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Philadelphia establishes bike advocacy board

Published November 6, 2014
Local suppliers, retailers to advise mayor on ways to promote cycling.

PHILADELPHIA (BRAIN) — Advanced Sports International’s vice president of marketing Karen Bliss is chairing a newly created bicycling advocacy board in this city that will advise the mayor on public policies that affect cyclists, encourage private sector support of cycling, and promote national and international races in Philadelphia.

Mayor Michael A. Nutter recently signed an executive order establishing the board. He also announced that Philadelphia will host a UCI Women’s World Cup series event, which is being rebranded as the Women’s Professional Road Cycling Series. The Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic will join an elite group of cycling events in the series, becoming the first event in the series in the United States. The Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic is one of few international-level races that offer equal prize purses to the men’s and women’s race winners.

Mayor Nutter has led efforts to make Philadelphia more bike-friendly. The city has more than 500 miles of bike lanes and is launching bike share next spring. Last July the mayor and his wife led a delegation of business and cycling leaders on a trip to France to promote cycling in Philadelphia. At an awards night at the Interbike trade show in September, Mayor Nutter’s wife accepted a leadership award on his behalf, given to him for championing the cause of getting more people on bikes.

“Cycling is about more than just physical activity or transportation; it’s about youth development, sustainability, healthy living and an overall economic impact on metro regions,” Mayor Nutter said in announcing the 14-member advocacy board. “Philadelphia is poised to emerge as one of the nation’s great cycling cities and this board will increase the ways in which the city is already promoting this great sport.”

Bliss is joined by several other board members from Philadelphia’s bicycle community including retailer Joseph Wentzell, co-owner of Breakaway Bikes; Philip Senechal of the Velodrome Planning Team; Pat Cunnane, president of Advanced Sports International; Sean Petty of the USA Cycling and Union Cyclist International; and Marty Nothstein, president of Valley Preferred Cycling Center and Olympic gold medalist in track cycling, among others.

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