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PotomacCyclist
01-30-2016, 08:42 PM
I was looking at the website for the Washington Auto Show and noted that they always have celebrities who don't have anything to do with automobiles or transportation. This includes local sports stars and national music, acting and sports figures. This is a way to draw people who may not have much interest in the auto show or automobiles.

One of the biggest beginner-friendly bike events in the area, and across the U.S., is Bike to Work Day. There are raffle drawings, speakers, side events, group bike commute rides, professional unicyclists and more. But there usually aren't any big-name "celebrities." While some might frown upon this, I say, why not? Non-bike celebrities can help increase interest in BTWD and bike commuting in general. It would be particularly helpful to have notable figures not associated with cycling who bike-commute at least occasionally. We already know that some of the local team sports players commute to stadiums and practice facilities on bike. Off the top of my head, I know that current and former players like Alfred Morris, Tyler Clippard and Caron Butler are enthusiastic cyclists.

http://www.bicycling.com/advocacy/people/forward-thinker

Many people who are indifferent or even hostile to the idea of bike commuting might see it differently if they knew that some of their favorite sports or TV celebrities are enthusiastic cyclists, or at least open to cycling.

Some well-known non-cycling celebrities have been involved in promoting cycling, including famous figures like LeBron James, Al Roker and Matt Lauer. Local NBC4 morning anchor Angie Goff participated in the Cranksgiving bike charity scavenger event in 2014 in DC with Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker, and interviewed bike commuters about cycling in Arlington before that. Like it or not, a lot of people respond to celebrities. I don't think BTWD needs to be completely focused on having celebrities, but it would be a nice addition. It could further expand the reach of BTWD and open up new people to the idea that "real people" bike-commute. Some of the resistance and hostility toward cycling is still based on the old-fashioned idea that most bike commuters and adult cyclists are either granola-eating bearded hipsters, maniacal bike messengers, or Lycra-clad Lance Armstrong wannabe bike racers. We know there's far more to bike commuting and adult cycling than that, but that reality doesn't sink in with a lot of people.

On a different tack, some hardcore right-wingers seem to think that adult cyclists are freeloading, aging hippie Communist pinkos. Or something like that. (If anyone is offended by this characterization, it's based on many comments I've heard and read over the years, including from several people I know in person.) Even though bike commuters include a broad range of people on the political spectrum, there is still a group of intense anti-bike people who have those outdated stereotypical images of bike commuters.

On the other hand, there are people like the infamous Courtland Milloy who think that bike commuting is only for newcomers to DC or not for African Americans. While this is far from the truth, that stereotype exists too.

BTWD appearances by people like Representative Earl Blumenauer might be notable to bike advocates. But the general public is unlikely to know who he is. Or if they do, they would hardly get excited about BTWD because of him, if they are not involved with bike advocacy. Many of them might respond much differently if they hear about well-known TV, sports or military figures participating in BTWD events. I would think that some of them would be eager to participate, even without an appearance fee. The event would promote their reputation and brand, so it could be a win for everyone.

Tyler Clippard and Caron Butler no longer play for Washington-area teams. Maybe Alfred Morris and other noted individuals could be invited to participate in this year's BTWD.

PotomacCyclist
01-30-2016, 08:43 PM
I've probably posted about this before. But since there don't seem to be many non-bike celebrities participating in BTWD, I think it can help to post about it again.

lordofthemark
01-30-2016, 09:17 PM
I am pretty sure the Secretary of Transportation attended the last BTWD.

Steve O
01-30-2016, 11:23 PM
Sounds good to me.
10756

Riley Casey
02-05-2016, 10:57 PM
A chronic problem with celebrities. One persons' instantly recognizable heartthrob is the next persons " why is that woman dressed so oddly and wearing so much make up?".

consularrider
02-07-2016, 04:12 AM
Maybe Dirt should invite her on a gravel grinder ride since that is how she is posed.

