National Bike Summit Kicks Off Today

National Bike Summit

The National Bike Summit kicks off today in Washington, D.C. This year’s keynote speakers are Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Janette Sadik-Khan, the Commissioner of the New York City DOT. The Bike Summit is the premier bike advocacy event of the year, attracting upwards of 700 attendees including advocates, supporters, and industry executives. This year’s theme is, “Acting on a Simple Solution”. From the Summit program:

This years theme, Acting on a Simple Solution, could hardly be more timely. Bicycling is economical, efficient, clean, and sustainable. The level of investment needed to get more people riding is small and offers big returns. Riding a bike frees people from car, gas, and insurance payments; it frees the nation from costly oil imports from volatile corners of the world. Bicycling is the ultimate expression of freedom and independence and the simple pleasure of riding a bike harkens back to simpler times. It’s fun, and its good for you. What’s not to like about that?

Yet here we are; close to 800 people in our nation’s capital having to “pitch” our elected representatives on why they should support continued Federal investment in bicycling. While it may seem obvious to us why that’s a simple case to make, there are almost 100 new members of Congress and a fresh slate of key committee members and staff who probably haven’t thought much about our issue. There are very few members of the House or Senate who were in office 20 years ago when the Transportation Enhancements program was created. In the next few days, we have the opportunity — no, the responsibility — to make sure every Member of Congress understands why this investment makes sense and just how it benefits individuals, business, communities, and the nation. No one else is going to do it for us.

National Bike Summit
National Bike Summit Program [PDF]

2 Responses to “National Bike Summit Kicks Off Today”

  • dominic furfaro says:

    Could I propose to all cyclist reading this comment to send a message to their local bike retailers and national wholesalers. As the program pamphlet implores to focus on the benefits to our nation and your community. I’ll be the first to say I am surprised not one previous comment. Ok that’s out of the way. Speaking from experience and reaching back in history over the past 40 years, that’s 20 years longer than Transportation Enhancement, I believe there is no simple solution to get more people riding bikes. Human nature is such for many of our countrymen that we associate freedom and independence not with bikes but cars. The buzz about biking as good barely resonates with American adults for three reasons. First, many adults fear traffic. Second, too many model and bike style choices are confusing for potential riders. And third, advocates have had their say but bicycle modal share has not increased across American cities. Lastly, as my father would say “we learn with our wallet” As energy cost increase so should bicycle use. Wait and see.

  • Alan Barnard says:

    Thanks for your comment, Dominic. I couldn’t agree more; until people feel the need to ride a bicycle, it’s far too convenient and comfortable to keep driving an automobile. Certainly bike advocates are doing good work, but like you intimated, it will probably be increasing energy costs that finally trigger a paradigm shift.

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