education of drivers and the non-riding community, too!), we’ll all be able to enjoy this chosen activity even more. 
  • “Promotion of cycling and to encourage recreational cycling activities.”  In some ways, I think this follows the first item of Section 3 – “Provide bicycling activities for its members and others.”  But thinking a bit more about this as we look into the future, I also think it will provide opportunities to get more folks in the greater Colorado Springs Community involved in cycling – for multiple reasons.  Think about it…  By riding, we improve our physical and mental health through the enjoyment of an activity.  We also help contribute to the community in a “green” way, by not driving cars to run errands and get to destinations.  Additionally, by promoting cycling and its benefits, the community establishes an opportunity to be attractive to other folks across the nation that enjoy cycling.  Think of cycling tourism and how it could enhance the community and expand the income of this region (take the example of the Club’s newest sponsor – the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort.  Learn more in the focused article included in this edition of the Bent Fork).  And, this promotion of cycling is in agreement with the direction our current Governor is taking in Colorado! 
  • “Collaborate with national and Colorado advocacy organizations to support programs for cycling safety and community bicycling development.”  The Club continues to be aligned with the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) , Bike Colorado  Trails and Open Space (TOSC)  and Bike Colorado Springs (BCS)  As the collaboration among these organizations – including CSCC - continues to grow over the coming years, the Club and the Colorado Springs community will definitely benefit.  And, if you had the opportunity to attend the first Bike Summit earlier this year, it’s obvious that there is a lot of enthusiasm for cycling here in the Springs.  With a growing awareness will come more and more opportunities for further collaboration among cycling focused organizations – locally, statewide and nationally.
  • “Work locally with leaders and staff of the city of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, bike shops, and other concerned organizations to help each other promote more and safer cycling in our community.”  Here’s where there are real opportunities for the Club.  One example is the recent birth of the Pikes Peak Outdoor Recreation Alliance.  As stated on the PPORA website, this is “an initiative to make the incredible natural and recreation assets of the Pikes Peak area an economic driver for our region.  …the effort aims to increase our outdoor amenities, create better access to recreational areas, and promote greater participation in outdoor activities.  Health and quality of life are now key determining factors in where people and businesses choose to locate. Our outdoor recreation opportunities can compete with any in the region, and are attracting participants from all 50 states and other countries.”  By working with PPORA and other organizations – both governmental and commercial, the Club can help promote more and safer cycling in our community. 
When you think about it, it seems that the opportunities for the Club in the future are endless.  But there is a need here in order to make a bright cycling future a reality.  More people need to become involved – cyclists and others who are passionate about making Colorado Springs a better place for cyclists and non-cyclists alike, to transform dreams and ideas into realities.  We all have different talents, abilities and amounts of time that we can contribute to such efforts.  What it takes is a commitment to become involved in one way or another, no matter how little time you might be able to offer.  Individually we can contribute – together we can make a difference.  Just try it and see what difference you can make!
So where will the Club and its members be in the next 30 years.  As I mentioned earlier in this commentary, I have ideas and I can hardly wait to see what transpires for us all.  But what I’m really wondering about the future is “when will I end up getting that e-bike?!”  In the mean time, get out there and ride, and look forward to the Club’s cycling future.
Bent Fork 2016-6 - December 2016 / January 2017

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