We’re Hiring: Part-Time Bike Ambassador

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is looking for an outgoing, energetic, and motivated person to help run the D.C. Bike Ambassador program. The program’s goal is to establish WABA’s presence city-wide, to foster a positive impression of bicycling and bicyclists and to educate residents and local organizations about bike laws, roadway safety, and potential benefits of bicycling to individuals, families, workplaces, and communities.

The D.C. Bike Ambassador will promote WABA’s programs and the Bike Ambassadors’ core messaging, as well as coordinate volunteer Bike Ambassador outreach events, and help recruit local residents to become volunteer Ambassadors and attend WABA classes, programs, and events.

This position is part-time, 20 hours per week and compensation is $15 per hour.


  • Implement Bike Ambassador outreach, education, encouragement, and community organizing events for WABA.
  • Recruit and energize our team of volunteer D.C. Bike Ambassadors.
  • Distribute print resources to community members, such as D.C. bike maps, Quick Start Guides, D.C. Pocket Law Guides, Capital Bikeshare information, and WABA education and promotional materials.
  • Pull the WABA Bike Ambassador billboard bike trailer (up to 20 miles/week).
  • Complete administrative and reporting requirements.
  • Report to, communicate and coordinate regularly and effectively with supervisor about goals, planning and logistics, reporting, challenges and issues.
  • Other WABA duties as assigned.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission.
  • Willingness and excitement to learn bicycling safety, traffic law, skills, and WABA’s bike encouragement philosophy.
  • Experience planning events and coordinating volunteers.
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills.
  • A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings, and weekends.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Drive/Docs/Sheets, Forms), Facebook and Twitter.
  • The ability to pull a bicycle trailer weighing 10 lbs. for 1-3 hours.
  • The ability to lift at least 40 lbs.
  • Organized, good time management skills and ability to multitask in a relaxed, fun environment.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish (strongly preferred).
  • Familiarity with American Sign Language (ASL) a plus.
  • League of American Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification a plus.

About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 6,500 members region-wide, WABA serves the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and communities in Maryland and Virginia.

To Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org with “Bike Ambassador.” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; the position will remain open until filled. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by or before Friday, March 16th. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Every job comes with its inherent specialities and institutional knowledge, and the Trail Ranger program is no different. As the DC Trail Ranger Coordinator, I’ve spent a lot of time on the trails we maintain and serve – specifically the Marvin Gaye, Anacostia River, Suitland Parkway and Metropolitan Branch trails. I know a lot about how the trails have changed over the last five years of the program and collectively, we’ve spent hundreds of hours on each of the trails.

But what is gained is more than knowledge of broken-glass patterns (always an increase after DC United games on the Anacostia River Trail). It is an appreciation of the smaller details of a trail, built up over repeated shifts. Like that one quiet shift when things feel a little boring and you finally stop to actually observe the flowers. There are special attributes to all of the trails but on the Marvin Gaye Trail, I’ve particularly come to appreciate:

Early Mornings in the Spring

Early morning in the spring is an absolutely magical time to be on the trail. The world is quiet except for the chattering of birds. The Marvin Gaye Trail follows the Watts Branch, the largest tributary of the Anacostia River in DC, from the easternmost corner of DC to Minnesota Ave NE. The trail is entirely within the boundaries of a city park.

Marvin Gaye Park and Trail is particularly great for birds because a lot of work has been done to restore native plants and repair the stream corridor – including 10,000 new trees and plants in 2012 alone. A healthier forest and stream ecosystem mean more food, shelter and space for birds. It’s easy to hear which birds have moved in or are visiting during the early mornings when most birds are the most talkative.

Sand and greenery in the foreground, a clear rocky stream is flowing behind it. Everything looks prestine

Herons and Beavers

Well, one heron, one time. Herons are a pretty common sight on the Anacostia River Trail, especially near Kingman Island. But one time – I saw a heron at 42nd St. and Hunt Pl. NE in the stream and it was majestic! Though there is certainly work to be done with trash removal along the stream corridor, the amount of trash surrounding the heron was less inspiring.

