Interbike's exhibitor badge fees raised $50k for US cycle advocacy programme

The final tally on the funds received through Interbike's introduced-for-2003 exhibitor badge fees has today been revealed to be $50 000, all of which will go to to the America Bikes campaign, an initiative of Bikes Belong, the industry-supported lobby group.
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At this year's Interbike, additional exhibitor badges cost $25 per badge after the initial two-badge per exhibitor allocation.

Lance Camisasca, Interbike's show director said the fee-per-badge programme "drew industry-wide support, collecting more than Interbike and Bikes Belong ever thought possible."

Whilst widely supported, not all industry members agreed with the charge.

In a guest editorial slot in the Nov/Dec Bicycle Retailer magazine, Loronzo H. Thomson, president of L.H. Thomson Company said:

“I strongly resent Bikes Belong trying to make everybody pay money to the group whether or not we support its principles or tactics...I will never join organizations that lobby for government handouts and the accompanying controls, diminished freedom and lowering of our economic viability.”

However, this is a minority view.

Camisasca believed the programme could generate $40 000, "but the industry really stepped up to

support the programme and we ended up going well beyond that. Needless to say, we're extremely pleased to have raised so much for the cycling community."

The $50 000 will go to the America Bikes campaign, the bicycle community's Congressional lobbying effort

based in Washington, DC. The campaign is focused on preserving enhancements and other funds for bicycle facilities, creating a USl Safe Routes to School programme, and building safer roads for cycling.

"The funding from the badge programme is a significant investment by the bike industry toward guaranteeing that bicycling gets its fair share of federal transportation dollars," said Martha Roskowski campaign manager for America Bikes.

"It’s a sound investment for the future of cycling that really helps our industry become part of the bigger picture in Washington.

Scott Turner of Santa Cruz Bicycle, said:

"Raising money for advocacy is one of those things that's hard to complain about since it all comes back to help us in the long run."

However, Loronzo H. Thomson is not convinced:

"Mark my words, if the industry gets into bed with government, we will deserve the screwing we get.”

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