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Presenting our 2021 Award winners

Our annual awards are always a special event, one where we get to recognize the leaders of the bike movement and listen to what we can learn from them. This year, we are announcing our Advocacy and Education Award winners at the 2021 National Bike Summit and planning to host “bike-side chats” with each of them during National Bike Month this coming May 2021.

Below, meet the people and organizations who in 2020 took action, created innovative solutions, continued pushing on equity, and led in the movement to make biking safer and more accessible to more people.

Club of the Year

This award is for a bicycle club that has done an excellent job at providing a great experience for its members and people who are new to bicycling. The goal of this award is to recognize clubs that do an exceptional job at integrating advocacy into club activities or supporting advocacy organizations while creating exceptional events for new and experienced bicyclists. This award is about recognizing clubs that are inclusive, welcoming, and committed to growing bicycling.

Our 2021 award goes to Oaks and Spokes

Oaks and Spokes, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a club on a mission to foster “the community of people who ride bikes in Raleigh” though events, advocacy, and even tactical urbanism like pop-up bike lanes. We’re so glad to have clubs who share our vision for building places where biycling is “a safe, convenient, and comfortable option for people of all ages and abilities.”

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

“We have loved getting to know the team over at St. Augustine’s University here in Raleigh, which is home to the nation’s first HBCU cycling team. It gives us so much joy to have this group as a part of our community and we can’t wait for them to start racing here in Raleigh so we can continue to support them in person and cheer them on!”

Visit Oaks and Spokes’s website to learn more and follow the club on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram

Emerging Leader of the Year

This award is a special accolade for a young person who is new to the bicycling movement and has demonstrated exceptional and inspiring bicycle advocacy. Nominees have demonstrated leadership in their short tenure and show great potential to continue leading in the bicycling movement.

Our 2021 award goes to Joshua Funches of the National Youth Bike Council

Joshua Funches is the co-founder and president of the National Youth Bike Council which was officially started in January of 2017 by a group of youth who were very motivated by the idea of connecting youth across the nation as leaders in the biking community. He’s encouraged and worked with the League to bring youth-directed programming to the 2021 National Bike Summit while also organizing a Youth Bike Summit later in 2021.

Follow the National Youth Bike Council on TwitterInstagram, or joing their Discord

Advocate of the Year

This award goes to a leader of a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization who has shown tireless commitment to promoting bicycling and walking in their state/community. This person goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform their state/community into a great place for biking and walking. Their time, knowledge, creativity, and commitment are the highest standard of excellence exemplifying a role model for peers.

Our 2021 award goes to Sarah Clark Stuart of Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Sarah Clark Stuart‘s leadership led to several of the Bicycle Coalition’s key accomplishments in 2020: conceiving the proposal that led to Philadelphia and Camden winning a $23 million TIGER trail-building grant; naming and building out the Circuit; lobbying successfully for legislation mandating the inclusion of bike parking in new construction projects and Philadelphia’s Complete Streets policy; and advocating for Mayor Kenney to adopt a Vision Zero goal to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030.

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

My biggest joy is going for a bike ride on Martin Luther King Drive, which the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia was instrumental in getting closed to motor vehicles in March 2020.  It’s a glorious feeling to ride on four miles of an open road without fear or stress.  I feel tremendous pride that we made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy that glory over the past twelve months.

Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award

This award commemorates Susie Stephens, one of the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s founders and an enduring inspiration for many members of the bicycle and pedestrian movement. The honor goes to an individual or group who carries on Susie’s passion for advocating for bicycling as a fun and economical means of transportation.

Our 2021 award goes to Robin Woods

Robin Woods is the founder of Women and Work, a SHERO for the Pittsburgh chapter of BGDB, a Member of the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club (PMTCC), and a Street Team Employee Pittsburgh Bike Share/Healthy Ride. She is also, according to her many nominators, “a true go-getter” and “always ready to strap in, strap up, or get wheels down.”

What change do you hope bikes can be a vehicle for in 2021?

For 2021, my vehicle of change will be to make a difference in the lives of women by improving their health through cycling. Over the winter months I have had several women reach out to me expressing an interest in cycling beginning in the Spring of 2021. An interest to start slow riding less that ten miles was voiced, which is my targeted audience. Some women advised me of ongoing health disparities, others I believe are just new to the sport.

Gail and Jim Spann Educator of the Year

This award recognizes a person who has worked to elevate bike education in their state/community. We’re looking for educators who are current League Cycling Instructors, active in teaching classes in the past year, serve diverse communities, and have shown innovation in their education work.

