Washington State centered Cascade Bicycle Club announced a merger with Washington Bikes in an email to members on Tuesday, Dec 8. A press release on their website shared the same information. The new, merged organization is now being billed as the “…largest statewide advocacy organization in the nation.”
At the decision of both organization’s boards, as of Jan. 1, 2016, Cascade Bicycle Club will be the name of the 501(c)(3) tax-deductible wing, focused on education, diversity and inclusion programs, most of the signature events and advocacy work. The organization’s 501(c)(4) arm, to be called Washington Bikes, will address statewide policy and outreach, selected statewide events and activities, and candidate endorsements.
This merger actually has potential to impact many people outside of Washington State. Cascade Bicycle Club is not only an advocacy group, but also runs a number of extremely popular rides. One in particular – the Seattle to Portland ride – routinely draws 10,000 riders, and sells out within weeks (if not days) of tickets going on sale.
Members of both organizations will automatically become members of the new, merged non-profit starting on January 1st, 2016.
Prior to the merger, Cascade Bicycle Club was already touted as the largest locally based bicycle organization – to contrast it with groups such as the League of American Bicyclists. Pre-merger Cascade club membership measured more than 15,000, with 36 staff members.
The merger will unify bicycle education curriculum and resources across the state and in the Puget Sound region. Advocacy work will also be strengthened. The merger will result in saved overhead costs and more money directly funding current work and new programs, like Cascade’s Major Taylor Project and Washington Bikes’ state bike tourism initiative. Washington Bikes’ grassroots successes across the state will also be a great partner for Cascade’s statewide tours, events and rides.
More details are available via the press release.
Note: JustAnotherCyclist is an active member of Cascade Bicycle Club and past participant in the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride.