Bike Blog 2015.6: Arrival! (and real pillows!)

IMG_6924[1]We made it! On a warm, but beautiful day we arrived in Washington, D.C. Everyone is safe – tired and sore, but safe. But we cannot quite rest easy yet as we prepare for our all-important visits to our Congressional representatives tomorrow.

The day started unusually for us, waking from comfortable sleep in beds with real pillows! It’s amazing how luxurious it feels after just a couple of nights on the floor. I got up fairly early, as usual, while the others slept in a bit. Not only was I ready for some coffee, I wanted a chance to visit a bit with Joyce and Dave. It’s amazing how people can become such good friends even seeing one another only one day a year – I genuinely enjoy their company.

Dave was on duty for breakfast and cooked up a massive amount of bacon, French toast, and sausage for the gang (with fresh berries and real maple syrup!). Great conversation and great fun. Then it was time for chores: Joyce got the bike shop in town to open up early, and Fiona and Ben went down to get their bikes looked at. I went with Molly and Noah to pick up sandwiches for lunch.IMG_6896[1]

We finally got packed up and on the road by about 10:30, stopping by the Poolesville solar array on the way out of town. I was looking back to count out crew, when I spied an extra rider – an old friend from high school: Bill Luecke! Bill works nearby in Gaithersburg, and due to a hazmat situation at work, got a chance to get out on his bike in the middle of the day – actually his birthday! But I got the present of a surprise visit from him. So neat that he also had a chance to meet Noah.IMG_6900[1]

Bill joined us at the array, where Joyce had arranged for the town manager to meet with us – he was full of useful information on the leasing arrangement of this successful example of a town really thinking about the future. We bid goodbye to Joyce and Dave and rode back to our old friend, the C&O tow path.IMG_6905[1]

In many ways this was a day of unparalleled beauty. The path was full of flowers, and we also rode along Great Falls, stopping to walk amidst the waters of the great Potomac crashing among the rocks. We saw turtles, lizards, and great blue herons.

And then, of course, there is the beauty of Washington, itself. The city arises quite suddenly from the tow path. You first notice bridges, and you hear the traffic, but then you are suddenly there – Watergate, the Kennedy Center, and the Lincoln memorial. It is really an incredible thing to arrive here after so much effort. We are deeply grateful to everyone who helped to make this trip possible and a real success.IMG_6917[1]

When we arrived at Gallaudet, in time for the national conference of Interfaith Power & Light, the crowd was actually on the lawn taking pictures. Once they realized who we were, they all broke into applause and cheers. It was so much fun!

Tomorrow we split into teams and meet with our congressional delegation – my team has Senator Casey and our own Representative Thompson. We’re especially interested in seeking support for a program to help non-profits (like churches and synagogues) pay for energy-efficient upgrades (HR 2132 / S 600). Wish us luck!

[Editor’s note: you can call the offices and tell them that you’re glad we’re here, and you’re looking forward to hearing from the cyclists about their conversations.  Use your address to fiind your Representative. ]

Jon (and the tired gang)

MANY THANKS to our 2015 silver sponsors Sun Directed and Beth Richards, KBB Realtor,
and bronze sponsors Freeze Thaw Cycles  and the Rock Ethics Institute for their support!
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