Portland (OR), Boulder (CO), Madison (WI), Austin (TX), Ann Arbor (MI) – these cities have often been included in lists of the most livable cities in the U.S. But they have something else in common – they are all recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as Bicycle Friendly Communities, and there is certainly a correlation between these two lists. Dayton made the latter list last year as a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community, and local advocates continue to plan and organize efforts that will move us up on that list. This Friday on May 20, you can learn more about some of these efforts as well as how the power of cycling drives economic development in communities both large and small.
The 2011 Miami Valley Cycling Summit, hosted by the City of Dayton at the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center, will bring together over 400 cycling enthusiasts from across the Miami Valley, the state, and the nation.
The cycling summit was last held in 2009 and was one of the largest in the nation reaching bike enthusiasts and community leaders from across the region. 350 people attended the day-long event that was free and open to the public. This year’s focus is on the economic development opportunities that bike friendly regions create. Other break-out session examples will include advocacy advice for creating bike friendly communities, as well as how bike communities combat obesity and promote healthy communities.
Over the past year communities and organizations spanning 4 counties have joined forces to ensure our region continues to move closer to a more connected and collaborative biking community. This level of engagement crosses jurisdictional lines and is sure to facilitate and even greater impact. Planning Committee Partners include representatives from the City of Dayton, City of Miamisburg, Clark County-Springfield, Five Rivers MetroParks, Greene County Parks, Miami Conservancy District, Miami County Parks, MVRPC, Yellow Springs Chamber, City of Troy
The summit actually begins on Thursday with a screening of the movie Veer at Downtown Dayton’s Neon Theater at 7:30pm, followed by Bike to Work Day Breakfast at Riverscape Friday morning from 6 to 9:30am. From there, the group will do a mass ride to the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center where the rest of the summit will be held.
The opening keynote at 10am will be Bruno Maier – Vice President of Bikes belong, a national coalition of bicycle retailers and suppliers working to get more folks on bikes more often. Bruno is a Miami Valley native who will speak about how cycling infrastructure supports economic development and increases vitality throughout the US.
From there, four different breakout sessions will happen throughout the day:
- Session One (10:35am – 11:30am)
- Track One: Alternative Transportation and Impacts on Economic Development -Bruno (Bikes Belong)
- Track Two: Supersized Kids: What can be done? – Bruce Barcelo CTTS, Dayton, OH (Creating Healthy Communities Coordinator)
- Lunch (11:30am – 1:00pm)
- Kroc Center Tours and Miami Valley Community Showcase
- Session 2 (1:00pm – 1:55pm)
- Track One: Panel Discussion – Completing the Bike Friendly Community Application – Riverside, Troy, Dayton
- Track Two: Upping your Bike Engagement & Education; organizing events and programs -Tom Helbig (Five Rivers MetroParks) and Jeff Sorrell (Life Enrichment Center)
- Session 3 (2:00pm – 2:55pm)
- Track One: Engaging Local Businesses in Bike Friendly Efforts – Jeff Stephens (Consider Biking, Columbus)
- Track Two: Regional Bikeway Master Plan Reports: What Is Next? – Matt Lindsey (Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission)
- Session 4 (3:00pm – 3:55pm)
- Track One: Federal/State Funding Left On The Table – Jeff Peel (League of American Bicyclists)
- Track Two: Relaunching Bike Miami Valley; Fulfilling the needs of Miami Valley cyclists – Bike Miami Valley Board Members
- Summit Closing
Then after the summit, the action continues at Brixx Ice Co. with a Bike Miami Valley Grassroots Social Happy Hour!
If you are into biking and want to learn more about the biking community here in Dayton as well as the exciting things yet to come, you’ll want to come to this summit. Don’t forget your bike!