Here most of the bike shops advocacy is in promoting racing. But one shop got involved with promoting Bike to Work Day. Conveniently located a short distance away from the staging area and invited the City’s politicians to participate, supplying not only bikes but also cool bike clothing.
(Sun photo by Jed Kirschbaum)
Note the matching bike, helmet, and jacket on our mayor courtesy of Light Street Cycles.
Penny’s (Light Street Cycles’) approach was to make cycling covenant, easy and fun for the politicians as well as trying to make sure they looked good in the process. No hard sell on City bike issues as that was our job as cycling advocates. Penny was just out to make cycling fun. Sometimes she would come up with “Oh by the way…” if the issue was dire enough but most of the time it was just small talk.
At the last Bike to Work Day something happened, rather then going back to work the Mayor just took off riding… she got the bug, this was a huge turning point for us. The Mayor really wanted to set an example (and possibly lose 5 extra pounds) so she started weekly bike rides for her and her staff from city hall.
That day was absolutely the most incredible time I ever had, as we all had to scramble and really put the hammer down to catch up with the Mayor. And the poor motorized security detail did not know what to do and I think we ditched them for a good 20 minutes till they finally figured out where we were.
Now we enjoy weekly bike rides with most of the department heads of the city and we sometimes joke around but mostly just enjoy the city from a handlebar perspective. And its really cool, we ride in rich and poor neighborhoods alike and the Mayor gets at returns friendly greetings to any passersby.
When One Less Car made a presentation about brining Ciclovia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclovia
to Baltimore they got a unanimous “Sure we should be able to do that.” from all the city departments.
I’ll also note that Penny had a lot to do with the creation of Baltimore Spokes to empower the individual and the cycling community. The site has been wonderful on issues like buses harassing cyclists because it is no longer just one crank cyclists calling in and complaining it turns into dozens hitting all at once.
Anyway if Penny has the time I am sure she would be happy to talk with you. http://www.lightstcycles.com/