why it matters that more kids bowl than bike

Bowling Balls

I recently read that twice as many young adults, ages 18 – 24, bowl as ride bicycles, according to the 2011 Statistical Abstract published by the U.S. Census Bureau. No disrespect to bowling, but this information is an eye-opener because young people represent the future of bicycling. That’s why creative efforts to help engage them in cycling and in advocacy are so vital and worthy of support. One wonderful example is the second annual Youth Bike Summit sponsored by Recycle-A-Bicycle and scheduled for January 13 – 15, 2012 in New York City.

In preparation for the summit, the steering committee is soliciting youth and adult workshop leaders, as well as entries to the Youth Bike Summit Art Competition and Youth Bike Summit Essay Contest. The deadline for all submissions is October 22. (Find complete information and instructions here.)

The video below by Streetfilms captures the optimistic spirit of the more than 200 students, educators and advocates from 14 states who gathered at The New School in Manhattan at last year’s summit to explore how bicycling can become a legitimate and safe form of transportation for today’s youth.

“I was moved by the rich exchange that took place between people of all ages,” said event organizer and Recycle-A-Bicycle Executive Director Pasqualina Azzarello.

In her keynote address, NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan cited ongoing improvements to cycling infrastructure and noted, “The youth that’s here today is the future of New York City, and they have a big stake in the game in terms of wanting to see that their streets are as safe as they possibly can be.”

Recycle-A-Bicycle is a New York City community-based bike shop and not-for-profit organization that provides education and job training programs  and encourages environmental stewardship and everyday bicycling.

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