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The Start of the Congressional Bike Ride to wrap up the Summit

If you are interested in any aspect of cycling advocacy then you need to make sure you attend the National Bike Summit. If you ride any type or style of bicycle on a regular or irregular basis, you should attend the National Bike Summit. If you only ride in the woods on beautiful flowy ribbons of earthen single-track, you should attend the NBS. If you are a die-hard transportation cyclists who lives to brag about either not using or owning an automobile you should attend the NBS.
As cycling grows, matures and evolves, the NBS has also been growing. In the early days the emphasis was on a single lobbying day on the Capital Hill. Now the Summit involves a half and full Day of sessions and seminars on the full spectrum of cycling based topics, and a full lobby day on Capital Hill. With over 900 participants, the Summit had the support of cyclists from all over the country. Even the Secretary of Transportation and the Director of the National Park Service attended. While there was plenty of time to exchange information, swap stories and share ideas on the workshop days, showing the force and power of cyclists on the Capital Hill lobby day is the biggest impact of the summit. Everyone on Capital Hill knows when the bicyclists arrive mostly because of the neon bike pins on every lapel.
These neon bike pins were ubiquitous on lobby day
The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition sponsored one of our new board members, Rich Harris to attend his first National Bike Summit. Lifetime SVBC member Chris Scott also attended the Bike Summit. Chris has attended the Summit too many years in a row for any of us to keep track. I was able to attend the Summit for the second year in a row with a sponsorship from the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Harrisonburg and the SVBC were well represented and many fellow summit participants have heard of Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley and know that we have a great community and killer riding opportunities. Next step is for our reputation to include in-town bicycle infrastructure such as green ways and on street facilities.
Chris Scott of Shenandoah Mountain Touring on Lobby Day
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Frank Maguire, also went to DC for the Summit. Check out his recap. IMBA had a big showing at the Summit and made sure everyone recognized the importance of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). With the Federal Transportation bill still up in the air and the threat from the House of Representatives to cut funding for bicycling the timing of the Summit could not have been better. IMBA ensured that the RTP remained at the forefront of the discussion and stressed the importance of the program to organizations throughout the country. The SVBC will have administered $250,000 from the program by the end of the year.

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