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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.   


Transcription Sponsored by: Transcript Divas Transcription Services

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • http://twitter.com/jamesmoore80 jamesmoore80

    Thanks to everyone that represented the interest of cyclists and hopefully many more future cyclists that will take cycling up as a everyday means of transportation due to your efforts in our nation. Wish I could have made this trip, but maybe I'll make it in the future. Bike helmets are smart! Smart is the new cool! Pass it on.

  • http://www.considerbiking.org Bryan Saums

    Thanks to LAB for the great summit. Thanks to the AZ contingent and Gabby for their courage and leadership. Godspeed all!

  • http://www.livablestreets.com/people/IanD Ian Dutton

    A heartwarming ride - and great to see DC making leaps and bounds in cycling infrastructure!

  • http://www.perimeterbicycling.com Richard J. DeBernardis

    Thank you to the LEAGUE for having the bike ride in tribute to Gabby and all the other victims of the January 8th tragedy. Amongst her many accomplishments, Gabby is a cyclist, and a supporter of many of our local Tucson events and causes. Gabe Zimmerman, one of Gabby's staff members, was a cyclist who rode in El Tour de Tucson. We'll miss Gabe - and we're directing all of our energies toward Gabby to being on her bicycle again and serves an inspiration to all of us. Thanks to all of you for allowing us to be part of you and for you being part of us.

  • T.R.

    Even though I failed to make any of the motion pictures, great ride, great summit.

  • Bert Scharf

    I only wish I could be at one of these inspiring summits. Was pleased to learn that D.C. has a bikeshare program. It works extremely well for me in Marseille, France, where I spend half the year. Am hoping it comes to Boston for my other half of the year. However, I was surprised to see so many riders at the Summit without helmets, surprised they were not required.