Last month the 10th annual National Bike Summit, held in Washington, D.C., was said to be the biggest and best yet. More than 725 people attended - shattering the previous record of 610. More than 420 formal meetings were held with members of Congress and more than a dozen well-attended special events were conducted by all of the leading national bicycling organizations.
Numbers tell only part of the story of this Summit. For Bikes Belong, the event's title sponsor, each day was successful and memorable. At the Tuesday night opener, they launched peopleforbikes.org, their campaign to unite one million voices for the future of bicycling. The presentation drew across-the-board positive reviews: In the five days that followed, more than 3,700 people pledged their support and close to 6,000 people viewed their "If I ride" video on YouTube.
The Summit hit a high point during a rousing speech by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, and he followed it with these statements in his blog:
Today, I want to announce a sea of change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized. We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities. To set this approach in motion, we have formulated key recommendations for state DOTs and communities:
Now, this is a start, but it's an important start. These initial steps will help us move forward even further.
- Treat walking and bicycling as equals with othertransportation modes.
- Ensure convenient access for people of all ages andabilities.
- Go beyond minimum design standards.
- Collect data on walking and biking trips.
- Set a mode share target for walking and bicycling.
- Protect sidewalks and shared-use paths the same wayroadways are protected (for example, snow removal)
- Improve nonmotorized facilities during maintenanceprojects.
Together we can make bicycling better. Imagine a place where one bike lane leads to the next. Where trails, bridges and underpasses lead safely to exactly where you want to go. And regardless of your bicycling experience and fitness, you can pedal smoothly across the street, across town, or even across the country. We believe this can be a reality and that, by uniting, we can make our world a better place to ride. SIGN THE PLEDGE HERE
Well, actually MAY is the official "National Bike Month", but here in the valley we like to start early - sometimes it's already uncomfortably hot in May, so let's get a head start in celebrating bicycling, convivial transportation, active living, and sustainable communities!
Great news for residents and visitors in the western side of the valley, Palm Springs has a new bike rental shop, perfectly situated downtown a block North from the original Koffi, and near the Movie Colony. They rent cruisers and Townies. These bikes are built for comfort, safety, and sight seeing. The way the bikes are designed help keep your back straight and give more stability when you stop..good for younger and older riders alike. They have 4 hour rates, day rates, 3 day and weekly rates. Check out their website!
Blair Morgan and Rocky Wood are the "simpatico" owners of Bike Palm Springs Rentals and Tours. They opened their bike shop 5 months ago, wanting to contribute to a culture change in Palm Springs.
We feel that there is no better place to ride bikes than Palm Springs and see the beauty of the city and nature. We want to change the culture from a “car-oriented” society to a “bike-oriented” one. The city is so flat and compact that most people could park their cars and ride every where they needed to go. Through exposure, avail-ability, and education we can help Palm Springs be a greener community.
BIKE Palm Springs
625 N Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262
And they are off to a great start with a great idea: they are partnering with the Desert Horticultural Society on the upcoming 5th Annual Desert Garden Tour. Bike the Garden Tour! Just do it - join the fun and green it up!
"We are trying to get the participants to park their cars and ride between the different venues which are all in the neighborhoods close to our shop in an attempt to “Green-up” the Garden Tour.
The Garden Tour registration booth is just one block from our shop, so we suggest that participants who have reserved a bike walk up, pick up their bikes and enjoy the tour in a leisurely way. 20% of the proceeds will be donated back to the DHS to help continue their efforts here in the valley."