Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bike racers and advocacy

At the National Bike Summit there was a session entitled Finally the racing and advocacy worlds collide. See a report of that session at, Bike advocates and pro cyclists bridge the gap at National Bike Summit.
Johnson suggested to specific ways that the USA Cycling race clubs could be involved in advocacy and promoting bicycling. First, he suggested that each USAC club adopt a school, "and it doesn't have to be an underprivileged school," to go and talk to kids about bike safety and show them the fun side of bike riding. He said,"When you're a kid, your not riding a bike to train or commute, you're riding because it's fun!"

Second, he suggested that amateur cyclists talk to other parents informally about advocating for bike lanes and Safe Routes to School, "just talk to people on the sidelines of your kid's soccer game," he suggests.

Self-described Bicycle Evangelist and Bikes Belong member Richard Fries noted that the President of the League of American Bicyclists, Andy Clarke was in the audience, then bombastically asked, "Where are all the other bike advocates, why aren't they here?" He gave examples of advocates not wanting to talk to him about racing.

Gary Fisher stood up, removed his hat, and interrupted Fries: "Advocates are the ones working hard the ground, the pros are WHOOSH, just flying overhead. We racers need to RESPECT the advocates." The audience erupted into spontaneous cheers for Fisher. Fries hadn't realized how many grassroots advocates sat in the audience from places like Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, California, and many other states.

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This article just hit Velonews.

USAC speaks on advocacy...though not sure what he is saying.

I know the CEO of USA Triathlon and he says he's committed to sending someone to the Summit. Their membership is 150K annual licenses and over 350K one days. That's huge.

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