Bike tourism: A triple bottom line
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.