Bike Symposium a forum for information sharing |

Bike Symposium a forum for information sharing

by Sarah Gonser

It was an extremely fruitful forum, participants said, in which alliances formed, possibilities were discussed, problems tackled and plenty of information was shared.

The first Lake Tahoe Bicycle Trail Symposium drew bike trail experts from across the country to share their experiences with the nearly 85 participants gathered at the North Tahoe Conference Center on Wednesday, and Valhalla Boathouse Theater on Thursday.

“There’s been an overwhelming feeling of unity created between all the lake communities,” said California Tahoe Conservancy’s Robert Kingman, symposium chair and organizer. “It’s become clear that there’s a real desire to take a step forward.”

Presentations covered issues ranging from funding trail maintenance, to creating bicycle communities and resolving the conflicts between environmental values and building trails. Speakers came from diverse backgrounds, including a bicycle planner from the city of Denver, the California state director of the Rails and Trails Conservancy, a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the city of Davis and the executive director of the California Bicycle Coalition. Kingman said participants came from communities around the lake, as well as Reno, Sparks, San Francisco and Sacramento.

Participant Gary Bell, owner of Sierra Ski & Cycle Works, said the symposium was a first step in the right direction.

“It was really exciting information for everyone who wants to see progress with bicycle commuting and recreation,” Bell said. “The speakers came from communities where they’ve made it work really well. I think it’s really gathering steam around the lake and at South Shore. Bike trails have been ignored far too long.”

The League to Save Lake Tahoe’s Heidi Hill Drum said the two-day meeting revealed a great deal of community support for bike trails at Lake Tahoe.

“From the private sector, to business, to all the agencies – it became clear that we’re going to have to work together if we want to overcome the issues,” Hill Drum said. “This is definitely a first step.”

The symposium was entirely supported through local sponsorship, Kingman said.

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