In the past there were claims that Secretary of Energy Steven Chu couldn't commute by bike - as he used to in his previous job - because his security detail wouldn't let him. That appears to not be true.
It's a stunning fall morning in Washington, and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, clad in bike shorts and a snug Stanford University biking shirt, climbs onto his Colnago bicycle and rolls down his leafy street and onto the Capital Crescent Trail. Then it's a 20-minute sprint - breaking the trail's speed limit - to downtown Washington. A Secret Service agent keeps close behind, with the help of a small electric motor. The trees are ablaze across the Potomac as he drops into Georgetown.
Chu winds his way through traffic along the Mall - where one angry motorist leans on the horn - before entering the Energy Department parking garage, right behind his general counsel's red Maserati with the license plate "ENERGY."
Is he the country's highest ranking bike commuter?
Photo, from BTWD 2009, by Alex Wong.