In 2012, Jacob VanSickle became the
first executive director of Bike Cleveland
an organization cre-
ated to unify Cleveland’s growing bike
community. Just 27 at the time, VanSickle
was already plugged into the city’s bike
scene, having served for several years
as active-living coordinator for Slavic
Village Development, a nonprofit com-
munity development corporation serving
Cleveland’s North and South Broadway
neighborhoods. It was there that he
focused his work on a 3.1-mile rail-trail in
the underserved area, leading community
rides and organizing youth summer bike
camps. And it was there that he renewed
his own love of biking, a bygone activity
from his childhood.
VanSickle would go on to help lead
the community-driven development of
Bike Cleveland’s strategic plan and to
help form the Cleveland Bicycle Alliance,
which brought the city’s existing bike
organizations together. We caught up
with VanSickle recently to learn more
about his vision for a connected city.
What got you interested in biking?
I grew up riding bikes a lot as a kid, but
once I turned 16 and got my driver’s
license, I forgot about my bike and the
independence it gave me as a middle
schooler. What got me back into it was
my desire to lead by example in my work
at Slavic Village. I was trying to encourage
Way Forward
Brian Fyfe
By Amy Kapp
Jacob VanSickle: