raising funds.

Get  jessicabybike to Washington, D.C. to talk bicycles! 

I'm on the right, with Rachel Stevens from Adventure Cycling Association.

I’m on the right, with Rachel Stevens from Adventure Cycling Association.

South Dakota is severely under-represented at the National Bike Summit, and I’m going to shift the direction for our state’s bicycling community.

In March, I’m attending the National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., to learn  leadership and advocacy and talk bicycles with our state’s Congressional delegates.  The annual summit, by the League of American Bicyclists, brings together advocates from across the country.

We believe it’s time to change the equation for bicycle advocacy. To build a bicycle-friendly America for everyone, we can’t stop at bicycling as an end in itself. We must consider how bikes can add value to other movements and how our movement can expand to serve broader interests.

I’m attending as an independent, yet well-connected, advocate for South Dakota bicyclists, and I need your help.

From the 2011 S.D. Bicycle Summit: Ginny Sullivan, Adventure Cycling Association; Kevin Brady - president; Jessica Giard - vice president; Michael Christensen - treasurer; Heather Brutz, Transportation for America; Amy Blackstone - secretary; Jim Books, at-large.

From the 2011 S.D. Bicycle Summit: Ginny Sullivan, Adventure Cycling Association; Kevin Brady – president; Jessica Giard – vice president; Michael Christensen – treasurer; Heather Brutz, Transportation for America; Amy Blackstone – secretary; Jim Books, at-large.

The League of American Bicyclists awarded me a scholarship to cover the cost of the registration, but the rest is out of pocket. My goal is to raise $1,600 to cover room & board, a flight and extra travel costs. Your donations will support these costs directly. Or, consider donating airline miles or offering me D.C. travel tips & connections.

Since 2009, I’ve been involved at varying levels in bicycling for South Dakota — as a founding board member of the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition from 2009-14, as a media consultant with Ride Across South Dakota (RASDak) and other bike tours, and a host to touring cyclists who venture through S.D.

Through the people I’ve met and the work I’ve done, I’ve learned we want to be heard, connected and ride our bicycles without fear.  Representing South Dakota at the NBS shifts us in the right direction.

In 2014, only one person from S.D. — of the eight-hundred-some-thousand who live in this state — attended the National Bike Summit. Disappointing odds when you consider our state’s Sen. John Thune, R-SD now serves as chair of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. This year, there’s a chance we could have more – but, right now, I’m the only one raising my  hand.

Jessica (center) with Rep. Fred Deutsch and Chris Parsley, FAB-Sioux Falls, following the initial hearing on HB1030.

Jessica (center) with Rep. Fred Deutsch and Chris Parsley, FAB-Sioux Falls, following the initial hearing on HB1030 on Jan. 22, 2015 in Pierre, S.D.

At the state level, 2015 is becoming a big year for bicyclists. The state legislature introduced a bill to define a safe-passing distance of bicycles.  It sparked a louder conversation about bicycling’s place in the state’s transportation system. It also has given the state’s bicycling community a boost to know we are seen and heard when we speak collectively and loudly.

This isn’t about me (though it will be an awesome experience), but about what I bring back to the South Dakota bicycling community. I’m stepping in.

I love to ride. Bicycles are fun. I enjoy the people who ride. I support bicycling for what it can bring to South Dakota and to our quality of life.

Help me keep moving. Donate a few dollars – but preferably more! (I think $20 will pay for the pillows I’ll sleep on in a D.C. hotel room … I might be joking. Or not). 

In the meantime, thank you and happy riding. 🙂

2 thoughts on “raising funds.

  1. Awesome job Jess! I think I know you well enough to say that you are the perfect representative for this job… Don’t back down, keep pushing and have a Great time while in D.C. Where comfortable shoes or rent a bike.. : )

    Good Luck!

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