Building Better Bicycle Infrastructure Necessary for e-Bike Industry Growth
CalBike joined about 100 e-Bike industry executives and retailers at the 2016 E-Bike Summit earlier this month in San Juan Capistrano. This national event was organized by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleforBikes to review gains of 2016 and plot the legislative strategy for 2017.
As the only bike advocacy group invited to attend, CalBike was present to coordinate the industry’s California agenda and to make sure that industry leaders understand the importance of advocating for bicycle infrastructure as part of that legislative strategy.
Randy Neufeld of the SRAM Cycling Fund gave a presentation emphasizing that point to industry leaders. “Remember this: e-bikes are bikes. And people will ride bikes where their communities are designed to encourage biking.” He showed statistics illustrating a perfect correlation between places where bike usage is high and e-bike sales are high.
The audience was all ears, as 2015 saw steep drops in sales for recreational bikes. As a testament to CalBike’s work, however, the only categories that showed an increase in sales were city/commuter bikes, and e-bikes, i.e., bikes used for transportation.
Neufeld specifically called out CalBike’s work to build complete bicycle networks in communities across California as the kind of initiative the e-bike industry should support. Executive Director Dave Snyder also announced CalBike’s continued campaign to win a bicycle purchase incentive program to help people replace car trips with trips made using high-quality e-bikes.
“Pedal-assist, low-speed electric bikes are just like bikes but easier to pedal, and remove some big excuses and obstacles that prevent some people from riding,” said Snyder. “We support e-bikes because they are a big part of making biking mainstream in California.”