2015 Interbike: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper

One of the many attractions I have come to anticipate at Interbike is the annual Industry Breakfast (not just for the complimentary meal, thank you) and its keynote speaker who, this year, was Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.

Many of the initial speakers at this morning get together are tied to the industry through business and legal ends (coffee helps), but things begin to get more interesting when advocacy speakers make their appearance - Tim Blumenthal of People for Bikes, for instance, who inject a sense of the upbeat into the crowd. 

Though he is required to balance many, often competing, visions there is no question that Governor Hickenlooper fits right into the advocacy category. Among the many topics that the Governor touched upon were:

a. the three F's - fitness, freedom, fun;
b. recognition of Susan B. Anthony, who as you may know, said that it was the bicycle that, more than anything else, contributed to the emancipation of women in the world;
c. the role of the bicycle in allowing people to experience life at human speed;
d. noted the examples of the Netherlands and Copenhagen, Denmark in encouraging people to ride (Blumenthal earlier noted that People for Bikes had taken seventy-two civic leaders to Europe to learn from those examples;
e. the bicycle is a "catalyst for so many good things", noting in particular health, fitness, environment and economy;
f. challenged other governors to match Colorado's lead in developing bicycle friendliness within their own states;
g. "innovate more creatively."

Within the state of Colorado he noted the Colorado Pedals Project, making riding safe and accessible; creation of the position of State Bike Czar, a single person who can tie together all the disparate elements of an integrated plan; the (in-progress) creation of a single comprehensive database of all bike routes in the state so that gaps and deficiencies can be easily identified; requiring all engineers and planners to be familiar with NATCO bicycling standards, increased promotion of bicycle tourism. Lastly, Governor Hickenlooper encouraged everyone in attendance to return to their own states and localities and become involved in advocacy.

Read more in Colorado's, and Governor Hickenlooper's efforts to increase bicycling in Colorado in this article.

You know I should add that, even as a student, I was not the most adept note-taker, so what I have mentioned here are some of the highlights. Fortunately the entirety of the proceedings were filmed - when I can get around to finding where that footage is I will post a link.