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!
Jenn Bowers, President