By Harry Ford

The League of American Bicyclist was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians.

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. The success of the League in its first advocacy efforts ultimately led to our national highway system.

Today there are 20,000 direct members and a total of 300,000 including affiliate organizations who share the League’s Vision and Mission:

The Vision is a nation where everyone recognizes and enjoys the many benefits and opportunities of bicycling.

The Mission is to lead the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.

Anyone serious about improving cycling opportunities should consider joining The League—go to