Five Reasons To Join Us This Wednesday

We’re hosting a Climate Ride Meet and Greet this Wednesday from 6-8pm, and here are the five reasons why you should join!

  1. Pie.
    Yes, that’s right. And it’s the best kind. The kind before dinner.
  2. Climate Ride Answers.
    We’re going to answer all your questions about the 2017 Red White And Blue Ridge Ride. Like, how many colors in a Shenandoah sunrise? And how many types of beer and ice cream will I sample?
  3. General Camaraderie.
    We’ll hear from previous Climate Riders. You’ll probably already know some friendly faces!
  4. 25% off your registration fee.
    Everyone loves a good bargain!
  5. Another opportunity to get to know all the bike advocacy projects you’re supporting.
    We’ll show off some of our big campaigns in 2017! Projects you’re directly funding through Climate Ride!

There you have it! A raspberry jam packed-full-of-fun Wednesday night! Please click here to RSVP.

Work for WABA: Event Coordinator Job Opening

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks a full-time Events Coordinator to plan, implement, promote, and manage WABA special events, as well as provide support for new events and programs.

About WABA

WABA works to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.

Job Description

The Events Coordinator position will work to achieve the following objectives: successfully lead WABA’s existing events in order to create a safe and welcoming space for WABA Members and supporters to be part of a community that celebrates and promotes bicycling; engage with and help expand other WABA programs, ensuring that events promote membership, grow volunteers, and advance our advocacy, education, and outreach initiatives; growth WABA’s events portfolio through meaningful partnerships, corporate sponsorships, and new innovative events and rides to support the WABA mission;

The Events Coordinator position is best for someone who is highly organized, likes to be in charge of their own projects, can manage many logistics at once, is skilled at delegating specific tasks to people, enjoys creating memorable experiences for others, connects the importance of events and community-building to carrying out our mission, can creatively solve problems, and knows how to breathe deeply and communicate well when managing stressful situations.

Responsibilities:

The Events Coordinator will:

  1. Deliver high-quality events to members and supporters,
  2. Manage all event logistics, including: securing venues, managing volunteers, running registration and promotion plans, tracking event budgets, and managing day-off logistics,
  3. Perform general administration tasks, including: updating content on website using WordPress, writing blog posts, data entry, tracking supplies inventory, and answering event emails and phone calls,
  4. Coordinate partnerships and event opportunities with affiliate organizations,
  5. Coordinate WABA’s bike racks and supply racks for bike parking for WABA events and occasional partner events,
  6. Support Development, Events and Membership Team in soliciting corporate sponsors,
  7. Provide general support for WABA’s outreach, advocacy, and education initiatives as needed.

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will have:

  1. One to two years of special events and event planning experience, including experience planning events and/or carrying out programs for non-profits, sports teams, membership organizations, or outdoor recreation groups or clubs,
  2. A commitment to and the ability to stay on task, pay close attention to detail, remain organized, and ensure event deliverables are executed on time,
  3. Excellent communications skills via email, phone, and in-person, as well as good public speaking skills,
  4. A flexible schedule, specifically the ability to work nights and weekends leading up to and during WABA events, and the ability to begin event set up early in the morning and/or finish event break down late at night,
  5. A current driver’s license, clean driving record, and the willingness to drive and parallel park a work van and a 17-foot moving truck,
  6. The ability to lift 40-50 pounds, and the ability to load/unload event supplies in and out of a cargo van or moving truck for special events,
  7. Marketing, promotional, and social media skills, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,
  8. The ability to work independently often, as well as the ability to learn from and work closely with others,
  9. An excitement for and interest in bicycling,
  10. A strong commitment to WABA’s mission of advocating for better bicycling across the region,
  11. An understanding and commitment to safe bicycling, and the ability to follow bicycle traffic laws,
  12. The ability to ride a bicycle comfortably and confidently in urban/suburban situations, and the ability to follow a cue sheet.

Employment details

This position is full-time. Expected salary range is $32,000-$37,000. The position is based in the WABA Office in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC. Benefits include 100% employer covered health/dental/vision insurance, flexible work schedule, vacation, sick and personal leave, committed colleagues, fun working environment, optional voluntary accident/disability insurance and WABA’s 403(b) retirement program.

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.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume in one PDF to jobs@waba.org with “Events Coordinator” in the subject line. No phone calls please.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; the position will remain posted until filled. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by or before Friday, May 5th, 2017. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Meet a PAL Ambassador: Crash

All of the PAL Ambassadors call you Crash…what kind of name is that?!

I once T-boned a police car on my bicycle in the rain. No one was seriously injured.

That’s…not really an answer. What are your favorite things about Arlington? What do you like to do?

