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Rick Vosper: Tales from the BLC, Part Two

Published April 20, 2012

What can industry meetings like the the BLC accomplish? In addition to bringing together leaders from different companies to talk about common problems, they can act as industry-wide catalysts for change. Here’s one example of the power of getting  bike industry suppliers together in one place.

Back in 2010, IMBA had just lost over 1,000 miles of bike trails to closures, according to IMBA’s government affairs director Jenn Dice. Led by an impassioned plea from Specialized's Mike Sinyard and Trek's John Burke, suppliers stepped up at the BLC meeting that year in a spontaneous outpouring  of investment to help keep trails open. Suppliers' enthusiasm soon spread to retailers, and within a few months hundreds of thousands of industry dollars flowed to renew support for IMBA’s governmental advocacy programs.

The result?  Two years and 36 campaigns later, Dice announced to the BLC Thursday morning that some 2,762 miles of trails have since been saved and/or protected.

That's the kind of thing that just doesn't happen when we sit behind our desks. To accomplish things as an industry, we need to get together as an industry. Retailers have been doing it for years through gatherings like the NBDA Dealer Summits, and it's good to see the BPSA's Bicycle Leadership Conference gathering similar power and prestige.

Editor's note: Rick Vosper's quarter century in the cycling business includes executive stints as director of Airborne Bicycles, director of global marketing for Specialized Bicycles, and VP of marketing & product for Veltec Sports. Outside the cycling industry, he's worked as an award-winning copywriter and creative director for advertising, collateral, web, and multimedia agencies.

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