Bicycling lobbyists in the US may a relatively new breed, but they have learned already there is only one way to promote the agenda of safer, healthier streets in the US.
Adding to his remarks, Jenn Dice of the Bikes Belong Coalition, a cycling industry group that administers BikesPAC, pointed to disproportionate cuts in bicycling infrastructure spending in the 2012 federal transportation bill, saying "Congress demonized cycling, we took such a beating in that bill, we have to be more political."
A massive 30% cut to cycling infrastructure programs in the transportation bill left cyclists across the nation feeling betrayed by some of their congressional representatives.
BikesPAC, was started in 2003 on the advice of Rep. Jim Oberstar, and has been growing and learning steadily since then.
"We spend money to support the campaigns of those that champion cycling, and we are getting more active in anti-bike districts. We are looking beyond DC, mayoral races are of particular interest to us," said Ms. Dice.
Tim Blumenthal, the executive director of Bikes Belong pointed out that BikesPAC is a non-partisan group, funding Democratic and Republican party candidates equally, provided they are active in promoting safer conditions for cyclists.
Thus far, contributions to BikesPAC are accepted only as personal donations by employees of companies with membership of Bikes Belong, but that may be changing. "We are talking about where we want to go with the way we're funded, but it is important to remember that we do not attempt to buy an outcome, only to support those we think are most likely to push for things that are important to us," said Mr. Blumenthal.
Bikes Belong is in the process of changing its name to People for Bikes, a public membership initiative it launched in 2010. People for Bikes has 770,000 members nationally, with close to 25,000 from the San Francisco Bay Area.