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National Bike Rally Wrap Up
I was lucky enough to join Andy Clarke, President, and Preston Tyree, Director of Education at the National Bike Rally in Albuquerque. The riding was great, as was the opportunity to meet with many Bike League members. The weather was unseasonably hot, climbing up into the triple digits by Sunday, but it didn't keep people from doing the riding they'd come to do.
Here I am, starting a ride in a League jersey.
- A Traffic Skills 101 course, followed by a LCI certification seminar, both led by rally organizing committee chair Craig Degenhart of BikeABQ.
- The warm welcome at the opening reception from Albuquerque councilman Isaac Benton and Chuck Malagodi, Bicycle Safety Program Manager for the city.
- The rides, laid out by the New Mexico Touring Society. On Friday, our group rode 40 miles down to Belen, where we were greeted by mayor Rudy Jaramillo before riding back to Albuquerque in our own Rail Runner train car. The rides all showed off Albuquerque's great Bicycle Boulevards and lovely off-road trails. (Thanks to Chris Marsh for providing mechanical assistance on the Belen ride!)
- Being a part of the Albuquerque Century/Tour de Cure on Saturday. More than a hundred riders rode in the Century ride, with plenty of riders in 65, 50, and 25-mile rides, along with a 10k ride.
- The Saturday night bike expo and banquet, which included a moving tribute to Gail Ryba, League of American Bicyclists' volunteer of the year 2009 and "mother of New Mexico cycling advocacy," who lost her struggle with cancer just weeks before the rally. Lynette Chiang gave the keynote address; we'd seen her documentary Route 66 by Bicycle on Friday evening.
- While I was preparing to fly out on Sunday, a small group rode to the top of Sandia Crest. Andy Clarke, fresh off his century on Saturday, was one of those who made the summit.
And most of all, meeting League members from around the country. While most of the attendees came from around New Mexico, there were also representatives from Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Michigan, and even Australia.
Many thanks to Craig, Bike ABQ, The New Mexico Touring Society, the Bicycle Coalition of New Mexico, the American Diabetes Association and Albuquerque Century Tour de Cure, and everyone else involved in putting on this fabulous event.