Gabrielle Giffords, motorcyclist

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Gabrielle-Giffords-Motorcycle

Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords — recovering in hospital after being shot in the head during an apparent assassination attempt yesterday — isn’t just a Democratic congresswoman. She’s also a motorcyclist. Pictured above with the BMW she hopes to someday ride to Argentina, Giffords says she’s been riding and racing motorcycles for over 20 years. Two years ago, as co-chair of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus, she had one of the most powerful pro-motorcycling arguments you’ve ever read passed by the House of Representatives.

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In 2009, Giffords made this video in support of National Ride To Work day, an event organized to promote the benefits of motorcycles as transportation.

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Shortly before that video was made, Giffords sponsored House Resolution 269, supporting the goals of establishing May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and officially recognizing the important contribution motorcycles make to American transportation. It’s embedded above and includes phrases like, “…motorcycles are fuel-efficient and decrease congestion while having little impact on our Nation’s transportation infrastructure.” Have you ever heard our government make that much sense before?

The American Motorcyclist’s Association lists Giffords as one of, “Our Friends in Congress.”

Giffords’ official bio states, “Gabrielle also is an avid motorcycle rider and a member of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus. She hopes to ride her bike to Argentina one day, but for now she opts for Highway 83 between Tucson and Patagonia.” Highway 83 is listed by the US Forest Service as a scenic drive. 50 miles long, it’s half paved, half dirt, passing through an area of rolling hills and shallow canyons in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains.

The congresswoman is also a strong advocate for renewable energy. She’s pictured here with a Vectrix VX-1 electric scooter as she welcomed participants of The Zero Race, an 80-day, zero-emissions race around the world, to Tucson. As a representative of a state with a burgeoning solar power industry, Giffords is an advocate for that technology and even found a way to combine it with motorcycles, sending the following tweet on January 5, 2010.

The latest update from The New York Times states that Giffords remains in critical condition, “but has been able to respond to simple commands.” Her doctors say they are “ cautiously optimistic.”

  • Paul

    This is a tragedy on so many levels. The world needs more bright, committed people like this in public office.

    By the way, the vitriolic comments posted on that video’s Youtube page will send chills down your spine. WTF is wrong with some people?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      I think there’s a strong correlation between those YouTube comments and the debasement of political rhetoric that likely inspired the gunman.

      • DoctorNine

        The standard of etiquette engendered by the internet has fostered the incendiary rhetoric which eventually led to this result. I only see more of this sort of thing in the future. There is no place for a moderate voice, only more and more outrageous, hyperbolic and socially destructive events such as we witness here.

      • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 stickfigure
  • jwinter

    Shooting people who aren’t shooting at you is pretty much 100% bullshit, no matter how you slice it.
    Sucks even more because she seems to be a pretty decent human.

  • ike6116

    Great one more reason to love this woman. Pro-clean energy, Pro-health care, Pro-motorcycle? This would be terrible no matter what the elected official but I must say it is hitting home finding out how closely she represents what I believe.

    • Kevin

      Since I’m in the solar industry, I know her well as an advocate of clean energy. I also know she took a lot of heat for her sensible immigration policies. Didn’t know she rode… she is my kind of human being, let alone my kind of politician.

  • Scott

    Bless her heart. Outstanding sense of motorcycles.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

    I didn’t think anything could make this more of a tragedy, but it turns out she mirrors even more of my political beliefs that I thought before. Wow. What an amazing lady.

    But hey, its totally cool to put crosshairs over people you disagree with, or talk about “2nd amendament remedies” when you don’t get your way…

    • MT

      Uh, yeah, because nobody on the other side has ever used language remotely resembling “target” terminology or symbols.

      • Denzel

        The fact that Gabrielle Giffords of the world still dain to involve themseves in politics is a miracle….I hope one day she will be riding south to Argentina…with all this behind her…just grooving on her Bimmer…

        …and MT, if your suggesting libs/dems are as guilty as anyone in whipping up extremists in the culture wars, no way. In fact that’s exactly what they’re not good at. They just don’t do this kind of thing:

        http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/03/palin-uses-crosshairs-to-identify-dems-who-voted-for-health-care-reform.php

        ..and if you’re not suggesting that, then my apologies…

        • MT

          I guess I’m suggesting that making a link from Palin’s stupid use of crosshairs to this assassin is a leap. For all we know, the killer could’ve had some random other reason to be shooting.

          • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D

            Yeah, after a nights sleep on it, and a peruse of the guy’s youtube pages, seems like he was fighting against mind-control and other things that show he was clearly mentally ill; not exactly high taxes, oil drilling bans, or gun laws. Specifically blaming the Right is a bit of stretch, seeing as the guy was certifiable, but I don’t think its a coincidence that that was where everybody’s first thought went to.

        • slowtire

          Please, please, please, let’s not ruin this site with politics.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    I Just went from sad to pissed off. There’s a special place in hell for this scumbag gunman.

    • bluemoco

      I couldn’t agree more

      • slowtire

        Me too.

  • 2ndderivative

    Sometimes I’m glad my country’s politics are much more boring than America’s.

  • Brian

    I live in Tucson. Gabby is recovering from her injuries. Of the 18 people injured in this rampage, Gabby is the only one still in critical condition, Jared is a disturbed young man, who if it was not for the bravery of three bystanders he would have injured/killed many more people. Now about this post. Gabby Giffords is an amazing legislator/motorcyclist. Her only “crime” is she loves her country and was shot during the process of serving her community. My thought and prayers are with all the victims and their families.

  • Roman

    Politics aside, she really seemed like a decent human being. I know people tend to get uncritical praise in situations like this, but by all indications she just seemed like a person who tried to do her best. Just sad and awful. Not sure what else there is to say.

  • Johndo

    When you think of it, these types of violent political crimes are things you’d expect in older countries…quite sad. Hope she gets to ride again.

  • hypergirl

    I’m sad and angry that someone so decent AND in politics AND is a fellow motorcycle enthusiast was injured by a creepy moron. I hope that she recovers so that she can get back into office and kick some political butt. Go Gabrielle, Go!:)

  • Archer

    I wish that a well-trained CCW holder had been within range of that murdering nutcase.

    • Kerry

      That’s just what was needed . . . another person with a gun shooting in a crowded mayhem.

    • mcfaite

      Arizona doesn’t require CCW. Both Ms. Giffords and Judge Roll were well-trained.

  • Eddie

    I wish her a speedy recovery and many more miles on her bike.

    • Ian

      I’m not trying to be a downer, but there are some realities surrounding an injury of this type. You don’t recover from objects passing through the brain. You may live, but you won’t recover.

      It’s a complete fucking tragedy what has happened to this woman.

  • rider33

    That takes it from being but another unfortunate
    news story to one that hits way too close to home.
    Hang in there Gabe, we’re pulling for you.

  • Cajun58

    Well done HFL

  • Turf

    This is the kind of thing you only get at HFL, thanks.

  • Don

    A tragic event, even closer to home when it’s a fellow motorcyclist. Best wishes to her.