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Pinarello, Kona Demos in Charlotte, Southpark Cycles Anniversary

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Next week, Southpark Cycles will be celebrating their 10 year anniversary with special deals and blowout pricing on most categories and items.  They’ve also got some great demos scheduled:

Pinarello Bike Demos Next Week
Next week we will be offering free demos of the new Pinarello FP3’s (sizes 51,53,55,57). The FP3 is a new offering from Pinarello and comes out of the same mold as their flagship Pinarello Prince. The demos will be leaving from the bike shop and will be all week. We are already taking RSVP’s for next week via telephone or email. The bikes are available from 10:00 until 6:00 each day Monday thru Friday for 1 hour rides. Bring your clipless pedals and drivers license’s

Kona Mountain Bike Demos Next Week
We will be having multiple demos with Kona bikes next week at the US National Whitewater Center. We are waiting to announce the days and times until we get a glimpse of what the weather will be next week between Wednesday and Saturday. We will have more than a dozen bikes from Kona. Mostly dual suspensions and 29ers. Bring your clipless pedals and drivers licenses.

Shop owner Bart is also big on local and statewide advocacy and made the trip to Washington for the recent National Bike Summit. Click “more” to get his comments and see how we may benefit from stimulus and alt transportation programs…

Will You Get Your Bail Out?
If you are a cyclist there is a good chance you will see some benefit from the bail outs and stimulus packages going into effect. There were over 600 attendees at this year’s National Bike Summit in Washington DC.

Charlotte-area attendees were Martin Zimmerman from Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance, myself and Steve Doolittle from Cool Breeze in Mooresville. As a small business owner and someone who has made 7 trips to Capitol Hill to meet with our local and statewide elected officials I feel I have a grasp on how big business and the bail out work. I won’t really go into the politics of it because most of you probably wouldn’t be too happy. What I can tell you is that the results of our efforts to make our communities more livable and safe for cyclists are more visible locally and up on “the Hill” we are remembered by the staff we have met previously and are welcomed into their offices.

During the time I spent in DC last week I heard of the numerous grand plans the new administration has for the country. I also learned some about the new stimulus package in place. After this weeks latest debacle of stimulus going to bonuses again, I have to hope that there is a good chance some of the money is intended for projects which are going to improve the environment and create jobs.

We also spent a day speaking with members and staff of the congress and senate. Knowing that there will be funds flowing into transportation infrastructure we spent a day lobbing for a bill known as “complete streets”. If this bill gets passed, every time a road is built or resurfaced there must be consideration for cyclists and pedestrians. The best example of this type of improvement is the more recent changes to East Blvd. Charlotte is currently supposed to follow the complete streets guidelines but doesn’t always do so since it is not law.

We also spent the day asking for the renewing of the funding of the Rails to Trails Projects (also known as RTP grants) in the next Transportation Bill reauthorization which comes up this fall. Previously national projects received $370 million in RTP grants over a 5 year period. The federal grants provide funding for projects like greenways and mountain bike trails. (Some of the Lake Norman Trails were built by assistance of RTP grants).

The biggest problem is there are too many qualified projects and the fund ran out of money early. We are asking the federal government to increase the budget of the RTP from $370 million to $550 million over the next 5 years. What does all this really mean. While some consider these tough times they are also great times of opportunity. I see it as either you’re part of the solution or part of the problem. Other wise men may have said “united we stand, divided we fall”. Either way, you have to fight for your rights and opportunities and there is no better time than now to fight that fight!

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