Skip to main content

Alyssa Proudfoot Siegel

Alyssa Proudfoot Siegel is an avid advocate for creating safer roads for cycling and bringing the community together to work toward sustainability and environmental justice. As part of The League of American Bicyclists team, Alyssa will be participating in the upcoming Green Fondo Virginia. She took the time to talk with us about all things biking and more, leading up to this event!

Climate Ride (CR): Firstly, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! We look forward to seeing you this month at Green Fondo Virginia. Can you tell us a little about why you decided to participate in this Climate Ride event?

Alyssa Proudfoot Siegel (APS): As a cycling activist, I have dedicated my time and energy to advocating for sustainability, safe streets, and environmental justice for all. By participating in Climate Ride, I can combine my passion for cycling with my commitment to a better world. This ride provides an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded individuals who share my values and are also working towards a more Bicycle Friendly America.

(CR): You are doing some incredible work! What’s motivating you to fundraise?

(APS): Every organization that benefits from this ride is doing essential work, but my heart is with The League of American Bicyclists. The League of American Bicyclists is the grassroots movement to create safer roads and stronger communities, and I am honored to have a small part of that life-saving work.

(CR): ​​What field do you work in? What’s your passion?

(APS): I am the Membership & Program Coordinator for the League of American Bicyclists, and I am working on my passion every day. I believe that bikes are for everyone, and, in my off time, I run Radical Joy Riding, a small, party-pace biking group in DC, and I volunteer with amazing organizations like the Washington Area Bicyclists Association and the Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes. I also organize community bike rides through DC Bike Party and Bikes Not Bombs.

(CR): It’s truly inspiring to learn about how involved you are in your local community efforts to create safer roads for everyone while helping the environment. How has climate change impacted you and/or the area you live in?

(APS): According to the EPA, The District of Columbia’s climate is changing. The region has warmed by more than two degrees (F) in the last century, hot days and heavy rainstorms are more frequent, and the tidal Potomac is rising about one inch every eight years. In the coming decades, changing climate is likely to increase tidal flooding, cause more heavy rainstorms and sewer overflows, and increase some risks to human health.

This also is disproportionately affecting areas of the city along economic and racial lines, where rivers like the Anacostia in primarily low-income and black neighborhoods are regularly flooded with sewage.

In an area with high car traffic, unsafe bike infrastructure, and insufficient public transit, change is urgent if the area is going to be livable in the near future.

(CR): It’s a tough reality to face but you are taking real action daily to save our planet. Are there any personal challenges you’ve confronted or foresee in preparing for this event? How did/will you overcome them?

(APS) I am always extra cognizant of those that have been historically excluded from the cycling community; as a queer woman in a larger body, it’s taken me years to feel comfortable organizing cycling events.

I dove in headfirst to overcome this challenge. I didn’t see people who looked like me, so I decided to BE the person that looked like me. By showing up, I hope that my visibility will encourage more cyclists to feel like they belong.

(CR): Wow! Thank you for being an inclusive example for so many who might feel excluded otherwise in the cycling community. Has preparing for and participating in this event spurred you to take any other action on climate (personal, locally or nationally)?

(APS): As a member of the car-free movement, I have been promoting replacing car trips with bike trips. According to the National Household Travel Survey, 45.6% of vehicle trips are 3 miles or less. That’s totally bikeable!

I encourage my friends to push the limits of what they can do on a bike and I intend to turn them all into annoying bike people like myself.

(CR): Haha! Annoying bike people for the win! Is there anything else that you would like to share?

(APS): Safe bike infrastructure is the way to save the planet!

(CR): Absolutely! We can’t wait to see you at Green Fondo Virginia! You can support Sarah’s efforts here AND we’ve just secured $500k in matching funds from the Algorand Foundation, so anything you give will be doubled until we exhaust those funds!