A far more common sight are the presence of beavers – especially their tell-tale cut down stumps. They are really good at logging! And the beaver dam is pretty (dam) cool.

Lots of underbrush greenery and dead leaves on the ground. To the right is Watts Branch Stream but the photo is focused on the beaver cut sharp stump in the middle of the photo.

Nannie Helen Burroughs

At one-and-a-half miles long, the trail is in a history-rich environment. A DC boundary stone is just off the eastern end of the trail and the Crystal Room where music legend Marvin Gaye first performed is mid-way through the trail (now Washington Park and People’s Riverside Center). But for historic legacy, it’s hard to beat the campus and gates of the National Training School for Women and Girls on Nannie Helen Burroughs Ave NE.

Founded in 1909 by Nannie Helen Burroughs, the prominent 20th century African-American educator and civil rights activist, the school’s location went against the common thinking of the time that a vocational boarding school was more appropriate in the south. The school proceeded to educate thousands of African-American students with Nannie Helen Burroughs as principal until her death in 1961. Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue is particularly notable since many nearby major roads still honor slave-owning families that used to own much of the land around Deanwood (notable examples include Sheriff and Benning).

Front white gate of a fence with peeling white paint. THere is an gold image of Lincoln on top of the arch and it reads "Progressive National Baptist Convention" in black cursive font.

Playground at Marvin Gaye Recreation Center

Musical-themed splash park and playground at a recreation center named for Marvin Gaye, and the result of hard work by the community for neighborhood amenities. Need I say more?

A playground on a sunny day. there is a giant guitar in front and the slides structure behind has keyboard printed roof. There is a water splash park.


Little Known Black History of Blacks in Biking

It’s February and that means it’s Black History Month!

This month, I’d like to highlight a few little known black history facts about blacks in biking.

“Bicyclists’ group on Minerva Terrace. [Lt. James A. Moss’s company of 25th Infantry, U. S. Army Bicycle Corps, from Fort Missoula, Montana.] YNP.”
October 7, 1896.

Buffalo Soldier

Bob Marley’s song Buffalo Soldier is not just a great sing-along song with a wonderful bridge-Woe! Yoe! Yo!  It is a song that tells a story about the 25th Infantry United States Army Bicycle Corps. The theory is the name was given to them by Native Americans because their hair felt like a buffalo’s pelt. The name was embraced by the soldiers because they were familiar with the buffalo’s bravery and fighting spirit.

The soldiers were one of the many segregated units of the U.S. Army. They were testing if bicycles could replace horses in the military. Their biggest test came when they rode 1900 miles from Ft. Missoula, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri. They averaged 56 miles a day and completed the trip in 34 days. To learn more about the Buffalo Soldiers contribution to the U.S. Army, check out the book Iron Riders: Story of the 1890s Fort Missoula Buffalo Soldiers Bicycle Corps” by George Niels Sorensen (Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 2000)

Vélocipede + Tricycle

In 1888, Mathew A. Cherry invented and received the patent for the vélocipede. The vélocipede was a metal seat with frame set on top of two or three wheels. This design was a big improvement over previous designs. The rider would propel themselves along with their feet on the ground in a fast walking or running motion.

This design eventually evolved into the bicycle and tricycle. In May 1888, Cherry received the patent for the tricycle. In the U.S., the tricycle is used mostly by children. However, in Asia and Africa, it’s used for commercial deliveries and transportation.

Picture courtesy of patentpending.blogs.com


One of the things that makes biking a great form of transportation is the ability to carry stuff. In 1899, Jerry M. Certain created the first bicycle parcel carriers, designed to carry items via bike. Today, we call these parcel carriers panniers and they are essential to many riders who use bicycles for transportation and travel.

These are just little facts about African-American contributions to making bicycling better and accessible for all. Think about that the next time you load up your pannier for a ride!

