Yesterday I met April Economides, a self-described “green urbanist” who is growing a solid reputation for making bicycles — and bicycling — a more visible and respected part of doing business. Through her firm, Green Octopus Consulting, April works with business associations, advocacy groups, and government agencies to plan and implement bike-friendly business practices. She stopped in Portland en route to Eugene where she’s speaking and giving a workshop today thanks to an invite by the University of Oregon and the City of Eugene.
April, 37, seems poised to capitalize on the growing awareness that “bikes mean business.” That’s a term that emerged in Portland in May 2011 and has since ridden a wave of acceptance and high-profile attention: Research has proven the buying-power of bike-riding customers; bikes and business panels are common at transportation conferences; the idea of “bikenomics” has taken hold thanks to activist/journalist Elly Blue; and the League of American Bicyclists has made “Bicycling Means Business” the theme of the 2013 National Bike Summit.[Read more…]