Even though the morning of Friday, May 18, 2007 was a damp and dreary one, it couldn't keep back over 6,600 bicyclists from participating in Bike to Work Day. Of course, I commute to work via bike almost every day, so this day wasn't unlike most others -- but the festivities were definitely a lot of fun.
I stopped by two of the pit stop areas. The first one was in Alexandria where there was a small crowd assembled with lots of food and drink. The second was the main stop at Freedom Plaza in downtown DC. The entire plaza was filled with thousands of bikers, lots of free food, drink, t-shirts, and water bottles.
I was joined there by a few of my co-workers, and we enjoyed food, drink, and plenty of speeches from government officials.
Eleanor Holmes Norton gave what would be the most enthusiastic speech of the day. She talked about how we have to beat the "car culture" and said something along the lines of "The cars and trucks rule the road today ... we're going to take the roads back". She also mentioned how she had won several million dollars in funding for many of the trails in the region, and chastised the DC government for their sluggishness in building the Metropolitan Branch Trail.
Mayor Adrian Fenty also spoke, bedecked in a spandex racing jersey (with the motto "Taxation Without Representation" on it). He was a bit softer spoken than Delegate Norton, but had a lot of good things to say about cycling in the District. It looks like we'll have bike parking at the new stadium, and it seems like the government will maintain its current commitment to cycling.
All in all it was a great time -- I hope that some of the people who made their first bicycle commutes on this day will bike in more in the future.