Thanks for joining us at the 2018 WABA and Bicyclists’ Choice Awards!

Held on February 8th at the Josephine Butler Parks Center, the 2018 Bicyclists’ Choice Awards were an incredible success! This is a favorite annual events because we get to celebrate the people who are making bicycling better in our community – not only our members, advocates and supporters, but our partners, elected leaders and decision makers. These awards recognized the momentum happening for bicycling in the region right now; we were honored to recognize these people and their work.

This year, WABA received a record number of votes for the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards and hosted a record number of attendees. We also had the best host a bunch of bike nerds could hope for: Lauren Ober, of NPR and WAMU’s The Big Listen. 

The energy in the room was absolutely electric – we can’t wait to do it again next year!  Thank you to everyone who attended, voted, nominated, and supported such an amazing evening.

Continue reading to find out who won and to see photos from the event.


WABA Award Winners

  • Community Organizer Award: Anna Irwin
  • Vision Zero Award: City of Alexandria (accepted by Mayor Allison Silberberg)
  • Protecting Bike Lanes Award: Jon Renaut & DDOT Public Space Regulation Team: Matthew Marcou, Elliott Garrett, and Levon Petrosian
  • Educator of the Year Award: Edgar Gil Rico
  • Biking for All Award: Phoenix Bikes (accepted by Edoardo Buenaobra and Raymond Duran)
  • Advocate of the Year Award: Dave Helms
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Lauren Annenberg and Michael Avilez
  • Public Leadership Award: Chief Sogand Seirafi


Bicyclists’ Choice Awards Nominees

Best Improvement for Biking in the District of Columbia in 2017

  • Dockless Bikeshare
  • Oxon Run Trail
  • Bike to Work Day pit stop in Twining, Ward 7
  • Maine Avenue SW protected bike lanes
  • Klingle Valley Trail Opening
  • 15th St. protected bike lane extension to Euclid

Winner: 15th St. protected bike lane extension to Euclid

Best Improvement for Biking in Maryland in 2017

  • Silver Spring Circle
  • Trolley Trail Connector through Riverdale Park Station
  • HAWK Signals
  • M-NCPPC new regulations, allowing bike commuting after dark

Winner: Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for the promulgation of new regulations to allow bike commuting after dark.

Best Improvement for Biking: Virginia

  • Alexandria’s commitment to Vision Zero
  • Underpass for Belmont Ridge Road on the W&OD trail
  • Four Mile Run Trail improvements
  • Updates to highway funding bill eliminating penalties for bike projects

Winner: Updates to highway funding bill eliminating penalties for bike projects

Best Bike Shop of 2017

  • Spokes, ETC.
  • Conte’s Bike Shop
  • CityBikes
  • BicycleSPACE
  • The Bike Rack
  • Proteus Bicycles
  • Gearin’ Up
  • Bikenetic
  • Big Wheel Bicycles

Winner: Proteus Bicycles

Best Social Ride of 2017

  • Hains Point 100
  • Ride to the Women’s March
  • Proteus Sunday Coffee ride
  • International Women’s Day Alleycat
  • BicycleSPACE City Explorers
  • Freezing Saddles

Winner: Hains Point 100

Bike Friendliest Business of 2017

  • VeloCafe
  • Bar Roubaix
  • Dew Drop Inn
  • Vigilante Coffee
  • Shortcake Bakery
  • Zeke’s Coffee
  • Mapbox
  • World Resources Institute

Winner: Dew Drop Inn

Thank you again to everyone who came out and who made for such an incredible celebration!

Of course, we want to say a huge thank you to our sponsors for supporting better bicycling in our region:

Presenting Sponsor: 

Celebration Sponsors: 

She won a free bike, will you?

