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National Bike Summit
A friend of mine often says, "It's easier when the sun shines." As it turns out this is very true. There are no meetings held outdoors at the National Bike Summit yet temperatures in the mid-70's and the peak of cherry blossom season seemed to make the week just a little bit easier. With much of the United States enjoying record high temperatures for March, I had come from Rapha's North American office in snow-covered Portland, OR. The weather, the mood of the Summit, and the spirit of Washington D.C. were uplifting. It is a wonderful time to be on a bicycle. Take a look at a few of the things that helped to make this years version of the Summit a success. In no particular order - Professional Cyclists, Gingham Shirts, Art and let us not forget BikeSnob himself.
The District of Columbia become the first jurisdiction in North America to launch a bicycle sharing system in 2008. It was a small start with just 120 bicycles at 10 stations in downtown but did well enough to attract 1,600 members in it's first two years of operation. In May of 2010 a comprehensive new bikesharing system was implemented with over 1,200 bicycles at 140 stations serving a greatly expanded area. The bicycles are a joy to ride and in very good condition. Check out is quick and return happens in an instant. Our trips to and from Capitol Hill were quick and refreshed the spirit. The ease of use and multitude of stations make the Summit's once seemingly far-ranging destinations close at hand. Perhaps the greatest discovery of the week was Spotcycle. This mobile device app locates bike stations, updates availability (not just of bikes but also of open return locations) and creates personalized bike routes for eight bikeshare systems around the world with new systems to launch soon. Sorry, crabby cabbie, I'm happier to pedal.
Gingham Long Sleeve Shirt
With several hours, at times, between meetings on Capitol Hill I was able t= o use bikeshare to spin over to Chinatown Coffee Company for a macchiato or= to take in the sights along the National Mall. With my coat removed and placed in the front rack I was left to find suitable storage for my tie. Behold, the genius of the Gingham Long Sleeve Shirt rear pocket!
Tim Johnson's Ride On Washington
Tim Johnson's Ride On Washington has raised over $125,000 for Bikes Belong in just two years as an event leading up to the National Bike Summit in Washington D.C. Perhaps even more important than the monetary contributions is the need for increased advocacy awareness Tim is raising within the racing community. Commuter or training racer it is important to remember that we are all on the same roads. Last year we rode with Tim through much, much different weather and while this year our schedules didn't allow us to participate in the ride, we did support Tim and his crew with apparel (see Tim in the new Country Jersey above) to make the journey more comfortable. Kudos to the 20 riders along with Tim Johnson who completed the 538 mile ride.
Among those 20 riders was Velo News Tech Editor Nick Legan and his pair Grand Tour shoes. We are looking forward to Nick's review of our new shoe but we'll allow him a moment or two at the end of this week-long tour to put his feet up and rest a bit. Take a look at his recap on Velo: The Time is now for Racers to Act on Advocacy
The Architect of the Capitol calls Alexander Calder's Mountains and Clouds "The most monumental and most modern sculpture in the United States Capitol complex". Located in the nine-story-high atrium of the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building, this enormous and impressive sculpture was the final piece of work by the renowned American artist. It has been said to be his most serious sculpture, however it comes as a welcome relief to building entrants who have hurried across town and endured yet another security checkpoint at the door. It is at once massive yet welcoming; visitors congregate under the biomorphic arches. Everyone, myself included, comes close to touch it. Among so many great works and highlights of the day, Mountains and Clouds is always a favorite.
The first day of the National Bike Summit is meetings, presentations and breakout sessions. It is often the only time during the year where advocates and industry peers meet each other face-to-face. It's an important day and a busy one at that. This year, however, BikeSnobNYC was kicking of his national book tour on the very same day in nearby Bethesda, Maryland. With a Metro rail station just two blocks from the Summit and only a 16-minute ride to Bethesda, I made the choice to miss the lunch session and took off to hear all about the Snob's second book, The Enlightened Cyclist.
This wasn't just a personal trip as we are working with the crew at the San Francisco Cycle Club to host the Snob on April 14th for a ride and a reading. He's ready, no doubt about it. As funny as I've ever heard him. Come join us for a fun afternoon with The Bike Snob even if you have to play hooky to do it.
So, thank you Washington D.C. for keeping a tight grasp on the weather patterns. And more importantly Tim, Nick and everyone else in and around the bicycle industry who descended upon Washington for what looks to be another successful Bike Summit.
- @TheRaceRadio A man experienced in sheep aerodynamics, perhaps. → http://t.co/4ysrDy5bie
- The most recent Rapha Gentlemen’s Race took place in Adelaide with 18 teams lining up for the rolling 160km route. → http://t.co/ZQ3Dzz0NEX
- @andersmagnus Hi Anders, there’s been a delay unfortunately, but thanks for being patient. It will be out as soon as possible.
- We're proud to present one of our favourite films this year, so put some headphones on and enjoy. View the film → http://t.co/B2BXnE3JuY
- Congratulations to yesterday’s Alpe d'Quiz winner Khamarul Rejab who receives a Team Sky bundle. Today's prize draw → http://t.co/h4frOXDYma
- RT @chrishoy: Ok, I'm going to make the call now, and it's a big call, but I reckon @Ed_Clancy will break the World kilo record at the end …
- @Barry8012 @RaphaCycleClub You’re most welcome Simon, thanks for your feedback.
- @antmccrossan Thanks Anthony.
- @brettrothmeyer nice cap drawing by the way!
- @Jack_Sadler @raphacondor We’re honoured to have you riding for us Jack.