PRO WALK PRO BIKE 2010
I had an amazing opportunity to attend Pro Walk/Pro Bike in Chattanooga, Tennessee last week (Sept 13-17). My work sent me and I spent the week trying to soak up as much new and exciting bike ped info I could. I can’t wait to get back into the office and put some of my new ideas to work!
I can’t tell you how exciting it was to be amongst hundreds of other bike nerds. We talked about bike education, encouraging women to ride, lessons learned and every time I told someone I worked for the local MPO they knew what I meant (that NEVER happens)! Metropolitan Planning Organization for those of you who aren’t in the transportation field.
From what I saw, Chattanooga is a cute town, they have a free electric shuttle bus that runs in the downtown core. I am pictured above on the pedestrian bridge that overlooks a beautiful park and the river. The aquarium was amazing! And don’t get me started on the food, oh my. We ate at Sticky Fingers twice, it’s a local bbq joint. Mellow Mushroom, a pizzeria, where I enjoyed a Fat Tire and a Shrimp and Sausage pizza. Aretha Frankenstein’s for breakfast, The Ice Cream Show….wait this is a bike blog, not a food blog? Sorry, I’ll get back on subject.
The week started off with the annual National Safe Routes to School Partnerships meeting. We went over their draft strategic plan and then broke into groups to discuss various topics. I went to the group that talked about institutionalizing bike education curriculum and found out what’s happening around the nation in the bike ed world.
I attended more sessions than I can remember right now, I have pages of notes and stacks of business cards. Whatcom Smart Trips had a poster at the event and I was lucky enough to be able to help ‘present’ at the poster session. This means that I stood by the poster and talked to people about our program and our successes.
Another highlight was meeting the Metal Cowboy, Joe Kurmaskie, I bought his new book, Mud, Sweat and Gears, and look forward to reading it. It tells the tale of a bike trip he took with his wife and kids.
One of the opening speakers, Gil Penalosa told us that the week was about ‘recharging our batteries’ and that it did! I may be a little jet lagged, but I’m still energized and excited!!
I could go on an on about the conference, but will stop. Just know that it was great and well worth the time and money. It is every two years, if you are in the transportation field weather paid or a volunteer I’d recommend attending.