June 09, 2008
Obama on a Bike Ride, Will McCain be Far Behind?
You knew this was going to happen sooner or later, admit it. ;-D
Just count your lucky stars Hillary didn't win the nomination. ;-D
There I am watching the news, this morning, when this story shows up.
Barack Hussein Obama on a Bicycle!
The first question is: Is this just a cute photo op to show that he's one with us regular folks, or does he actually ride regularly, and care about issues important to bicyclists?
The 2nd question is: What's he doing riding a mountain bike, and not a hybrid?
UPDATE - 6/10: As can be seen by the 1st comment below...I may stand corrected! Um, hee, hee!
As regular readers have long known...I've made no secret that I'm no expert on all things bicycling.
In asking the question I was hoping to get some possible answers on exactly WHAT he was riding, from readers. ;-D
The 3rd question comes from seeing the image below: Is his back tire going flat, and if so did he get it fixed?
In recent years we've been treated to Presidential candidates, and the President, tooling aroung the countryside on bicycles.
I suppose we should count our lucky stars that none of them have taken up Rollerblading, or Skateboarding. ;-D
So, is there anything on his Official Website even remotely related to Bicycling?
What about John McCain?
I am a Republican (One who has never owned a car, BTW, and walks, bikes, or uses transit to go everywhere!), and plan to vote for McCain, but Bicycling Issues are extremely important to me, and what the candidates say, have said, and have done, related to Bicycling, is extremely important to Cyclists of all varieties, and all political persuasians.
I went looking so you don't have to! ;-D
On the Obama Site I found something. ;-D
From page 3 of a document with this imposing subject: Strengthening America's Transportation Infrastructure - Investing in 21st Century Transportation.
Strengthen Metropolitan Planning to Cut Down Traffic Congestion:
Our communities will better serve all of their residents if we are able to leave our cars, to walk, bicycle and have access other transportation alternatives.
As president, Barack Obama will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that
smart growth considerations are taken into account.
Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks.
As president, Obama will work to provide states and local governments with the resources they need to address sprawl and create more livable communities.
So, um, is there anyone out there who can verify that he DID make "efforts in the Senate to ensure that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian usage of roads and sidewalks" ?
What's his record in his home state?
On the Official Website of John McCain I found no Issues Subject titled Transportation, and a search for anything with the words Bicycle, or Bicycling, in it turned up...no documents.
Is there anyone out there who can tell us what he's done for cyclists, nationally in the Senate, and in his home state?
***UPDATE - 6/24***
Matt O'Toole, of the Blog of the Va. Bicycle Federation, has taken my report and pedaled a few blocks farther with it, in an interesting, and informative follow-up.
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If you think the bike that Barack is on is a "mountain bike," then I guess you are not a George "I ride a Trek Full Sus" Bush Republican.
We have something to be thankful for.
Any search for McCain's advocacy for bikes will be unfruitful.
His proposal for a gas tax holiday this summer, which he suggested yet again, should be all you need to know about his otherwise nonexistent Transportation policy proposals.
UPDATE - 6/10 - In response to above update:
Obama appears to be on a Trek, but since it is not a very expensive bike it was probably not built in WI like W's Trek Fuels.
If you are interested in the policy on transportation alternatives you might take a look at what is happening among Obama supporters.
The campaign has set up MyOB which allows supporters to form groups based on geography or interest.
A better explanation is in this entry on Daily Kos.
There very well may be groups intrested in cycling issues.
An Economist with the USDA/Economic Research Service (Name & e-mail withheld by Cycling Dude).
Posted by: anakcu | Jun 10, 2008 6:47:53 AM
Just a couple of things Obama's done. He's currently a co-sponsor of the bill (S.858) to provide commuter benefit to bicyclists (as a republican you may oppose this type of benefit but it is currently being offered at a higher rate to auto drivers and transit riders).
He also was a co-sponsor of a propsed amendement to SAFETEA-LU (S.AMDT.618 to H.R.3, did not pass) to improve bike and ped safety.
I don't have a whole lot beyond that, but the support he has from Rep. Blumenauer counts a lot for me.
Posted by: Patrick | Jun 13, 2008 12:32:50 PM
You included Obama's middle name. Yes, Hussein is part of his name. I know. But you have to wonder when someone, especially a Republican, uses Obama's full name.
Now, who really goes around saying peoples full names? It's not common. And since you don't also say John McCain's middle name, it would make people question your motivation.
No offense, please. I was just curious.
Posted by: tornadoes28 | Jun 16, 2008 4:17:26 PM
Thanks for the info!
I blogged it on our VBF site.
Hopefully the link will bring you some traffic -- you certainly deserve it!
Bike advocacy organizations are really falling down on the job, not digging up this stuff and publicizing it like we should.
I hope to change that, and be worth those checks people write us!
BTW, I've lived in OC most of my life, and for a long time about a block from where your header photo was taken.
Posted by: Matt O'Toole | Jun 19, 2008 10:05:49 PM