I’ve lived here for about six years and it’s a vibrant community with so much diversity and things going on. As small as it is, each corner has a different feel and culture to it. Ballston, Crystal City, West Columbia Pike, Rosslyn. What makes Arlington really unique though is the “Arlington loop”. The 17-mile interconnected connected trail system for walking, bicycling, rollerblading, stroller-pushing, etc, whatever you want to use it for. I don’t imagine many other areas have such a well used and well maintained trail system.  There are also lots of outdoor events, but one of my favorites is the free outdoor movies. Lots of people come out to them.

The Predictable, Alert and Lawful (PAL) message is aimed at everyone in the community: bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers.  Which do you see yourself as?

I’m definitely all three. I own a car but I commute to and from work by bicycle. Being in all three roles definitely makes you better at all three. When I’m driving, pedestrians will illegally cross in the crosswalk when I’m going through the intersection! What are they thinking? When I’m bicycling, cars will change lanes or turn without using their turn signal! What are they thinking? When I’m walking, bicycles will pass me with little room to spare without notifying me with an audible signal! What are they thinking? Using each mode makes me understand what I can do better in the others.

Describe your involvement as a PAL Ambassador and what you enjoy about volunteering.

Not going to lie, I saw something in a bicycle newsletter about a pizza party and I can’t turn down food. That was many years ago and now the advocacy is more interesting than the pizza to me. Being a PAL Ambassador is pretty simple, the most important thing is to practice the PAL principles. The aspect I like the most is seeing people from the community being brought together. Volunteering at a big event like Bike To Work Day is amazing because you see how massive the bicycle community is. Volunteering at smaller events like our block parties is amazing because you get to meet families with young children who genuinely enjoy spending wholesome, quality time together outside.

Why do you think the PAL program is important and relevant to the Arlington community?

Arlington is a perfect intersection of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Commuters going into DC by car go through Arlington. Arlington is dense enough that Arlingtonians can easily walk to restaurants and bars. We have fantastic bicycle infrastructure and services so that most of us can either bicycle the complete distance to where we want to go or use it for some of our journey. These three modes of transportation aren’t separate; cars share the lane with bicycles, bicycles may need to share the sidewalk with pedestrians, and pedestrians cross streets used by cars and bikes. Where there’s a feeling of disconnect between the modes is where problems can happen, and the PAL Ambassadors are out there to remind people to put more thought into their behavior.

You can meet Crash and more PAL Ambassadors at our Block Party this Saturday!

Want to learn about future Arlington PAL Ambassador events?  Yes!





How to be a bike advocate

It’s a big deal and people notice when 19,000+ bicyclists ride to work on a single day — including your elected representatives.

Make sure you register for Bike to Work Day now so you get counted, and put a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget to stop by your local pit stop on Friday, May 19th.

Bike to Work Day is your opportunity to advocate for bicycling by simply signing up and riding.

Sign up » 

Many local elected officials and decision makers will be in attendance at your local pit stop on Bike to Work Day. Councilmembers, County Board Supervisors, State Delegates, State Senators, Members of Congress or even a Senator might make an appearance. Important decision makers such as Directors of Transportation Departments, officials from State Highway and DOTs and other planners and traffic engineers could be at a pit stop too.

Here are some tips on how to be a bike advocate at your Bike to Work Day pit stop:

  • Know your elected officials and other decision makersUse our handy legislator look-up tool and be familiar with your representatives.
  • Ask them now if they are planning to attend Bike to Work Day – Send them a message and inquire if they are attending Bike to Work Day. Include in your message an invitation for them to attend a local pit stop.
  • Plan what you want to say – Practice your elevator speech. You’re only going to get 30 seconds to talk to them about biking. Introduce yourself, including where you live, and ask them to support a project or for their help in addressing an issue. Ask how to follow-up. Thank them for their support.
  • Introduce yourself at the pit stop – Identify the official and introduce yourself. Be respectful of others speaking with them and wait your turn to speak.
  • Thank them for attending and for their support of biking – Show your appreciation for their attendance of Bike to Work Day and general support of bicycling. It goes a long way to thank and appreciate people first. If they have recently supported a specific initiative, mention it and give credit where due.
  • Have an “ask” – What do you want them to do? Have a one sentence “ask.” Good examples include “could you send a letter of support to DOT about this bike trail?” or “please ask the state DOT to address the issue of biking on this road.”
  • Be respectful of their time (be quick!!) – You might only get 30 seconds or less. Officials and their staff have busy schedules and multiple appointments in a single day. Be respectful of their time at an event.
  • Follow-up that day – Make sure to ask how you can follow-up with them. Should you email them or is there a staffer who you should reach out to directly? Send a follow-up email that day!

