Paul Birmingham pic of Arizona Outdoors.
GARY FISHER, “GODFATHER OF MOUNTAIN BIKING,” RETURNS
TO TUCSON WITH A MESSAGE: BICYCLE RACERS AND ADVOCATES ARE STRONGER TOGETHER
Tucson, Ariz. (Oct. 2, 2012) - Gary Fisher, mountain biking pioneer who coined the term “mountain bike,” visits Tucson after a year spent traveling the nation promoting his message: Bicycle racers and advocates are stronger at achieving better bicycling conditions for everyone when they work together.
Fisher, one of the most prominent professional mountain bike racers and bike builders of the last two decades, says “We must focus on bikes for transportation combined with events that make cycling fun and effortless.”
Fisher comes to Tucson to recognize the work of Living Streets Alliance, which advocates on behalf of cyclists and pedestrians as well as hosts fun, family-friendly biking and walking events such as Kidical Mass, Cyclovia and Bike Fest.
LSA will host a news conference/panel discussion featuring Gary Fisher and other panelists at 2 p.m., Oct. 16, at BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art and Salvage), 44 W. Sixth St.
Events like Cyclovia introduce people to residential routes that may already connect them to destinations in their neighborhoods. Cyclovia events provide car-free streets for one day to encourage people to give biking or walking a try.
But Tucson needs more routes that make many would-be cyclists feel safe.
Earlier this year, the League of American Bicyclists, LAB, renewed the Tucson region’s status as a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Community, but the region fell short of the top recognition – Platinum. Feedback from the LAB cited Tucson’s relatively low bicycle commuter numbers and relatively high crash rates.
Cities such as Austin, Memphis and Minneapolis have seen big increases in their commuter rates when they focused on building a comprehensive network of routes just off of busy streets where people felt comfortable and safe using the bicycle for transportation.
Fisher, both a former professional racer and a current advocate for the bicycle, comes to Tucson to bridge the gap and encourage both to work together to bring the kind of infrastructure to Tucson proven to increase biking and decrease crashes. As part of his visit he will participate in a community bike ride on the evening of October 17th with advocates, racers, and the general public.
To meet Gary Fisher and find out what he has to say about racing and advocacy in Tucson, the Living Streets Alliance invites you to come out and talk with Gary.
News Conference/Public Discussion
DATE: Tuesday, Oct. 16
TIME: 2 p.m.
PLACE: BICAS (Bicycle Inter-Community Art and Salvage), 44 W. Sixth St. (520) 261-8777
Gary Fisher, named “Founding Father of Mountain Bikes” by Smithsonian magazine in 1994
Emily Yetman, Executive Director, Living Streets Alliance
Zach McDonald, President, Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists
Kylie Walzak, Program Coordinator, Living Streets Alliance
The purpose of this news conference is to draw attention to the need for street improvements that make people who want to walk and bike for transportation feel safe and comfortable and to announce plans for a community bike ride and celebration with Gary Fisher on Wednesday, October 17th.