National Bike Summit 2011: Congressional Bike Ride (for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords)
This year's League of American Bicyclists (LAB) National Bike Summit built on the massive momentum nationwide for the demand for better, safer cycling in the U.S. On Friday's the LAB's Congressional Bike Ride was held in support of Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords and this year's was the largest ever in LAB history. At the beginning of the ride, Executive Director, Andy Clarke, held a moment of silence for all the victims of the Tuscon shootings and riders wore flags, pins and bracelets in their honor.
The 10-mile course featured the latest in what the DC area can boast in primo cycling facilities including the fabulous, physically separated bike lanes on Pennsylvania & 15th Streets. The ride also breezed past many DC Bike Share stations. We chatted with participants about "Gabby", the Bike Summit, and their experience over the week.
Andy Clarke: [00:04] Good morning.
All: [00:06] Good morning.
Andy Clarke: [00:08] We’ve been doing the Congressional Bike Ride every year as part of the Summit, but this year it definitely has a special significance, and I want to thank Johnson Metouski [sp?], among others, who suggested that we do the ride this year in honour of Gabrielle Giffords. I’m not a doctor, but it seems to me that the recovery, the remarkable recovery that she is enjoying has got to be in part because of the good health and the good shape that she’s in because of riding her bike.
Speaker: [00:39] It’s the Arizona flag motif/bandanna with the Arizona Bicycle Club logo on it recognising Gabrielle Giffords for the Congressional Ride.
Ann Chanecka: [00:50] I’m honoured to be here from Tucson and really appreciate this ride being in honour of Gabby Giffords, and I brought with me the ribbons. These ribbons are made by a non profit and this non profit helps victims of violence in general. Also the peace love Gabby bracelets, the blue bracelets.
Speaker: [01:10] Go Gabby. Go Gabby Giffords.
Speaker: [01:13] It’s good to be riding in honour of Gabby. I mean I’m really hoping for fullest recovery.
Speaker: [01:19] A lot of people from a lot of places and I mean I’m from here in DC, so it’s always cool to meet people from all over the country.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [01:27] Where are you guys from? Where are you from?
Speaker: [01:28] Ohio.
Speaker: [01:29] I’m from Billings, Montana.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [01:31] Awesome.
Speaker: [01:32] North Carolina.
Speaker: [01:33] Nappa Valley.
Speaker: [01:34] Portland, Oregon.
Speaker: [01:35] Ohio.
Speaker: [01:36] I’m from Brooklyn.
Speaker: [01:37] Nevada.
Speaker: [01:38] I’m from Ellijay, Georgia.
Speaker: [01:40] Boston. Brookline.
Speaker: [01:42] Wisconsin, this is awesome man.
Speaker: [01:44] I’m from West Orange, New Jersey. John, where are you from?
Speaker: [01:46] Arlington.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [01:48] Where are you from? Oh, I know where you’re from.
Speaker: [01:49] Yeah, from Portland. How are you doing Clarence?
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [01:51] I’m good, I’m good.
Speaker: [01:54] I love the cycle track, it’s awesome.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [02:00] Watching is interesting and two-way…
Speaker: [02:04] Barrier bike lanes, wait a minute. That’s an impossible concept to have especially in the capital.
Speaker: [02:08] It’s a great experience, you get to charge, a lot of people have great ideas.
Speaker: [02:13] It restored my faith in democracy spending a day lobbying yesterday. You know the people [unintelligible] and interested very cool.
Speaker: [02:20] It was empowering. I’ve never done advocacy before and it really opened my eyes to what goes on. And actually made, talking to my elected civil a lot more approachable and doable.
Speaker: [02:32] No, we’re just glad to be able to advocate to keep it safe for people to get around their own neighbourhoods safely.
Speaker: [02:37] There ride, I got to it a little bit late, which is why I’m on a bike share. Good thing this bike share. It’s been really good, I’ve had to dock it two times. I got to dock it again. You’re costing me money.
Clarence Eckerson Jr.:
[02:48] Okay, go. Go.