Why attend the WV Bike Summit?
West Virginia Connecting Communities is excited to be hosting the 2016 WV Bike Summit happening on April 17 and 18 at the Charleston Marriott, downtown Charleston. “I think that in 10 or 20 years’ time, when West Virginia is a place that provides better riding and active transportation options, we will look back on this first bike summit as a real game-changing moment,” said Kasey Russell, Executive Director of West Virginia Connecting Communities. “We know there is a lot of energy out for there for more safe places to ride, for education, and for collaboration between advocates, funders and builders. The West Virginia Bike Summit will put all these people in the same room, for the first time.”
Russell said the goals of the West Virginia Bike Summit were to create a united voice for the cycling community, and a network to share information about what’s happening around the state. The summit will also begin the important work of creating a plan to make West Virginia an even stronger cycling and hiking destination. Russell said that creating a biking-friendly culture and landscape was now a powerful community and economic development strategy for small and medium-sized cities nationwide. Several of the Summit presenters will be speaking about successes they have witnessed first hand in their states.
Two bike rides, both leaving from the Marriott, are happening on Sunday. The first, at noon, is a long ride for more experienced riders. The second, leaving at 3 p.m., is for anyone who has a bike and a helmet. At 5 p.m., a reception begins and presentations on the best places to ride a bike in WV, how to get involved in cycling tourism, and tips from Tourism Commissioner, Amy Shuler Goodwin, on how to promote bicycle businesses begin at 5:30 p.m.
“The Summit is not just for people who like to ride,” Russell said. “As communities across America have already seen, better active transportation infrastructure boosts property values, attracts new residents and businesses, improves health outcomes, and just generally makes a place function better. We want all these things for West Virginia, and encouraging a strong biking culture and providing more safe places to ride is one way to work toward that.”