Press Release: Oregon Bike Summit kicks-off tomorrow

Press release below from organizers of the Oregon Bike Summit, which kicks off tomorrow in Portland (stay tuned for coverage):

Third Annual Oregon Bike Summit to Focus on Funding, Support for Bicycling Issues

Two-day event will bring together cycling advocates to address a broad agenda of issues including legislation, safety and tourism

PORTLAND, Ore. – April 3, 2008 – The third annual Oregon Bike Summit, to be held April 4-5 in Portland, will bring together several hundred people interested in cycling to coordinate their efforts to pass important cycling legislation, create a safer cycling atmosphere in the state and the nation, and make Oregon a premier cycling-tourism destination. The theme of the event is “Oregon: the land bicycles dream about.”

The event will feature a group bike ride and an evening reception and dinner on Friday, followed Saturday by a complete day of general and breakout sessions on bike-related topics. Hill Abell, President of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), will be the keynote speaker Friday evening, while Saturday’s slate of speakers is scheduled to include U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Bikes Belong president Tim Blumenthal, Oregon Transportation Commission chair Gail Achterman and Alta Planning + Design principal Mia Birk.

“We’ve made significant progress on cycling-related issues in the last few years, but there are still many efforts we need to direct Oregon’s cycling advocates toward,” said Jerry Norquist, Cycle Oregon ride director and co-organizer of the Oregon Bike Summit. “Bringing together a diverse and committed group in one place for two days of learning and discussion really focuses everyone’s energy into the effort to make Oregon a safer, easier and more desirable place to ride.”

This year’s summit will focus on a variety of issues, with a primary focus on strategizing for the 2009 renewal of the National Transportation Bill, which provides funds for bicycle projects. Additional topics for breakout sessions include putting on successful bike events, affecting policy on local and national levels, building fruitful partnerships and creating bicycle-friendly communities.

“We want to have a strong voice in transportation policy, and also make Oregon a state cyclists immediately think of as a great place to ride,” said Norquist. “To achieve that, we need to know how to influence decision-makers to fund and prioritize cycling projects – as we continue to create a great cycling atmosphere in our own state.”

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