On Sunday night at a restaurant in Washington D.C., a powerful and tangible expression of the new era in bicycle advocacy was on full display. Upstairs at Busboys and Poets on 5th and K, the of League of American Bicyclists’ Equity Advisory Council shared a large dinner table, while downstairs, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) kicked off their new Women & Bicycles program.
It was ground zero for the burgeoning new effort to “change the face of bicycling.” [Read more…]
Illinois Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth inspired the lunch crowd at the National Women’s Bicycling Forum today. Rep. Duckworth isn’t well-known in the bicycle advocacy world, but as a double amputee and Iraq war veteran who also enjoys riding a hand cycle, no one in this room will soon forget her story.
Rep. Duckworth, a helicopter pilot in the Iraq War who suffered major wounds in combat, shared with the crowd that bicycling is her “avenue forward.” When you’re out pumping pedals on the bike, she said, “You feel powerful, you feel strong, you feel in command of something again.” From someone who lost both of her legs and suffered damage to one of her arms, those words are a testament to bicycling.
With her $5,000 hand cycle she received from the Veteran’s Administration, Duckworth said she’s experienced the freedom and shared experience that many of us take for granted. Bicycling, she said, is a great “leveler.”[Read more…]
Next month I’m headed to the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. I’ll also attend the National Women’s Bicycling Forum which takes place on March 4th right before the Summit begins. In addition to covering those events, I plan to stay several extra days to soak in the D.C. bike scene, observe that city’s infrastructure, visit with advocates, interview transportation officials, and so on.
This will be my seventh Bike Summit since 2006 and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the national advocacy scene. The League has adopted a theme of Bicycling Means Business so we can expect a heavy dose of bikenomics woven into the regular programming. The list of speakers looks interesting, with outgoing US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood slated to be there, as well as the likely-outgoing New York City DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Other speakers include members of congress and, somewhat surprisingly, Yolanda Cade, Managing Director of Public Relations for automobile lobby group, AAA.[Read more…]