St. Pete Beach, Florida to Host 2016 National Bicycle Tourism Conference

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The 2016 conference will be held November 2-5 in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The Conference is held annually by the Bicycle Tour Network and serves as their annual meeting for their member organizations.  PeopleforBikes returns as the presenting sponsor of the conference.

BEST PRACTICES, LATEST TRENDS & NETWORKING TO BOOST BICYLE TOURISM IN YOUR AREA

Annually, the Bicycle Tour Network holds a national conference that allows members to meet and network with each other. The conference includes lectures, interactive sessions, group discussions and breakouts with a variety of topics related to the successful and safe administration of cycling events and tours and promotion of bicycle tourism.  The conference also features a Vendor Expo giving companies an opportunity to market directly to the ride directors and bicycle tourism professionals.

WHY ATTEND THE NATIONAL BICYCLE TOURISM CONFERENCE:

  • Improve your bicycle event’s performance and bottom line!
  • Stay current of key issues and economic drivers in the bicycle tourism and events industry
  • Expand your knowledge with interactive educational sessions
  • Network with leaders in the bicycle tourism and bicycle event industry

Registration is now open! Visit the NATIONAL BICYCLE TOURISM CONFERENCE website

Registration Fees: $325 Early Bird ($375 after September 1st) – For Members
Registration Fees: $350 Early Bird ($400 after September 1st) – For Non-Members
One Day Registration Fee: $175
Bicycle Tour Network members save $25 on registration fees!

The 2015 NATIONAL BICYCLE TOURISM CONFERENCE was held in San Diego, California on November 4-7, 2015. The conference was attended by nearly 250 bicycle event professionals, advocates, bike tourism leaders and cycling enthusiasts eager to learn and network with others in the bicycle industry.

National Bike Tourism Conference Kicks off in San Diego

Courtesy Bicycle Retailer
By Dave Rice

sandiego200.jpgThe four-day-long National Bicycle Tourism Conference kicked off in San Diego on Wednesday, Nov. 5, with conference organizers hoping to highlight the region as an increasingly bike-friendly locale for residents and visitors alike. This is the first in the conference’s 25 years of operation that San Diego was selected to host.

Prior to the start of the conference, the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition staged a five-mile tour encompassing portions of downtown and Coronado, meant to highlight the nearly-complete Bayshore Bikeway, a 24-mile loop around the bay that’s been under development since 1976, as well as various other improvements that resulted in Coronado being named in 2013 to a nationwide list of certified “bike friendly” city.

The tour kicked off in front of the county administration building, where Supervisor Greg Cox greeted a handful of cycling activists, local media, and national cycling press, offering encouragement for completion of the Bikeway and adoption of more cyclist-friendly policies countywide.

“What you’re hearing throughout the entire region in San Diego is that we’re really becoming more and more of a bicycling community,” said Cox.

National Bicycle Tourism Conference  short ride delivered participants at the San Diego-Coronado Ferry dock where, once on board, Bicycle Coalition executive director Andy Hanshaw and Stephan Vance, a transportation and land use planner with the San Diego Association of Governments, delivered an update on the state of cycling in San Diego.

“We’re focused on getting people out and taking short trips, using their bike for commuting, making communities accessible for everyday riding,” explained Hanshaw. “We think going by bike makes a lot of sense.”

CicloSDias, an event in which a section of public street is closed to vehicle traffic and overtaken by cyclists and pedestrians, is growing in popularity. The third incarnation happened Sunday, November 9, following the conclusion of the bike tourism conference. This time, the route passed through the Hillcrest and Bankers Hill neighborhoods, running along Sixth Avenue from Laurel north to University Avenue, and then east along University to Park Boulevard.

Bike-sharing service Decobike, which was selected in 2013 to provide 1800 bikes at 180 locations around San Diego, was set to launch sometime during the conference, though a visit to the company’s site Tuesday evening indicated there were still no bikes on the street. The city’s program rollout will be the first of its kind in the region.

After nearly four decades, Vance said that funding has been identified for the final legs of the Bikeway, and that a full dedicated route should be available within the next five years.

“In recent years we’ve really picked up a lot of momentum,” said Vance, crediting SANDAG’s regional transit plan, which is contested by some advocates of car alternatives for not going far enough.

The overall SANDAG plan calls for 250 miles of additional bicycle facilities (including both dedicated bike paths and bike lanes along roadways) over the next 40 years. Still, just two percent of the half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2004 is earmarked for pedestrian and cyclist improvements.

Coronado city councilman Mike Woiwode was also in attendance, and said that local residents were already largely adopting cycling as a means of transportation. Several hundred locals take advantage of free early morning trips on the ferry to get to and from work, and as many as 70 percent of the city’s children ride to school on a daily basis.

“If you go by the middle school, you’ll see three or four hundred bikes in the racks right now,” said Woiwode. “We’re still trying to catch up with the demand.”

National Bicycle Tourism ConferenceDocking in Coronado, city transportation planner Mariah VanZerr joined the ride, pointing out several features including a traffic-calming roundabout, bike parking corrals installed in the downtown shopping district, and similar improvements that contributed to the city’s cycling-friendly designation.

Coronado is home to a nine-mile dedicated bike path along the Silver Strand connecting the city to Imperial Beach, which is currently the longest contiguous section of Bikeway. A sensor near the beginning of that path, VanZerr said, registers between 700 and 1300 daily bike trips on weekdays, with as many as 3000 bikes per day passing by along the edge of the city golf course on weekends.

Hanshaw was optimistic the ride and other events associated with the convention would continue to enhance San Diego’s image in the cyclist community.

“We’ve got a great opportunity to show off, not just the weather but the improvements that are going on all across the region, including our gem in the Bayshore Bikeway.”