That is the President and Vice President of the Paumanok Bicycling Club.
Recently the League of American Bicyclists (L.A.B.) held their annual Bike Summit in Washington, D.C. The Summit was attended by some 280 bicycle advocates nationwide. Paumonok was represented by Ellen Sekreta, VP and Joe De Palma, President. The Summit covered a wide variety of bicycling issues and included a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill.
Those of us who know and use the roads of Long Island know that we need much improvement to the infrastructure of roads and pathways of Long Island. We also can agree that we can use safer and cleaner roads. This trip was a learning exercise to see what we can do to improve cycling conditions in our cycling areas. The information we learned was monumental, there is far more information learned than what would be practical to tell you about in one sitting.
The most interesting part of the trip was our day on Capitol Hill, where the day was spent lobbying the Senate as well as members of the House of Representatives. The lobbying was for the passage of legislation that will affect alternative forms of transportation nationwide.
Arriving in Washington, DC on a clear, beautiful, sunny afternoon we walked around the nations Capitol admiring the sites that we all learn about in our grade school years. What is very obvious to the people who spend a lot of time on two wheels is the amount of people riding around on two wheels. It is a breath of fresh air to see all the cyclists using their favorite form of transportation to commute around this historic city. Even after the sun set there were many people still cycling about.
We were greeted at the hotel and convention center by the friendly and efficient staff of LAB. The first night was dinner on our own as we found DC to be not only bicycling friendly but also pedestrian friendly. The downtown area was easy to walk around; the hotel was two blocks from the White House. The impression that the fitness minded would obtain from DC is that the city is very progressive, between the joggers, runners, cyclists and pedestrians we felt comfortable.
The three day summit was informative and fun. Our first meeting included a futuristic speech by the president of Trek Bicycles. He explained in the year 2020 what good job we had all done back in the years before to increase bicycle usage. On the second day of the summit we were already thoroughly prepared to take the Capitol by storm. We were given our information packets and we went to see the assistants to the various politicians to seek their approval for our causes. The final day of the summit included a morning of meetings then a bike ride around downtown Washington.
The trip home started us out in D.C. traffic, and then more traffic, and then more traffic, attached to the rack on the back of the car, the rays of the sun glimmered off the bicycle in the rear view mirror. After returning home I found that we had collected volumes of information about bicycle and pedestrian advocacy. As we sort through this collection we will pass on what is being done as well as what you might be able to do to help.