National Bike Summit 2010

Welcome to BikePortland.org’s special coverage of the 2010 National Bike Summit.

Browse headlines below or visit the photo gallery here.

This coverage is sponsored by Planet Bike.

2010 National Bike Summit: Final wrap-up and slideshow

Posted on March 13th, 2010 at 8:32 am.

Watch a slideshow of our best images below or view the full gallery.
(Photos © J. Maus)


A big day (and night) for Oregon on Capitol Hill

Posted on March 12th, 2010 at 12:38 pm.

National Bike Summit 2010 - Lobby Day-31
The Oregon advocacy team on
the steps of the Capitol.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The 26-person Oregon bike advocacy team stormed Capitol Hill on Thursday, armed with cycling stats, stories, and a strong sense of purpose. It was lobbying day at the National Bike Summit and Team Oregon joined 700 bike advocates from all over the country to flood the Senate and House office buildings to make every Congressional representative aware that the bike movement is a force to be reckoned with.

The day started off with an inspirational pep rally that featured Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar. Oberstar said this will be a “a critical year” and reminded advocates that big things are possible and that, “It happens one member [of Congress] at a time!”


Ray LaHood rocks Summit crowd with tabletop speech

Posted on March 11th, 2010 at 10:28 pm.

US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood stands atop a table to address Summit attendees at the Congressional Reception held in a Senate ballroom on Capitol Hill.
(Photos © J. Maus)


Senator Merkley gets into the ACT — UPDATED

Posted on March 11th, 2010 at 9:22 pm.

National Bike Summit - Day three-203
Jeff Merkley.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Today on Capitol Hill, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) had some good news for Oregon advocates — he plans to introduce a bill in the Senate that will act as a companion to House Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s Active Community Transportation Act. The ACT Act (H.R. 4722) would create a competitive grant program to fund active transportation projects to the tune of $400 million a year for five years.

Merkley’s bill should give the potential legislation a much-needed boost in the Senate — but the bill still has a long path to roll down before becoming law. While the $2 billion program would be just 0.4% of the total estimated cost of the next transportation bill, that bill is running on empty budget-wise. In addition, the bill also suffers from a bit of a perception problem.


Industry icon Gary Fisher at the Summit: “I regret never coming before”

Posted on March 11th, 2010 at 10:18 am.

National Bike Summit 2010 - Lobby Day-6
Mr. Fisher goes to Washington —
in a Dashing Tweeds suit.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Bike industry titan Gary Fisher is hard to miss here at the Summit. A pioneer of mountain bikes in the 1980s, Fisher has gone on to be the namesake of a successful bike brand, a fashion icon, and one of only a few celebrities the bike world can call our own. He’s done a lot for biking over the years, but this is the first time he’s ever been to the National Bike Summit.

“I regret not coming before,” Fisher told me in the breakfast buffet line prior to our pep rally on Capitol Hill this morning. “I just never really made the effort.” So why this year? Fisher said his presence is the result of a classic case of arm-twisting. “Everybody kept telling me, ‘You’ve gotta’ go to this thing!'”


Whatever happened to the bike-partisan revolution?

Posted on March 11th, 2010 at 9:36 am.

National Bike Summit 2010 - Lobby Day-22
A view of the Capitol this morning.
(Photo © J. Maus)

With the lobby day in full swing here on Capitol Hill, bike advocates from around the country are asking their representatives in Congress to support a variety of pending bike-related legislation. Last night, while looking through some information on these bills put together for us by the League, I was shocked at how partisan all the bills have become.

Close readers of this site will recall several past occasions when Congress Earl Blumenauer spoke about “bike-partisan” efforts to push bike legislation through.

But this year, things have become anything but bike-partisan.


Bike racing is the new football: High school teams ride wave of momentum

Posted on March 10th, 2010 at 6:40 pm.

National Bike Summit 2010 Day 2-10
Gary Boulanger is Board President of the
National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
(Photos © J. Maus)

One of today’s many excellent breakout sessions focused on youth cycling programs. When I popped my head in I saw a familiar face at the lectern. It was Gary Boulanger, former bike industry journalist, PR guy, and entrepreneur behind the now defunct bike brand Cycles Gaansari (and the eponymously named bike shop in Dayton, Ohio).

Boulanger is now the recently elected Board President of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). NICA is a new organization (they held their first board meeting just last month) working toward the ambitious goal of developing competitive high school mountain biking leagues from coast-to-coast by 2020. So far there are just three states with leagues — California (NorCal and SoCal), Colorado, and Washington. But, with an impressive list of big-time corporate sponsors (Specialized, SRAM, Trek among others) and partners, the future looks very bright.


Bike-friendly Omaha? “You’d be surprised!”

Posted on March 10th, 2010 at 5:27 pm.

National Bike Summit 2010 Day 1-2
Advocates from Omaha, Nebraska.
L to R: Tammie Dodge, Kerri Peterson,
Julie Harris.
(Photo © J. Maus)

One of the great things about being at the National Bike Summit is the feeling that biking, as a movement, is growing. And each year I’m reminded that it’s growing far beyond the typical, bike-friendly cities you always see on top ten lists.

Last night I met Julie Harris and a few of her friends from Activate Omaha.


A few last notes and a mini-Q&A with Google Maps product guy

Posted on March 10th, 2010 at 5:08 pm.

Peter Birch from Google.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Earlier today, I got he opportunity to speak with Peter Birch, the product manager for Google Earth (and world traveler) who spearheaded development of their new biking directions feature.

Before I get to the Q & A with Birch, here’s a recap of his comments from this morning’s Opening Plenary.

“The challenge we face is, how do we get more people on bikes…. A lot of people don’t feel comfortable on a lot of the routes they’re on with busy roads and unfamiliar streets. We wanted to figure out, how can we scale this up, so we can handle every ride? At Google, we love problems of scale.”


Blumenauer, FTA head: “We need you!”

Posted on March 10th, 2010 at 5:12 am.

[The big Google bike directions announcement also happened at this Opening Plenary, but I’ve decided to separate that out into a different post and combine it with a short interview I did with the product manager.]

National Bike Summit 2010 Day 2-17
Nearly every seat was filled.
(Photos © J. Maus)

I’ve got a front row seat at the big Opening Plenary session at the National Bike Summit. There’s even more excitement than usual because there are a few guys standing around with blue Google t-shirts. In addition to a big announcement from Google about their new bike directions feature, there is an excellent panel of speakers on tap.

The opening session is billed, “The Next Decade” and Congressman Earl Blumenauer is first to speak.