Imagine my surprise to get an e-mail solicitation yesterday from a casino in Black Hawk, Colo., asking me to bring our business to their facility…. Regular blog readers will know this is the very same town that has banned bicyclists from its streets, making it really quite an unlikely destination for a national bicycling organization to choose for a meeting, unless perhaps we are planning some civil disobedience, or a field trip to see what life would be like in a town where bikes were not allowed.
Yes, maybe we could take a handful of potential major donors out there and put the fear of God (or Glen Beck) into them by showing what the world would be like without bicycle advocacy groups like the League and Bicycle Colorado. Or maybe we could go undercover and surreptitiously hand out garish plastic bike pins (if you’ve been to the National Bike Summit you know what I’m talking about) to resort visitors.
What a stark contract we could draw with the promotional materials I picked up at the ASAE convention last week from places like Sonoma County: check out the cover of their Visitor Guide and Wine Map; or Vancouver BC where the meeting planners guide also has a cover shot of normal looking people on bikes and the local bike network is promoted as evidence of their green credentials. Of course, Portland, Ore., and their Travel Portland site has not just a few images but a choice of hotel packages that include bikes.
Closer to Black Hawk, nearby Boulder has getaway packages featuring on- and off-road biking attractions that might just appeal more to the 50+ million adults in the USA that love to ride; Longmont has plenty of riding options; and Fort Collins proudly boasts of its walking and bicycling opportunities in the opening sentence of its website.
For the time being, at least, I think we’ll consider those places as just a tad more suitable for us than Black Hawk.
In fact, we’re having our next strategic planning meeting this fall in … Denver; check out the pedicab on the cover of their tourist guide this year, and the launch of the Denver bike sharing program certainly factored into our location decision! And we’ll be taking a tour of Boulder while we are there. Sorry, Black Hawk. Maybe next year.
Andy Clarke was appointed to the position of Executive Director in April of 2004 after successfully leading efforts to create, interpret and implement the various transportation programs that are available to improve conditions for bicycling and walking as the League’s State and Local Advocacy Director. Before joining the League in February 2003, Clarke was on contract to provide technical assistance to the highly regarded Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center on site at the Federal Highway Administration. He is on the Board of Directors for America Bikes, and a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals.