Bike Mansfield on its way to becoming a nonprofit organization

Cars are passing by the bike lane sign located on Discovery Drive on April 18, 2016. (Zhelun Lang)

Bike Mansfield, an organization that is committed to transforming the town of Mansfield into a bike-friendly community, has recently taken action to become a nonprofit in the state of Connecticut.

Organizations must first incorporate in the state to then become a certified (501) (c) (3) nonprofit organization.

President Amber Pierce said that becoming an incorporated group, one led by a board of directors and managed by a team of elected officers, will help them be recognized by the IRS in the future.

“Becoming a recognized non-profit organization will enable us to raise funds and engage with the community more effectively through our grassroots effort,” Pierce said.

The group hopes to be declared a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

Recently retired Director of Mansfield Department of Public Works Lon Hultgren started Bike Mansfield one and a half years ago. Hultgren is now the treasurer and secretary of Bike Mansfield. 

In early February, Bike Mansfield met to develop a bicycle and pedestrian master plan as part of the Mansfield Tomorrow Plan of Conservation and Development. The group is working with the town director and other members of the staff to integrate resources and paths for bicyclists. 

Pierce, who also races bikes internationally as a full time professional, encourages bicycling at all skill levels and ages.

“I love racing bicycles, but more than racing, I love the simple act of pedaling,” Pierce said. “Having the freedom to get outside and move under your own power is not only personally empowering, but also constitutes a service to the community through stewardship and improved health. Healthy, happy individuals make for a healthy, happy community and vice versa.”

Bike Mansfield has worked with the UConn Cycling Team, the UConn Triathlon Team and other local groups to encourage riding for fun, fitness or transportation.

“Cycling is very accessible,” Pierce said. “You don’t need a fancy bike and it’s easy on the joints. People of all ages and walks of life can enjoy the benefits of riding. I’m excited to encourage more people to discover cycling and other forms of active transportation through Bike Mansfield.” 

Bike Mansfield holds meetings on the second Wednesday of each month at the Nash-Zimmer Transportation Center. The center offers bus route stops, a parking garage, bike storage and many more services for Mansfield residents and visitors.

Bike Mansfield is partnering with the Mansfield Community Center to offer a new Spring Workshop series. More information can be found at bikemansfield.com.


Claire Galvin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.