I’m sitting in a Barnes & Noble in downtown DC (just off Pennsylvania Ave.). It’s 10:30pm.
My day started 17 hours ago. I got up at sunrise to finish some stories and be early to our rally that began at 8:00am up on Capitol Hill.
Now my shoes and socks are damp and my legs are heavy from pedaling a three-mile loop between the site of my wi-fi connection and Capitol Hill (three times, about 13 miles total riding, some of it in the rain).
It was a very memorable day.
I made the map below to give you some context for the rest of the story.
I got an early start because I was excited to see Congressman Jim Oberstar at this morning’s rally.
Here are a few shots from the event.
After Oberstar’s rousing speech, I stuck around for Blumenauer and his Bike Commuter Act press conference.
Once that wrapped up I chatted a bit, snapped a few photos, and introduced myself to Trek Bicycles President John Burke.
At his presentation last night, I noticed he used a few of my photos without my permission or knowledge, so I thought that’d be a good conversation starter. He said someone from the marketing department must have found them. No big deal really, I was just surprised to see them.
We talked a little about the bike industry, he gave me his card, we shook hands, and that was that.
A few minutes later I was back on the tikit. I needed wi-fi so I made my way for my first of three rides from Capitol Hill back to the Reagan Trade Building (marked “Wi-Fi” on the map).
I ran into a few familiar faces along the way.
Dirt Rag Magazine founder Maurice Tierney
The Reagan Trade Building is where the Summit has been taking place…but more importantly it’s the site of my reliable and fast wi-fi connection (that I’m paying $16 a day for!).
The ride was a blast. The tikit may not look like an urban assault vehicle, but it is. I weave in and out of traffic, ride up curbs and on sidewalks through mazes of tourists, all while smiling, ringing my bell, and taking in the sights and sounds of DC.
Once I arrived I wrote a few stories, uploaded photos and then hopped on the bike for a 1:00 meeting back on Capitol Hill.
After that, we had another meeting at 2:00 and after sitting in and snapping photos, I boarded the trusty tikit and jetted back to the Reagan Trade Building once again to write more stories, and upload more photos.
Our next meeting was with Senator Ron Wyden at 4:30 in the Senate office building. So back on the bike I went (notice a trend forming here?), I roared down Pennsylvania Ave. in my lowest gear, bell blazing the whole way.
I got there in no time flat and then got some bad news. It was my first attempt on the x-ray machines on the Senate side, and they weren’t as nice as the security guys on the House side. They denied me and my tikit entry!
They said flat-out, “no bikes in this building.” I pleaded with them and said everyone else was cool with it, but they said, “we don’t care what they do on the House side, we have different rules over here.”
So I tried a different entrance and I was denied again.
I had just sprinted uphill to get there and now I couldn’t get in. I still had some stories and photos to work on, so I decided to hop back on board the tikit and make the 1.5 mile sprint to my wi-fi connection for the third (and final) time of the day.
I got a bit of work done, and then (yes, again) pedaled my way back (in the rain!) up to the Senate offices for the big party and reception.
The party was great. Held in a regal room, with glittering chandeliers, some nice finger foods, and free beer. Here’s how it looked:
Safe Routes superstars Robert Ping and Deb Hubsmith.
Jerry Norquist with League staff Marthea Wilson and Elizabeth Preston.
After the party I rode here (Barnes & Noble).
So that was my day. Crazy huh?
Tomorrow is the final day, and I have much more to share. But now I must sleep (and change my socks). Stay tuned.