National Bike Summit Report


JORBA: Director

We arrived in DC Tuesday morning and checked in to the Sofitel Hotel. It was quite comfortable (aka, we stuck out like sore thumbs in bike garb) and it was walking distance to the summit. Capitol Hill was a short metro ride away, perfect. Thanks again to our sponsors, The Bicycle Hub or Marlboro, Fuji Bikes and Princeton Tec.

Here is the Bike Hub happy bus:

We stopped for some quick wraps after checking in to the hotel. Thanks for the wrap Jack!! L to R: Jack (Owner of Freehold Bikes), GT2Brew, Wally Tunison of the Bike Hub

After lunch we had some time to kill before the summit began. We hit the National Air and Space Museum. We spent a lot of time in the flight simulator room. They kick serious ass. I only got one kill but was upside down a lot and diving out of control for the ground was a great rush. 12 bucks for 4.5 minutes and I seriously would have paid until my pockets were empty. Frank got something like 3 kills, bleh. Always 2-upping me!
One of FIVE known complete Wright brothers bikes on the planet. We spent a lot of time in this room.

Tuesday evening was reserved for summit check in and a seminar for the new people. The room was packed with old and new attendees alike, which was cool. The old timers offered advice and tips on dealing with the politicians. We learned what to expect for the remainder of the summit and got tips on how to get the most out of the trip. Very well organized.

L to R: Frank, Wally, Patti, Jack. We woke up at 0-dark-30 and walked over to the Summit for breakfast.

Andy Clarke, LAB President, introducing the morning's speaker. He is a very passionate and effective speaker and kept the day flowing well.

Representative Earl Blumenauer, one of our congressional bike champions. He gave an outstanding speech.

From here we attended "break out sessions". These were aimed at increasing our awareness of issues, educating us on advocacy of just on bikes and bike organizations in general. The NJ folks split up to the sessions that most suited their needs, and we were able to cover all of the offered classes between us.

Frank and I attended "Putting the Green in Grass Roots-Engaging the Community At-Large". The moderator was Eric, the ED of WABA (Washington Area Bicyclists). Other speakers were a CEO of an advocacy education firm, a guy from Cambridge Bicycle Committee and the ED and VP o Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. They all had great info for us, and the Silicon Valley folks had just built a small group into a real successful coalition doing great things for cycling in their town. Very inspiring.
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JORBA: Director

We hit another session after the grass roots one, titled "Creating Bicycle Friendly National Parks and Public Lands". It was informative, since the National Parks budget was one agenda item we would be pushing on Thursday. It also made me think of the state of our NJ budget, particularly in our State Parks. Our volunteer hours are a tangible benefit to a park and we need to continue to get people out for TM days.

We hit lunch in the Ball Room. The keynote speakers were inspiring, as was seeing over 500 people in the room. At one point Andy Clarke asked for Presidents or Directors of bike groups to stand, then had them sit if they had under 500 members, under 1000, etc. There were a handful of groups with over 7500 people, and at least two with 8500+. Awesome stuff. I had the vegetarian meal, a few slabs of Portobello shroom over some mixed veggies and rice. It was decent.

Our first afternoon session was "Connecting Trails and Transportation in a Bicycle Friendly America". Among the speakers were Carol Potter, the ED of Mountain trails Foundation in Park City UT and Drew Vankat of IMBA. Carol was so stoked on her trails in Park City that I am pretty sure I want to live there. They have a law that any new development has to connect to the trail network if they are messing with an existing trail (over 300 miles worth of singletrack or something nutty like that is the existing network). We learned a lot about what a trail network can do for a city/town. Drew had some great ideas an success stories from his local group in Colorado. From there we hit the issue and advocacy rally in the amphitheater.

Frank at the Wednesday evening rally, NJ represent!

We left the rally, which concluded with playing "Are you smarter than a congressman?" and broke into our state groups. This was where we planned our Capitol Hill meetings for the next day. We discussed who would present "asks" at each meeting, and who would attend the various meetings through the day.

