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Legislators suit up for ride around the Capitol

Posted by on April 22nd, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-13

On the steps of the Capitol.
-Slideshow below-
(Photos © J. Maus)

This morning, as part of the Oregon Bike Summit, a handful of state legislators suited up for the first-ever Legislator Bike Ride.

About 50 summit attendees met on the steps of the Capitol building before taking a leisurely, five-mile ride around Salem. Joining the bike advocates from around the state were six state legislators: Rep. Jules Bailey (D-Portland), Rep. Tobias Read (D-Beaverton), Sen. Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland), Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), and Sen. Jason Atkinson (R-Ashland).

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Legislator bike ride at the Oregon Bike Summit-43

Senators Jason Atkinson (L) and
Ginny Burdick ride along the Willamette.

The legislators were all experienced cyclists. Atkinson is a former semi-professional road racer who showed up this morning on a custom, Oregon-made Land Shark. Atkinson is still recovering from a freak gunshot wound to his leg back in July of 2008. I spoke a bit with Atkinson about his ongoing effort to build a velodrome facility in Portland (more on that later).

A highlight of the ride was rolling over the recently opened Union Street Railroad bike/ped bridge.

See more legislators in spandex and beautiful spring scenes from Salem in the slideshow below:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

— This is part of our special coverage of the 2009 Oregon Bike Summit. View more coverage here and see our latest photos in the official photo gallery.

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  • BURR April 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    It hardly seems like a lycra skin suit is necessary for a leisurely 5-mile ride around Salem.

    Were helmets mandatory too????

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  • DJ Hurricane April 22, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Fortunately for the cause of bicycling in Oregon, I can tell you from personal experience that even a “leisurely, five-mile ride” is enough to show you — if you didn’t already know — that riding around the streets of Salem SUCKS.

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  • Kt April 22, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Burr, #1, that’s exactly what I was thinking.

    Did the suited-up legies then go out for a longer ride?

    I thought the pics of people in regular clothes riding bikes were the best ones.

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  • Paul Tay April 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Looks like the beginnings of Legislative Bicycle Caucaus.

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  • Paul Tay April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    Next year? Legislative KIDICAL Mass!

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  • Brian Johnson April 22, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Burr, Kt– both very useful comments.

    Why not pick on the bikes that were sporting baskets and racks? I didn’t see any of the riders loaded down for the 5 mile tour.

    How about the bikes with more than one gear? Surely they didn’t encounter any monster hills in downtown Salem?

    You guys are just jealous that you don’t get to go to your job in sweet sweet riding duds.

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  • Kevin Wagoner April 22, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    This is great, thanks for covering it. Looks like a lot of fun.

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  • LuckyLab April 22, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    So did they ride with full stops at all those signs? I know that route through Salem pretty well – 32 years here and I could probably map it based on the pictures I saw – and there are quite a few stop signs, none of which are usually very busy. 🙂

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  • Kt April 23, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Actually, Brian #6, I DO get to go to my job in sweet riding duds, if I so choose.

    I also have a bike with racks and panniers, that I get to ride to my job.

    Typically, though, I don’t get all kitted out for a 5 mile cruise with frequent stops.

    I personally don’t care what kind of bike people ride, so am not going to pick on SS, ‘bents, cruisers, whatever. Not my way, you see.

    I was just thinking that the full lycra kit was a little excessive, and points up the disconnect between serious riders and casual riders and even non-riders (which most of their constituents are).

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  • Andrew Holtz April 23, 2009 at 10:13 am

    How’d things go at all the stop signs? Just curious.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) April 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

    re: stop signs.

    we ran a few of them, rolled through most of them, and stopped at the rest…. but then again, the guy leading the ride was a former state trooper (he was on a bike too).

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  • rider April 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I think for as much money they spent on the railroad bridge conversion they could have made it a bit smoother. Us locals have dubbed the bridge the “Transient Tramway” since most of the homeless camps are hidden in wallace marine park. Not covered was the dirt bike park hidden in the woods which locals have maintained for a few years now, tiny single tracks with jumps all packed in a confined area, actually calls for some skillful riding. Personally, I am excited about the development of the Minto Brown Island bridge.

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  • rider April 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Have to agree with kit there – the lycra was overkill and silly. The riding sucks in Salem, I have commuted car-free here in Salem for over 3 years now until recently. I have been meaning to check out the covered bike/skate park at the fairgrounds with my hardtail since we all can’t go up to the Blackride Freeride every weekend.

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