In 2011, Recycle-A-Bicycle Inc. founded the Youth Bike Summit as a way to connect its local partners. It became immediately evident that this was much bigger than that. The New School provided a free space to gather, and became a full partner in growing and sustaining this unleashed, positive energy. We formed a National Steering Committee which led to developing a system to rotate the event between members.
By the fourth year, the Youth Bike Summit began to travel and subsequently was hosted by Bike Works in Seattle, WA 2015, Cycles for Change in Saint Paul, MN 2016, and Phoenix Bikes in Arlington, VA 2017. In our first year, we attracted 175 attendees from 14 states. Over the past 8 years, it has grown to attract 500 people from 28 states. Equally important, the percentage of youth participation has grown from 28% to a high of 58%.
In 2017, Bike New York assumed leadership of the Youth Bike Summit. Bike New York works closely with the National Steering Committee, which provides guidance and support throughout the planning process. Each member is eligible and encouraged to host future events, thereby enabling greater access to young people based in different regions of the country.