We hit the IMBA final wrap up meeting/reception for some food, then beat feet for the hotel. It was late enough to call it an early night.

My new buddy Earl at the Capitol Hill Rally and Breakfast on Thursday morning.

Keeping it real under the suit. I also wore IMBA underwear.

This is begging for a caption contest. Next newsletter? My submissions: "I wonder if my brakes are delivered yet" "How long should I wait before I get my new Turner dirty?" "I miss mergs"

With Tim Blumenthal, Andy Clarke and my old Long Island bud Mike Vitti of CLIMB.

QBP founder Steve Flagg. It was really awesome to see so many industry veterans at the summit. It didn't matter if you were the CEO of the hugest parts distributor on the planet or just someone who loves to ride, everyone had the same agenda; bikes are a part of the solution to many of the world's problems.

The NJ delegation "walking the hill". This was on the walk from the house side to the senate side.


Great report Ken !!! I swear Earl Blumenauer should run for President...he's a cycling champion for sure.


JORBA: Director

We had meetings set up through the day with a large portion of the NJ reps and both senators.
"Congressman, we have an offer you can't refuse, eh?"

Rep. Frelinghuysen had by far the coolest office. There was a ton of history on the walls, including original signatures of congress calling for the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.

Wally with Congressman Chris Smith. He was happy to wear the bike pin, though he did mention that he rarely wears anything on his lapels. Wally has a way of persuading people. Congressman Smith is on the Congressional Bike Caucus, and seemed very supportive of our issues.

The crew with Congressman Smith

NJ Delegation in Congressman Holt's office with his Legislative Assistant. The LA's are the best and brightest, you get the impression very quickly that they run the country. They knew the issues and proposed legislation, and some were avid cyclists.

Equal justice under law

Once again thank you to our sponsors!

Some stats from the summit:
Over 500 attendees, the most ever.
The summit began in 1999, with around 60 people
IMBA sent over 70 people this year
The number of industry reps at the summit was an all time high

National Issues we advocated:

1. Sign on to the congressional resolution. Advance a vision for America where bicycling has a significant role to play in meeting our nation's transportation, health, energy and environmental goals. We were basically asking them to ensure there is a congressional sense that bicycling is not just recreation, it is a viable form of transportation that promotes a healthy, responsible lifestyle. Congressman Blumenauer introduced H. Con. Res. 305 to coincide with the summit.

2. Support Complete Streets. This issue was important to us, since many of you asked for this to be a priority, and it makes too much sense not to demand. The policy simply states that the safety, interests, and convenience of all users be considered in the design and construction of all transportation projects. In a nutshell, public roads should be designed for all users, not just cars. This message was heard loud and clear on the Hill.

Visit for more info, and write your elected officials asking for support of Rep. Doris Matsui's (D-CA) and Senator Tom Harkin's (D-IA) legislation that would require states to adopt complete street policies.

3. Support the National Park Service's Centennial Initiative and appropriations. IMBA is supporting the National Park Service, asking congress to help restore the parks to their past glory. It doesn’t hurt that the NPS has torn down a lot of "no bikes" signs lately.

4. The Bike Caucus. We asked our reps who were not a part of it to join. There are currently 177 in the house and 16 senate members. NJ members are Rep. Holt, Rep. Pallone, Rep. Pascrell, Rep. Smith and Senator Menendez.

We then broke from national issues and discussed liability concerns in NJ, specifically in our parks and the quick release debacle.

I am sure I am missing some of the issues, but those were our main focal points. The suimmit was truly inspiring.


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Shop Keep
Excellent report! Good to see so many fighting for some good causes! Now hopefully others will listen!

Brian Snyder

JORBA "Roaming Gnome"
Thanks to our representatives, and the sposors who made the trip possible. Great report Ken, and as always excellent pictures.
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