Boulder, Colo. (May 12, 2016)- This week, PeopleForBikes hosted its first Executive Fly-in of 2016 in Washington, D.C. Six top bicycle industry executives–all members of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA)–brought powerful economic stories of their companies to the nation’s capital to help make biking better in America. Along with PeopleForBikes leaders, these executives met with members of Congress and their senior staff, as well as other influential stakeholders. The goal: to help advance pro-bike legislation and trade regulations.
Critical issues discussed included continuing bike infrastructure funding, trade and tariff related issues, bike project eligibility in the TIGER grants program, support of the Personal Health Investment (PHIT) Act, e-fairness and sales tax parity between online and brick-and-mortar retail, and support of the Recreation’s Economic Contribution (REC) Act.
Executive Fly-ins are a key program of PeopleForBikes’ Business Network, which works to organize the local, state and federal voice of business behind better bicycling across the United States. This particular Fly-in focused on the economic value their bike business brings to their respective home states. Congressional leaders need to know about the people employed, taxes paid, storefronts filled and the communities improved through bicycling.
“Being a global company, SRAM has seen, first-hand, the positive benefits of public investment in cycling as it relates to transport, tourism and recreation,” said SRAM Vice President of Corporate Development Brian Benzer. “The U.S. has great potential to reap these benefits at a relatively low cost. Downtown Chicago, where SRAM is headquartered, is a first-rate example of a thriving urban area that has greatly benefited from improved cycling infrastructure.”
Pure Cycles Co-Founder Michael Fishman said, “It is so important for leaders in the bicycle industry to go to Capitol Hill because our political leaders must understand how important biking is to our communities. The blueprint for getting more people on bikes is so simple–increase biking infrastructure to make riding in our cities safer–but unless we continuously lobby, the proper funding will never be allocated.”
“There is no question that our industry as a whole benefits significantly by our efforts to engage members of Congress during the Executive Fly-ins,” said Yakima Vice President of Sales Jason McGibbon. “The PeopleForBikes team was beyond professional and are no doubt positively impacting the bicycling industry. The message of facilitating more bike riding, by creating access and infrastructure, is resonating with Congress, as they are clearly seeing the economic benefits for all.”
PeopleForBikes Coalition Vice President Business Network Jenn Dice said, “The reason the bike industry is getting bigger wins and quite frankly, mitigating risk, is because we speak from the power and voice of business. We’ve developed a steady presence with dozens of executives touching down for meetings since we started the program two years ago. You can’t just show up when there is a crisis or a big transportation bill. We have so much more work to do to advance a pro-bike industry and pro-bike agenda.”
The top industry executives included:
- Brian Benzer, Vice President of Corporate Development, SRAM
- Michael Fishman, Co-Founder, Pure Fix Cycles
- Roger Gierhart, VP Forecasting, Distribution and Logistics at Trek Bicycle
- Tom Kattus, Chief Operations Officer, Campagnolo
- Jason McGibbon, Vice President of Sales, Yakima
- Jeff Young, Executive Vice President of Sales, G Joannou/Jamis Bikes
The next Fly-in, July 6-7, will engage retailers representing the National Bicycle Dealers Association. PeopleForBikes will host its second annual Women’s Executive Fly-in on September 7-8. Those interested in attending should contact Jenn Dice, Jenn@PeopleforBikes.org.
PeopleForBikes is uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities to make better bike riding for everyone. When people ride bikes, great things happen. Join us at PeopleForBikes.org.
About the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association:
Founded in 1914, the BPSA is the trade association for the US bicycle industry. Its 100+ members include every major US-based manufacturer and supplier. In addition to its three main programs on the Legal/Legislative, Statistics and Safety fronts, BPSA works closely with PeopleForBikes on state and local legislative monitoring and electric bike adoption and regulatory harmonization.