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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Bicycle Evangelist With the Wind Now at His Back - NYT


By CORNELIA DEAN
Published: January 12, 2009
PORTLAND, Ore. — For years, Earl Blumenauer has been on a mission, and now his work is paying off. He can tell by the way some things are deteriorating around here.

“People are flying through stop signs on bikes,” Mr. Blumenauer said. “We are seeing in Portland bike congestion. You’ll see people biking across the river on a pedestrian bridge. They are just chock-a-block.”

Mr. Blumenauer, a passionate advocate of cycling as a remedy for everything from climate change to obesity, represents most of Portland in Congress, where he is the founder and proprietor of the 180 (plus or minus)-member Congressional Bicycle Caucus. Long regarded in some quarters as quixotic, the caucus has come into its own as hard times, climate concerns, gyrating gas prices and worries about fitness turn people away from their cars and toward their bikes.

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