|Over 170 of the nation’s most influential leaders in bicycle safety education convened in Madison, WI, June 3-5 for the League of American Bicyclists’ first Bicycle Education Leaders Conference. The unprecedented event enabled experts in the field to discuss best practices, opportunities and challenges, and to establish an improved network for coordinating bicycle education services to help meet the goals of the National Strategies for Advancing Bicycle Safety. The event was held in conjunction with the Wisconsin State Bicycle Conference and was supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Wisconsin DOT, and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin. Participants hailed from 28 different states, with 57 coming from Wisconsin and 13 from California.|
Madison was an ideal setting for the first Conference because Wisconsin residents bike at twice the rate of the nation and Madison has more bicycle commuters than almost every Sunbelt city. The state is considered a frontrunner on bicycle affairs and has taken a leadership role in bicycle education.
League Executive Director Elissa Margolin said, “The League is delighted to have given a platform to hard-working, devoted bicycle safety professionals around the country. Their work is inspiring to us all as we work to advance this national movement."
Speakers and participants discussed such key bicycle education issues as: innovative teaching techniques, Safe Routes to School, marketing and outreach, bike safety and the media, bicycling events and rider safety. Graber Products, a Madison-based manufacturer of bicycle racks and other cycling products, generously hosted an evening reception following a factory tour for all participants.
Among the speakers to address the Conference were: Lisa Oliphant, Executive Director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports; John Burke, President of Waterloo, WI-based Trek Bicycle Corporation; John Fegan, Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Transportation; Maria Vegega, Safety Countermeasures Division Chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Andy Clarke of the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals; and Dave Cieslewicz of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.www.bikeleague.org