Here are the stories from our quarterly e-newsletters. All special announcements and all newsletter articles are available here when they are new, and will remain in the Archive section for future reference.
The National Bike summit is co-sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking and Walking. It is an annual gathering of bicycle advocates in Washington, D.C., dedicated to presenting the case for continued support of cycling to members of Congress. The California Bicycle Coalition urged us to send a representative in behalf of cyclists residing in Congressional District One.
As luck would have it, our executive director had already planned to visit family there in the days just ahead of the Summit. So, with the ticket paid for, and food and lodging taken care of by his daughter, Mike Costanzo was able to join the California contingent, making it 71 strong. Here is a summary of Mike’s impressions of the Summit:
“My greatest impression is that the bicycle community is alive, well, and vigorous in its commitment. All of the workshops were filled with positivity and practical advice on how to get things done in these difficult times. I know we can make bike riding a safe practical alternative to using our cars in Napa . . . if they can do it New York City and in D.C. we can make it happen here.
With almost 800 people at the summit, we got the attention of the President, who sent two members of his Cabinet to talk to us, and to express support and appreciation for our work. It was gratifying to hear Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood affirm the value of cycling for the well-being of the country, despite the pressure to reduce or eliminate investments in programs to foster non-motorized transportation. He summarized his perspective by saying, ‘It’s the Department of Transportation, not the Department of Highways.’
A main emphasis of several of the workshops was training on how to engage elected representatives on cycling issues. All of this was in preparation for the appointments with Congressmen and Senators, which the organizers had arranged. The message was simple: urge members of Congress to support current levels of investment in building safe bicycle networks.
The District One group, which included folks from Yolo and Sonoma Counties, and two from Napa County, visited Mike Thompson’s office. Congressman Thompson was on hand to receive our message; he agreed to Napa's cyclists at meeting this Spring! (Look for more information on that in the next few weeks.)
The entire California delegation was invited to meet with Barbara Boxer’s staffers; the message was well-received there, but the staffers suggested we not get our expectations up too high since the attitude of the newly elected members of Congress toward non-motorized transportation is not supportive.
The end of the Summit was marked by the Congressional Bike Ride, which was basically a tour of parts of the new bicycle network in D.C. I rented a bike at one of the Capital Bikeshare kiosks near one of the Metro stations. I inserted my credit card, keyed in a code that unlocked a bike, and rode the Class I bike path recently installed right down the center of Pennsylvania Avenue to join the ride. What a thrill that was. Members of the Washington Area Bicycle Alliance escorted the group on a tour of some of the new bike paths through the city. Look for me in the video, I’m one of the handfull of fools not wearing a helmet (Bikeshare is not Helmetshare).”
Press release dated May 23, 2011. Rabobank sponsors Napa Bike.
Here's our first press release dated March 15, 2011. We're announcing the launch of our new site.
The Archive will hold all articles of past newsletters.