Our 2021 award goes to Iris Coronado and Victoria Cupis

Iris Coronado, a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Tucson, AZ, and Victoria Cupis, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, are co-founders of Indigenous Road Warriors (IRW). Iris and Victoria lead and plan rides for IRW which bikes to build community, health, and camaraderie while empowering Indigenous people to get active and serve as role models for each other.

What change do you hope bikes can be a vehicle for in 2021?

Biking has always been fun whether commuting or working out, and we are positive that wonderful journeys will continue happening on bikes in 2021.

Katherine “Kittie” T. Knox Award

This award recognizes champions of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the bicycling movement. This award goes to an individual or group that has led in making bicycling more inclusive and representative and has worked to remove barriers to participation by underserved and underrepresented people in their community, state, or country.

Learn more about Kittie Knox and her advocacy for a more inclusive League and bike community.

Our 2021 award goes to Tamika L. Butler

Tamika L. Butler is a national expert and speaker on issues related to the built environment, equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion, organizational behavior, and change management. As the Principal + Founder of Tamika L. Butler Consulting, she focuses on shining a light on inequality, inequity, and social justice. Most recently, she was the Director of Planning, California and the Director of Equity and Inclusion at Toole Design. Previously, Tamika served as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, a non-profit organization that addresses social and racial equity, and wellness, by building parks and gardens in park-poor communities across Greater Los Angeles. Tamika has a diverse background in law, community organizing and nonprofit leadership. Recently she was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC). Prior to leading LACBC, Tamika was the Director of Social Change Strategies at Liberty Hill Foundation, and she worked at Young Invincibles as the California Director.

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

For my highlight of bike joy in 2020, I would say it was the chance to guest edit Bicycling magazine and share the important stories of Black riders and being part of pushing a conversation on race in the bicycling community.

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Advocacy Organization of the Year

This award goes to a bicycling and/or walking advocacy organization or club who, in the past year, made significant progress. Their leaders have worked tirelessly together to grow and strengthen their organization and fulfill their mission. The proof of their efforts is in the growth of their capacity, programs, membership and the victories they have achieved for biking and walking in their state/community. This award is about recognizing organizations that are inclusive, welcoming, and committed to growing bicycling.

Our 2021 award goes to Bike Newport

Bike Newport is based in Newport, Rhode Island, the “City-by-the-Sea” with a mission to create the conditions that lead to more people biking more often, and to ensure that bicycling is a viable, safe and comfortable primary choice for transportation and recreation. Like many groups, they make so much happen with a mighty if small staff including Bari Freeman, the executive director, Allyson McCalla, Director of Community Relations and Administration, and Clare Woodhead, Director of Education, plus nine part-time staff.

What was a recent moment of bike joy in your work?

We had many joyful successes this year, distributed so many bikes to so many people, among other things. But identifying a particular moment of joy is a wonderful question! This summer we rode with a bunch of kids to the beach. They all live here in Newport, “the City by the Sea”, but most had never been to the beach. (“Why” is another conversation that revolves mostly around transportation equity.) But there we were – riding bikes to the beach and then playing in the sand and splashing in the water. Now all those kids have bikes and know how to get to the beach on them. That is real bike joy.

Dr. Paul Dudley White Award

This award is the highest honor the League bestows. The recipient should be an inspiration to others for their commitment to the future of bicycling and someone that has made significant progress in education, safety, rights, or benefits of bicycling.

The Dr. Paul Dudley White Award goes to Ginny Sullivan

“It’s hard to think of anyone in the bike and trails community who doesn’t know, love, and respect Ginny Sullivan and her 15 years of national bike travel advocacy at Adventure Cycling,” writes a colleague. “Whenever you see a U.S. Bicycle Route sign, or board your bike on an Amtrak train without boxing it, or experience bike friendly rural communities, or see a rumble strip that meets bike safety standards, you can think of and thank Ginny.” This award is a special one that honors people whose legacy surpasses the successes of one year, so it is with much gratitude for her years of service that we recognize Ginny.

What was a standout moment in your advocacy that you want to share with folks?

There were a series of milestones and breakthroughs, like a slow drip. But in retrospect, the big moment was in 2009 when AASHTO approved the U.S. Bicycle Route System vision. From that point forward, my work with state DOTs, state and National Parks, Amtrak, and local and state advocacy partners really began. I am truly humbled and grateful to all those people who work every day with the goal to make biking more accessible and safer. Thank you!

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