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The League of American Bicyclists was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. 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. Today, the league’s mission is to promote bicycling for fun, fitness, and transportation and to work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. It works to achieve these goals through two programs: the Bicycle Friendly America program and the Smart Cycling program. The Bicycle Friendly America program recognizes communities, states, and businesses nationwide that support the five Es of bicycling: education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation, and encouragement. The Smart Cycling program is the United States’ only nationwide instructor certification program. It teaches basic riding technique, safety skills, and bike maintenance, which allow riders to feel more comfortable on the road.
Andy Clarke is president of the League of American Bicyclists, where he has expanded the league’s Smart Cycling program and developed the Bicycle Friendly America program. He has more than 25 years of experience in cycling advocacy, having worked with the Rails to Trails Conservancy and the Bicycle Federation of America (now the National Center for Bicycling and Walking). He was executive director of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. He also served as a consultant to the Federal Highway Administration and coauthored the Administration’s Bicycle Safety-Related Research Synthesis. From 1993 to 2002, he was on the Bicycle Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, serving as chair for the last three years.
Clarke is a founding member of America Bikes and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals. In 2003 he earned the Paul Dudley White Award from the American Heart Association for outstanding contributions to bicycling, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.
Clarke’s passion for cycling started when he was growing up in England and has stayed with him through hundreds of thousands of miles of cycling on four continents. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia, with his wife, Kristen, and his two children, Ashton and Jacqueline.