Pedaling Towards Positive Change
The State law of Pennsylvania requires that motorists allow four feet between their vehicles and cyclists when passing. While this may seem like a simple task, modern technology is preventing some motorists from giving cyclists the space they need to remain safe.
“In newer vehicles, lane assist is a feature that gently tugs vehicles back into the driving lane if they begin to drift over the median,” says Tristan Avelis, President of Centre Bike. “Although this feature helps drivers stay in their lane, there are obviously times when drivers need to go out of their lane.”
Understanding the implications of lane assist is just one of CentreBike’s many goals. Founded in 2000, CentreBike is a membership-based nonprofit that raises awareness of safety concerns, while also promoting cycling as a means of recreation and transportation.
“One of the biggest concerns we hear is that drivers can’t see cyclists in the dark,” says Paul Rito, Treasurer of Centre Bike, “so in the last couple of years, we’ve given out more bike lights to combat this issue.”
CentreBike also partners with other local cycling organizations to help with events and initiatives.
“Along with Penns Valley Pedals & Pints, we organized and cosponsored the first annual Ride of Silence,” says Tristan. “This is a really great event that commemorates those who have been injured or killed while cycling. The ride also brings attention to the fact that there are cyclists here in Centre County who do their best to follow the laws.”
Local townships and municipalities have been very supportive of CentreBike’s initiative over the years and recognize that both motorists and cyclists share a dream of safe transportation for everyone.
“There are a lot of dreams about how good cycling can be,” says Tristan. “You can go all the way through Bill Nye’s vision of having bicycling highways, or you can just make sure major roads have protected bike lanes. My dream is for Centre County to have a marked bike lane on almost every main road.”
Centre Foundation supports CentreBike’s initiatives with an endowment fund, the CentreBike Fund, which was established by anonymous donors in 2015 to help facilitate the vision of a more cycle-friendly community in the Centre Region.
CentreBike also participates in Centre Gives, raising $2,122 in 2018 and $2,848 in 2019.
Grants that went to CentreBike through Centre Gives, endowment funds, and donor-advised funds totaled $4,263 in 2018.
“We are so appreciative of the donors who established the CentreBike fund,” says Paul.
“It has allowed us to concentrate on providing services and help to other cycling organizations that we couldn’t have handled financially before the endowment.”