Serve WABA on the Board of Directors

The WABA Board in 2016

WABA’s Board of Directors is looking for people with a passion to help make the Washington area a safer and more welcoming environment for people using bikes. To this end, the WABA Board Nominating Committee is searching for director candidates with strong leadership skills and experience in helping non-profit organizations execute strategy and development plans.

WABA continues to enjoy a growing base of loyal members and a diversifying funding base. As we did last year, we have a particular interest in candidates who can help us further expand our partnerships with a broader pool of private organizations and individuals who share and will support WABA’s goal of making the Washington area the most bicycle friendly in the world. The ability to connect WABA to the broader Washington area network of donors with missions that overlap with WABA’s is a plus. We are also looking for a candidate who can help us ensure that our financial monitoring and oversight mechanisms are robust and efficient.

WABA continues to look for board members and partners who can help us ensure that our mission and programming serves the needs of bicyclists in low-income, underserved or local immigrant communities.  The WABA board’s commitment to diversity is real, and weight will be given to candidates that broaden the board’s views and experience.

WABA board members are volunteers who serve two year terms and are expected to participate in regularly scheduled board meetings (6-7 per year), serve on board committees as needed, provide counsel to WABA staff in their areas of expertise, and make WABA a significant part of their individual philanthropy.

WABA’s board also has a number of committees focused on areas that include advocacy, administration and finance, development, programming, and membership. Board membership is not required for membership on these committees, and some candidates may find service on these committees may be better suited to their time and interests. If you think that you might be interested in appointed (i.e., non-board member) service on these committees, please email mark@waba.org.

Candidates who are interested in exploring whether their skills and interests align with WABA’s are invited to make an initial expression of interest in board membership by filling out the form here.  If you have previously filled out an expression of interest, and remain interested, please email me at mark@waba.org.  While the search for director candidates is an ongoing one, the board expects to present a slate of candidates at the February 28th annual members’ meeting.

Mark Blacknell is the President of the WABA Board of Directors.

That Was Fast! A New, Safer Trail Crossing in Bethesda!

Great news for riders, walkers, and all users of the Capital Crescent Trail! Crews began work on Thursday (Jan 5) on major safety improvements to the Capital Crescent Trail crossing at Little Falls Parkway in Bethesda. Using flex posts, lane striping, and new signage, Little Falls Parkway is reduced to one travel lane in each direction, down from two, west of Hillandale Rd. Soon, signs will be in place to reduce the speed limit from 35mph to 25mph. These changes, made with relatively inexpensive materials, will dramatically reduce the chances of crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries at this busy trail intersection.


After these changes were announced, WABA circulated a petition to area residents and trail users offering an opportunity to thank county staff and elected leaders for taking quick action to prevent future crashes. As of Friday, January 6, 291 area residents signed on with enthusiastic support for the change.

Michael Riley, Director of Parks, Montgomery Parks
Casey Anderson, Chair, Montgomery County Planning Board

Thank you for taking fast and decisive action to make the Capital Crescent Trail at Little Falls Parkway safe for everyone. You and your staff deserve enormous credit for your quick work to prevent future crashes at this intersection with this road diet and speed reduction.

291 Signatures (Click here to see the petition responses)

We applaud the county leaders and staff involved in this decision. Their action recognizes that this intersection’s design creates a crash hazard that puts vulnerable road users and drivers at unnecessary risk. The solution puts the focus on what factors contribute to crashes (multi-lane crossing, visibility, speed) rather than who deserves the most blame. We hope that this case serves as a catalyst for safety upgrades to similar intersections across the county.

Click here to read more about the changes.

Want to show your gratitude? Sign onto the above petition here.

DC Bike Ride is Back!

The Celebration of Life on Two Wheels is back!

(And WABA Members get early access to registration!)

$48 for 48-Hours

Starting TODAY through January 11 (ends at 11:59PM EST), all WABA members get early access to DCBR 2017 and enjoy a discounted rate of $48. Price will increase on January 12. Register at DCBIKERIDE.COM. You’ll need a special access code needed to register. If you’re a member, we sent it to you this morning. If not, join now and we’ll send it to you!

New for 2017

  • Longer course – 20 scenic miles ending in the shadow of the Capitol on Pennsylvania Avenue
  • More entertainment – exciting stage performances at the Finish Festival and additional entertainment acts throughout the course
  • Kids are FREE – kids ages 3-7 participate for FREE

Join the ride today before price increases!

Come on, let’s go for a ride!

Introducing the American Diabetes Association, a WABA Business Member

WABA’s Business Members understand the importance of a community that bicycles. Their membership supports our advocacy, outreach and education. Our business members are committed to a sustainable future of our region and are adding their voice to a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses supporting WABA. Today meet the American Diabetes Association.

The American Diabetes Association will hold its annual Northern Virginia Tour de Cure at the Reston Town Center on May 13, 2017.   The Tour features a variety of routes for people of all ages and skill sets.   The Tour is one of the Association’s signature fundraising events, supporting its mission to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.  By participating in the Tour you become a critical part of this mission and community.  Register or volunteer for the Northern Virginia Tour de Cure here- www.diabetes.org/novatourdecure.

