Florida Bicycle Association, 2017
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Bicycle Action Committee Founder/CEO Richard A. Cahlin was awarded with the Special Recognition prize from the Florida Bicycle Association at their 2016 Florida Bicycle Association Annual Awards for his charitable work and dedication to raising awareness about bicycle safety and awareness initiatives within communities.
Healthy Valley Magazine, 2015
CITIES LINE UP TO PROMOTE BICYCLE SAFETY AND AWARENESS
An ever-increasing number of people choose to ride bicycles in our South Florida communities as both a form of exercise and a means of commuting
Unfortunately headlines in South Florida center on injuries and deaths from bicycle accidents — accidents that are preventable through bike-safety education and awareness, as well as through the construction of bike lanes.
Nonetheless, the road to safety is slow and long. All involved — the city, the county, the Florida Department of Transportation, homeowners, business owners, planning departments and zoning officials — have good intentions. Unfortunately, though, progress is stalled because of decision-making red tape and sometimes, conflicting agendas.
Quality Cities Magazine, 2015
PARTNERING FOR SAFETY
In 2008, certified public accountant and avid bicyclist Richard Cahlin founded the not-for-profit Bicycle Action Committee (BAC), which so far has partnered with 14 South Florida cities to promote bike safety and awareness in a unique way: The BAC raises money by selling bicycle apparel featuring participating cities' seals and colors, and the proceeds go back to the cities to help fund their bicycle safety initiatives and projects, such as adding bike racks.The clothing displays visual safety monikers that alert oncoming vehicles to use caution when approaching cyclists. "The more people see that city logo and the safety moniker (on that apparel)…," Cahlin said, "the more people will say, 'Hey let's slow down. Let's give them their three feet."
Sun Sentinel, 2015
BIKE SAFETY NONPROFIT ROLLS INTO BROWARD
A local nonprofit organization is promoting bicycle safety with style.
Bicycle Action Committee partners with cities, bike organizations and businesses to raise bicycle safety awareness through city-specific bike clothing. The money raised by the organization is donated to participating cities to spend on local bike projects and initiatives.
"We take a softer approach to bike safety awareness than trying to reconstruct roads," founder Richard A. Cahlin said. "Our mission is to get the clothing out."
Above is the Village of Pinecrest jersey Cahlin will present before the Village Council on July 16.
PINECREST OKS GRANT FOR GREEN TRANSIT STUDY
The future of Pinecrest is looking more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
The Village Council recently approved a $32,000 bicycle and pedestrian mobility plan grant from the Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization to help fund a study that will analyze how to better connect the village’s eastern residential area to its three-mile U.S. 1 corridor.
The study stems from the Village Council’s 2012 vision plan that proposed to beautify and improve Pinecrest’s U.S. 1 corridor by adding sidewalks, new and wider bike lanes, bike racks, and possible shower and changing facilities behind commercial outlets on the corridor.
“This will allow residents to go between properties without having to go to U.S. 1,” said Village Manager Yocelyn Galiano Gomez, who added the plan promotes an interactive community because residents will be able to safely walk and bike to the corridor instead of drive.
Galiano Gomez said the lack of bike and pedestrian routes in the village is one reason there is so much traffic on the corridor.
The Village Council must match 20 percent of the grant, which is $8,000, to pay for the $40,000 study.
A consultant has not been chosen and there are no exact dates for the study to commence, but Galiano Gomez said Pinecrest has a strong biking community, so this plan is vital.
Richard Cahlin, a former Pinecrest resident who now lives in Coconut Grove, agrees.
“Any road biker has heard of someone who has fallen, gotten hit or died,” said Cahlin, a certified public accountant who road-bikes as a hobby and created the Bicycle Action Committee (BAC) in 2008 to promote bicycle safety throughout Miami-Dade County.
The BAC, made up of business owners, city representatives and cyclists, has previously partnered with Miami and Coral Gables by adopting the cities’ logos, manufacturing cycling outfits with the cities’ logos on them, and then selling them to cyclers to raise money for bicycling initiatives in each of the cities.
The BAC was able to fund a mountain bike trail in Virginia Key for the city of Miami and bike racks for Coral Gables.
Cahlin, who works for Mallah Furman in Brickell, receives donations from his firm, colleagues and friends to help pay for the outfits, which BAC sells for $75 (top and bottom).
Now Cahlin has asked Pinecrest’s Village Council members to join his efforts, and they agreed.
“It’s complimentary to what we are trying to do,” said Galiano Gomez.
Cahlin will present the outfits he designed for Pinecrest at the next Village Council meeting on July 16 at 6 p.m.
“It’s a road paved with bureaucrats that all have good intentions,” Cahlin said about his reasons to fundraise for bike initiatives. “More and more people are electing to bike for health, eco and money reasons. The awareness that this creates is important for anybody on the road.”
Selling Coral Gables biking gear to benefit bike safety initiatives Miami Bike Action Committee members pictured are (l-r) Robert Ruano, Collin Worth, Alison Cahlin, Richard A. Cahlin, Brittany Cahlin, and Elana Perdeck.
BIKE ACTION COMMITTEE CREATES CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE SAFETY
Richard A. Cahlin will not tell you he is “over the hill,” but he will say that as he approaches that proverbial hill, he figured it would be easier on his physique to get there on a bike rather than by running.
Today the retired distance runner and CPA — who averages about 75 to 80 miles weekly on his road bike — also chairs the City of Miami Bike Action Committee private / public partnership. The group currently is selling biking jerseys and shorts designed with the Coral Gables city seal in order to promote bike safety and fund bicycle racks in the City Beautiful.
“About three years ago a group of us started to get together once a month to promote bike safety and awareness,” Cahlin said. “It’s like school lunches, no one is against bike safety but as an initiative it can be a very difficult task.”
The group of city employees and avid bikers decided a light-hearted way to push for the cause would be to sell biking gear and use the proceeds to enhance bike safety in the sponsoring municipality.
According to Trenda Mcpherson, State Bicycle Safety Program manager with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), biking fatalities in Florida have gone down from a high of 126 in 2008 to 83 in 2010 (most recent available numbers). In Miami-Dade County there were 527 bicyclists injured and seven killed in traffic accidents in 2010 according to figures from David Henderson, Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator with the Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Office.
The City of Miami sponsored the first Bike Action Committee campaign where 100 biking outfits were sold with the city seal and the proceeds went to support the mountain biking trail on Virginia Key. The spandex-style outfits are made locally by Veloce Speedwear and range in cost from $75 to $200. Company logos are placed on the outfit as they would appear on a racecar driver’s uniform and logo placement cost varies depending on donation.
Cahlin recently made a presentation to the Village of Pinecrest and was approved so he will be starting a campaign there soon. The presentation to South Miami also met with approval from commissioners.
FDOT’s “Alert Today Alive Tomorrow” pilot program conducted a one month analysis of pedestrian and biker safety in Miami-Dade County. From a survey of 4,084 individuals, it determined that 85 percent of bicyclists are male, 86.5 percent do not wear helmets, 90 percent did not use lights at night (a statutory requirement) and only 22.5 percent were riding correctly against traffic. They also found that 44.5 percent of motorists in Dade County do not yield to pedestrians or bicyclists.
Cahlin has traveled the country on biking adventures to Maine, California, Vermont, but says the best riding is right here in South Florida.
“Key Biscayne is one of the most beautiful rides, across the bridge with water on both sides; it doesn’t get much better than that. We have the most beautiful weather year round to take advantage of cycling, and make it safe.”