Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 1st, 2006 at 7:55 am
(Due to a glitch, this post was supposed to publish last night.)
It’s midnight here in DC and it’s been a long day. We arrived this evening and after checking in we went straight to dinner. We ate at a place called Coppi’s Organic, named for none other than famed Italian bike racer and Tour de France Champion Fausto Coppi. It was a fitting locale to kick off the Summit, which starts bright and early tomorrow morning.
At dinner, I made the mistake of sitting right in the middle of two tables. This meant I had to decide which interesting conversation to listen to. At one end of the table was a serious bikey political discussion between the BTA’s policy guy and a DC-based lobbyist who works on bike issues for the city of Eugene and IMBA (among others). At the other end was Jay Graves (owner of Bike Gallery) and Mia Birk (principal at Alta Planning, an urban planning firm based in Portland) discussing downtown bike parking ordinances. I just sat there, eyes and ears wide open, trying to take it all in.
Over wine, pizza, and meatballs, I got to meet a great lady named Meeky Blizzard. She has one of the coolest titles I’ve ever heard of; she’s the “Advisor for Livable Communities” for Congressman Earl Blumenauer. She had some very interesting mountain biking news for me, but I want to talk to a few more people before mentioning anything about it.
I also met a guy from the DC office of Alta Planning. He told me that some major bike lobbyists – including Trek president John Burke and Kozo Shimano – met with the President yesterday. I have no idea what went on in the meeting, but hey, I just got here! I’ll try to find out tomorrow.
The coolest part of the night was when Jerry Norquist presented the folks at Coppi’s with a Cycle Oregon jersey. The owner of the restaurant sent it around the table for us all to sign before framing it and putting it up on the wall.