gets the prize for best-dressed
biking politician today.
(Photos © J. Maus)
It’s not everyday that you get a free spread of food, coffee, free bike tune-ups, and a shot at raffle prizes just for biking into work.
And it’s not everyday that you can see your Congressional representative, your Mayor, and two members of your regional government getting to work under their own power. But that’s what happened this morning at the annual Bike to Work Day event hosted by the Lloyd Transportation Management Association.
Riding to the event down N. Vancouver, I pedaled in a pack of about 12 other people. I also noticed a lot of bike traffic in and around the Lloyd District. The event itself had a solid, yet tame, turnout.
A bagel with cream cheese firmly in hand, I listened to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, helmet-hair and all, at the mic. Blumenauer expressed his gratitude for our commuting behavior and told us what an important example Portland is setting for the rest of the country. He then rode away on a well-equipped Trek road/commuter bike…
Walking through the crowd I next saw Metro Councilor Robert Liberty. He was the most dapper of all the electeds at the event. I heard him tell a friend that his suit was “A political statement about not needing to wear spandex.”
Mayor Sam Adams must have got the same memo, although he chose to ride in with his dress shirt and coat stuffed into a front basket. He said his one-month carfree commitment is going pretty well so far, but he’s taking transit more than biking. I’d love to see him bike more (it’s a rarity for Adams), but it’s understandable, since he lives outside of a convenient biking distance from City Hall (11 miles round trip). Adams said he has enjoyed taking the C-Tran bus and MAX light rail.
It’s great to see politicians on bikes…especially in the Lloyd District. That area is so ripe with bike-friendly potential, and it sits at a crucial location for good north-south connections, but it still has a long way to go. On that note, I spoke to with Lloyd TMA’s Heather McCarey about an exciting new project she’s working on.
McCarey says they’ve begun work on a proposal to make Holladay into a “Carfree Transit Corridor”. The idea is to make the street bike/pedestrian/transit only from Interstate to NE 13th. I’ll have more on the project next week.
Something else that caught my eye at the event was gorgeous Pereira commuter bike…
It was also great to see Tom and Clara from Bikes To Rwanda. This non-profit has done some amazing work in helping make Rwandan coffee growers more self-sufficient and profitable by equipping them not only with cargo bikes, but the tools, shops, and skills to keep the bikes running.
Happy Bike to Work Day everyone, we certainly have perfect weather for it.