Get Support: Bike Buddies and Mentors

Sometimes all it takes to start riding more is just a little support. Many communities have bicycle mentors or other groups or programs that can provide the knowledge and confidence you need to bike more. Read more on:

Bicycle mentoring

Bicycle mentors or buddies can help show novice bicyclists the ropes and build their cycling confidence. Below are a few examples of bicycle mentor programs. Look for others in your area by contacting local bicycle shops or advocacy groups.

Charlotte, NC Bicycle Commuter Mentor Program,—A guide for Charlotte, North Carolina residents who wish to bicycle to work or around town but are unsure about routes and are concerned about safety. The site also provides links to other bike mentor programs in the Triangle.

Longmont Bicycle Mentor Program—A bicycle mentoring program in Longmont, Colorado where an experienced commuter will help you find a good route to follow and ride with you a time or two.

NIH Bicycle Commuter Club Bike Mentor Program—Matches you with a trained volunteer familiar with the commute between your neighborhood and workplace in Virginia, DC, or Maryland.

Spokane's Bike Buddy Program—Spokane, WA mentoring program that matches bicyclists with trained mentors and provides a "new rider" packet with commuter items. The program is supported by the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Bike Buddy Program—Get paired up with a seasoned biker who shares your route who can smooth your way onto the city's streets.

Other similar programs can be found in:

Bicycle co-ops

Bicycle co-ops are usually non-profit or volunteer bicycle organizations that have an educational focus, where members share information on how to fix bikes and ride safely, as well as share or recycle bicycles and parts. Below are a few examples of bicycle co-ops. A more comprehensive list can be found at Wiki's Community Bicycle Organizations page.

Oberlin, Ohio—Oberlin Bike Co-op is a cooperatively run bicycle repair, rental, and education center serving Oberlin, Ohio.

Cleveland, Ohio—The Ohio City Bicycle Co-op is a non-profit, volunteer-driven cooperative bicycle education center.

Atlanta, Georgia—Sopobikes' mission is to create equitable access to cycling by providing affordable bicycle maintenance services and education.

Durham, North Carolina—The aim of the Durham Bike Co-op is to encourage skill-share, enable bicycle recovery and redistribution, and provide a nexus of the Durham bicycle community.

Bicycle sharing programs

Bicycle sharing programs can enable users to "try out" bicycling and can encourage more bicycle use by making it convenient and inexpensive to access a bicycle. Here are a few examples:

Bicycle Sharing Case Studies—Bicycle sharing programs have become popular in various locations across Europe and are beginning to appear in the United States. This web site provides a few examples of bicycle sharing programs in both Europe and the United States.

Austin's Yellow Bike Project—Austin's Yellow Bike Project is a local, all-volunteer nonprofit whose name refers to its semiregular release of recycled, yellow-painted bicycles, free to ride.

Nice Ride Minnesota—Nice Ride works to build the community by providing a safe, affordable way for people to travel and interact in the city.

Hubway—The Hubway system (Boston, Massachusetts) integrates safety into the bike sharing system by providing the opportunity to purchase a helmet online with bike membership, listing shops near to stations that provide helmets, having a Street Team selling helmets near busy stations, and providing free education classes.

Denver B-Cycle—The Denver bike sharing program was formed at the request of the Mayor of Denver to support the goals of the city’s Strategic Transportation Plan and Climate Action Plan by providing an alternative mode of public transportation.

Capital Bikeshare—Originally known as SmartBike this Washington, D.C., system was the first bike sharing system in North America. In 2010, the system changed names to Capital Bikeshare and expanded their service to serve a larger area with more bikes.

Chicago B-Cycle—Chicago B-Cycle stations are located along the lakefront and loop of Chicago to promote daily trips in and around the downtown area.

Nashville Green Bikes—Nashville Green Bikes is a free bike share system available for all residents and visitors of Nashville.

Bike Sharing Program in Århus, Denmark—The free city bike arrangement in Århus helps establish an alternative mode of transport for the benefit of the citizens of Århus and the many tourists who visit the city each year.

Vélib’—Run by the Paris Town Hall, Vélib’ is the largest bike sharing program in the world with over 20,000 bikes at 1,800 stations available 24/7 throughout the city all year long.

Barclays Cycle Hire—In its first year and half operating in London, Barclays Cycle Hire has had over 7.5 million rentals.  Barclays has also launched the Barclays Cycle Superhighways which provides cycling routes from outer London into central London to provide a safer cycling environment for users of the bike sharing program as well as bike owners.

Bixi Montreal—Bixi Montreal , the original Bixi bike sharing system, launched in 2009 with solar powered docking stations.

Other bicycle commuting resources

Commute By Bike—This web site provides a variety of information relevant to commuting by bicycle including reviews of commuter bikes and gear, basic commuter information, where gear can be purchased, and recent articles and studies pertaining to commuting by bicycle.

Commuter Bicycles in the U.S.—A resource that provides information about commuting bicycles and gear that is available in the United States.

Bicycle Commuting Tips—Ten tips for those who commute by bicycle. For other tips, see the Washington State Department of Transportation web site.

Bicycle Commuting on Rails—The light rail system in Charlotte, North Carolina was designed with bicyclists in mind. The rail cars are complete with bike hooks and the rail track is boarded by a bicycle path to make bicycling easy and convenient.

Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation—The web site provides resources for commuting by bike.

New Jersey Department of Transportation—Site offers tips for bicycle commuters in New Jersey.