We launched PeopleForBikes in 2010 with the goal of uniting one million people for a better future for bicycling. In less than five years, more than 860,000 individuals have added their names in support of this mission.
In today's world, a billion has widely replaced a million as the key measure of size and power. But make no mistake: a million people working together can command real influence and create real change.
The change that PeopleForBikes is working for is better conditions for bike riders everywhere. We want every bike ride to be safe. We want every bike ride to be fun. We want every ride to conveniently start and finish near home or work. We believe that every rider -- regardless of where they live or how they ride -- wants these same basic things.
Our challenge is to clearly (and powerfully) convey this message to our neighbors, to the media, and to government officials. We need to show that better riding is something that lots of people want, and also that it benefits everyone. That's why we're focused on bringing one million people together under the PeopleForBikes banner.
Our ask remains simple. We want people to provide their name and email address, and express general support for bicycling for transportation, recreation, and better communities. The sign-up process is quick and easy, and the goal -- a better future for bicycling -- should make the investment of time a no-brainer.
Government officials continue to be key in this bike riding equation because they manage the roads and trails nearly everywhere. They decide how roads and paths are built and repaired. They have the power to create seamless, safe bike networks that make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to pedal.
They need to hear our unified voice, respect our million-person perspective, and act. They need to realize that their political standing will suffer if they reject or ignore our reasonable, measured requests.
But no government official should support bicycling just to make bike riders happy. Better bike riding conditions aren't only for us. When people bike, so many great things happen that help everyone -- things like reduced road congestion, lower health care costs, better air, and more appealing cities and towns where people want to stay instead of rushing through. Bike riders and motorists both need to do their part, by following all the rules of the road and communicating.
One million is a number that matters. It's credibility. It's clout. It's a base of support that will inspire action. Other movements have made major progress once they've gathered and rallied a million backers. Even in a world with 7.2 billion residents, a million can be magic -- just like any great bike ride.