It’s like bringing a nice bottle of wine for the dinner host, but way better.
LAS VEGAS – Sep. 18, 2009 – Bikes Belong, the national coalition of bike-industry retailers and suppliers, and Interbike, the industry’s annual tradeshow, will invest more than $50,000 during the next two years to improve bicycling conditions in Las Vegas-the show’s host city. To launch the first of this three-phase project, Interbike and Bikes Belong awarded a grant of $10,000 to the City of Las Vegas to help build 3.2 miles of new bike lanes in Ward 5. The Las Vegas Regional Transportation Commission matched the bike industry’s contribution.
The bike-lanes project was spearheaded by the Ward 5 Bicycle Coalition-a committee of community leaders and representatives from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, local schools, recreation centers, and the Las Vegas Bike Club. This committed group of cycling supporters will host bike rodeos and safety events to promote the new lanes.
In phase two, slated for the first half of 2010, Bikes Belong and Interbike will donate trip counters called Freikometers to several Las Vegas elementary schools. These solar-powered Freikometers, which tally bike rides and walks to school, are the backbone technology of the Freiker (Frequent Biker) program. Part of the growing national Safe Routes to School movement (labeled Suggested Routes to School in the city of Las Vegas), Freiker helps to quantify and celebrate students who arrive at school under their own power, encouraging active, healthy transportation.
Phase three will be announced at Interbike 2010, complementing the first two phases through additional investments in Las Vegas bike facilities, programs, and organizations. This Las Vegas partnership is one project of many associated with a 10-year, multi-million dollar alliance between Interbike and Bikes Belong, initiated in 2007 to get more Americans nationwide riding bicycles. Andy Tompkins, director of the Interbike show, said, “Interbike and Bikes Belong are working closely together to get more people riding bikes more often. Supporting Safe Routes to School in Las Vegas is an ideal project in a logical location that affirms our partnership and provides a positive impact on the city that hosts our show.”
“Las Vegas has lots of potential to become a bicycle-friendly city,” said Bikes Belong Executive Director Tim Blumenthal. “The weather during the school year is nearly ideal for riding, and the city has residential neighborhoods where seamless bike paths, lanes, and street crossings can be developed.”
The new Las Vegas bike lanes, which will directly connect to three public elementary schools and one public swimming pool, will make the Ward 5 community safer and more accessible for bicyclists of all ages. Eleven parks and community centers, 19 public schools, and six churches in the neighborhood will also benefit from the safety and connectivity provided by these new lanes.
The first set of lanes-on J Street between Washington Avenue and Carey Avenue-is scheduled for completion in time to celebrate International Walk (and Bike) to School Day on Oct. 7. The second set-on H Street, between Bonanza Road and Miller Avenue-will be completed later this fall.
Interbike (a business unit of Nielsen Business Media, the parent company of the Outdoor Retailer (OR), Action Sports Retailer (ASR), Health+Fitness Business, and Fly Fishing Retailer trade shows, is a full-service trade show company that creates, markets and produces high-quality expos and educational conferences. Producers of the OutDoor Demo and Interbike International Bicycle Expo, Interbike is the leading bicycle industry business-to-business event management company, bringing together top manufacturers, retailers, industry advocates and media to conduct the business of cycling. Now celebrating more than 25 years of successful events, Interbike (www.interbike.com) gathers more than 1,100 cycling-related brands and close to 23,000 total attendees annually.
About Bikes Belong
Bikes Belong is the national nonprofit bicycling organization dedicated to putting more people on bicycles more often. Founded in 1999 by the leading suppliers and retailers of the U.S. bike industry, Bikes Belong has played a leadership role in increasing the federal investment in bicycling facilities and programs. Bikes Belong also works to promote the many benefits of bicycling. Bikes Belong endorses and supports the Interbike Show as the annual gathering of the U.S. and international bike industry. For more information about Bikes Belong, please visit www.bikesbelong.org.