Check out the StreetsFilms video documenting the ride and see Ann in action.
Pima Association of Government’s bike planner Ann Chanecka attended the summit. Although she wasn’t feeling well, Chanceka was committed to attending the ride to represent Tucson. Here is her account from the ride.
Even though it was a cold, windy morning, I’d guess at least 100 people came out for the ride this morning. I arrived early, with a backpack full of the white/black ribbons that were handed out at the memorial service at McKale Center — the white ribbon represents hope for a peaceful, nonviolent society. The black ribbon is in remembrance for all who have died as a result of violence. They are made by the Tucson non-profit Homicide Survivors Inc. I also had with me the blue Peace Love Gabby bracelets thanks to Richard DeBernardis and Perimeter Cycling. The idea to make the bracelets came from Giffords’ Tucson interns, as a way to raise money for the Gabe Zimmerman Scholarship Fund. Each rider this morning received both a ribbon and bracelet. A woman from Phoenix also brought a handful of Arizona bandannas.
The day started out with a picture on the steps with Capitol Hill in the background. Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, called everyone together and described how this year’s ride was a special ride. He commented that he’s no doctor, but he suspects part of why Giffords is progressing so nicely is due to the great physical shape she was in, which cycling helped contribute to. Then Andy had me describe what the meaning was behind the ribbons and bracelets. Next Ashley, a staffer from Gifford’s D.C. office took the megaphone and thanked everyone for coming and mentioned how proud the congresswoman would be seeing all the Arizona pride. She commented on Gifford’s love for cycling. Lastly, there was a moment of silence and then we all headed off on a 10-mile ride around D.C.
The ride was great… the first few miles were on separated bike lanes, including the new lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue. We rode through the city and ended up on a nice shared-use path that cut back to the capitol. I took some photos but I really plan on looking up some other people’s photos as there were many people taking great shots all morning. It was hard enough for me to keep my head up after the flu I came down with!
But I am so thankful I felt good enough to ride this morning. It was an honor to be there, represent the Tucson cycling community and show respect to Gabrielle Giffords and the rest of the victims.
Thanks to Ann for posting updates from the Bike Summit. Here are the rest of her posts:
- Update from Bike Summit… sort of: Cyclovia Tucson needs volunteers
- Day 2 from National Bike Summit
- Update from Tucsonan at the National Bike Summit