It was an amazing morning of bike love here in Portland. We had a great turnout at both Breakfast on the Bridges: Driver Donut Edition (photos), and the “I Share the Road” rally (photos). The sun even came out to lend its endorsement to the proceedings. And I’m sure it didn’t hurt that the events were plugged last night on KATU-TV (thanks Anita!) and in an article on the front page of the Oregonian this morning.
I must say how impressed I am that this whole thing came about in 4 days. From a Monday morning brainstorm session to a rally and the launch of a new campaign. That’s quite a demonstration of this city’s committment to making sure everyone feels safe out on the roads, whether you’re on bikes, cars, skateboards, buses, or feet.
When I first arrived on the scene, I hung out at the bus stop to hand out pastries to bus drivers (great idea Ian!). They were mostly really into it and happy to see us making the gesture. There was one guy was sort of a grouch and declined the treat. I don’t think the passengers really figured out what the heck was going on and were probably thinking, “man, the cyclists in this town sure are weird.”
We would step on the bus, say “Thanks for sharing road, here’s a pastry. Peace,” and wave to the passengers and step off. I took some cool photos but I just received a call from Mary Fetsch, head of TriMet communications and she said I’m actually not allowed to publish them without prior approval. That’s too bad ’cause I’d like to share them, but I respect TriMet’s policies and Mary and I agreed that next month we plan ahead and it will work out better for both of us (they get happy, I get better photos!).
And then onto the “I Share the Road” rally. Wow! How exciting to see everyone turn out. The kids on hand were definitely a highlight and so was seeing all the community partners lined up in front of the bus. They each came to the mic and said a few things about sharing the road. I especially like Commissioner of Transportation Sam Adams‘ speech. He spoke from his heart and said something like, “it’s never cool to get upset with someone because they made a mistake on the road.”
And then there was Timo, working the mic and cracking bike jokes like, “Why didn’t Lance Armstrong win the unicycle race? He was two-tired,” and singing his song, “My friend sharin’ the road.” Here’s an excerpt:
“I was in my car the other day and I saw a friend on her bike. She was travelling with a precious cargo, her happy little tiny tyke. She was setting a good example, as mothers often do – She was puttin’ her foot down at every stop sign, letting the cross traffic thru…
I saw my friend Sharon, she was sharin’ the road
I saw my friend Sharon, my friend sharin’ the road”
One last thing. A new “I Share the Road” website is in the works, but for now, you can request up to 2 free “I Share the Road” stickers on this temporary website (big thanks to Michael Jones for helping me with this).