Blumenauer to Celebrate Bike to Work Day Despite Delay in PA Ave. Lane

Several of the capital's most famous cyclists will be on hand tomorrow to help Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), founder of the Congressional Bike Caucus, celebrate the local Bike to Work Day -- an event that was originally set to mark the unveiling of the new Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane, which was delayed by city officials this afternoon.

profile_45.jpgRep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) commutes to the Capitol by bike. (Photo: SFGate.com)

Blumenauer has long pushed for dedicated pedaling lanes on Washington's most iconic thoroughfare, most recently at the launch of the new advocacy group Cities for Cycling. His victory remains intact, as WTOP Radio reported, with the D.C. DOT planning a possible re-striping or the addition of a buffer between bikes and cars before the lane's official inauguration.

The Bike to Work event is slated to begin in the 8am hour tomorrow at the capital's Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Ave. and 14th St. NW. Among the D.C. politico-cyclists slated to join Blumenauer there are Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff, U.S. DOT undersecretary for policy Roy Kienitz, and deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman, according to a schedule released by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG).

For commuters biking into the city, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and its co-sponsors at the MWCOG have planned dozens of "pit stops" where local officials will pop up to pedal.

"It is inspiring that our nation’s best known Main Street will welcome not just drivers, but cyclists," Blumenauer said through a spokesman. "These new bike lanes are symbolic of changes happening around the country. By creating a space for cyclists – who cause no wear and tear to the roads and burn calories rather than dirty fossil fuels – we are creating healthier, cleaner, and more livable communities.”

Blumenauer, who represents the Portland area, is not the only member of Congress to take his morning trip to work on two wheels. As Roll Call noted today in a story on the new bike lane, GOP Reps. Jack Kingston (GA) and Pete Hoekstra (MI) are also cycling aficionados.