Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Snapshots from the last night of the “Best Summit ever”

Posted by on March 6th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

This story is part of my ongoing coverage of the 2008 National Bike Summit. See the rest of my coverage here.


Tonight, among the high ceilings and dramatic architecture of the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, was the Congressional Reception; an event where Summit-goers could finally relax after two full days in bike advocacy boot camp.

There was a great sense of energy and optimism in the room and it was a fitting way to end what Bike Belong Coalition director Tim Blumenthal said was the “best Summit ever”.

Below are a few thoughts and snapshots from the event…

The thrill of the night was by far the rousing speech given by Minnesota Congressman, and bicycling’s #1 man in Washington, Jim Oberstar. Just weeks from receiving surgery on an arthritic hip, the usually bouncy Oberstar (whose 74 year-old legs had no trouble in the hills at Cycle Oregon last year) walked with a cane, but he didn’t let that stop him from delivering an emotional speech that left the crowd yelling, “Encore!, Encore!”.

Congressional Reception -2.jpg

Congressional Reception -1.jpg

____

I knew Travel Portland was committed to making bikes a focus of their sustainable tourism efforts, but I was still impressed to see these cool business cards they were passing out…

Congressional Reception -13.jpg

Yep, that’s a handmade Vanilla bicycle, made by Sacha White in Portland. Nice.

____

I couldn’t resist a chance to photograph two of the leading advocates in the bike industry: Jay Ferm from Planet Bike and Trek Bicycles President, John Burke. It was great to see both of them engaged in a conversation about how the industry can get more involved with advocacy, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because they are both smart enough to put their competitive corporate interests aside for a common goal.

Congressional Reception -7.jpg

John Burke (L) and Jay Ferm (R)

____

I finally met Joel Gwadz, the man behind “gwadzilla,” one of the original bike blogs. Joel started photographing bikes on the streets of DC way back in 2003 and he’s still going strong.

Congressional Reception -11.jpg

(And thanks for the socks Joel…I mean Citybikes.)

____

Here’s a great-looking piece of bike propaganda. According to Noah Budnick (holding the poster, below) it’s part of a new educational/promo campaign by New York City-based advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

Congressional Reception -8.jpg

Noah says they’ve also got similar posters for transit, “Transit is wonderful,” and for walking, “Walkers are the oxygen of the city.” See them all here.

____

Tonight’s reception was the last official event of the 2008 National Bike Summit. Tomorrow morning I’ll join the crew from the Washington Area Bicyclists Association for the annual Congressional Bike Caucus Ride. Stay tuned for photos from that ride and some final thoughts on the Summit.

Your regularly scheduled programming will resume on Monday.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

3
Leave a Reply

avatar
3 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
3 Comment authors
GeneAlisonTodd Boulanger Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

Mr Maus Man…thanks again for the full coverage for those of us stuck in the cubical…and have a safe flight home too. -T

Alison
Guest
Alison

Yes, thanks Jonathan. It sounds like a great week. Kudos to everyone who made the trek. I\’m so proud of Portland!

Gene
Guest
Gene

Much thanks. You will also see a small donation through Paypal to help defray your cost of the trip. Cheers!