2015 Youth Bike Summit in review

By Khatsini Simani, Education Program Director and Briana Orr, Communications Specialist

The theme for this year's Youth Bike Summit was "innovation." 

Bike supporters of all ages shared their transformational work and introduced innovative ideas for bike programs and community-led change over the course of three days in Seattle. 

To give you an idea of the geographic diversity, on the first night, I met folks from Illinois, South Carolina, Minnesota, California, Oregon, Virginia and Washington–all before the ice breakers! People of various ages, cultures, races, genders and abilities were also represented at the summit and wants for even wider representation were expressed.

Perhaps most impressive: it was the first time that youth outnumbered adults at the Youth Bike Summit.

If you weren't able to make it, you might be dissapointed that you missed some meaningful (and some hilarious) messages from the keynote speakers. Lucky for you, the entire keynote was captured on camera.

Take a look:

Ok if you're not going to watch the entire thing, here are a few highlights from the speakers: 

​"Don't focus on making it to the top of the hill, just pedal one pedal stroke at a time... nothing is impossible" -Brooke Negussie, UW Freshman and Major Taylor Project graduate

"These women biking in bloomers [at the turn of the century] were like the Miley Cyrus twerking of their time." -Shannon Galpin, Founder of Mountain2Mountain

"Cycling can't just be for hipster neighborhoods in downtown Seattle... we are making sure cycling is for everyone, for people of all ages and abilities." -Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

"Success does not have a budget, innovation does not have a budget, you just have to pull your resources in a new way." -Jennie Reed, US Champion Track Cyclist and Olympian

"Know your values, notice different perspectives, be comfortable with different. perspectives. Be allies to those with other values." - Adonia Lugo, Equity Initiative Manager at League of American Bicyclists

On Sunday, the "visioning" day, powerful calls to action were shared with the larger group. Teens told adults how they could better empower them and amplify their voices. Adults shared ways they created space for youth voices and leadership within their organizations. Collectively we brainstormed what we wanted to see in the future of bicycling: from living wage jobs and safer routes to school, to cross-country youth bike tours and innovative partnerships, a wide range of ideas were expressed, several with tips and plans for implementation.

Many of Cascade's staff were present, volunteering, presenting or participating and sharing stories of participants. 

Our own Sarah Lounsbury, presented her fantastic video at the Summit. We of course think its awesome. Check it out: 

A thousand thanks to Bike Works for hosting and to all the youth and adults who traveled to Seattle for the weekend! Cascade was proud to be a sponsor. The conversations that started at Youth Bike Summit are continuing here at Cascade, as we know they are around the country. 

See you in the St. Paul, Minnesota for the 2016 Youth Bike Summit!