The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has emerged as one of the most potent political forces in the city. With a paid membership of 5,800 and its top executive sitting on the board overseeing San Francisco's public transit, parking and traffic operations, the bike coalition is moving aggressively to enact its goal of making the streets of San Francisco a bicycling mecca "where cars are rare and travel slowly."
"The bike coalition is at the cutting edge of urban environmentalism. It reduces our reliance on foreign oil, cuts down pollution, helps ease traffic congestion and makes the city more livable," said Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who represents the Richmond District in a famously liberal city where politicians work hard to put green-friendly credentials on their resumes.
Bicycle Colorado, a nonprofit that promotes bike riding in the state, has seen its membership jump by 35 percent from a year ago, up to 4,800 individuals and about 100 businesses.
"With cycling, just like with golf, your ability to do business expands dramatically. By riding, I've created deals and I've closed deals," said Denver commercial real-estate broker Bob Whittelsey, who cycles with clients about twice each week.
"You really get to know someone when you're on a bike - you talk about business, family, the Broncos," said David Goldberg, a partner at Greenwood Village-based Alberta Development Partners. "For us it's a big investment to build these buildings, and we wouldn't put that with someone we didn't trust." The learning curve is easy because most people began riding bikes as children. The same can't be said of golf, which, Whittelsey says, "I'm crummy at."
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Thanks for sharing the link to that Chronicle article. Certainly San Francisco is a special case, but as fuel prices rise, it is a good time to be a cycling advocate almost anywhere. I love to hear of positive examples from around the country.