Continuing a strong year for bike industry presence in Washington, D.C., PeopleForBikes brought together 10 leaders for a women’s executive fly-in from October 17th to 19th.
“At PeopleForBikes we work year round to show elected officials about the power of the bike industry,” said Jenn Dice, vice president of business network. “It is so much more powerful when we’re able to bring the faces of the industry themselves, to tell their own stories.”
The executives visited their members of Congress for meetings focused on TIGER and TAP—two programs that help build bicycle infrastructure and have come under attack this year in Congress. The U.S. House of Representative defunded the TIGER program and approved the addition of the “Woodall Amendment,” which could pull funding away from TAP and local communities’ bike projects.
“Federal investment in bike infrastructure helps our local governments build more places for bikes,” said Amelia Kegel, marketing manager for Wisconsin retailer Wheel & Sprocket. “With more great and safe places to ride we can grow ridership and create more opportunities for our shops to expand and contribute to our local economy.”
Attendees of the fly-in included Taldi Walter, REI; Jessica Grenwis, Quality Bicycle Products; Isabella Burczak, Union Cycliste Internationale; Milissa Rick, Pacific Cycles; Stephanie Kaplan, Specialized Bike Components; Jennifer Naeger, Trek Bicycle Corporation; Milay Galvez, Advanced Sports International; Megan Duehring, Felt; Tracy Cameron, Shimano; and Amelia Kegel, Wheel and Sprocket.
“Felt has a proactive leadership agenda in Washington, D.C. and we are proud to be part of the bike industry’s work to move the needle for bikes,” said Megan Duehring, international operations coordinator at Felt Bicycles. “Meeting members of Congress and their staff face-to-face helps to build a relationship between our business and key policy makers. Through fly-ins like this, PeopleForBikes is ensuring our voice is heard in Washington.”
In addition to the meetings on Capitol Hill, this fly-in included a BikesPAC event, a tour of the REI flagship store in Northeast D.C., a guided bikeshare tour of D.C’s bike infrastructure and talks from prominent women congressional staff and lobbyists.
“The last three days have been immensely productive,” said Milissa Rick, senior director of marketing for Schwinn and Mongoose at Pacific Cycle. “PeopleForBikes’ women’s executive fly-in has given my fellow attendees and me new ideas on how to engage our elected officials back at home and where we sell bikes in America.”
PeopleForBikes will continue to monitor the “Woodall Amendment” and proposed budget cuts to bike projects and TIGER, and will aggressively work with allies on Capitol Hill on policies that are beneficial to bicycling and the bike industry.