Riding a bike is an easy way to exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Not only is it pretty simple to get involved with, it’s fairly cheap to do so too. All you need is a bike and a safe place to ride. And the benefits of biking are somewhat numerous. Not only do you burn around 300 calories from an hour of cycling, riding a bike is also a great way to build strength, muscle tone and stamina. Studies show biking not only reduces stress but can lower your risk of conditions such as heart disease and obesity. While the grant support for cycling isn’t massive, there are a few organizations that provide grants to encourage it. Biking organizations advocate for safer places for bikers to get out and go healthy while enjoying this fun and beneficial hobby. Bicycle grants not only encourage this healthy lifestyle, but when they increase our capacity for safe biking they can also work to reduce the strain on the environment caused by overly congested roadways and can lower the cost of transportation as well.
People for Bikes
The big player in bicycle grants is People for Bikes. Originally conceived in 1999 and formerly named Bikes Belong, over the years the group has infused more than $30 million into programs that make biking better for those that enjoy it. Well over $2 million of it has gone to support various community biking projects. Other funding has supported nationwide efforts such as Safe Routes to School, the League of American Bicyclists and the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Furthermore, People for Bikes is a major advocacy force and claims at least some responsibility in seeing over $650 million in federal, state and private funding allocated to bicycling programs. During its tenure, the federal government’s overall contribution to biking infrastructure has quadrupled.
The Community Grant Program provided by People for Bikes looks to support any entities from non-profit organizations to government agencies that work to increase the capacity of biking through facilities and infrastructure projects. These can include anything from simple bike paths to facilities designed specifically for mountain bikes or BMX. Funding can be used by local governments to improve biking lanes on city streets or to increase the number of bike racks around town. Any effort that allows people of all ages to easily and safely enjoy biking will be considered. Grants are awarded for up to $10,000 or 50% of each project’s total budget. The organization considers requests one to two times per year. Check the website for up to date application deadlines and for more information about the program. If you have any questions, contact their Grant Manager Zoe Kircos by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 303-449-4893, ext. 5.
SRAM Cycling Fund
This fund was created in 2008 with a focus on funding advocacy efforts of established biking organizations with the overall goal of increasing cycling infrastructure. It offers this money in rather large grant amounts to be used to lobby governments into including more bike friendly projects in their transportation budgeting process and to private groups that raise funding for similar projects outside of government channels. While it does operate internationally, 60% of its efforts are focused on projects inside the United States. Over the years, it has supported a number of American organizations with grants ranging from as little as $30,000 all the way up to $400,000. These include People for Bikes, Cities for Cycling, the Green Lane Project, Advocacy Advance and others. There is no regularly recurring grant cycle or strict deadline for application. SRAM is constantly on the lookout for projects and potential partners with all funding decisions made by a three person board. To inquire about the fund’s grants process, please contact the SRAM Cycling Fund Director Randy Neufeld by sending an email to email@example.com.