Blumenauer bikes to bill signing

Sometimes, it's not where you're going -- but how you get there -- that counts.

Before heading downtown to join the president, who signed a defense bill this afternoon that included a landmark rider that extends hate crime protections to gay and lesbian Americans, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) tweeted:

Biking to White House to join the President and GLBT champions for signing Hate Crimes into law.

Some context: Blumenhauer is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Bike Caucus, a 182-member, bipartisan coalition of House members committed to "complementing the efforts of the millions of cyclists actively working for safer roads, more bikeways, convenient bike parking and increased recognition of the importance of cycling for transportation and recreation," according to their Web site.

Blumenhauer founded the caucus in the 1990s as "an informal, bipartisan group whose primary goal would be to provide a place for cycling Members of Congress and their staffs to have fun," according to their history. But the group has since evolved into a sizable policy-centric caucus with members representing more than 40 states and the District of Columbia.

Specifically, the caucus is the active sponsor of the Bicycle Commuter Act -- a bill that would offer a "fringe benefit" of $20 per month to workers to purchase and use bikes.

Yet, despite the group's enthusiastic mission statement, is unclear whether other members of the Congressional Bike Caucus traveled to Wednesday's bill signing using their favored mode of transportation.