• 03 Jul 2017 4:56 PM | Mighk Wilson

    Letter to ABEA Donors, July 3, 2017

    Dear Member,

    Passing strangers at the Minneapolis airport last Monday were probably a bit amused at my enthusiasm. I’d just finished an interview with a Wall Street Journal reporter about cyclist conspicuity. After hanging up I'd exclaimed to my wife Carol, "Yesss! Nailed it!" (Some of us get excited about such things.)

    ABEA has had some other good press lately, but this was a big deal. It was a result of many years of great work by many donors and volunteers. Yes that includes you!

    One thing we have not done well enough, though, is communicate. It’s time we fixed that. A significant part of that fix was moving to a new and better member communications platform. Today we're using that new platform to give you an update on what we have done with your donations to ABEA that led to gaining the attention of the Wall Street Journal. 

    A big theme of 2016 and 2017 has been wrapping up our online flagship courses, CyclingSavvy Basics and CyclingSavvy Mastery, and planning complementary educational programs.

    In October 2016 we held the I Am Traffic 2 conference in St. Louis to strategize our outreach to cyclists and other organizations, and to continue strengthening the bonds between our supporters.

    We continue to build our instructor program. In March Keri Caffrey, Lisa Walker and Karen Karabell lead a training for CyclingSavvy Instructors (CSIs) in Orlando. We are proud to announce six new CSIs and two CSI assistants:

    John Allen (Waltham, MA) (Yes, the John Allen of Street Smarts fame)

    Dan Carrigan (Yellow Springs, OH)

    Steven Goodridge (Cary, NC)

    Yvonne LeFave (Lansing, MI)

    Esther Lumsdon (Cary, NC)

    Shannon Martin (Nashville, TN)

    Ryan Scofield (Bonita Springs, FL)

    Katherine Tynan (St. Louis, MO)

    Keri commented, “Two of our new CSIs (John Allen and Steven Goodrich) have long been great minds in the bicycle driving community. It was an honor to have them join us. I learned from reading both of their work before I even became involved in cycling education.”

    In April, Leslie Mitchell, President of the Florida Freewheelers Bicycle Club in Orlando, launched the third annual Couch to Century program. Over 75 people enrolled in the multi-week program to transform themselves from couch potatoes to century cyclists. Leslie is partnering with ABEA to provide CyclingSavvy Online education courses.  She teaches according to CyclingSavvy principles. We hope this will be a model for other clubs to develop and encourage new riders.

    Also in April Keri Caffrey and I taught another CyclingSavvy program for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) engineers and design team. (We make the planners and engineers ride what they designed. Heh heh!) This was our second year of training for FDOT.

    In May Karen Karabell, a long-time board member of ABEA, launched The Savvy Cyclist blog. The blog's purpose is to inspire and share experiences from our community of savvy cyclists.  If you are not already receiving it, please sign up and tell your friends to sign up to be notified by email of new posts! Also please let us know if you’d like to share a story on our blog.

    In June, thanks to the efforts of board member Gary Cziko, CyclingSavvy was approved by the Southern California & Nevada Cycling Association as a USACycling-sanctioned traffic safety class eligible for bonus points for racers. This is another big deal. Acceptance by the racing community in Southern California opens the possibility of CyclingSavvy being adopted by racing groups in other parts of the country.

    Incredibly, ABEA has grown largely because of insanely devoted volunteers and donors like you. Now we are working to take ABEA to the next level by growing participation in and revenue from the sale of CyclingSavvy courses and other educational materials.

    Last weekend Karen Karabell, my wife, Carol, and I attended ConvertKit’s Craft+Commerce conference in Boise, Idaho (we all paid our own way) to learn more about how to run and market online bicycling education. Exciting stuff. We all walked away full of knowledge and inspiration. I was en route back to Orlando when I received the WSJ reporter’s call. Apparently I’m gaining my business chops just in time!

