[I received this information from an inside source in the Oregon bike
advocacy scene, I will post a link to the full press release when it is
This just in from the office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore): 'Conserve By Bike' Provision Included in Energy Bill $6.2
Million Pilot Program Designed to Spur Bike Use
WASHINGTON, DC - A new pilot program designed by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D
- Ore) has been included into the final version of H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act
of 2005. The initiative, called "Conserve By Bike," establishes within the
Department of Transportation a program to oversee up to 10 pilot projects across
the country designed to conserve energy resources by providing education and
marketing tools to convert car trips to bike trips...
...Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved the legislation, and the Senate
followed suit this afternoon. It is widely expected that the President will
sign the legislation in the coming days.
Why does the SGMA call mountain biking an extreme sport? I really wish they'd consider changing it to "Freeriding" or better yet "Downhill Mountain Biking" next time. As you may remember from a previous post, I am very sensitive to mountain bikers being portrayed as "extreme" in any way. Why? Because I know this "extreme" label is what the hiking and equestrian groups try to use in order to get our trails shut down. By including mountain biking in this list, the SGMA is perpetuating a negative stereotype.
But perhaps I shouldn't worry about this. After all, any study that shows more people climbing "artificial walls" than mountain biking should not be taken too seriously.
So far, only four U.S. cities have been given the "Gold Level Bicycle Friendly City" designation by the League of American Bicyclists; Palo Alto, Boulder, Corvallis, and my current home town, Portland, Oregon.
It used to be that "Gold" was as good as it gets. That is, until some Portlanders started asking Andy Clarke (LAB's Executive Director) how we could do better. Was there a Platinum status?
At the time, Andy wasn't sure; they'd never considered a Platinum designation. But soon enough they came up with the requirements and now the Platinum designation is just waiting to be achieved.
If I was a betting man, I'd vote for Portland. Besides an amazingly robust and diverse bike community, we've got a new city commissioner who is serious about cycling. His name is Sam Adams. Now, I know some of the other cities are starting to put their "Platinum Plan" together, but I don't think any of them have a guy like Sam on their side. How serious is Sam about going Platinum? Well, check out this recent post on his blog and see for yourself.
In the race to Platinum there are no losers...may the best city win!
Last Friday I met with Adventure Cycling's new Executive Director, Jim Sayer. He was in Portland for a general member meeting and to kick off their Cycle the Columbia Gorge Ride. While he was here he took in a whirlwind of Portland's diverse and vibrant bike culture.
It's great to know that Adventure Cycling is in the hands of such a potent leader. Jim is a real straight shooter and he's bringing some long-needed energy and vision into the mix. I've always been very excited about Adventure Cycling's mission but thought they were sometimes a little too shy and secluded; holed up in Missoula doing great work, but not getting out in the industry, setting up partnerships, and spreading the word.
This Underground Railroad Route has some huge potential and I think the industry will be hearing a lot more from Jim and Adventure Cycling in the months to come.