Media Alert - 20th Anniversary of "Big Ask" for Bicycling at Interbike and Electric Bikes as One of the "12 Reasons Why Bicycling Will Continue to Grow"

From: Melissa Balmer - Director PedalLove.org Email: Melissa@PedalLove.orgCell 562.221.9672

Re: The 20th Anniversary of "Big Ask" for Bicycling at Interbike and Electric Bikes as One of the "12 Reasons Why Bicycling Will Continue to Grow" Presented by Charlie Gandy in the Electric Bike Theatre on Wed., Sept., 20th at Noon

Note: Both print and web images from the report and of Charlie Gandy available upon request

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Los Angeles CA - Twenty years ago bike advocates across the country collaborated on the first big ask of the U.S. bike industry at the Interbike Tradeshow. Their quest was for $300,000 to fund the first national Bikes Belong political campaign. The results were David and Goliath remarkable. After a resounding win at Interbike, the scrappy collaboration of grassroots bike advocates, bike dealers, and industry, faced down the national Highway Lobby and others set on eliminating national bicycle funding. The Bikes Belong campaign succeeded in not only continuing but increasing funding for bicycling in the landmark 1998 federal transportation bill Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21).

Veteran bike advocate Charlie Gandy, who was one of the three to make "the big ask", and played the role of the Field Director for the Bikes Belong campaign, will present on journalist Jay Walljasper's new report "The Surprising Promise of Bicycling in America" on Wednesday September 20th, at noon in the Electric Bike Theatre at Interbike. Gandy will share not only how the "Big Ask" came together, but how both Mike Sinyard of Specalized and John Burke of Trek played key roles, how the Bikes Belong campaign was such a success the bike industry created the Bikes Belong organization (now called PeopleForBikes), key lessons from the campaign that are relevant in today's retail climate, and why electric bikes are one of the 12 reasons bicycling will continue to grow in the U.S. and has a bright future.

"I love watching both new riders, and long term enthusiasts who thought they had to give up riding because of age or injuries, experience e-bike ecstasy" shares Gandy.

As one of the architects of the modern bike movement Gandy (who began his bike advocacy work founding Bike Texas in 1990 as one of the first state-wide organizations), experienced naysayers first-hand when mountain bikes first came on the horizon, and for the past year has been helping the Electric Bike Association with their advocacy outreach and facilitating their peer to peer conversations between bike dealers and e-bike manufacturers at the travelling Electric Bike Expos, often in collaboration with the National Bike Dealers Association.

Gandy will give his presentation at Interbike at noon on Wednesday, September 20th, in the Electric Bike Theatre. A preview of the report was made available just for Interbike and can be downloaded here: PedalLove.org/Promise-of-Bicycling.  The report was made possibly in part by support from Bosch eBike Systems Americas in collaboration with Melissa Balmer and PedalLove.org.

###

About Charlie Gandy

Charlie Gandy is one of the architects of the modern biking and walking movements. He consults with cities and businesses interested in promoting active living, and is a popular speaker and trainer known for sparking innovation. Charlie founded Bike Texas, created national trainings for biking and walking advocates across the country - including the groundbreaking Thunderhead Retreat - while working for the Bicycle Federation of America. Heplayed a key role in raising funding for and running the original "Bikes Belong" national political campaign to continue and increase funding for bicycling in the 1998 federal transportation bill "Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21).

Gandy continues to innovate, originating and developing the Bike Friendly Business Districts program in collaboration with Bike Long Beach for the City of Long Beach, and consulting for the Electric Bike Association. He is just completing terms as the Vice Chair of the California Bicycle Coalition, and serving on the Board of the Bike Texas.

About Jay Walljasper

Jay Walljasper is a writer, speaker and consultant specializing in how to create stronger, livelier, friendlier communities.  He is Senior Fellow at Project for Public Spaces and an Urban-Writer-in-Residence at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.  His books include America’s Walking Renaissance; The Great Neighborhood book: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Placemaking; and the e-bookHow to Design Our World for Happiness.

Since 2010 he has chronicled the boom in bicycling and walking in a wide variety of appearances and publications, ranging from Christian Science Monitor to Huffington Post and Mother Earth News.  He’s also worked with People for Bikes, League of American Bicyclists, Rails to Trails Conservancy, Alta Planning, and America Walks. Learn more at JayWalljasper.com.

About Pedal Love

Pedal Love offers storytelling, thought leadership, and media outreach tools and trainings to help create true culture shift in the U.S. for active, sustainable, mindful mobility. We host the Pedal Love Culture & Lifestyle Council, the first-of-its-kind storytelling and thought leadership lab with female leaders in bike worlds of advocacy, entrepreneurship, traditional & social media relations, engineering & design, tourism and more. The Pedal Love Council celebrates how bicycling is revolutionizing the personal health and well-being, financial wellness, and community spirit of women across the country. Learn more here: pedallove.org/meet-the-pedal-love-culture-lifestyle-council/.