August 14, 2013
Lawmakers Bike for Bipartisanship
ATLANTA – State legislators are trading gavels for gears during the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 39th annual Legislative Summit. The 9th annual Bipartisan Bike Ride begins at 6:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15 at the Garden Pavilion North at the north end of Centennial Olympic Park. Bicyclists will make their way along downtown streets and Atlanta’s new greenway crown jewel, the BeltLine.
The bike ride will give participants the opportunity to see the sights of Atlanta while promoting bipartisan camaraderie and good will among state lawmakers from across the country. Since 2005, more than 80 legislators, representing 27 states, the Virgin Islands and Guam, along with lawmakers from Canada and Germany, have taken part in this annual ride.
“NCSL’s Bipartisan Bike Ride is a perfect analogy for the kind of gathering over common ground that it will take to build a better future,” said Georgia Representative Margaret Kaiser, one of the ride’s legislative hosts. “I am truly honored to help host an event that speaks volumes as to what we can accomplish when we ‘ride together.’"
“This ride is a great opportunity for legislators to stretch their legs and clear their minds before they spend the majority of the day tackling tough issues that are affecting state legislatures across the country,” said William Pound, executive director of NCSL.
In addition to offering fun, networking and exercise, legislators will be able to see first- hand some of the city’s recent bicycle network improvements. Bicycling is an increasingly important part of the transportation system in many locales and the Bipartisan Bike Ride offers an opportunity for visiting elected officials to see how Atlanta is accommodating bicyclists.
NCSL’s Legislative Summit is the largest and only venue of its kind where legislators and staff come together to promote and encourage bipartisan dialogue on some of the most pressing issues facing states. Legislators and staff take ideas from the Legislative Summit to develop legislation and cost-saving solutions in their states.
The ride is hosted by Georgia Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, Georgia Representative Margaret Kaiser, Texas State Representative Linda Harper Brown and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis.
The ride is a collaboration between NCSL, BikeTexas and Georgia Bikes, and is sponsored by Walmart, BNSF Railway, Primal Wear, the Coca-Cola Company and People for Bikes
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.