Locally, the Association works in the community to increase awareness around diabetes.  They train ambassadors who can work in their community to encourage healthy lifestyles.  They also have program like the Senior Signature Series that trains senior citizens in healthy habits.  The Association is constantly at work in the community to provide education and awareness in an effort to help everyone in our area who is affected by diabetes.  You can learn more about the local chapter here.

Do you own, work for, or patronize a business that is a good candidate for our business membership? For just $300 or $800 per year, you can show your support for a bike-friendly region and WABA’s advocacy and get all sorts of perks, including your very own blog post! Details here.

Best of WABA Events: 2016

Looking back at 2016, the WABA Events Team wanted to share with you our favorite moments from our signature events of the last year:

February 2016: The Bicyclist Choice Awards and Annual Members Meeting

DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo accepts The WABA Vision Zero award.

WABA staff.

The Awards event is our opportunity to be fancy and to recognize and thank those people who really and truly make a positive difference for bicycling in the region. It was really special this year to have the Director of the District Department of Transportation in attendance to accept an award we gave him. -Michelle

March 2016: The Congressional Ride 

Photo Credit: The League of American Bicyclists

The Congressional Ride is a really unique ride event that WABA organizes as part of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit each year. It’s special because we get to meet bike advocates and bicyclists from all over the country, talk to them about the work WABA is doing in our Nation’s Capital and around the region, and show off some of DC’s best bicycle infastrucutre. Everyone is always so impressed with the bike lanes and protected infrastructure, and they love hearing about our programs, events, and the impact we have on the region. -Michelle

The Vasa Ride

Vasa Ride 2016

The weather machine cooperated and the cloudy skies held their rain for this year’s Vasa Ride. Flowers were in bloom. The breeze was almost warm. The highlight is always the grumbling and tight muscles in the morning as sleepy-eyed riders stretch out their riding legs for the first time all winter, and then the joy, smiles, hugs, and happy conversations had over warm blueberry soup at the end of the ride inside the absolutely gorgeous House of Sweden. -Michelle 

May 2016: Bike to Work Day

Photo Credit: John Pickett

What’s not to love about Bike to Work Day? The ENTIRE WABA staff and board unite to go spread the bike love. This year, WABA had a presence at a record number of pit stops for us: 26 different pit stops! We mobilized 31 WABA captains and 112 volunteers to get out there super early on a Friday morning and talk to people about better bicycling. So much sunshine. So much coffee. So many bagels. And so many bicycle-induced smiles and high fives. -Michelle

Tour de Fat

DC celebrity spotting! Local bicycle advice columnist Gear Prudence for City Paper came out to support WABA.

Just look at those lines!

I was a bit terrified when Tour de Fat rolled around this year because there was rain in the forecast — LOTS of rain. But, to my delight, people still came out to celebrate and drink beer and ride bikes in the rain! I couldn’t believe it and I am SO grateful that the #bikedc community is so supportive of the work we do. -Michelle 

June 2016: Bike to Work AGAIN Day

Bike to Work Again Day + beer!

We loved Bike to Work Day so much this year that we decided to celebrate it again a month later! With three “pit stops” at local bars and restaurants in Arlington, Bethesda, and the District, we hung out with bike commuters on their way home and talked about our favorite subject: bikes! -Nick

July 2016: Bike to the Pools Ride

Cooling off at a splash park right off the Marvin Gaye Trail!

The Washington area gets pretty hot in July, so we decided that we’d combine two things we all love to do: biking and swimming! (And a bit of splashing.) We rode our bikes from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens along the Marvin Gaye Trail, stopped at a splash park, hopped on our bikes again, and finished the ride at the Deanwood Pool. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon! -Nick

August 2016: Open Streets Community Organizing

Petworth residents, ANC commissioners, and community leaders came together to help guide us in planning a community wide event in their neighborhood that will have a positive lasting impact, promote community building, and bring neighbors together.

This entire year we have been working to bring an open street event to DC, where a roadway is temporary closed to vehicles so it can be opened up to the people to walk, bike, dance, and play in the middle of the street. We are lucky to have the support of the DC Office of Planning in this effort and received a substantial grant for this project from the agency. It’s a big undertaking, and we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited for the connections and relationships we’ve begun to build with Petworth and city officials, and can’t wait to continue work in 2017 to bring DC its first open streets program. -Michelle

September 2016: The 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride

Photo credit: Chuck Cage

Years of tinkering with WABA’s weather machine to let up on the rain finally paid off, but someone forgot to adjust the temperature… it was HOT! Despite the heat, we welcomed our biggest crowd yet—700 registrants—to a fun and challenging ride throughout DC’s 8 Wards. This year, we hosted riders from California, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, and many other far-flung places! -Nick

October 2016: WABA in the Wild Overnight C&O Tour

In a matter of days, the 11 strangers who came together for WABA in the Wild became fast friends.

Everyone celebrated in the warm autumn sunshine at mile marker 0 in Georgetown at the end of the ride.

