HBGR complete, Palo Alto Proc and Why we do Mayors’ Rides

How America Can Bike and Grow Rich” (HBGR) is complete!! You can  sample or buy the e-book HERE!!

Often, I am asked why we do Mayors’ Rides if our mission is to build the National Bicycle Greenway. Here is how I answer that question in HBGR:

Nodding, the reporter continued, “That’s something I’ve never really quite understood. Maybe you can tell my readers what a Mayors’ Ride has to do with biking across America.”

Disappointed that none of the reporters wanted to hear how a bike centric world would change the way we exchange and do business with one another, before I answered his question, I looked to my side to make sure Don had his camera on me for my answer. I tapped the recorder icon on my iPhone.

“So are you ready for my standard answer?” I asked. “I’m warning you, it’s ‘‘gonna sound like a training video.”

“Sure, we’ll just take what we need”.

“Well, OK, but you ‘‘gotta  promise me you will listen to the whole thing,” I teased. “So here goes,” I said, as I watched for a reaction. Seeing that there was interest, I knew the long version was appropriate,  “with the biking report cards cities file with us to show us what they have been doing to improve the conditions for their cyclists and that we then celebrate in proclamation form when we visit, we are giving civic leaders all across America a forum they can use to showcase their bicycle infrastructure. In order to improve their standing in relation to other Mayors’ Ride cities, this scorecard helps them see the importance of teaming up with their local bike activists; it encourages city staff to work with those with their daily rubber on the streets.

“We are also helping public officials show America and their own citizens how much value they place on the bicycle as a part of their transportation mix. And as we do so, we are giving these officials a way to make their city look healthy, vibrant and alive for prospective tourists, employers and other revenue generating concerns thinking about setting up shop in their city.”

Happy to see that he and few other reporters we taking notes, I added more detail,  “Besides helping cities to see that good bike infrastructure means good quality of life, by placing them in friendly competition with one another, as they make it safe for bike riders to get to their own businesses and attractions, our Mayors’ Ride cities, by default, will also become attractive travel destinations for out of the area bike riders. And as our NBG Scouts go out every year to help us fine tune the roads and paths they use to make these connections, when other population centers see how much fun our long haul cyclists are having, and that they are every day people like you and I, they will lobby the NBG to include them in our Mayors’ Ride network. And as this happens, the momentum for a Greenway network that connects our growing network of Mayors’ Ride cities to one another will explode into a momentum that cannot be stopped!!!”

What follows is a sample proclamation draft for the city of Palo Alto. I ran it by former Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto, who had the city on a bicycle fast track during her term and she thought it was great with the addition of a few wording changes. Next stop for the words below, Mayor Gregory Scharff’s office:

—————-  Palo Alto Proclamation Draft —————
Whereas Palo Alto is one of only ten other cities recognized by the League of America Bicyclists (LAB) as

having  a  remarkable commitment to bicycling at the gold level; and

Whereas, Palo Alto has been a leader in the development of innovative bicycle projects and programs for over three decades; andWhereas former  Palo Alto councillor.and pioneering bike activist Ellen Fletcher helped Palo Alto become one of the first cities in America to build  bicycle infrastructure into its planning process; and

Whereas Bryant street, aka the Ellen Fletcher Bike Blvd, was the first bike boulevard in America inspiring a growing number of bike boulevards  all across America; and

Whereas while Ellen Fletcher changed the face of Palo Alto she also  brought about great change for cyclists on the San Francisco Peninsula as she also inspired a whole new generation of cycling proponents; and

Whereas the Wilkie Way bike bridge connects thousands of   SF Peninsula  bike commuters with other Santa Clara  county cities as it keeps them off the  heavily car traveled north-south options that exist; and

Whereas the Cal Ave bike tunnel arguably the most active bicycle undercrossing in the world connects to one of Palo Alto’s two  Cal Train stations, each  of which facilitate  more bike trips than any train station in the world and   with Stanford University where the more than 13,000 daily cyclists there have given it the highest possible LAB bicycle friendly ranking of platinum; and

Whereas the percentage of middle school and high school students at 55% and 40% respectively biking to Palo Alto schools is one of the highest rates in the nation


Also, talked with International HiWheel trick riding champ, Peter Matthews, while I was in Dublin yesterday And he’s ready to show us his city come 4/27!! Steve Stevens tells me he’s ready to get the Golden, CO Mayors’ Ride going on Earth Day 4/22. So much  going on! Yahoo!!!

Virginia, Cayo and I will be back in the SF Bay Area the first week in May!!

        THX 4 all of U!!

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