The weather could have been better, but it also could have been worse; and despite the overcast skies I think this was the best BTWD yet. The turnout was at least as large as last year when the weather was perfect and possibly larger (like the Park Service I no longer do crowd estimates, I do enjoy playing the "guess how many beans are in this jar" game though). This photo is from Gwadzilla, there are more on the site.
Schwag - BTWD shirts were red, I had to throw away my favorite - the blue one - earlier this year because it had a big stain on the front and the future Mrs. Washcycle does not approve of such things, so it's nice to replace it. Everyone got breakfast I think and when Dunkin Donuts ran out of coffee they went to get more. Zipcar (chance to win a jersey) and Flexcar (gave out bagels) were there, as were Commuter Connections, NPS, Rails to Trails, The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and a few others. goDCgo was there again and I found ou they have a cool interactive map of downtown transportation that, of course, includes bike trails, lanes, routes and even parking.
Speakers - Good turnout. 4 city council members, Wells, Mendelson, Cheh (according to her website she had a ward 3 bike ride during her campaign) and new member Bowser (she biked in on a bike-the-sites bike), all showed up. So did Fenty (looking good in spandex) - and he didn't even come last year when he was running for office. Tangherlini was there as was Del. Norton. I can't remember having so many high-profile local officials - and it's not even an election year. I didn't see Rep. Blumenhaur or Councilmember Alexander, but they may have been there before I was. Of the speakers, Fenty did the best - he mentioned all the ongoing work (without really having to read it from his notes, like he knew about it) including the 300 bike parking spaces planned for the new baseball stadium. Norton gave it a good effort, but her speech probably would've gone over better with the Critical Mass crowd. Wells speech was short, so he didn't say much except that this council is dedicated to making DC a great city for bike commuters and having three of them on stage - and bills coming up in June - made it hard to argue with.
Crowd - Last year someone on DCist criticized the crowd as lacking in diversity, but I looked at it this year and I don't think that was the case. It certainly was not dominated by "young, white men" as is the typical bike commuter. The crowd was close to 50% female (if not more). There were young people and those who were less young, and they represented every racial and ethnic group in the city.
And best of all, I won a bike pump.
Did anyone go to the other pitstops besides Freedom Plaza? Thoughts?
Addendum: John Kelly Biked to Work today too..
If there were proper bike lanes into the city, places to park your bike once you got here and showers at your office, more of us could ride, fewer of us would be overweight, there would be less pollution, and less pollution-related illness.
More great photos (including some by Jeff) here at DCist