(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Today is the main travel day for advocates from across the country to arrive in Washington D.C. for the National Bike Summit. Unfortunately, the city has been hammered by a snowstorm that has shut down buses, Capitol Hill offices, and generally made travel difficult. The storm has also cancelled Summit plans for many would-be attendees and its impacts will be felt through the next three days of the event.
At least three Oregon-based advocates (so far) have had to cancel their trips including: Hillary Benjamin, Head of North America Sales and Marketing for Portland-based apparel company Rapha; Randy Miller, the vice-president of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) and Board Member of the Oregon/Idaho Chapter of AAA; and Gerik Kransky, the BTA’s Director of Advocacy.
Both Benjamin and Kransky are on the agenda as speakers, and Kransky is the lead organizer of the entire Oregon delegation (which usually numbers about 20 total representatives). Another Rapha employee, Chris Distefano, filled in for Benjamin on a break-out session panel this morning and BTA Executive Directory Rob Sadowsky will take Kransky’s place at a Pecha Kucha session tomorrow. “Luckily, I know the material, and it’s only six minutes,” Sadowsky said with a smile this morning.
League President Andy Clarke said about two-thirds of the 709 people signed up for the Summit have already arrived. As for the others? “It’s a crapshoot,” he said. Clarke hopes most of the keynote speakers, including the Mayor of Pittsburgh and Members of Congress, will still be able to make it. Wednesday’s lobby day on Capitol Hill shouldn’t be impacted too much; but for state delegations thinned out by missing members, Clarke said the League will provide staff to bulk up their lobby team.
Despite the weather outside, the energy inside is as high as ever.