Michigan’s shorelines are a beautiful place for bicycling, and the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) wants all roadways to be equally as welcoming for bicyclists. The League of Michigan Bicyclist’s mission is to promote bicycling and the safety of bicyclists on roadways. The statewide nonprofit began in 1981 with its shoreline bicycle tours as a way to promote bicycling in the state. LMB still holds tours today, but they have evolved to become fundraisers for advocacy and educational work. Each year, LMB has two main events: a summit and an advocacy day. This year, the Michigan Bicycle Summit was held in March and featured national speakers and breakout sessions. On May 25, bicyclists rode to the Capitol for the Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day to talk with state legislators. “A big thing that we advocated for last year and continue to is this idea of Complete Streets, which is the idea that our roadways should be built and maintained to accommodate all users; whether you’re a bicyclist or pedestrian or somebody with a disability or an automobile driver, you should be able to get from point A to point B safely,” Associate Director John Lindenmayer said. Last year’s advocacy work resulted in more than 40 communities adopting Complete Streets policies. Lansing was the first city to adopt an ordinance. “We have a bumper sticker that says, ‘Same Roads, Same Rights, Same Rules’ and I think that sums it up both for the bicyclists and for automobile drivers,” Lindenmayer said. “We need to coexist out there. We’re sharing the same space, so just be respectful of one another.” LMB also produces a booklet called “What Every Michigan Bicyclist Must Know,” and distributes thousands to police departments, libraries, stores and other places. “The idea is to raise awareness that bicyclists have equal rights and responsibilities out there on the roadways and to make sure that everybody’s watching out for each other,” Lindenmayer said. The nonprofit currently has 1,200 paid members, but Lindenmayer said LMB serves all bicyclists in Michigan. Many people come out to enjoy LMB’s tours. Four are planned for 2011:
- Pedal & Paddle from June 4-5 combines bicycling with canoeing or kayaking down the White River in Manistee National Forest.
- Michigan Upper Peninsula from July 16-23 starts in St. Ignace and makes stops in Sault Ste. Marie and Mackinac Island.
- Shoreline West from Aug. 6-15 follows the coast from New Buffalo to the Mackinac Bridge.
- Sunrise Adventure from Oct. 7-9 follows the Lake Huron coastline.