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City of Reno Adaptive Piloting An Adaptive Cycling Center This Summer

Last summer, we hit the road to offer hands-on guidance to communities who want to improve bicycling. The League hosted Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Workshops in five cities across the country. 

The BFC Workshop brings together local stakeholders to learn about the benefits of and actions required to earn or build upon a League-certified Bicycle Friendly Community designation. Selected host communities conducted a ride audit to review common commuter pathways, existing and new bicycle infrastructure, and dangerous areas in the community where opportunities for improvements exist. Participants then do a deep dive into local census and demographics data to examine where there are opportunities to get more people riding, as well as what community residents shared through a pre-workshop survey about their current bicycling experiences. The workshop culminated with participants collaborating to produce a 12-month Action Plan towards becoming a more Bicycle Friendly CommunityⓇ and expanding opportunities to improve bicycling through a lens of equity and accessibility. 

Read more about the BFC Workshops

Reno, one of the five cities selected for the inaugural round of workshops, included the piloting of an adaptive cycling center to improve adaptive bike accessibility in its 12-month Action Plan. In the following blog, April Wolfe, who coordinates the City of Reno’s Adaptive Recreation program, shares the city’s progress in implementing the program since the workshop was held in August 2022.

The City of Reno is excited to expand its adaptive sports program by planning a pilot of an Adaptive Cycling Center this summer at the Rosewood Nature Study Area in Reno, Nevada. Rosewood Nature Study Area is a 219-acre wetland habitat with approximately 2.5 miles of trail and serves as a great launching point to access the Southeast Connector trail as well as connecting to the Tahoe-Pyramid Bike trail. Such proximity to the community’s trail system makes it a prime location for our adaptive equipment rental hub.

The center will offer a membership-based program that will allow persons with disabilities to access our many adaptive bikes and jump directly on the trail, no bike transport needed. Families with children and/or adults with disabilities can now access a variety of adaptive bikes by appointment or during the open program hours and ride together. 

We plan to charge an individual ride fee so people from outside the Reno area don’t need to have a membership and membership will offer unlimited access as long as the program center is open. Single rides will cost $30 and membership will be $100 for unlimited rides the membership will be eligible for the City of Reno scholarship program.

While modeled after similar programs throughout the country like Seattle, Washington’s Outdoors For All program, this will be the first program of its kind in Nevada. It’s been a wish list program for some time, but previously the City of Reno lacked the staffing, location, and protected bike infrastructure to make it happen. 

One way we were able to overcome those challenges was to form partnerships. Rosewood Nature Area, which was formerly a golf course, is now leased by The Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation (TMPF) and in order for us to stand up this program, we needed their buy-in. We also needed partners to leverage grant funds and secure additional equipment that will be needed.

Now, with all the pieces and partnerships in place, the City of Reno is looking forward to a grand opening on May 6th! Cycling has many benefits, and now it has been made easier for people with disabilities in the Reno area to access. 

As part of its planning process, The City of Reno Adaptive sought input through an Adaptive Cycling Center Interest Survey to “ensure what we thought was needed in the community was indeed wanted by persons with disabilities and to help refine the hours of operation for such a program.” A Spanish-language version of the survey was also provided to increase the number of people in the community who could give input.

This is a great example of listening, learning and engaging, and reflects changes we made in our recent BFC application update to emphasize how critical it is for communities to engage with the people and groups who have the lived experience and knowledge to make a community more welcoming, supportive, and inclusive to all current and potential cyclists.

The League itself conferred with hundreds of local cyclists, advocates, and local officials who use the BFC program to improve conditions for cycling in their community about the application’s updates. We also now offer a Spanish-language version of the BFC Public Survey, which BFC applicants distribute to their communities for input on their bicycling efforts.

We are excited to see Reno Adaptive’s work continue to improve accessibility for cycling across the Reno region. We also hope to bring Bicycle Friendly Community Workshops to more cities in 2023 and further facilitate the bike movement’s work to ensure all communities see equity and accessibility as essential lenses through which all efforts to make their city a Bicycle Friendly Community must be viewed. 

Apply to the BFC program

If you’re looking for ideas on how your community can improve, preview our Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) program application, and if your community is actively working towards bettering bicycling for everyone, encourage them to apply. The deadline to apply for our Spring 2023 round of awards is February 15th!