Elizabeth Kiker Announces Departure from Cascade Bicycle Club & Washington Bikes

Image courtesy of C.B. Bell

Republished from Cascade Bicycle Club blog.

Cascade Board Contact

Cascade Bicycle Club Board Vice President Nate Glissmeyer
nate.glissmeyer@cascadebicycleclub.org

Media Contact

Washington Bikes Senior Director of Communications & Marketing Brent Tongco
206-939-4307
brentt@cascade.org

After over three years of inspiring leadership and accomplishment, Executive Director Elizabeth Kiker has decided to move on from Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes. Her last day will be Dec. 31, 2016. On behalf of the staff and board, please join us in wishing her all the best as she transitions to the next chapter in her career. Elizabeth had a tremendous positive effect on both Cascade Bicycle Club and Washington Bikes, and her departure will be a loss for both organizations.

“We owe Elizabeth an enormous debt for all she’s achieved in three short years,” said Board Vice President Nate Glissmeyer. “Even putting together a list of her successes was awe-inspiring. She’s made such an important difference for these organizations and for bicycling across the state.”

Elizabeth brought outstanding and energetic leadership to the organizations. Her can-do attitude led us to take on and succeed with projects that would have seemed impossible to many. Elizabeth led a gigantic $2+ million capital campaign, taking us from a dusty, damp and cramped office into our new spacious location; she created a true Bicycling Center with a first-of-its-kind traffic garden, Fix-It Garage and Ride Leader Welcome Pavilion.

She led the orchestration of a successful merger, making Cascade and Washington Bikes the largest statewide bicycle nonprofits in the nation. With the development of new 5-year strategic plans for both organizations, we are poised for continued growth and success. Under her leadership, Cascade membership grew dramatically from 15,000 to over 17,000 people across the state. We unveiled multiple new and successful major rides, including the Emerald City Bike Ride, which had more than 7,000+ participants in its first year, and expanded the variety in our rides to attract new types of riders.

We grew our education programming more than 50 percent statewide under Elizabeth’s leadership. We pushed the passage of the Move Seattle Levy, Sound Transit 3, Bellevue Transportation Levy, and multi-modal funding statewide. We increased the reach of the Major Taylor Project. We led the charge for significant Eastside Rail Corridor funding, Missing Link advocacy and so much more. We fostered positive partnerships with communities and organizations to help make biking more accessible and inclusive — a deeply personal commitment of Elizabeth’s — most recently in our partnership with King County Parks, the YES! Foundation and the White Center Community Development Association to launch the White Center Bike Playground.

“I’m proud of all that has been accomplished during my time at Cascade and Washington Bikes,” said Elizabeth. “We have talented and dedicated staff, board, members and partners that will achieve even greater fulfillment of our vision,

bicycling for all, and our statewide mission of improving lives through bicycling. We thank our members and supporters for their commitment to Cascade and Washington Bikes during this transition.”

We all feel so deeply fortunate to have benefited from Elizabeth’s strong and effective leadership over the past three years. We thank Elizabeth for building Cascade and Washington Bikes into the successful organizations they are today. She leaves a legacy that positions us for unparalleled growth and success.

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Five-Year Strategic Plan Priority: Communicate our Purpose

Read our posts highlighting priorities in our strategic plan adopted in 2016.

WA-Bikes-logoEach part of our work grows bicycling statewide and makes bicycling better for you and your communities. The more you know about your Washington Bikes, the more you can connect with the activities that fit your focus.

Whether we’re advocating for safe connected bicycle infrastructure, putting on bike challenges, endorsing candidates, or increasing elected officials’ awareness of Washington Bikes and the policies and investments we support, we want you to know what Washington Bikes means for you, your family and your community.

What we will do: We will double the number of people who are aware of the full range of our mission and the value of our work by creating and implementing a comprehensive strategic marketing and communications plan. We will clearly defined and articulate the purpose of Washington Bikes and how we can help you, your family and your community. Specific analysis of elected officials will track awareness of our engagement in candidate campaigns.

Our current level of success: We’ll create a baseline measurement of mission awareness at the end of 2016 from people in the database. We’ll also create a baseline measurement of awareness among elected city, county, state, federal and tribal officials.

Our strategic priorities

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Five-Year Strategic Plan Priority: Increase Ridership Statewide

Read our posts highlighting priorities in our strategic plan adopted in 2016.

An everyday rider -- doing STP on a triple with his children.

An everyday rider — doing STP on a triple with his children.

Imagine biking to work or to the grocery store or for recreation and seeing twice as many people riding as you see today. More people riding bikes means healthier communities, strength and safety in numbers, and a visible signal to decision makers that bike investments add value. That’s why we made increasing ridership statewide one of our strategic priorities.

