Today is Friday, March 4, and for the nation's bicycling enthusiasts that means only one thing: 4 days until the 2011 National Bike Summit. And to get the bike folks geared up for this year's gathering, on Tuesday I went on BicycleRadio.com's "Escape The Peloton" show.
As you can imagine, host Sean Mellor and I talked about a range of bicycling-related topics. From the thrill of watching my grandkids get their first bikes to the way distracted driving affects the bicycling community, we covered a lot of ground.
Click here to listen to my Bicycle Radio interview!
Click here for the whole program
But I think what listeners really wanted to hear us talk about is President Obama's budget request for 2012.
We are very fortunate that, in these hard economic times, the President knows the economic importance of investing in transportation. He has proposed a 127 percent increase to fix our roads and bridges, and to build big projects that will yield economic development and jobs, like high speed rail. And don’t forget our emphasis on livable communities, so that people will have more options for getting around.
One of the most important things to remember is this: the Department of Transportation can help set standards and support programs, but many of the best ideas have come from the grassroots. And that's where next week's summit-goers come in.
Thanks to programs like Bicycle Radio and the Outspoken Cyclist and magazines like Spokes; thanks to the President's willingness to promote bicycling; and thanks to the cycling enthusiasts who have come together in organizations like Transportation For America, America Bikes, the League of American Bicyclists, Complete Streets, and Safe Routes to School, the stars have aligned over the last two years for greater awareness of the valuable role bicycling plays in American transportation. But, as I said in January, if you want that momentum to continue, you'll have to continue that terrific grassroots work.
Finally, as to the burning question of how I will top my famous "tabletop speech" at the 2010 Summit, you'll just have to stay tuned.