Chase and Living Social are offering 12 grants of up to $250,000 to small businesses and DC's own Bicycle Space [Full Disclosure: also a sponsor of this blog] is trying to win one. They need 250 votes in the next few days to qualify [Update: they have more than that now, but more can't hurt]. Go here and login to vote for them. We all benefit from better bike shops.
Though our means are and have been limited, we have gone to extraordinary lengths to provide a place which is friendly, helpful, and active in supporting and building community to make our city better. In our short life-span, we've been voted the Best in DC by both the readers and editors of City Paper, we've attracted the most Facebook fans of any local bicycle shop, and our YouTube channel has almost 13,000 views. We lead at least six free weekly moderate-paced groups rides where we're friendly and respectful to both pedestrians and drivers. We host two free weekly yoga classes, bike repair classes, host numerous free events, and provide assistance and financial support to numerous established and new organizations.
Our background is in working with bicycles, and we're using this platform to make Washington DC an exemplary city for getting around by bicycle. Bicycles help to bring people health, happiness, liberty, and when areas can provide safe infrastructure, bicycles can even help with economic revitalization.
Imagine for a minute if people in the city didn't need a car, or if couples only needed to own one car. By AAA estimates, each household would save over $8,000 on the average by going car-free or car-light. Now multiply that by all of the households in the region, while considering that people who use bikes as their primary form of transport spend much of their money locally, and you can see the potential economic benefit that bicycles can bring to our neighborhoods. With new local opportunities, new specialty shops, cafes and restaurants will open, jobs will be created, employees will be hired, and profits will be reinvested locally to create thriving, dynamic, and connected neighborhoods. One day, perhaps, we could enable even local manufacturing and production and bring even more jobs back home.