Seriously, Secretary of State Kerry (https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2015/06/13/john-kerry-reflects-his-bicycle-accident-exclusive-globe-interview/nRK32wk1YCJ15Mmd4tcoJJ/story.html) is an avid cyclist and so is Justice Stephen Breyer (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/supreme-court-justice-stephen-breyer-hurts-shoulder-in-biking-accident-in-dc/2013/04/27/f9fafde8-af6d-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html). Hope they are both recovered from their accidents and are riding again.

Starduster
02-07-2016, 10:01 AM
Maybe Dirt should invite her on a gravel grinder ride since that is how she is posed.

Seriously, Secretary of State Kerry (https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2015/06/13/john-kerry-reflects-his-bicycle-accident-exclusive-globe-interview/nRK32wk1YCJ15Mmd4tcoJJ/story.html) is an avid cyclist and so is Justice Stephen Breyer (https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/supreme-court-justice-stephen-breyer-hurts-shoulder-in-biking-accident-in-dc/2013/04/27/f9fafde8-af6d-11e2-a986-eec837b1888b_story.html). Hope they are both recovered from their accidents and are riding again.

Vintage Schwinn cruiser. Which will get the Old bike Shop's attention... :)

DrP
02-07-2016, 01:43 PM
I think Bono has recovered from his bike accident. Perhaps he would be interested... Definitely a big name.

JazzManBiv
03-22-2016, 11:12 AM
If you attend Lorenzo Alexander's Ride to Provide event on April 30th, you may have the opportunity to see what is on several of the players schedule

Ride to Provide is an annual charity bike event hosted by NFL Pro-Bowler, Lorenzo Alexander and Redskin Kedric Golston. Lorenzo, Kedric, current and former Redskin teammates - Ryan Kerrigan, Antwaan Randle El, Logan Paulsen, Nick Sundberg, Chris Wilson, Kai Forbath - and media personalities - EB & Cakes of The Sports Junkies from 106.7 The Fan and Mike Wise of ESPN will be joining our military heroes as well as hundreds of children and adults on the W&OD Railroad Regional Park Trail for a 10-53 mile scenic bike ride that begins and ends at Reston Town Center. The bike ride heads west on the trail toward Leesburg through the beautiful, Virginia countryside.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ride-to-provide-2016-tickets-21129901103

dasgeh
03-23-2016, 09:34 AM
I saw this and thought "wouldn't it be awesome if there was a red carpet for the people who bike at some of the pit stops?" i.e. treat everyone like a celebrity. I nominate Ballston!

dkel
03-23-2016, 09:58 AM
I saw this and thought "wouldn't it be awesome if there was a red carpet for the people who bike at some of the pit stops?" i.e. treat everyone like a celebrity. I nominate Ballston!

Bikenetic had a cheering squad for every single bike that went through the Falls Church pit stop last year in both am and pm. It was funny to see how people reacted—or didn't—as they rode through.

Tim Kelley
03-23-2016, 10:00 AM
I saw this and thought "wouldn't it be awesome if there was a red carpet for the people who bike at some of the pit stops?" i.e. treat everyone like a celebrity. I nominate Ballston!

BicycleSpace does a red carpet at their stop: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/53e4b85fe4b08bf8c3ed1f03/t/555a43c1e4b04d1c65499631/1431978960806/

We're doing one better...there is going to be a SmileBooth at Rosslyn this year!

Tim Kelley
03-23-2016, 10:07 AM
Bikenetic had a cheering squad for every single bike that went through the Falls Church pit stop last year in both am and pm. It was funny to see how people reacted—or didn't—as they rode through.

We're thinking Arlington PAL Ambassadors might do something like this.

And there is always Yay For Bike Riders Day too!

bentbike33
03-23-2016, 11:22 AM
Off the top of my head, I know that current and former players like Alfred Morris, Tyler Clippard and Caron Butler are enthusiastic cyclists.

http://www.bicycling.com/advocacy/people/forward-thinker



Alfred Morris just signed with the Cowboys. Maybe he'll do the Dallas BTWD.