    To reach that next level, ABEA is planning to hire a Director of Communications and Development. This will be only our second paid staff person, the first being Laura Hallam, our indispensable administrative assistant.

    To date your donations have largely gone to developing the CyclingSavvy courses (online and in-person). Keri Caffrey deserves a special mention for donating thousands of hours (I’m not exaggerating; she’s been at it since 2009!) developing these course materials in addition to ABEA’s websites (, and 

    I wasn’t going to ask for your donations in this email, but this whole thing is getting ahead of me. I know we are on to something here. Something that deserves to grow. Something that has taken on an urgency and importance greater than even I could have imagined.

    Without even asking, (and before the WSJ article) ABEA received anonymous gifts of $10,000 from not just one, but two donors, each with a matching commitment of another $40,000.

    So please know, if you make a donation, it will be tripled by matching gifts. Even better, tell your friends to go to our website and join ABEA. Their membership contribution will also be tripled by this generous gift match.

    That’s another recent change – ABEA now recognizes donors as members. Thanks to Walter Ezell, who said he wanted a way to not just donate, but to join ABEA. We, the ABEA staff and board, realize you are more than a donor, you are a part of our collective journey. Being a bicycle driver is still, unfortunately, an uncommon thing, and we cherish the associations we make with our fellow bicycle drivers. We’ve had a private Facebook group for a while now for CyclingSavvy Instructors. Well now we also have a private Facebook group for you, our donor and member. Please go to and request to join the group. We have to manually add you, so please give us a few days and we’ll get you in!

    ABEA’s volunteer staff and board (and one part time paid staff person) have been working diligently to implement a strong foundation upon which to grow. You know you are recognized as an authority when the Wall Street Journal asks for your input.  Thanks to you we have become that authority. We are ready to spread our wings and fly!

    Except we don’t fly.

    We drive … our bikes.

    See you on the road! With great appreciation,


  • 17 Jun 2017 11:30 AM | Karen Karabell (Administrator)

    The Savvy Cyclist will inspire you to bicycle now"This blog will keep its focus on making cycling work for you now, and not concern itself with some future cycling utopia," wrote ABEA executive director Mighk Wilson when he introduced The Savvy Cyclist.

    "We’ll share with you everything from the most basic skills and equipment for the new rider, to advanced strategies for negotiating any sort of road condition."

    The Savvy Cyclist comes out the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Posts so far have been outstanding:
    The variety of upcoming posts is impressive. You'll hear from a woman in Charlotte who transformed her life through CyclingSavvy. You'll meet the transportation director of a major American city who is a CyclingSavvy Instructor. Later this month, you'll hear from someone who rode her bike to a place accessible "only" by interstate.

    Subscribe to receive the latest Savvy Cyclist posts. As a bonus, you'll receive "Ten Tips For Safe Bicycling," with new content available only to subscribers.
  • 12 Apr 2016 11:42 AM | Karen Karabell (Administrator)

    Details are unfolding, but early bird registration is enabled for I Am Traffic 2, the ABEA's first national conference.

    IAT2 will take place Oct. 14-16, 2016, in a perfect venue: St. Louis' Cortex Innovation Community, a hub for startups like the ABEA. Save the date!

  • 10 Dec 2015 4:16 PM | Anonymous

    The American Bicycling Education Association has completed its first year of operation; we successfully obtained official 501(c) (3) non-profit status from the IRS in March! This of course means your end-of-year donations will be fully tax deductible. We have a change in leadership for our second year. Mighk Wilson has assumed the responsibilities of Executive Director and I, Jenn Bowers, am writing my first letter to you as President.

    Our signature program, CyclingSavvy, continues to grow. CyclingSavvy instructors serve in or have led workshops in 28 states. In 2015 we traveled to offer workshops in Phoenix, Houston, and Moscow, Idaho. The Moscow workshop included two residents from Seattle, who are now instructor candidates excited to bring CyclingSavvy to the Pacific Northwest.

