SEVEN REASONS ALL MONTANA BICYCLISTS, BICYCLE CLUBS AND BICYCLE SHOPS SHOULD BE MEMBERS OF BIKE WALK MONTANA….
1. Bike walk Montana is the only statewide voice for the bicycling community. Until our group founded in 2011, Montana was one of the few states without a statewide bicycle advocacy group trying to make the roads safer for all bicyclists, both on rural roadways and streets in every local community.
2. Bike Walk Montana is introducing two critical pieces of legislation into the upcoming legislature. One would not only update our outdated bicycle laws and add a five-foot safe passing clause. The second bill would try for a permanent source of state funding for bicycling and walking education and infrastructure. Right now under the current system, securing any such funding is very difficult. We also represent bicyclists throughout the state in any other legislation relating to bicycling and walking that shows up, sometimes unexpectedly, in the legislature.
3. Bike Walk Montana is making slow but steady progress in working with the Montana Department of Transportation to get more attention for a myriad of safety issues. Our main focus of late is getting a new and improved policy on rumble strips, which we expect to be released soon.
4. Bike Walk Montana has an ongoing primary goal of statewide education for both bicyclists and motorists. For example, we have re-written the bicycle section of the Montana Driver’s Manual. However and unfortunately, as we all know, drivers who already have a license never have to read the manual unless they let their license expire. To address this problem, we have coordinated a process of producing a safety brochure currently handed out to all people renewing their driver’s licenses. The distribution of the brochure means all drivers get some exposure to the basics of safely sharing the road with bicyclists at least every eight years. We have also worked with the Office of Public Instruction on improving driver’s education materials as it relates to sharing the roads with bicyclists and with many local communities and clubs on bicycle safety efforts.
5. Bike Walk Montana is trying to establish a statewide network of bicyclists and bicycle friendly businesses so we can quickly address any major statewide or national issue that might affect bicyclists in Montana.
6. Bike Walk Montana has formed a partnership with the Recreational Trails Program of Montana State Parks to launch a new program called Montana Trails Rx. Through this program we partner with local clinics and parks departments to provide the resources for medical providers to issue prescriptions to clients for walking while utilizing local trails.
7. Bike Walk Montana has, if all the above is not enough, made memberships quite inexpensive. If you’re a member of a local bicycle organization that has joined (i.e. Billings BikeNet or Helena Bicycle Club), you can join for only $10 per year. If your local club or racing team hasn’t joined, first of all, please try to talk them into joining, but if not, you can get an individual membership for only $30. Bike shops and other bicycle-friendly businesses can join for only $150 per year.
You can find even more information about YOUR organization at www.bikewalkmontana.org. You can find the membership options here: http://www.bikewalkmontana.org/get-involved/membership/