Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pedal America TV Show Coming Soon To A PBS Station Near You

Monterey, Calif. -- He's a journalism professor from Chicago and he came to the Bicycle Leadership Conference here to pitch his PBS-TV show idea to the bike leaders -- a TV show on everyday bicyclists in communities around the country.

His name is Ira David Levy, but he goes by David and he's a 45-year-old journalism prof on sabbatical, taking a year off to launch a new public TV show called, "Pedal America."

David is from Ithaca College, a mere 45 miles down the road from my college, Hobart College, in New York state's Finger Lakes region. We're also New York Mets fans and we easily bonded here at the bicycle conference because both of our lives have ended up following this wild and wooly bicycle path.

David is lining up PBS stations across the country to broadcast Pedal America. In fact, a Tucson, Ariz. station called him while we were chatting this afternoon and confirmed they're in. He's also looking to sign up WUSF and WEDU in Tampa. I don't know the station managers at those two PBS stations, so he's on his own there.

But he's very interested in doing a segment on the Seminole Heights Bicycle Club, a terrific example of an urban bicycle club of members who ride an array of bicycles and spurn the Lance Armstroneg wannabe approach to cycling.

David also knows about the Pinellas Trail and I suggested he also do a compare-and-contrast of the bicycle scene in St. Petersburg to that of the city of Tampa to get a sense of a city government that gets it about bicycling versus one that is kinda on the clueless side.

He plans to make a sojourn to Tampa one day and you might just see a TV crew trailing a bunch of bicyclists in the Seminole Heights neighborhood.

David is a big bicycle rider himself, doing long tourist rides in the Rockies and also doing a cross-country ride to raise money for the families of those killed in the 9/11 attack.

I wish him well in his pursuit of his PBS bicycle show.


GhostRider said...

Oooh, how exciting! And, comparing our two communities MIGHT just embarrass the Tampa side enough to get serious about cycling on this side of the Bay.

Good luck, David -- hope we get to meet you and your crew.

Ira David said...

Thanks, Alan; and thanks GhostRider for the comment. You can visit us at I'll keep you all posted on our progress. And yes, we might just show up with our cameras.


Anonymous said...

Does this mean I have to shave for the rides now? -Ken

Unknown said...

Not at all Ken. We'll take you as you are. Just make sure your helmet is extra shiney. :)