Scott Truett and Dan Sepello, co-owners of Hamilton's Adventure Bikes & Boards, believe that the "near-perfect storm" compelling people to ride bikes has arrived. Truett recently traveled to Washington, DC to attend the National Bike Summit. There, he met with other bicycle advocates, visited the offices of New York State legislators, and pushed the hot topic of bicycling.
"We've got problems with childhood obesity, traffic congestion, parking issues, greenhouse gases, escalating fuel prices and an economy in a state of upheaval," said Truett. "Bikes aren't going to solve all our problems but they can sure make a difference."
For Truett, it is all about advocacy.
"I'd like to see more people riding, not because it's good for our business but because it's good for people," Truett said. He recalls the freedom and independence that came from his bicycle when he was a kid. "We had a different awareness of it then, but it's still joyful to ride my bike home to my apartment at the end of the day, a good way to burn off some energy, and still make decent time." He looks forward to May being celebrated as National Bike Month.
From March 10 through 13, nearly 600 like-minded individuals -- bike shop owners, bike and accessory manufacturers, trail coordinators, and others involved in the bicycling industry -- gathered at the National Bike Summit sponsored by the American League of Bicyclists and Bikes Belong, among a host of other organizations, in the nation's capital. The summit offered opportunities for advocates to learn what bicycling programs around the country are accomplishing, to support legislation to improve cycling as an alternative transportation and also to promote safety and funding for cycling programs. More than a dozen attendees were from New York State, mostly representing New York City. Delegates from around the world shared stories about bicycle programs, with a notable representative from Denmark talking about Copenhagen's goal to increase their current bike commuting from 36 to 50 percent. In Copenhagen, the infrastructure is well established, bike riders have rights and safety protection, and even traffic lights are timed at 12 mph allowing bikes to breeze through. Various cities across the US have also received recognition for various levels of bike-supportiveness.