And one last thing, don’t forget to register for Bike to Work Day: especially if you bike every day. This is the one day of the year to be counted (literally). Good luck being a bike advocate and have a great Bike to Work Day!

Event: Bike to Work Day
Date: Friday, May 19th, 2017
Location: Find your pit stop here. There are 86 pit stops across the region.
Time: Various times, but most pit stops are open from about 6:30am to 9:30am. Some are afternoon stops.
Cost: FREE! Don’t forget to register.
More Info: www.waba.org/aboutbiketoworkday

Sign up » 

Arlington is scrapping plans for bike lanes on Washington Blvd

Proposed bike lanes on Washington Blvd between East Falls Church and Westover (Credit Arlington County)

In February, Arlington County announced plans to repave Washington Boulevard and add almost a mile of bike lanes from the East Falls Church Metro to Westover. These lanes would cut chronic speeding, improve pedestrian crossings, and fill a substantial gap in the area’s bicycle network for a safer bicycle connection to the Metro, shops, restaurants, school and library in Westover. Following the first meeting, supportive comments poured in from neighborhood residents. 65% of comments supported the bike lanes as did 55% of comments from neighborhood residents.

Now, to save some parking spaces and appease a vocal minority, the County has thrown out the public process, abandoned years of planning, and determined that putting people on bikes at risk is a fair compromise.

Take Action

The 7 block detour from Washington Blvd. Would you take it?

In the revised plans, five blocks of eastbound bike lane are removed to keep on-street car parking. Where the bike lane ends, a signed route will tell people on bikes to turn off of Washington Blvd onto side streets for a seven block detour. The detour adds new conflict points at seven intersections, an uncontrolled crossing of N Ohio St, and countless driveways.

This is unacceptable.

We need to send a clear message to Arlington’s leaders that we will not accept a few naysayers hijacking an important street safety project. Washington Boulevard needs continuous bike lanes in both directions.

Take Action

Push Back at Tomorrow’s Meeting

The final project meeting is tomorrow (Wednesday) and we need your help to push back against these indefensible changes. Join us, speak up and insist on a safe and direct bicycle route in both directions.

Wednesday, April 19 | 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Presentation at 6pm
Walter Reed Elementary School 1644 N. McKinley Road (map)

Learn More

The Strong Women Ride Makes an Impact

Who’s ready to ride DC? This group.

In February, our Women & Bicycles program led the Strong Women Ride. This city is full of women who shaped history–and who were law-breaking, sanctuary-providing, kidnapping scalawags at the same time. We figured folks would jump at the chance to shake off the winter cobwebs and learn something new at the same time.

Turns out we were right. So right, in fact, that we had to scramble to schedule a second ride in March! Both rides were big successes, with great weather, great company, and great education all at once.

Want to learn about future Women & Bicycles events and rides?  Yes!





Group in front of Belmont-Paul Womens Equality Monument

 

So who were these strong women?

Our three main historical women were the Rev. Paulie A. Murray, Dr. Carla Hayden, and Marion Pritchard. But along the way, we also stopped at the Lady Fortitude statue at Howard U, Anna J. Cooper circle (near her preserved home), the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument and House, the Eleanor Roosevelt statue at the FDR memorial, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Rev. Paulie A. Murray

In the 1940s, Paulie refused to sit in the broken seats of the colored section of a bus. Her subsequent arrest inspired her law career. She would later become one of the first women Episcopal priests, serving in Washington, DC and focusing on reconciliation.

Dr. Carla Hayden

Carla Hayden is the current Librarian of Congress, and both the first woman and the first person of color to hold that post.  During the Baltimore riots in the days after the death of Freddie Gray, as other businesses closed their doors, she insisted on keeping the libraries open so people had a place to go.

Marion Pritchard

Marion Pritchard was a Dutch resister during World War II. Special thanks to Marion’s granddaughters Abigail Pritchard and Grace Pritchard Burson, who shared stories of Marion’s resistance work with our riders. Our favorite story was one from near the end of the war. Marion was riding on rims, her bike tires long gone. With everyone starving, she traveled across a river to finagle some extra food beyond the meagre rations. On her way back, she was captured by a Nazi patrol. When questioned, she reportedly let them have it–she told them exactly what she thought of them, their regime, and their leader. The next morning, the soldiers drove her across the bridge where they had captured her. They returned her bike, and the extra food, and sent her on her way.

After that night of darkness, she saw some glimmers of hope and humanity.

After hearing these stories, the ride offered an option to show our own strength, with a ride to Meridian Hill Park that included the 15th street climb. Every rider who attempted the hill achieved the top… and a trip to cupcakes as a reward!