What we will do: We will use comprehensive and strategic marketing and communications campaigns to encourage more trips by bicycle; get more cities/towns to participate in bike challenges; and in turn, provide opportunities and encourage more individuals to join bike challenges. Furthermore, we’ll utilize WA Bikes-managed bike challenges as a catalyst and resource for engaging communities and individuals.

Riding the STP is a highlight of the year for students participating in Cascade Bicycle Club's Major Taylor Project.

Riding the STP is a highlight of the year for students participating in Cascade Bicycle Club’s Major Taylor Project.

Our current level of success: By the end of 2016 we’ll have this year’s numbers for statewide bicycle counts and participation in bike challenges, both in terms of communities participating and individuals riding.

How you can be part of the success:

Our strategic priorities

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Five-Year Strategic Plan Priority: Promote Bicycle-Friendly Policies and Investments

Bicycle-Friendly Community signRead our posts highlighting priorities in our strategic plan adopted in 2016.

You’re celebrating the election of a bicycle-champion official. You’re biking down a newly installed protected bike lane that connects two sections of town. Your town is named a Bicycle Friendly Community and you can actually see why.

This happens because local bike leaders and Washington Bikes collaborate in identifying and promoting bicycle-friendly policies and investments that make bicycling safer and more accessible. You’re part of a community where your voice is not only heard, but acted upon.

What we will do: We will double the actions taken by you to contact elected officials to promote policies and increase investments for better bicycling. We want your voice to be heard and we will train you on the value and methods of community-based advocacy, giving you the tools to be effective leaders.

arlington-centennial-trail-whitehorse-trail_tom-teigen-090715We’ll work with you to develop and communicate annual policy priorities and grow partnerships and coalitions that support bike-friendly goals that work for your town. All of this will provide support for you to apply for, receive, and then improve your town’s bicycle-friendly designation by the League of American Bicyclists.

Our current level of success: By the end of 2016, we’ll record an initial baseline based on the number of 2015 and 2016 individual actions taken on our advocacy software platform. Additionally, we’ll measure the number of bicycle-friendly communities across the state, which currently stands at 16.

Our strategic priorities

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Five-Year Strategic Plan Priority: Support Election of Bicycle-Friendly Candidates

On May 16, 2013, supporters of better bicycling, walking, and neighborhood safety joined with Governor Inslee to sign the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill into law

On May 16, 2013, supporters of better bicycling, walking, and neighborhood safety joined with Governor Inslee to sign the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill into law

Political scientist David Easten famously labeled politics is “the authoritative allocation of values for a society.” For us as a statewide bike organization, this means engaging in politics to further our values and our vision of Bicycling for All.

This is a new role for Washington Bikes, one we took on as we merged with Cascade Bicycle Club and restructured the responsibilities of each of the two sister organizations.

Electing bicycle-friendly candidates at every level is essential to increasing public investments and enacting policies that make streets safe, accessible, and truly connected for people on bikes. As we add direct political engagement to our toolkit we will focus on doing so in a smart, thoughtful way that continues our bipartisan and commonsense approach to building support for policy. Forming a broad-based, statewide constituent committee, we will develop a legislative agenda and decide where and how we get involved in relevant federal, state, county and city races.

What we will do: We will amplify your voice, doubling the number of electoral races around the state in which we become involved through endorsements, candidate questionnaires and political-action committee activities. As we develop and execute plans of engagement in selected races, we will continue to build relationships and monitor activities of candidates we support to ensure follow-through and accountability.

Our current level of success: For the 2015 legislature, our c4 endorsements* totaled 51 races in four counties, 20 cities/towns and three ballot measures.

Our strategic priorities

*Endorsements in 2015 were a function of Cascade Bicycle Club, which previously worked as a 501(c)(4). In the merger and restructuring Cascade became a 501(c)(3), which can endorse issues but not candidates.

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Looking Ahead: Our Five-Year Strategic Plan

WA-Kids-Say-We-Need-More-Safe-Routes-to-SchoolAs the leadership of the “old” Washington  Bikes and Cascade Bicycle Club embarked on a merger, we engaged people from across the state in our planning process for the new Washington Bikes and the new Cascade. Our strategic planning consultants interviewed stakeholders statewide, led focus groups, and held a two-day retreat with members of both boards and staff.

In that process we realigned which organization does what now that Washington Bikes functions as a 501(c)(4) and Cascade operates as a 501(c)(3). To help clarify the new responsibilities we’re highlighting our strategic plan priorities with a series of posts over the next few days. You’re also invited to review the Cascade strategic plan, distributed in October.

