What Trek CEO John Burke will tell Congressional leaders today

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Trek CEO John Burke, shown here
riding on Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade,
will make the case for bicycling
on Capitol Hill today.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Today, the CEO of Trek Bicycle Corporation (America’s largest bike company), John Burke, will make the case for bicycling on Capitol Hill. Burke has been invited by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit to be a part of a hearing titled, “Improving and Reforming the Nation’s Surface Transportation Programs.”

Yesterday at the Oregon Active Transportation Summit I sat down with Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong to get the scoop on what exactly Mr. Burke plans to share with the men and women who will write our nation’s transportation bill.

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Will bike economy coast through recession?

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Trek CEO John Burke says Trek
sales are up…so far.
(Photos © J Maus)

The mountain of bad economic news in this country seems to get steeper with each passing day. But amid the slowdown, there are some signs that bike-related industries are still rolling along with ease, at least for now.

Signs from the local, national and global bike industry indicators are mixed. In this story, we take a look at some of those signs and ask several industry players how things are going.

Bike Europe, a trade magazine that covers the bike business on the other side of the pond, reported last week on Taiwan’s export numbers. Overall, their exports are down 5.5 percent over last year, but bicycles are one of only two “industry sectors” that are up (the other is pharmaceuticals).

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Advocacy — the latest trend in the bike industry

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This story is part of my ongoing coverage of the 2008 National Bike Summit. See the rest of my coverage here.


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Jay Ferm is the advocacy
man for Planet Bike.
(Photo © J. Maus)

There’s an exciting trend in the bicycle industry: more and more companies are putting advocacy in the job description of their employees. A few companies are even making it a full-time position.

Jay Ferm, who heads up the advocacy efforts of Wisconsin-based accessory brand Planet Bike, says “it’s definitely a trend.” He points to industry heavyweights like SRAM and Pacific Cycle (they own Scwhinn, Mongoose, and GT) as just the most recent examples.

Other companies who have made advocacy an official part of the job include Chris King Precision Components, Saris, Specialized, Trek, and others.

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Trek President named Advocate of the Year

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This story is part of my ongoing coverage of the 2008 National Bike Summit. See the rest of my coverage here.


League of American Bicyclists President Andy Clarke (L)
and President of Trek Bicycles, John Burke.
(Photo © J. Maus)

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Trek Pres plugs Portland, prods industry to do more

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A few weeks ago, I reported on a presentation that Trek Bicycles President John Burke gave at the National Bike Summit.

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John Burke (R) with Bike Gallery owner
and tireless bicycle advocate Jay Graves.
File photo from National Bike Summit, 3/15/07

It was a preview of a presentation he gave just a few days ago at the Taipei Cycle Show. Borrowing in style and tone from Al Gore in his heralded Inconvenient Truth slideshow, Burke waves a warning flag to America’s bicycle industry.

He says that global trends in obesity, urbanization, pollution, and congestion pose major challenges that can be solved by the industry if more action and resources are directed to bicycle advocacy instead of product development and marketing.

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Trek President shares bike industry’s “Inconvenient Truths”

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President of Trek at National Bike Summit

Trek President John Burke

Trek Bicycles President John Burke just gave a presentation about the challenges and opportunities faced by the bicycle industry.

Burke addressed the League of American Bicyclists’ annual meeting which was held here are the Summit.

Burke gave us a preview of a presentation he’ll give at the Taipei Bike Show in Taiwan next month. Like Al Gore in his heralded, Inconvenient Truth movie, Burke laid out a compelling case with slides and facts to make his point.

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