Recognized for its contributions in building more bike-friendly communities, Kitsbow is the only business to receive Platinum Level for the first time.
Kitsbow, maker of premium cycling clothing and accessories, is honored to be the recipient of a Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award for 2021 from the League of American Bicyclists. The Platinum Level is the highest recognition in the League’s Bicycle Friendly Business program, and Kitsbow is the only business in the U.S. to have earned the Platinum distinction for the first time in the mid-2021 cohort of businesses.
The Bicycle Friendly Business program recognizes businesses for their efforts to increase ridership and foster a positive bicycling culture in the workplace. Businesses complete an in-depth online application and are evaluated in five categories: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Evaluation & Planning, and Equity & Inclusion.
In receiving this award, Kitsbow earns a place alongside more than 1,400 businesses across the country that are contributing to the movement to build a more bicycle friendly America.
Kitsbow joins 37 total new and renewing BFBs in the League’s latest round of business awards and 1,458 total BFBs nationwide, including everything from government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, bike shops, and other employers, all united in a commitment to transform American workplaces to be more welcoming to both customers and employees who bike.
Headquartered on the doorstep of more than 40 miles of incredible trails on 70,000+ acres of public land in western North Carolina, Kitsbow and its Old Fort Ride House has become a gathering place for cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
“We are proud to be recognized and receive this award from the League of American Bicyclists for our bike-centric culture and community,” said David Billstrom, CEO of Kitsbow. “We are also humbled to be included in such a forward-thinking group of bicycle advocacy, joining other businesses that have worked for years and decades to enable, support, and promote bicycle use. Kitsbow was founded to create more inclusive and sustainable apparel and the Kitsbow Ride House exists to bring people together, celebrate mountain biking and the outdoors, and offer a ‘base camp’ for a fantastic trail experience in Old Fort and the Pisgah National Forest.”
Partnering with organizations like the U.S. Forest Service, the G5 Trail Collective, Friends of the Fonta Flora State Trail, and People on the Move for Old Fort, Kitsbow is committed to helping develop Old Fort, North Carolina into the country’s next mountain bike destination. In addition to the current trail network, an IMBA Trail Accelerator grant and work by the G5 Trail Collective has laid the groundwork to add over 40 miles more of new mountain bike trails in Old Fort, including expert routes as well as loops perfect for those new to the sport. The diversity of trails is a massive draw for riders from near and far.
In addition, the Old Fort Ride House provides the only public restrooms in Old Fort, along with filtered, chilled water bottle refill, light repairs for bikes, spare parts for bikes, ample bike racks that are adjacent to the covered, cooled eating area, and a wide array of trail snacks, resupply, and grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals. And of course, Kitsbow apparel that is perfectly suited for biking, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors.
Biking to work also is important to the Kitsbow company culture. As part of its employee benefits package, Kitsbow offers its team members secure indoor bike racks, a shower and changing area, as well as service on their bikes subsidized by the company.
“We are pleased to honor these new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses, who are cultivating the growth of bicycling in their communities in ways we have never seen before,” said Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists. “This round of awards includes companies and organizations making biking better through their own efforts and by supporting and amplifying the efforts of others. As always, it is a reminder that our vision of an America where every person can safely and easily choose to bike is shared by every part of a community.”
Nesper continued, “Bicycle Friendly Businesses are an integral part of our larger movement to make bicycling a safe, accessible, and fun option no matter where or what your destination is. When more people recognize the benefits of bicycling, the movement grows stronger. We’re proud that Kitsbow and businesses like it are not only recognizing and embracing the benefits of bicycling but are working in tandem with local organizations, city officials, and other businesses to promote it as well.”
As part of the BFB network, Kitsbow will have access to a variety of tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more welcoming to people who bike. When employees bike, great things happen, including a fun way to get to work and connecting with each other and the community.
About the Bicycle Friendly America Program
To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, including the Bicycle Friendly Community® (BFC), Bicycle Friendly State® (BFS), Bicycle Friendly Business® (BFB), and Bicycle Friendly University® (BFU) programs, visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA.
The League of American Bicyclists leads the national movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. With a history dating to 1880, the League is committed to engaging diverse communities and building a powerful, unified voice for change around protecting and promoting bicyclists’ rights. Learn more at www.bikeleague.org.
Kitsbow was established in Sonoma County, California, eight years ago by dedicated mountain bikers and apparel industry veterans. Because its designers have logged years in the saddle, each detail is obsessively considered. Every element — down to zippers and reflective piping — is vetted for quality, style, and durability. Relocating its manufacturing to Old Fort, North Carolina in 2019, Kitsbow is committed to a Just in Time manufacturing model, minimizing waste and maximizing flexibility to serve the customer. All products are packaged in compostable packaging, as well as all shipping materials, ready to return to the Earth in your own garden. Kitsbow already makes over 75% of its products in the USA and is on track to be making all of its products in-house in 2021.