BC Volunteer

Guest post: Colorado Bicycle Summit recap

Earlier this month I attended my second ever Colorado Bicycle Summit where business people, advocates, politicians, planners and everyday bicyclists unite to advocate for biking in Colorado. For me, the summit breaks down into three core parts: education, networking and advocacy.

IMG_8051The first day of the seminar is all about education and networking. The second day is more about heading down to lobby our politicians. Unfortunately this year I had to sit out the second day but received a wealth of information from the first day of the summit hosted at the Embassy Suites in downtown Denver.

The first few hours are spent together listening to keynote speakers that included Gabe Klein, former Director of Transportation in Chicago and Washington DC, Kelly Brough of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the governor of our fine state, John Hickenlooper. It was amazing to listen to Gabe Klein talk about the changes that DC and Chicago have seen thanks to a bike-supporting Mayor. It was also very encouraging to hear that bikes matter to our city’s Chamber of Commerce.

IMG_3426The Governor seemed energetic to continue pushing mode change in Denver and the surrounding areas. He threw out a quote that “Portland has reduced automobile use by 20%, with $1.1 billion savings.” This type of data is motivation to businesses and citizens of Denver. It would be smart for advocates to carry statistics like this in our pockets when trying to sway people to choose a bike or public transportation.

IMG_8129After lunch we broke out into smaller sessions, and I was first drawn to the Forum on Women and Bicycling. As a woman in the bike industry I have been to many seminars to promote women riding more. This year’s summit took it in a different direction from other seminars I’ve been to by hosting a panel of newer riders who each told the story of how they got started and talked about the barriers they had to overcome.

As simple as this sounds, it was rather ground breaking. Once people become avid bike riders they often forget how scary or intimidating starting out can be. These women reminded us of this and I walked away wanting to continue to break down barriers for those beginner riders.

From the women’s session, I moved on to Accelerating Change Through Pilot Projects. I learned that cities like Boulder and Pueblo are doing great things by setting up on-street demonstrations of bike facilities to get buy-in. The City of Pueblo measures retail sales, traffic volumes, travel time, crash rates and other statistics to gauge success for their bike demonstrations.

IMG_8215Finally, at the end of the day is a happy hour where beer is flowing to encourage networking. It was a great opportunity to meet other like-minded people, or to circle back with presenters from the seminars. I was able to talk at length with a professor at UC Denver that is working on an annual Denver bike survey. Also, I learned more about a new bike lifestyle print magazine, BikeLife, which is coming to Denver in late 2015.

Overall, from the first day of the Colorado Bicycle Summit I took away:

  • New connections
  • Inspiration: If Chicago can improve its bike mode share, so can Denver.
  • Colorado has amazing things happening for bikes!

The buzz at the summit was contagious, and I’m excited to see what advancements can happen in 2015 from this summit.

Arleigh Jenkins
General Manager
Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop

BC Volunteer

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We’re thrilled to see so many people out enjoying (and often rediscovering the joy of) riding a bike right now, and we’re asking ALL bicyclists to do their part to prevent the spread of #covid19 by wearing a mask or other face covering when out for a ride. Doing so keeps you, your loved ones, those around you, and all Coloradans safer while helping reduce stress on our medical system. If you still need a mask, click the link in our bio to pre-order one now and support our advocacy work! Thanks so much to everyone who has already purchased, and to @primalwear for supporting our efforts over the years. Ride on.
  • #BicycleColorado volunteers and staff members spent time today helping @denverurbangardens and @denverfoodrescue deliver “Grow a Garden” food boxes to home-bound families in Denver—via bike! Supporting our community on two wheels makes for a great way to spend a sunny day. Many thanks to our friends @ddchen47, David M., and @juggernautcargo for your help! Head to denverfoodrescue.org or dug.org to learn more about these great local organizations. #rideyourbike
  • Tonight the #BicycleColorado team celebrated Stacey, our outgoing Development Director, with a virtual happy hour. Stacey has been an absolute rockstar for BC. We’re sad to see her leave, but thrilled for her as she heads out on a new adventure (hopefully in the #BikeAdvocacy space!) in North Carolina. Please join us in wishing her well!