The greatest advocate of bike riding in the US is doubtlessly Lance Armstrong. But even the seven-times Tour de France winner will need help if more of his fellow Americans are to spend more time in the saddle.
Enter the SRAM Cycling Fund. Armed with funding from the eponymous bicycle components maker – in which Armstrong is an investor – as well as private equity investors Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking, the fund’s mandate is to award $10 million in grants to support “national and international advocacy efforts that enhance cycling infrastructure, safety and access”.
To help the fund achieve this, it has appointed Randy Neufeld to the role of director. According to a press release, Neufeld has worked in cycling advocacy for more than two decades and comes with excellent credentials. “Randy is a treasure in the bicycle advocacy world,” says Jeff Miller, president of the Alliance for Biking and Walking.
Neufeld will be based in Chicago, but we suspect he’ll be spending time in Washington, D.C. too. “He knows how government works, how advocacy groups can be most effective,” says Tim Blumenthal of Bikes Belong, another industry group.
A bicycle-friendly federal investment programme for US infrastructure might not be as farfetched as you might think. Tour giant Armstrong would be delighted.