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Thank You, Congressman Oberstar
John Burke, President of Trek, found the perfect combination of events last week to say “thank you” to Congressman James L. Oberstar for his 20-year, on-going commitment to championing the cause of bicyclists in Congress. First, he gave the Congressman a chance to get on his bike and go for a ride with his family! He gave him the chance to drool over the incredible line of bikes and equipment offered by Trek, from the latest carbon-fibre Madone Tour de France bike to the totally recyclable and sustainable Belleville. There was a bit of fundraising thrown in there, as hundreds of bicycle retailers from across the country made contributions to his re-election campaign. At a spectacular reception atop Madison’s Monona Terrace Convention Center,
Burke presented the Congressman with a map showing the rapidly increasing number of Bicycle Friendly Communities – much of the work in these cities made possible by the funding and other programs he has written into law over the years. And finally, he assembled some of the most successful bike dealers in the nation to simply hang out, talk about bikes a whole bunch, and say “thank you."
After a tough Congressional session this Spring, you could see the energy flow back into Congressman Oberstar as he addressed the Trek World participants. Surrounded by friends and supporters – some who have known him for 20 years, others who were discovering for the first time all that he has done for the movement – he balanced reminiscences with a rallying cry for his version of the next transportation bill. “Your time has come” he said, noting it was time to “move from the hydrocarbon economy to the carbohydrate economy”.