What Is the League of American Bicyclists?

Like Steve Martin as Navin Johnson in the great 1979 movie The Jerk exclaimed gleefully, “The new phone books are here!  The new phone books are here!”   While not jumping up and down, I was similarly enthused.  My membership to the League of American Bicyclists arrived in the mail.  Who are they?  What are they about?  Are there any extraordinary gentlemen and copious amounts of Sean Connery’s beard involved?  Why did I join?  These are the burning questions I was yearning to be learning the answers to, as I’m sure you want to know as well.  Well, A Dude Abikes is here to share them with you.  It’s free of charge except for the time you spend reading, and you do have to pay some attention.  I hope you’ll jump at the chance to go past the button for Continue Reading.

A Brief History of Bike


“The League was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians. The League draws on a unique history and depth of knowledge and also has a commitment to propel the new, diverse and growing ranks of bicyclists in the United States, recognizing and representing the current and future face of the cycling movement.  In an effort to improve riding conditions so they might better enjoy their newly discovered sport, more than 100,000 cyclists from across the United States joined the League to advocate for paved roads. LEARN MORE »”

Since 1880, the times they have been a-changing.  A lot.  Cars.  Highways.  Technological advances in bicycles.  And of course, Lycra.  The LAB has grown with the times, too.   But the mission is for everyone who rides, wants to ride, or appreciates those who ride bikes.  Again, their site says it best:

For generations past and to come, THE LEAGUE represents bicyclists in the movement to create safer roads, stronger communities, and a bicycle-friendly America. Through information, advocacy and promotion, we work to celebrate and preserve the freedom cycling brings to our members everywhere.

What They Do and How I Got Connected

The League has a variety of programs.  I won’t reinvent the bicycle wheel; you can read all about them at their websiteLeague programs

So how did A Dude get connected with such a fine organization?  I’m glad you asked.  It’s a long story but basically I had been meeting people who had been biking a while.  While volunteering with Bike Austin, I started hearing the word “el-see-eye.”  One day I asked someone what the hell they were saying and they splained it to me:  L. C. I.  Which means?  League Cycling Instructor.  Given that one of Bike Austin’s mission is education, and I’m all for learning new stuff real good, I filed that away in the back of my brain for a rainy day.  Then one rainy day I was invited to help on a ride for the MS 150.  This was led by an LCI, and was my first exposure to the idea of teaching people how to ride, in this case, in huge groups of cyclists like the MS 150 ride.  You can check out that ride titled “Helping Beginners at Bike Austin’s Group Riding Skills Class for MS 150 in Lockhart, Rain & Smitty’s BBQ” on my Strava feed.

Then earlier this year I heard of a Smart Cycling Class that was a pre-requisite to becoming an LCI, and I jumped at the chance.  I wrote about that a couple of weeks ago.  And now yours truly is signed up for an upcoming LCI class.   Hopefully it has enough people and I get into it and pass, because there are several more steps to it.  It requires understanding methods of teaching cycling, knowledge of laws and traffic safety, basic bike maintenance, and maybe some actual street smarts.  If it all happens and I pass, it’s pretty cool to think about A Dude teaching kids and adults bicycling, which is both a requirement of the class and an opportunity to put some of my knowledge to work to help, like BA director Katie says, to “put more butts on bikes.”

Stay Tuned for Updates & Why Not Join the League?!

I will certainly be learning alot more as the course approaches next month and will keep y’all appraised of any developments.  Meanwhile, if you’re in the US and ride a bike, why not consider joining the League?

bike league member
Membership is cool.


Your membership dues power all of our time-tested programs: the bike-boosting Bicycle Friendly America℠, our deep understanding of federal transportation policy and how it is made, the Smart Cycling bike education program, our equity and outreach programs, and our support for local clubs and advocacy organizations in all their efforts to make your ride better.  Click here to join.




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