Tonight (at midnight, love those red-eyes) I’ll get on my Bike Friday Tikit and ride to the airport for my annual pilgrimage to Washington D.C. for the National Bike Summit. This will be my fourth year in a row attending the event and I’m looking forward to it with all the enthusiasm, excitement and nerves of a first-timer.
This year — with a new administration in the Oval Office, a strong Democratic majority on Capitol Hill, and a new transportation bill in the making — there’s more at stake for the national bike movement than ever before.
The League’s main focus for the summit is “building bicycling into the transportation bill”. But in addition to that, there are two other bills with major biking implications that are expected to be introduced this week; a new climate change bill, and a complete streets bill. (I’ll have more about both of those in a separate post).
In addition to lobbying for and learning about national issues, the summit is also an opportunity for advocates to meet face-to-face with their congressional representatives. Last week, part of the Oregon delegation met for a strategy meeting to coordinate efforts and make the most of their time in D.C..
The four days I spend at the Summit are the hardest 3-4 days of my entire year. In 2007 and 2008, I published 42 stories from the event. Between capturing images, talking with people, and filing stories, there is never a dull moment. It is an all-out effort and I am in a constant state of work.
Ever since my first trip in 2006, I have been very proud to have the trip funded completely or in part by contributions from readers. This year, I am very grateful for Planet Bike stepping up to sponsor our coverage (for the second year in a row), but your support is still needed.
If you value this important coverage of national issues (and how those issues impact Portland and Oregon), please consider a contribution. Even though we have more advertisers these days, I still consider myself an employee of the people. We need your help to sustain and improve the work we do.
Our PayPal button is on the top of the sidebar to your right. Thanks for your support and stay tuned for coverage and photos from the National Bike Summit.
(Thanks to managing editor Elly Blue and our great contributors, we will still have coverage of local stories while I’m in D.C. Also, if you’re on Twitter, you can follow my updates here.).