Climbing Meridian Hill like a girl. On a Brompton.

 

Welcoming the 2017 Trail Ranger Team!

Welcome to the 2017 Trail Ranger team – Gab, Harum, Melissa, Mya, Trey and Tom! The Trail Rangers are all about providing a consistent and helpful presence on DC’s mixed-use paved trails. We help trail users, engage with trailside neighborhoods, improve trail conditions, and work with city agencies to keep the trails clean, bright, and clear of obstacles. Keep an eye out for them on the Marvin Gaye, Anacostia River, Suitland Parkway and Metropolitan Branch Trails (Click here to see where these awesome trails are!).

What is your favorite snack?

  • Anything with dark chocolate – Gab
  • French fries – Harum
  • Twizzlers – Trey
  • Wild apples – Mya
  • Manchego cheese – Tom
  • Fruit of any kind – Melissa

Whats your bike story – how did you start and what has the journey been?

“The best holiday gift I ever received was a shiny new bike when I was 20. I loved everything about my bike; its flowery basket, its angel wing handle bars, banana seat and its license tag that said Melissa. Nearly 4 decades later, 25 years sine I had last ridden a bike, I received the Best Birthday Present ever, a shiny red bike! As an adult, I’ve been riding for nearly 7 years.” – Melissa

“I’ve been riding bikes since I was 4 years old and got back into biking during my sophomore year at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. I have 2 older brothers who always rode bikes so I felt I was destined to ride. I would get a bike and let one of my brothers ride and it would always come back broken. Bikes were always fun to work on because I’ve always wanted to keep mine in top shape. I brought a bike in college to get back and forth to class easier, rather than driving. Once I got that feeling back in me, I haven’t been able to resist riding.” – Trey

“I started riding a bike in 2015 in Pittsburgh as the main transportation. I was scared to death before. After I started riding two cyclists died in traffic-related incidents in Pittsburgh. Yet I put on a brave race and rode 4,262+ miles across ten states from VA to OR in the summer of 2016. Some of the stories from my journey are here.” – Mya

“I got a Raleigh bike when I was 12 years old. My dad gave it to me. I immediately loved riding it, felt liberated and free. I’ve been riding every since, and now enjoy my fixed gear, road bike and touring bike.” – Tom

“I started biking because I don’t know how to drive and not excited to learn. Plus I’m a slow walker, so I’m always late for the bus. I started as a way to commute, but now biking is also my source of joy, adventure and connection. When I moved to DC, I met my first friends from biking. My partner and I try to go on a bike-camping trip regularly. I feel like I’m always planning a bike tour in the back of my head.” – Harum

“After I rode a tricycle, my first bike was a ‘lowrider’ style and cool as breeze in the land of enchantment.” – Gab

What is your favorite thing about biking?

“Seeing parts of the city that are never seen from a car, a bus or a train.” – Melissa

“I love being outdoors and biking helps me better interact and explore nature. I also love to explore so biking is a fun way to explore my surroundings and constantly find new things in the world that are exciting.” – Trey

“Biking has taken me to farther places than I imagined.” – Mya

“I like the openness, fresh air, the silence, and the union of muscle-power and bike speed.” – Tom

“I can’t get enough of the fact that I’m being propelled forward by my own body and power.” – Harum

“Go to places without touching the ground physically like I’m hovering by the work of my own body.” – Gab

What are you excited to do as a Trail Ranger this summer?

“Meet people and see Washington DC’s wildlife. This city has an amazing range of interesting people and lots of wild animals.” – Melissa

“I’m really excited to interact with other bikers. It’s fun riding by yourself but way more exhilarating sharing your experiences with other people who enjoy the same hobby as you. I also can’t wait to help people out because its always been something I’ve been good at. I am excited to be a Trail Ranger and make an impact in my community.” – Trey

“I am exited to be meeting trail users on a regular basis to get to know them by name, hear their bike/non-bike related stories and share my own stories with them.” – Mya

“I’m excited to be a part of WABA, as a vocation that I value highly. Being of service to the community, meeting new people, all while on a bike, that’s exciting to me.” – Tom

“I’m so stoked to meet trail users and hear stories of the neighborhoods that the trails serve.” – Harum

“Team up with Trail Rangers of diverse backgrounds and interact with the communities of all DC!!!” – Gab

How you can get involved

Stop by our monthly “coffee hour” on the Metropolitan Branch Trail tomorrow: April 14th, from 7:30 – 9:30 am at 4th and S St NE!

More information about the programs.

Want to keep up to date on Trail Ranger happenings by email?  Yes!