    In its five short years of existence, CyclingSavvy has witnessed impressive on-the-ground growth. Still, we constantly hear from people who want to take the course but can’t, as we offer no sessions in their area. We’ve realized that we must harness the power of the Internet to meet this demand. We’re excited to announce that the ABEA is creating an all-new online course offering to expand the reach of CyclingSavvy. We expect to complete this work in early 2016.

    In addition to the online course, the ABEA is working with CyclingSavvy co-founder Keri Caffrey and bike expert and author John Allen for a new edition of his popular Street Smarts booklet. The update includes new graphics and new strategies for driving your bicycle.

    The ABEA is also working to produce material for Driver’s Education courses, starting in Florida. We will endeavor to create a format that enables the content’s use in other states.

    Finally, we are evaluating offering another I Am Traffic conference, in late 2016 or early 2017. Stay tuned for more details. Your participation will be essential!

    We deeply appreciate your financial support in bringing these efforts to fruition. Our work is ongoing and we need your support. There are multiple ways to donate. I, myself, contribute to the ABEA via the United Way at my office. A percentage of my donation is matched by my employer and goes to my local United Way chapter. If your employer participates in United Way campaigns, you can do this, too. You can make a recurring or one-time donation on our website. Finally, you may mail us a check. Donations to the ABEA continue to be matched by an anonymous donor. There’s something else you can do that will benefit the ABEA at no cost to you! You can designate our organization to receive a percentage of your purchases at companies like Amazon (AmazonSmile) and Kroger.

    2016 is going to be an exciting year! We’ve got momentum and need your help to complete the second part of the online course and to continue our mission to provide programs and resources for the education of bicyclists as drivers of vehicles, and bicycling-related education for traffic engineers, transportation planners, law enforcement professionals, educators and the general public. We’re excited and hope you are, too!

    Happy Holidays,

    Jenn Bowers, President

  • 30 Jun 2014 4:39 PM | Anonymous

    Bicycling educators from across the country have formed a new non-profit organization with a single mission: to provide programs and resources for the education of all bicyclists as drivers of vehicles.

    The American Bicycling Education Association (ABEA) is the first organization of its kind. Building on the success of the groundbreaking CyclingSavvy course, currently available in 16 states, ABEA focuses on bicycling-related education for the general public, traffic engineers, transportation planners, law enforcement professionals and educators.

    “Trends show that Americans are increasingly interested in using their bicycles for transportation, yet many lack the knowledge and skills sets to drive their bicycles with confidence,” says ABEA President Mighk Wilson. “Bicycling in traffic is safe and easy and does not require athleticism, speed or bravery. Successful bicycling does require an understanding of traffic dynamics and a belief in one’s equal right to the road.”

    Wilson and ABEA director Keri Caffrey created the CyclingSavvy curriculum, a cornerstone of the new organization’s mission. The three-part course uses sophisticated computer animations to simulate real-world traffic dynamics and provide problem-solving techniques, followed by an on-bike session to sharpen bike-handling skills. The learning experience culminates with a 3-hour ride on urban and suburban streets, where students apply the strategies for safe and stress-free travel by bicycle.

    “Our promise is ‘empowerment for unlimited travel’ by bike,” says Caffrey. “People use bicycles for transportation, for fitness and for sport. Whether they want to ride on quiet streets and trails, or bomb down major arterials, we give them the tools to travel safely and with confidence.”

    Following is the leadership team of the new ABEA:


    Mighk Wilson, president

    Orlando, FL

    Jenn Bowers, vice president

    Louisville, KY

    Andy Cline, secretary

    Springfield, MO

    Eliot Landrum, treasurer

    Dallas, TX


    Keri Caffrey, Winter Springs, FL

    Karen Karabell, St. Louis, MO

    Waco Moore, Dallas, TX

    Tony Philpin, West Hartford, CT

    Lisa Walker, Winter Springs, FL



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