On March 4, six-time national champion and cyclocross superstar Tim Johnson will throw his leg over his bike for a hard training week. But this time he’s not riding to improve his cycling; he’s riding to improve bicycling for everybody else.
Tim Johnson will ride to raise funds and awareness for the Bikes Belong Foundation as he pedals nearly 500 miles from Boston to Washington D.C., the site of the 2011 National Bike Summit.The Foundation is Bikes Belong’s 501c3 nonprofit arm, leading important projects like the Peopleforbikes.org campaign and the Bicycling Design Best Practices Project. The Foundation is also the host organization to the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.
While half-dozen riders will do the entire trek along with Johnson, bicyclists in every region will join in to escort this legendary rider in and out of the metropolitan areas. They will ride every day, hitting Providence, Hartford, New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore before they close out the event with a triumphant ride into Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 8. Each one of the “long haulers” has been challenged to raise $1,000 for Bikes Belong. But the other riders are already busy raising funds and awareness for this unique event. To date, more than $12,000 has been raised.
“We want to engage governors, mayors, bloggers, reporters, schools, and other cyclists along the way,” said Johnson, who is already building support from the bike industry for this mission. “Three of the biggest threats to our country are obesity, climate change, and our shrinking energy supplies. Bikes are part of the solution to all three of those problems.”
“Bike riders have raised millions, if not billions, to fight everything from cancer to diabetes to hunger,” said Richard Fries, a long time rider and advocate. “But cyclists need to realize that their own government funding for bike facilities is in REAL danger of being eliminated. We want to raise funds and awareness to continue the development of bicycling facilities in America.”
Friday, March 4: Boston-Providence-Hartford, 130 miles
Saturday, March 5: Hartford-Bethel-New York, 90 miles
Sunday, March 6: New York-Trenton-Philadelphia, 100 miles
Monday, March 7: Philadelphia-Wilmington-Baltimore, 110 miles
Tuesday, March 8: Baltimore-Washington, 40 miles
About The National Bike Summit
The 11th Annual National Bike Summit will be held March 8-10, 2011 in Washington D.C. Organized by the League of American Bicyclists with the support of the Bikes Belong Coalition, the Summit draws together the leaders of the bike industry and the nation’s biggest bicycling advocates. After seminars and panel discussions on improving bicycling in America, attendees take to Capitol Hill to lobby lawmakers in all 50 states to support legislation written to improve bicycling facilities and practices. The first Summit drew just 100 advocates who pushed for the passage of transportation legislation that funded hundreds of bicycling projects nationwide. By 2010, that number had grown close to 1,000 attendees.
At present, this event is receiving support from the Bikes Belong Foundation, Pedro’s USA, Firefly Bicycles, Red Bull, BikeReg.com, Strava.com, Rapha, the Marriott Corporation, SRAM, Cannondale, Thule Light and Motion, Harpoon Brewery, and others.