Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Hey Daddy Bear... | Finally, I Won’t Feel Discrimi... »

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In Bed With the Bike Lobby

posted by on June 24 at 13:44 PM

Ooh, two-wheeled initiatives!

United States Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama, a senator from Illinois, met with leaders from the US bicycle industry to discuss two-wheeled initiatives at the home of FK Day, one of SRAM’s founders June 12.

The fundraiser was organized by Day’s wife, Leah, who contacted the senator’s campaign staff six months ago. Day was notified of the senator’s availability about a week beforehand, and with the help of her brother-in-law Stan Day (president of SRAM), rounded up 160 guests to attend (and pay US$2,300 each) to represent the bicycle industry.

Bikes Belong, an umbrella organization representing the industry, had its executive director Tim Blumenthal divert a few days of his French bicycling vacation to spend the evening with Senator Obama and several members of his Bikes Belong board of directors, who were granted a private 20-minute meeting with the senator.

In true bi-partisan fashion, Shimano American’s Kozo Shimano was also in attendance, getting some face time with the Illinois senator. SRAM and Shimano have been waging war for nearly 20 years, but according to several attendees, the meeting with a presumptive presidential candidate meant more than competing in the marketplace. Greg LeMond and his wife Kathy were also there; LeMond has stated his support for Senator Obama when he presented the Major Taylor sculpture in Massachusetts this May.

Also, who knew the bicycle industry had actual lobbyists? Via Ben Smith.

RSS icon Comments


Those fat cats from Big Bicycling will be the first against the wall.

Posted by elenchos | June 24, 2008 2:01 PM

Not to worry, elenchos, I took their spare tube.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 24, 2008 2:06 PM

A bunch of reps from the bike industry, and not a single hideous flourescent riding jacket in sight. Thank God for small miracles, I guess.

Posted by Jay Andrew Allen | June 24, 2008 2:13 PM

When the rest of you are stuck in the suburbs or unable to leave Capitol Hill for lack of gasoline, we bicyclists will take over the world. And Obama fucking KNOWS it.

Posted by Gurldoggie | June 24, 2008 2:13 PM

A houseful of bikers...with 2300 bucks each?!? That's a lot of pints at The Canterbury, kids...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 24, 2008 2:19 PM

gurldoggie: I'm pretty sure that, by the standards of the bicycling proletariat, most of those folks would be categorized as "counter-revolutionaries."

There's biking as a means of transit, and biking as an expensive hobby for people who love to pretend their trek through the I-90 bike tunnel is a leg of the Tour de France. I'm sure these cycling industry chaps know where the "real" money is.

Posted by Jay Andrew Allen | June 24, 2008 2:22 PM

At first I thought Erica posted this...then I remembered "Obama did something that Hillary never would have done..." and noticed it wasn't Erica.

Cycle with Obama!!!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 24, 2008 2:23 PM

I'll be impressed with Obama only if he shows up at Daley Plaza in Chicago at 5:30pm on the last Friday of any month between now and election day.

Posted by stinkbug | June 24, 2008 3:17 PM

stinkbug @8, congratulations on taking single-issue voterness to an absurd new low.

Posted by lostboy | June 24, 2008 3:27 PM

What's up with no drive-in windows for cyclists in this town, anyway?

We pay taxes too!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 24, 2008 3:34 PM

Not only do cyclists have lobbyists, there is also a Congressional Bike Caucus, headed by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland, OR). This morning NPR did a story on old Earl's cycling habits. Be sure to check out his lapel pin, a TRUE patriot!

Posted by DOUG. | June 24, 2008 4:15 PM

@6 Bikes Belong is pretty far over on the "utility cycling" side of the spectrum - hardly a bunch of racer wanna-bees..

Posted by bakfiets | June 24, 2008 4:55 PM

Comments Closed

Comments are closed on this post.