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Execs from Accell, ASI, Bosch, REI and Shimano meet with Congress

Published February 10, 2015
PeopleForBikes organizes fifth fly-in on Capitol Hill

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) – The PeopleForBikes Coalition and several industry executives flew to Washington D.C. last week to meet with members of Congress to discuss the economic benefits of cycling. The visit marked the fifth executive fly-in since the program was launched.

Industry representatives included Chris Speyer, CEO at Accell North America; Pat Cunnane, CEO at ASI; Ana Meuwissen, director of federal government affairs at Bosch; Claudia Wasko, business unit leader for business sales at Bosch; Taldi Walter, community affairs program manager at REI; Alex Thompson, vice president of government affairs at REI; and Jeff Young, vice president of sales at Shimano America. The group discussed the state of the bike industry and ways in which the industry is helping to improve America with members of Congress.

"The PeopleForBikes Fly-In was a great opportunity to bring the perspective of bicycle business to the conversation around federal transportation investment," said Accell's Speyer. "I feel like we introduced a whole new business perspective on the importance of providing safe places to ride."

At this particular Fly-In, the group focused on their support for the upcoming multi-year federal transportation bill reauthorization. Their positioning centered on their views that the next transportation bill should reflect 21st century transportation priorities, including safe bridges and highways and also a reasonable continued investment in bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

"As a bike industry, spending time reaching out to other business and industry groups is critical. Bike suppliers and retailers are an integral part of the business fabric of this country and joining with other business-minded coalitions in Congress is key," said ASI's Cunnane.

"As a leading global supplier of technology and services we have a strong focus on the development of innovative mobility solutions including the electrification of bicycles. Governments are looking for sustainable mobility solutions, which e-bikes can provide. Growth in bicycling requires bicycle infrastructure improvements and a corresponding reflection in the next transportation bill," said Bosch's Wasko.

Executive fly-ins include a short training session, meetings with members of Congress, other coalitions and think tanks, and evening fundraising events that connect industry leaders with members of Congress. The next fly-in is April 28 and 29.

People interested in attending should contact Kristy Kibler at kristy@peopleforbikes.org.

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