Trek: A Bike Maker Flexes Some Advocacy Muscle
One thousand Trek Lime "cruising bicycles," waiting for riders.
David Vandenberg of Transportation Alternatives recently returned from Trek Bicycle’s 2008 sales meeting in Madison, Wisconsin where he reports the manufacturer of Lance Armstrong’s high-tech racing bike is positioning itself as corporate America’s leading bicycling advocate:
Billed as "major product announcement," Trek President John Burke unveiled the company’s One World Two Wheels program at this year’s sales meeting. Through the program Trek is committing $1.6 million over the next three years to support the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign and a few other projects. Here is how Trek’s web site puts it:
We all know the world has some problems; gas is expensive and cars
pollute, the roads are congested and humans are getting bigger. And not
in a good way.
Luckily, there is a solution to these problems. A solution that burns
calories, not gas. It doesn’t waste fuel sitting in traffic. Something
that could even bring communities closer together.
The solution is the bicycle.
As part of the program, Burke asked the assembled dealers to work with Trek to increase bike trips from one percent of total U.S. mode share to five percent by 2017.
"Bicycling is a very simple solution to many complicated problems in the world," said Burke. "I believe that
the contribution from Trek can significantly
increase the resources of the Bicycle Friendly Communty’s program and help make the dream of
a bike-friendly America become a reality."
Following the presentation, 1,000 Trek Lime bicycles were handed over to attendees to ride en masse to dinner at a location about two miles away. Before sending off the crowd, Burke noted that 40 percent of all trips in the United States are within two miles of home and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work.
Then one thousand cyclists took over the town for a night. Bikes were everywhere, at every bar, on every path and every intersection.
Four hundred miles west of Detroit’s sputtering automakers, Madison, Wisconsin got a sneak peak at the future of urban American transportation.
Leading the Tour de Lime: Trek President John Burke wearing the red jersey.