SSB_5438_Bill_SigningBriefly, our strategic priorities are:

This isn’t a plan that’s simply executed by staff. This is a plan that relies on the engagement of individuals and partner organizations across the state. All our work relies on the belief that people who bike make a difference.

  • You make a difference when you take action to elect bike-friendly candidates.
  • You make a difference when you advocate for better bicycling at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • You make a difference when you simply get out and ride — more people on the streets creates more safety for everyone who rides.
  • You make a difference when you communicate with your bicycling friends and enlist them to join you in standing up, speaking out, and supporting our work on behalf of better bicycling.

Join us on our journey guided by the vision of Bicycling for All, because people who bike make a difference.

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Press Release: Ride in the Rain Challenge starts Tuesday

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***

Washington Bikes’ Ride in the Rain Challenge starts Tuesday, Nov. 1

Don’t let the weather slow your roll this November

SEATTLE, Wash. Oct. 27, 2016 –  Do you have what it takes to bike during Washington’s rainiest month?

This November 1-30, Washington Bikes is inviting everyone in the state of Washington to participate in the Ride in the Rain Challenge, a friendly competition amongst two-wheeled teams to bike as much as possible—for fun, for work or for just getting around town.

Participants log bike trips throughout the month of November while competing for prizes—and they might just discover that biking year-round can be fun, convenient and empowering.

More than 2,000 participants have already signed up for the Ride in the Rain Challenge and formed more than 300 teams. Washington Bikes will help get new and veteran riders rolling with encouragement, tips and resources, prize opportunities and fun events throughout November.

Upcoming events include:

  • Free Laundromat Takeover with Nikwax
    Thursday, Nov. 3, 6-8 p.m.
    Lunar Laundry (700 NW 65th St Seattle, WA 98117)
  • Free Commuting in the Rain Class
    Wednesday, Nov. 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
    F5 Offices (401 Elliott Ave W Seattle, WA 98119)

Visit wabikes.org/events-rides/ to see more helpful events surrounding Ride in the Rain Challenge.

Participants are encouraged to share Ride in the Rain Challenge photos by tagging #RideinRain and @wabikes on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Registration is free and open to everyone in Washington, so form a team of friends or ride solo, and log your bike trips for a chance to earn prizes and bragging rights!

Visit wabikes.org/rideintherain to learn more and take the Challenge.

Ride in the Rain is made possible through the support of our sponsors REI, SKS, Ortlieb, Nikwax, Peddler Brewing Company and the University of Washington.

# # #

About Washington Bikes
Washington Bikes believes people who bike make a difference. We advocate for bicyclists’ rights and work with public officials to shape the policies that will make bicycling a safe, accessible form of transportation, travel and recreation. Through our efforts we increase funding for bicycle facilities; provide tools for local advocates to improve their communities; and promote the health, safety, and economic benefits of bicycling. Our work and that of our many partner organizations means more biking all across Washington, the #1 Bicycle Friendly State in America since 2008. Cascade Bicycle Club is affiliated with Washington Bikes. To learn more, visit WAbikes.org.

Media Contact: Brent Tongco
Senior Director of Communications & Marketing
(206) 939-4307
brentt@wabikes.org

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John Wayne Pioneer Trail Recap and 2017 State Funding Request

Riding toward the east portal of the Boylston Tunnel in the Yakima Training Center grounds. Photo by Mike Sorensen (used by permission).

Riding toward the east portal of the Boylston Tunnel in the Yakima Training Center grounds. Photo by Mike Sorensen (used by permission).

Protecting and funding the John Wayne Pioneer Trail will be one of Washington Bikes’ priorities heading into the 2017 legislative session and beyond. The threat to the trail’s public ownership that emerged at the tail end of the 2015 legislative capital budget process ironically has served to galvanize widespread public support for the trail — Friends of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail formed not just to protect it but to promote, maintain, and develop the nation’s longest rail-trail. At their board retreat in September in South Cle Elum the Friends discussed formation of a coalition and development of a common legislative strategy that can be supported by a broad range of interests.

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Washington Bikes 2016 Ballot Measure Endorsements Released

You’re celebrating the election of a bicycle-champion official. You’re biking down a newly installed protected bike lane that connects two sections of town. Your town is named a Bicycle Friendly Community and you can see why. This happens because local bike leaders and Washington Bikes collaborate in identifying and promoting bicycle-friendly policies and investments that make bicycling safer and more accessible. You’re part of a community where your voice is not only heard, but acted upon.

Following the 2016 merger of Cascade Bicycle Club (becoming a 501(c)(3) organization) and Washington Bikes (emerging as a 501(c)(4) organization), Washington Bikes assumed all endorsements and electoral responsibilities for bicycling statewide. Additionally, Washington Bikes will continue to be the voice of bicycling in Olympia.

