Georgia Bicycle Adventures’ Robyn and Doug participated in this year’s Georgia Bike Summit in Columbus, GA hosted by Georgia Bikes! to talk Bicycle Tourism and learn more about the conference theme of Complete Streets, Competitive Communities. Many of our friends and “fellow travelers” from around the state were there to join in the sessions and frolic in amazing downtown and riverside Columbus.
Highlights included a Welcome by Columbus’ Mayor Teresa Tomlinson (she is making a major difference in Columbus, believe it!), Keynote Presentation by Smart Growth America’s Roger Millar, GDOT Update from Bike/Ped Coordinator Katelyn DiGioia, Panel Discussion on the Journey to Complete Streets by folks from Athens, Milledgeville, and Columbus, and an entertaining Presentation on rethinking bicycle advocacy via The Atlanta Cycling Festival from Jeff Wisard.
The afternoon featured a valuable Unconference (topics chosen by the attendees) with a strong and well attended session on Bicycle Tourism—-we were there to trade info and strut our stuff about GBA’s partnership with Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division to Identify, Package, and Promote Bicycle Tourism In Georgia. There is a lot going on in Georgia and we also had folks there from neighboring states to join in moving bicycle tourism forward! Very Inspiring!
There were also many valuable breakout sessions including Bicycle Tourism: Lessons Learned from Sumter County (we want to pedal Americus, Plains, Andersonville and points between including great agritourism sites!) and Bike Touring Sherman’s March To The Sea presented by Eddie Shirey. We were also able to enjoy Columbus’ amazing Downtown and Riverwalk along the Chattahoochee River—fantastic pathway for bikes and pedestrians, whitewater rafting and kayaking, and even a zipline over the river to Alabama!