The 2012 National Bike Summit is just a few hours from its official start (the National Women’s Cycling Forum begins at 2:00 pm today). I’m here to capture the stories and images so you can follow along at home.
Given the dizzying politics around the transportation bill in both the House and Senate in recent weeks, I have never felt such a sense of urgency and relevance to our presence here in the six years I’ve attended. The League says a record number of advocates — about 800 — are here from nearly all 50 states (49 to be exact – Update: it’s Alaska).
The goal of the summit is to learn about the key issues facing cycling in America, network with fellow advocates, and most importantly, to tell our elected representatives that bikes deserve respect. Tomorrow is full of breakout sessions on everything from recreational trails to engaging with minority communities. Then on Thursday, we storm Capitol Hill: 800 bike pin-wearing, well-dressed, smiling bike advocates ready to sit down, face-to-face with our nation’s lawmakers to remind them that bikes matter.
As Streetsblog DC pointed out yesterday, we’re not the only transportation lobbying force in town. The highway builders are here too and they want (even) more money for freeways and road construction.
Stay tuned all this week for reports and photos from Washington D.C. With any luck, I’ll get some time to ride a Capital Bikeshare bike through the cherry blossoms, which I hear are in full bloom right now.
I also want to give a special shout out to Planet Bike. They have once again stepped up to sponsor my trip here in D.C.