After 100 years as a national governing body, USA Cycling is broadening its mission to encourage the growth of cycling in the United States. With the hope of Team USA rider success at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the organization will expand initiatives supporting young riders, safety advocacy, and diversity and inclusiveness to meet the growing needs of American cyclists.
The organisation notes that cycling continues to gain traction in the US as one of the most popular activities for both fitness and fun. ‘Among the 66 million people who ride a bike each year, 7 million are self-described cycling enthusiasts who ride regularly.’ USA Cycling adds that it wants to help those riders in their cycling experiences through this newly expanded mission while better serving the existing 55,000 USA Cycling members.
USA Cycling has a long history of providing race opportunities to riders ranging from beginners to Olympians. The organization hosts 18 National Championships annually for riders of all ages and disciplines, while fielding a strong Team USA built of riders who compete and win across the world.
USA Cycling’s athletes won five medals at the 2016 Rio Games, including two gold – women’s road cycling (Kristin Armstrong) and men’s BMX (Connor Fields). With a roster which includes the world’s best male and female riders in BMX Freestyle, the 2019 Women’s World Cup Mountain Bike Champion, the 2019 Women’s Time Trial World Champion, and a women’s track team with a history of multiple Olympic medals, 2020 is expected to be ‘a record medal sweep for American cycling.’
While promoting competitive cycling will remain a key focus, USA Cycling is taking a more active role in supporting all riders.
‘American bike riders care about safety, community, fun, fitness, and getting kids into a healthy sport, and USA Cycling wants to advocate for and address these areas.’
In 2019, USA Cycling created a dedicated Youth & Collegiate Development department to focus on young riders and create partnerships with youth cycling leagues and clubs nationwide. The organization is also focused on promoting and supporting women and girls in cycling. Other initiatives include partnerships with safety-focused organizations such as the BikeLaw network to promote safety advocacy and offer legal guidance to members, and creation of a Diversity & Inclusiveness Advisory Group to ensure USA Cycling is an ally in supporting, representing, and welcoming all riders.
The shift to a broader mission is accompanied by the rollout of a new membership program in February 2020 with a structure created to be more inviting and accessible to all riders. Members will also receive a range of benefits designed to appeal to all riders, including discounts and other benefits at popular mass start events, access to thousands of USA Cycling races around the country, discounts on partner products and services, BikeLaw guidance, and free training plans and coaching advice.
“USA Cycling has a long history of developing American racers, but riding a bike is so much more than just racing. We want to support riders across the country on causes that matter to them and make them feel welcome in the largest cycling community in the nation,” said USA Cycling President and CEO Rob DeMartini.