Spokes and tires, light this fire!
At Right2Bike we are revolutionaries. We advocate for a new mobility system and are proponents of a bicycle revolution. With the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights we aim to create awareness of the unsafe and inconvenient cycling conditions in cities and to demand change. We want to give a voice to cyclists who risk their lives every day on the streets. We want to give a voice to the people who wish they could ride but aren’t quite brave enough – and shouldn’t have to be. With enough support, the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights can be used as a tool for city governments and advocates to convince their elected officials that there is a demand for cycling initiatives in their communities.
We are based in New York City, but this movement is for cyclists and people everywhere!
At Right2Bike our motto is “just bike.” This common Dutch phrase (“gewoon fietsen”) embodies a vision of cities where it is quick, convenient, and safe to travel from A to B on a bike. We believe that every person has the right to “just bike” – to work, to friends, to daily needs – to anywhere.
The car must no longer be king. For decades our urban environments have been dominated by one mobility mode. Not everyone has to ride a bike. We believe in the right mode for the right use. We want cities that prioritize people and offer more mobility options. But, in the words of Richard Ballentine, “A better deal for cyclists, is a better deal for society.” Cycling-friendly cities are human-scale cities, healthy cities, sustainable cities, safe cities, inclusive cities, accessible cities, and happy cities. In short, a city made for cyclists is a city made for all. We believe bicycles can change the world.
As people stay home and avoid transit, we are experiencing a shock to our mobility system. Many people are turning to bikes as a new way to safely get around their cities, but this is not the first time cycling has served as a solution to keep people moving. Time and time again, bikes have shined during crisis – transit strikes and shutdowns, natural disasters, trade embargos, and wars. As the COVID-19 pandemic shows us a glimpse of a new urban environment, we are again forced to rethink our mobility habits. Cycling is critical in getting essential workers and medical staff to and from work and maintaining mental and physical health during the current pandemic. Right2Bike calls upon cities to support cycling inititatives including temporary bike infrastructure, open streets, and cycling-friendly policy—and to sieze this opportunity to work towards a lasting bicycle legacy.
Lauren Rushing is a mobility planner and cycling enthusiast who believes that the bicycle is the missing link for solving many urban problems. Lauren recently spent three years living and working as a consultant in the Netherlands—soaking up all she could of the Dutch bicycle culture. She now lives in New York where she is committed to applying her expertise to improve mobility choices and livability in her home country.
Cyclists’ Bill of Rights
We want control over our own mobility. This is about freedom. For decades, the automobile industry has sold us the idea that cars represent freedom. We want to challenge that notion and argue that too much car use in cities puts metaphorical shackles on the ankles of their residents, taking away their right to make choices about the lifestyles they live. For too long those of us who cycle have been treated as second-class citizens. For too long we have been denied the right to move comfortably around our cities.
Cyclists are commuters, recreationalists, grandparents, hobbyists, professionals, friends, kids, fitness enthusiasts, and sustainability nerds. But first and foremost, cyclists are PEOPLE. We the People, with this Bill of Rights, make the following proclamations:
- PEOPLE have the RIGHT TO BIKE in their cities.
- Cyclists have the right to feel ownership of their cities.
- Cyclists have the right to travel safely and without fear—and to show up to work without helmet hair!
- Cyclists have the right to quick and convenient travel enabled by more road space and a dedicated, connected, integrated and complete network of infrastructure that guarantees a high standard of accessibility to jobs, friends, and daily needs.
- Cyclists have the right to well-maintained infrastructure that is free of obstacles like parked cars or loading trucks.
- Cyclists have the right to park their bikes easily and securely.
- Cyclists have the right to be equally considered and accommodated in plans and policies.
- Cyclists have the right to ride in high heels, a business suit, or whatever is necessary or preferred.
- Cyclists have the right to ride with their children or pets.
- Cyclists have the right to carry a myriad of random things on their bikes.
- Cyclists have the right to trails and greenways away from traffic that can be used for recreation and exercise.
- Cyclists have the right to contribute to a sustainable economy by riding.
- Cyclists have the right to lower their carbon footprint and support clean air initiatives by riding.
- Cyclists have the right to use an e-bike to secure work opportunities (such as delivery jobs) and to carry out their job responsibilities without police harassment.
- Cyclists and their families have the right to be protected and supported by law enforcement and the judicial system when endangered, injured, or killed by a motorist.
We put forth this CYCLISTS’ BILL OF RIGHTS with a belief in cyclists as the “indicator species” for healthy, safe, sustainable, equitable, accessible, mobile, friendly, and happy cities. By endorsing this bill, you publicly profess support for our agenda of prioritization for two-wheeled motion in a four-wheeled world.
Let’s get to 500!