You may not know Celeste, but she was a WABA bike education student last year. By attending a bicycle education class in 2017, Celeste was automatically entered to win the sweet bicycle you see above. Celeste signed up for a WABA Learn to Ride class because the time was finally right. She had lived long enough without being able to ride a bike. She was proud of her great life surrounded by friends, working as a professor and staying active within her community. What she didn’t have was the experience of enjoying life on two wheels.

This is where WABA came in.

In the span of three hours, Celeste was introduced to wearing a helmet properly, how to make sure her bike was properly fitted for her, and finally all about how to balance. After meticulous practice pushing with her feet, Flintstones-style, Celeste was ready for pedals. After a few wobbles and shakes (from nerves and still being new at the whole balance thing), Celeste was pedaling a bicycle all by herself for the first time in her life! She walked away from the class with a new found skill and the feeling of success. Little did she know that she was also walking away with a brand new bicycle.

Due to the generous support of a WABA member, the Adult Education team received a bicycle to raffle off during the Fall 2017 season. Anyone that learned to ride for the first time in a learn to ride class, brushed up on their riding skills in a city cycling class; or discovered the greater bicycling community in a community ride was eligible to win the bike.

By participating in a class you’re guaranteed to win (just not guaranteed to win a bike). You will win the feeling of being connected to an awesome community–the incredible local biking community! You will win new skills and tricks to find more joy and comfort while riding a bicycle. And, maybe, just maybe, you could win a bike.

So, what’s stopping you? Come and win in a class this spring. Check this space in the next couple of weeks to view the schedule. Or, enter your email address here and be notified when the schedule goes live.

Happy riding!

The 2017 Hains Point 100 was a tremendous success

Hains Point 100 riders celebrate before beginning the ride in December of 2017

This past December, we celebrated the 6th annual Hains Point 100. Over 600 riders showed up throughout the day, riding all sorts of bicycles and raising $19,300 to support WABA’s Women & Bicycles program.

Donations from the event help fund over half the budget for the Women & Bicycles program, allowing us to provide programming all over the metro areas of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. We really couldn’t do what we do without the support of amazing volunteers–like Megan, Mark, and every rider who shows up to ride circles around Hains Point.

The Hains Point 100, now in its 6th year, began as an informal bike party to help fund the then-brand-new Women & Bicycles program. Megan Jones invited her friends to come ride 100 miles around Hains Point, a three-mile flat loop usually popular with triathletes and bike racers doing speed training on racing bikes. Riding a small loop for 100 miles on different types of bikes seemed like a silly and fun reason to ride a bike in December.

Riding a three mile loop in December appealed to hundreds of other people. It’s become known as a great way to have fun outside with friends. People began riding different styles of bikes: folding bikes, cargo bikes, tandems, tri bikes, beach cruisers, vintage steel, and even Capital Bikeshare bikes (dutifully docking every lap to avoid fees!), unicycles, and e-assist bikes. The Hains Point 100 now includes support from the amazing Team Sticky Fingers (a women’s cycling team), dozens of businesses, a specialty pie company, bike clubs, and the famous Potluck Table where riders drop off treats to share.

WABA’s Women & Bicycles program is supported by donations. Please consider supporting us so we can keep offering new programs.

Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our email list here so you don’t miss out on future rides! Yes!

Thanks for your patience. Bike Camp! Details Are Coming Soon

We could not be happier at how excited you all are for Bike Camp! this summer. Judging by the number of emails we’ve received asking about Bike Camp!, 2018 it’s going to be our most popular year yet! We are as excited as you are, if not more so. We’re mapping out new places to visit and new adventures to be had.

But we’re not quite ready to open registrations, due to an unexpected speed bump in securing a space for the camp on the dates we’d like. It should be resolved soon, but until it is, we’re not going to accept registrations.

We understand that many families are already working diligently to plan their summers and had hoped to have registration open before now, and we know that some folks have had to already make the decision to forego Bike Camp! this year. We are sorry for the delay, and for any extra hassle it has caused. As soon as we can lock in dates, we will share those and open registration up.

Want to be notified as soon as Bike Camp! details drop?  Yes!