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All photos courtesy David M. Budd Photography.
A 7x-world champion and celebrity in the ultra adventure/endurance realm for nearly 3 decades, elected to the prestigious international Mountain Bike Hall Of Fame, her status as a fierce competitor and inclusive influencer motivates millions. Recognized by Outside Magazine among the Top 40 Women Who’ve Made the Biggest Impact, and by Men’s Journal with the 25 Most Adventurous Women, she’s a maverick whose grit, determination, and perseverance labeled her the “Queen of Pain.” By repeatedly embracing risk she has reaped the reward of championship titles, course records, “first-evers” and myriad accolades, but it’s her desire to share the journey that sets her apart and attracts a loyal following.
In addition to all that, Rebecca has long advocated for using the bicycle as a tool for positive change, underscored by the fact that she was the first person to ride the entirety of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, documented in the Emmy-winning film, Blood Road, which we’ll be screening the evening of October 7 in conjunction with the Summit.
Known for seeking the toughest challenges imaginable, pushing herself into unknown territory has yielded a first female ascent on Yosemite’s 3000-ft. El Capitan, a first descent river boarding 300 miles of the entire Grand Canyon in 18 winter days, and a charitable cycling expedition up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro. She’s the only female competitor to win the iconic Leadville 100 four times; she’s won the renowned Dirty Kanza gravel grinder in 6 of 7 attempts; she’s the fastest woman to complete the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail through Colorado and Utah, and, as mentioned above, the first person to ride the entire 1,200-mile length of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. These are just a few of her many accomplishments.
As she enters her 50s (or, as she likes to call it, version 5.0), Rusch’s inimitable brand and redoubtable resumé continue to expand. Combining ongoing athletic pursuits with entrepreneurial interests as CEO of Rusch Ventures, she oversees an impactful network of events, products, experiences, and content designed to elevate possibilities for people and their bikes. Whether in print, on the trail, via her popular digital platforms or as a keynote speaker, she inspires and emboldens countless people. For Rebecca’s full bio, please click here.
Colorado’s current on and off-street bike infrastructure will not support our state’s projected population growth. To address this challenge—and to get more people riding bikes more often—now more than ever, Colorado needs a strong and sustained bicycle advocacy movement. One key to building this movement is ensuring that bicycling—in all of its wonderful forms—and the bicycle advocacy movement is welcoming to ALL people. This session will celebrate some of the diversity in the world of bicycling and explore strategies for creating an inclusive bicycling community and advocacy movement.
Creating better bike conditions in local communities takes people power and know-how, but there’s no Advocacy University or guiding document to turn to. Learn from local advocates who found the path to success by strategizing with other supporters, getting to know elected officials, and learning how to use their voice effectively.
Bicyclists are perceived negatively in the public eye by some. Come hear from experts in the field of data research on the true story. Dr. Andy Duvall and Dr. Aaron Johnson will share their academic research to show the facts of the matter.
Shifting public opinion is a steep hill to climb, especially when the gap between riders and non-riders goes deep, and when people who ride bikes come in all styles, shapes and sizes. Learn different techniques others are using to change the conversation across the state.
Our gender, our age, our abilities, our race, our bodies and much more contribute to the experience we have as individuals when riding a bicycle. Together, we form the kaleidoscope of experiences that is the bicycle community. Hear from some stellar humans about their riding and join a small group discussion so we can learn from each other to build a more inclusive bicycling movement.
We’ll be kicking off this year’s Summit with an optional add-on for attendees: PeopleForBikes’ Action Planning: Accelerating our Progress session, focused on how advocates can work with cities to accelerate bicycle projects that have the biggest impact.
This free add-on is moderated by PeopleForBikes’ Jennifer Boldry and Sara Studdard, and is open to anyone interested in accelerating progress on biking in their community and building the political leadership to do so. It aims to help city leaders pinpoint improvements and take action to make riding better for everyone.
ACTION PLANNING: ACCELERATING OUR PROGRESS
Even with committed leadership and engaged community partners, cities struggle to prioritize programs and projects that yield the biggest results. There are many pathways forward to choose from, and it is often difficult to know which programs are appropriate for your community and where to invest limited time and resources. Fortunately, using the example of other U.S. cities we have an opportunity to consider our own efforts and create a plan to accelerate progress locally.
You can expect the Action Planning session in Denver to:
The Action Planning session is an optional, free add-on to our Colorado Bicycle Summit. In addition to this exciting workshop, you can join fellow bicyclists, industry reps, city and county planners and decision makers to celebrate bicycles and talk advocacy issues small and large.
Colorado’s 41 state parks face a growing number of challenges due to unprecedented population growth, urban sprawl, habitat loss, continued debates over water use and a growing segment of citizens who are not connected to nature and its care. Compounding these challenges is financial stress: the cost of maintaining our parks is outpacing revenue. Colorado Parks and Wildlife must identify new sources of revenue and/or decrease costs.
In response, in November 2018, Colorado Parks and Wildlife approved a fee of $4.00 per bicyclist or pedestrian for a daily pass to enter 19 of our 41 state parks. Additionally, conversations are currently unfolding to pass a law that would require mountain bikers to pay an annual fee to ride on single track trails on all public lands.
What role should the bicycling community play in supporting our public lands and parks? Should bicyclists pay to ride their bikes in state parks? Should bicyclists pay to ride their mountain bikes on single track trails?
Address these and other questions with the new Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Dan Prenzlow.
8-8:30 a.m. – PlaceforBikes registration and check in
8:30-10:30 a.m. – PlacesforBikes Action Planning Workshop
10-10:30 a.m. – Summit Registration & Networking with parfait breakfast
10:30-11 a.m. – Welcome and State of the State: Pete Piccolo
11 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Keynote Presentation: Rebecca Rusch
12-1 p.m. – Lunch
1-2 p.m. – Plenary Panel
2-2:30 p.m. – Break
2:30-3:30 p.m. – Breakout Sessions
Breakout 1A: Get the game plan: Local advocates share their playbooks
Breakout 1B: Behind the handlebars. What does research tell us about bicycling behaviors?
3:30-3:45 p.m. – Break
3:45-4:45 pm – Breakout Sessions
Breakout 2A: Shifting public perception: Bicycling in the media
Breakout 2B: Meet the people of the movement
4:45-5:45 p.m. – Summit Happy Hour with food & drinks