This morning I met with Jim Sayer, Executive Director of Adventure Cycling. For those who aren’t aware, NCBW and Adventure Cycling go way, way back. For now I will skip the history lesson, but suffice it to say that much of the DNA of national bicycling advocacy can be traced back to Missoula, Montana. Much of what was spawned in Missoula has been dispersed to Washington DC and the four corners of the country, but Adventure Cycling, and NCBW’s own John Williams remain… to keep it real.

I don’t think about bike tourism often; talking with Jim is a reminder that I (and we) should. Here’s why: 1) infrastructure accommodations for bicycle tourism help support local cycling; 2) bicycle tourism builds small businesses; 3) tourism can be big bucks to a state’s economy; and 4) small business support translates into clout with Congress and DOTs when it comes to preserving Transportation Enhancements and recreational trails in the federal transportation bill. Tourism and recreation is apolitical.

Some states, Oregon for one, are mining gold from their promotion and support of bicycle tourism. Pro Walk/Pro Bike 2012 will highlight some of these best practices and give you access to people like
Jim who are bringing a triple bottom line approach to making America more bicycle-friendly.

Speaking of bicycling and economic development: the United States still leads the world in the manufacture of high end bicycle componentry. Pictured is a carbon fiber Zipp rim that was manufactured in Speedway, IN.    The rim is laced to a White Industries hub, which was manufactured in Petaluma, CA. It is being built on a Park Tool truing stand (Bloomington, MN). This isn’t my wheel–it’s for a friend. Building wheels is how I unwind from a day of conference directing.

For the those who are wondering: Zipp 303 tubular rim (285 grams) + White Industries H1 Campy hub (250 grams) + 28 DT Swiss 14/15 spokes (160 grams) + 28 brass spoke nipples (25 grams) = 720 grams, give or take.

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