Representatives of leading bike companies and European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) joined forces at EUROBIKE to launch a global Cycling Industry Club (CIC). The group will fund ECF’s advocacy activities to advance pro-bicycle policies across Europe. Members are calling upon other companies to join the club and want to see 1 million Euro in advocacy money raised by next year.
Combining the might of the bicycle business with ECF has been an ambition for some time. A meeting last night at EUROBIKE saw the official creation of the CIC with big names including ACCELL, DT Swiss, Schwalbe, Selle Royal, SRAM, Trek and Trelock. Companies have committed financial support to help ECF triple the number of cyclists in Europe by 2020.
Strengthening ties between industry and advocacy is in the best interests of all parties. When quizzed on the need for such a club, ECF President Manfred Neun wastes no time in highlighting their importance: “Strong advocacy will only strengthen the bicycle industry, and vice versa. It’s a mutually sustaining relationship”. Lobby and promotion work which improves overall conditions for cyclists is in the best interests of the cycling industry. More people cycling will ultimately mean more bicycles being sold.
SRAM CEO Stan Day’s motivation to join the club is clear: “We need strong cycling advocacy on all levels, from local to international. ECF is leading advocacy in Brussels and developing advocacy leaders in growing markets.” His European colleague from ACCELL, René Takens, also recognizes the success of ECF’s efforts: “ECF has achieved substantial progress: the EU now funds projects to realize the completion of the long distance cycle route network EuroVelo. And thanks to ECF, cycling gained an unprecedented global voice this year at the International Transport Forum of 52 Transport Ministers.”
All members are calling upon other players in the bicycle industry to get on board. John Burke, President of Trek Bicycle Corporation saw the occasion to combine advocacy and the bicycle business as “a great first step for bicycle advocacy in Europe”.
“The bicycle industry,” says Burke “has been very good to many people in Europe, including TREK. There is a responsibility for those companies who have done well in Europe to give back. And this is a great way to give back.
As for getting more bike companies signed up to reach the 1 million Euro target, Burke doesn’t hold back: “So many people believe in the industry that the bicycle is a simple solution to many complicated problems… and this is a great opportunity to put their money where their mouth is”
Joining the Club: Companies interested in joining the ‘Cycling Industry Club’ should contact ECF President Manfred Neun or Secretary General Dr. Bernhard Ensink via the ECF booth at EUROBIKE FW-202, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone:+32479837905. Companies taking part include ACCELL, DT Swiss, Schwalbe, Selle Royal, SRAM, Trek and Trelock.