For the 2016 General Election, Washington Bikes endorses the following ballot measures:

Regional Proposition 1: Sound Transit 3

A $54 billion plan that would build 62 miles of light rail, additional bus rapid transit improvements, and approximately $270 million in biking and walking access improvements at and around stations, as well as a $100 million access fund that would build biking and walking improvements systemwide. Additionally, future revenues through managed parking will be directed toward making it easier to walk and bike to transit. Regional Prop. 1 is an opportunity to connect Everett to Tacoma, Seattle to Redmond, and all the communities in between with 116 miles of Sound Transit light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit and express buses.

From now until election day, we’re working with our affiliate organization, Cascade Bicycle Club, and calling on volunteers like you to help spread the word to voters all around the region by encouraging them to vote “yes” on Prop 1!

Bellevue Transportation Levy

The Bellevue Transportation Levy is a 20-year property tax levy that would raise approximately $140 million for neighborhood safety, connectivity, congestion improvement, sidewalk, bicycle, technology and maintenance needs. Notably, this levy would improve the potential for investments in Bellevue’s Bicycle Network.

Kenmore “Walkways & Waterways” Bond Measure

Kenmore “Walkways & Waterways” Bond Measure is a $19.75 million bond measure would invest in 5 significant bicycle and pedestrian and placemaking projects. It would invest in Juanita Drive improvements that would add bike lanes from Kirkland city limits north to 170th Ave (Simonds Rd.). An additional project would connect Safe Routes to Schools projects together with downtown.

Issaquah Traffic Improvement Projects Bond

A $50 million bond measure that would invest in four projects across Issaquah. A highlight includes investments in two discrete projects on segments of Newport Way that would build bike lanes and/or a multi-use path parallel to the corridor.

In addition to ballot measures, Washington Bikes endorses candidates. View our 2016 General Election Candidate Endorsements

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Riding in the Rain

As the weather inevitably gets colder, cloudier and rainier, many of us are tempted to hang up our bikes and hop on a bus or in a car. Riding a bike — for fun, transportation or exercise — has positive benefits which, when you think about it, can outweigh the perceived discomfort of riding in rainy weather. While riding on a sunny day can seem more enjoyable, a few easy changes to your attire, bike, riding style and attitude can make a rainy day ride just as (maybe even more!) fun.

Outfit your bike

It might seem unintuitive, but the biggest source of wetness isn’t water falling from above — it’s from the spinning of your tires. Fenders are your best way of combating this. Visit your local bike shop and consider picking up some full fenders that cover most of your back wheel and at least the rear section of your front wheel. Mud flaps on the fenders are an added bonus to keep your feet (and your friends riding behind you) nice and dry.

ride-in-the-rain-smileOutfit yourself

First things first — a good rain jacket is key. Consider a jacket made of a bright/reflective material that has proper ventilation (keep an eye out for a jacket with zippers under the armpits). While a good set of fenders should keep your bottom half dry, you might also consider waterproof pants, a rain cape or shoe covers. Waterproof fabric tends to be windproof as well, which means that it can be easy to sweat more than usual when riding. I find it helps to ride a little more slowly to keep my heart rate down and body temperature comfortable.

Think a little further ahead

Think of the phrase, “slippery when wet.” While a wet road can feel the same as a dry one, there are situations when you need to think a step or two ahead to keep cruising comfortably. If you ride a bike with rim brakes, your brakes need more time to generate friction on wet rims. To combat this, use your brakes earlier than usual and apply pressure gradually. Also, watch out for things like manhole covers, thick road paint and mud, which get especially slippery and can make taking corners a little more exciting than needed.

Washington Bikes' 2016 Ride in the Rain Challenge is November 1-30 — sign up today!

For extra support, prizes and bragging rights, take the Washington Bikes Ride in the Rain Challenge November 1-30!

It’s all a matter of perspective

Having grown up in Southern California, the rainy months of the Northwest really took a toll on me when I moved here. I felt like aspects of my life had to come to a stop because of the weather. But, after a while, I began trying to look at the rain as less of a barrier and more of a challenge. Rather than focusing on how I would rather be dry, I like to think about how I am doing something that I enjoy, regardless of Mother Nature.

Anyone can be a fair weather pedaler . It takes a little more determination to ride all year round, but in the end, I think it’s worth it. Keep riding, keep exploring and prove that a little rain can’t slow your roll! For extra support, prizes and bragging rights, join our 2016 Ride in the Rain Challenge and invite your friends and coworkers to compete this November!

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