Educational, Informative, and Most Importantly, FUN.
Sunday, Day One
The adventure began Sunday morning hoping on an early morning flight from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, to Reagan Airport outside of Washington, DC to the 2018 National Bike Summit.
Landed safely, and look what I found parked at the airport, A BIKE!!! And I’m ready to ride too! I did have instructions to try out the various bikes share options in DC, therefore here is my first ride, a dockless OFO bike 🙂 Ready w/ my Ortleib backpack, and Lumos helmet, let the 30 min bike ride to DC begin. It was a Strava#Fail. It felt like I was going on the freeway, and no one near knew how I could get on the bicycle trail located above. On the Metro Train for an hour ride I go 😦
Arrived at the Renaissance Marriott in time to check my bags w/ the coat check, charge my cell phone and get dressed to ride with Jeff Miller of DC Cycling Concierge for a FREE orientation ride. With ensuring I arrived in time for the ride, and needing to recharge my mobile phone, it slipped my mind that bikes were not provided. I recall there was a LimeBike at the entrance when I arrived at the hotel, I had already downloaded the app while en route walking there, (I know, I walked approximately a mile and despised every bit of it), therefore I had another bike to try out for the ride.
I got a leg workout riding up, down and around the hill, Capital Hill, which could be beneficial for me to get a good night’s rest at the nearby hostel. Which why did the clerk at the desk as me if I rode my bike from Cleveland to DC?
Monday, Day Two
The day begins with a quick breakfast and short bike ride on an Ofo bike to the Marriott. Great workshop about Diversity and Inclusion, and unfortunately I needed to cut it short to attend the State Coordinators meeting. But it balanced out, there was food afterwards for us. I love food. And people. And seeing familiar faces and meeting new people begins. First group photo with my Black Girls Do Bike Sisters from near and far. Also known as Black Girls Do Take Pictures 🙂 BTW, we are standing next to Elly Blue of Microcosm Publishing table, and also not to far from Bike League Board Member Maria Bousted of Po Campotable. Pleasure Meeting Slow Roll Chicago‘s Co-Founder Olatunji Oboi Reed 🙂
Summit continues with another workshop session, then the New Belgium Happy Hour and the General Poster Session before the Welcoming Dinner and Award Presentations. Many participants enjoyed my poster session, as a few mentioned that they were looking for other creative ways to educate people on bike safety.
Tuesday, Day Three
Long day ahead, perhaps karaoke the night prior wasn’t a wise decision, but YOLO right! Breakfast and plenary session begins the Summit day, and cyclists will eat all the food if you’re not there early. I was there early though, but I guess I could have gotten there earlier if I had rode a bike share. I didn’t, I walked the six minute commute. The first workshop I attended wasn’t a total wast of time, because I did take away at least one thing new.
Good thing lunch was next, and it was Tacos on a Tuesday…It could have been officially Taco Tuesday with Margaritas’ though…ijs 🙂
Afternoon workshop was interactive as we learned about the importance of diversity representation instructed by Ayesha McGowan. Her workshop was attended by many attendees, including support from ladies of color.
There wasn’t enough hours in the day left, as the final workshop focused on preparing for lobby day, Day Two of the General Poster session and Happy Hour sponsored by New Belgium Brewing, A League Cycling Instructor Reception and a Happy Hour Meet & Greet w/ Ayesha McGowan sponsored by WABA.
Met ladies who cycle in the DC area from Bike And Brunch Tours, Diva Cycling and the GII young cycling ladies Heart & Soul. Check out Maize Wimbush, She is “aMaizen” she hope to be in the 2024 Olympics!
Missed out on the LCI Group Photo, however I gathered a group of Black LCI’s Together for a photo.
Wednesday, Day Four, Final Day of the Summit
Laundry was done the night before so that I can pack and check out of the hostel for the day. I ensured that my mobile phone was far far away from the washing machine this time around. The weather was not that great, plus I had my luggage with me, so I decided to get a Lyft to Lobby Day on the Nation’s Capital. It was an 11 min ride, and worth the investment.
We were talking to legislative staff about fully funding the TIGER grant, supporting the H.R. 4241, and sharing the guiding principles for transportation investment that we believe that the government should meet that will support the goals for improving safety, access and efficiency on our roads.
First stop from Lobby Day Headquarters was Senator Sherrod Brown’s Office. Steve Taylor, Communications Manager w/ the League and Ryan Palmer, Official Photographer joined myself and Chuck Smith of the Ohio Bicycle Federation at our first lobby meeting at the Hart Senate Office Building.
With many meetings between various buildings, and needing to walk through security, it was a pleasant surprise to know that FREE Pedicabs were available for those who wanted a ride. Yes I used this service and met Shamir who was very nice and accommodating.
En route to my final meeting, I run into America’s Favorite Auntie on her way to the Black Caucus Lunch. We chatted as we walked and she shared with me about the benefits of cycling, and I shared with her why I was in DC and the mission of Black Girls Do Bike and gave her a bike pin in her favorite color.
Well, I can’t come all the way to DC on all work and no play right? Nope. Sure didn’t. I sped over to the National Mall, literally because I was on an Jump E-Bike to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Thanks for the code and bike recommendation Laurie, the bike was niiiiceee. I probably should have put the Jump! bike on hold, because it wasn’t there when I was ready to leave, so I had to walk almost the entire way back to the capital, and missed another group photo. The museum is worth the visit, it will take you hours to see everything, you still won’t see everything, and you will experience a range of emotions.
With the official Lobby day duties over, it’s time for celebrations. The day concludes with a congressional reception complete with FREE food and beverages, and remarks from leaders.
Buuuttt….After the advocacy days it’s the AFTER Party and…after the party it’s the Fiesta, Literally!!!! Dr. Inge was invited to a Laredo Texas party, and it was a PAAAARTTTTAAAAY. Food, Drinks, Music and Gifts.
It was definitely a worth while trip, and a refreshing way to renew and rejuvenate your spirits and energy in this field of bicycle education and advocacy. I learned things that will assist me in my cycling career and endeavors, and I hope that it was worth while for participants who learned from me during my ABC’s of Cycling poster session. I look forward to meeting many of the people I met in the future, as well as meeting folks I have yet to meet.