NCSL Ride 2008
The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) 4th Annual Bipartisan Bike Ride in New Orleans was a great success. Twenty-five states were represented by ten State Senators, 15 State Representatives and 40 legislative staffers. BikeTexas provided the bicycles and managed the sponsors, registration, design and printing; New Orleans Metro Bicycle Coalition designed the route and provided local, experienced cyclists to shepherd the ride; and NCSL supplied thousands of elected officials and legislative staffers at their annual legislative summit.
Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) hosted the event along with Louisiana House Representative Patrick Connick (R-Merreo). Sponsors Wal-Mart, Allied Waste Services and TXU made the ride possible and sent representatives to ride with the legislators.
Local ride volunteers and BikeTexas staff were at the starting site at 3:00 AM on the morning of the ride to make sure bikes, helmets, coffee and snacks were ready for the 6:45 a.m. start. Two police cruisers and three motorcycles enveloped the V.I.P. bike ride for the eight mile cruise through New Orleans. The ride included New Orleans’ first bike lane, the French Quarter and the Musicians Housing built by Habitat for Humanity.
“We were pleased that the senators and representatives were very excited about biking. Many of them had not been on a bike since they were kids,” BikeTexas Executive Director Robin Stallings said afterwards.
“That was my first ride with the group and it was so much fun!” said Karianne Fallow, a representative for Wal-Mart and a ride participant. “I’m biking as much as I can these days, as a result of the ride we did in New Orleans.”
BikeTexas plans to travel to Philadelphia in summer 2009 for the next NCSL Bipartisan Bike Ride.
For more details and access to pictures from this and past NCSL rides, click here.