This March, members of the University’s Bicycle Working Group will attend the League of American Bicyclists’ 2023 National Bike Summit. The invitation to attend includes free event registration and a travel stipend provided by the League. Geography associate professor and University of Nevada, Reno Bicycle Working Group co-chair Thomas Albright will attend in person. Other members of the Bicycle Working Group will attend virtually, including the College of Science’s Marketing and Communications Manager Jennifer Kent.
The summit encourages bike researchers, engineers and activists to participate in networking events, mobile workshops and interactive sessions all centered around making biking better and more inclusive for everyone.
"This summit is a way to grow my research and teaching curricula into sustainable and active transportation," Albright said. "This is something I've been teaching for many years. Scott Kelley, others and I thought this would be a great way to make connections for future research opportunities." Kelley, an assistant professor of geography, serves as co-chair of the Bicycle Working Group along with Albright and Kent.
The group's presence at the National Bike Summit marks continued progress toward achieving the University's goal of establishing Reno-Tahoe as an epicenter of sustainability education, research and leadership, as outlined in the 2023-2027 Strategic Plan.
The working group received the invitation to attend the summit after the Reno-Sparks area became one of five communities across the nation to be awarded a League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community workshop. Also attending the summit is Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance President Kyril Plaskon who collaborated with the working group on hosting the workshop on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The workshop was held from Aug. 22-23, 2022 and was sponsored by General Motors.
About the Reno-Sparks Bicycle Friendly Community Workshop
The University’s Bicycle Working Group’s application to the League of American Bicyclists’ workshop included three goals: creating additional safe biking facilities, increasing bike usage among underrepresented and underserved communities, and enhancing awareness and positive attitudes and perspectives toward biking.
“Education and awareness of how cycling benefits not just participating individuals but the community as a whole is essential to sustain improvements and increase safety and acceptance,” Albright said in a prior press release.
Organizers wanted to create discussions on how to improve the “bikeability” of the Reno community through the varied lenses of engineering, education, equity, encouragement, evaluation and planning.
The workshop focused on bringing the community together, particularly local stakeholders, to learn about the benefits of becoming a “League-certified” bicycle-friendly community. Participants worked together to create a ride audit and a community bicycle action plan.
"We see this workshop as an important catalyst not only for Reno-Sparks but also for the University’s Strategic Plan to ‘make silver and blue the new green."
Alongside the University’s Bicycle Working Group, several representatives from organizations such as the Nevada Department of Transportation, Reno Transportation Corporation, the Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance and other community members were in attendance.
“We see this workshop as an important catalyst not only for Reno-Sparks but also for the University’s Strategic Plan to ‘make silver and blue the new green,’” Albright said.
For the past six years, the University has been a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly University and is hoping to move to the gold-level designation when the University’s Bicycle Working Group reapplies this upcoming summer.
“This workshop builds on community-wide momentum to improve safety, facilitate discussion and support sustainable transportation options that meet our strategic goals,” University President Brian Sandoval said.
The Bicycle Friendly University status is a stated goal in the University's 2023-2027 strategic plan.
A message from the University bicycle community
Thank you to the members of the University of Nevada, Reno bicycle community for participating in the below video message to the Reno community (by order of appearance): Associate Professor of Geography Thomas Albright, engineering student Marcos Garcia, nursing student Joanna Trieger, University librarian Chrissy Klenke, Director of the Nevada Career Studio Katia Albright, Reynolds Associate Professor of Practice in Science Communication Kelsey Fitzgerald. Not appearing is Marketing and Communications Manager for the College of Science Jennifer Kent (video editor/director).
Thank you to the College of Science for hosting the video on behalf of the Bicycle Working Group.