WABA in the Wild was the highlight of my year for sure. It was a feat of an event to pull off: the first time WABA has ever done an original peer-to-peer fundraising event, the first time we’ve ever done a multi-day bike tour, the first time we’ve ever organized a group camping trip. But we pulled it off and it was a tremendous success. We bicycled through rain and mud with smile on our faces. We saw beauty in the trees along the canal and the shimmering sunshine on the Potomac. There was whiskey, laughter, games, camaraderie, and so. many. snacks. And we can’t wait to do it again with more people in 2017! -Michelle

November 2016: The Cider Ride

Photo credit: Mr.TinDC

This year’s Cider Ride was the biggest ever, with over 700 people riding their bikes along the beautiful trails and farm roads of Prince George’s county, the Patuxent Research Refuge, and the new (and old) sections of the Anacostia River Trail. Riders also helped to advance our campaign to finish the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail in Hyattsville — we collected over 300 signatures at an advocacy pit stop along the course! -Nick

December 2016: The Holiday Party

Many, many bikes outside Boundary Stone for the WABA Holiday Party. Photo credit: Jeremiah Lowery

One of our ‘accomplishments scrapboards’ from the party

We hosted our year-end Holiday Party at Boundary Stone and had an awesome time chatting with members about all the things we accomplished together in 2016 and what we’re looking forward to working on in 2017. It was great to hang out with so many of our members and enjoy some holiday cheer! -Nick


We hope you enjoyed being part of the bike community as much as we did this year. Happy New Year and here’s to more awesome WABA events — and a few awesome event surprises — in 2017!

Cheers,

WABA Events Team

Biking is Resilient

What a year.

Bicycling has many victories to celebrate, and we hope you have the time and space to celebrate with us. We hope you take every opportunity to relax and ride your bicycle.

We hope you ride in a bike lane or along a trail and savor the moments we all share while pedaling: peace and solace, a clear sense of reliability and control, the benefits of a habit that’s practical and empowering and joyful.

Biking is resilient. And biking isn’t going anywhere. Donate to a better 2017.

The success of biking will continue because we have support from people like you. Your commitment to WABA is changing lives in your neighborhood. And you are leaving a lasting mark on our nation’s capital. Our trails stay paved. Our bike lanes stay painted. Our laws stay written. And you know what they say about riding a bike—the people we teach to ride never forget. This work has staying power.

Thank you for contributing to a hefty to-do list in 2016. Biking is only getting better.

We want everyone who lives and works in our region to have access to a safe, dedicated network of bike infrastructure within one mile of their homes by 2030. To build this network, we need to keep up our pace of planning, activism, and funding.

That dream network may seem far off, and our short-term wins may seem incremental. But don’t forget that just 45 years ago we had zero miles of bike trails. 20 years ago we had zero miles of bike lanes. Ten years ago most of us had never heard of bikeshare. Five years ago we had only one protected bike lane. And three years ago, WABA didn’t have a full-time staff person dedicated to advocacy.

Today we have hundreds of miles of bike infrastructure, thousands of bright red capital bikeshare bikes, each one an advertisement for the joy and convenience of biking, and a team of four full time advocacy staff. It doesn’t always feel like it, but our progress is real.

Please invest in a 2017 packed with more bike wins.

Our movement is growing in size, diversity, and moxie. Over the last five years our region has developed ambitious plans to expand the bike network. For example, Prince George’s County is mapping out more than 220 miles of priority trails, DC is planning 72 more miles of protected bike lanes, and Montgomery County is churning out a complete network of protected bike lanes in Silver Spring over the next three years. After our legislative victory in DC, conversations about fixing contributory negligence have begun in Maryland and Virginia.

We have this momentum because you and 6,500 WABA members like you are committed to the simple but powerful vision that biking around town should be as normal as driving around town. You know what biking can be, and you know we’re getting there.

Help raise $85,000 for better trails, better bike laws, better bike lanes and better bicyclists.

Over the next few days we’ll send you more information on our 2016 wins, our 2017 plans, and our vision for biking in the greater Washington region. Thanks to you, we have the power to make concrete improvements in our backyard.

Donate now and we won’t send you any more requests for a year-end gift. Instead, for a contribution of $100 or more, we’ll send a complete set of four better biking postcards.

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Donations to WABA are tax-deductible to fullest extent of the law. All donations postmarked before 12/31/16 can be claimed as a 2016 donation.

I Painted You A Picture

WABA asked me to paint a set of postcards and I jumped at the opportunity!

I’m thrilled to have this personal way to say thank you. You and WABA’s 6,500 members give so much. You read these emails, you monitor campaigns you care about, you learn about what other members care about, you come to events with a smile, refer friends to our classes, and you invest so much heart in this little local 44 year-old non-profit.

I tried to capture the spirit of biking in our region. And by extension, how important bike advocacy work is to ensuring greater joy. In all seasons. In all parts of the region. By all types of people. On all types of bikes.

If there’s one thing in my life I can point to that has given me so much– it’s my bicycle(s). And the people, places, and personal experiences I’ve cherished by bicycle. These paintings each depict particular aspects I find we all value most: time with friends and family out on our trails, quiet snowlit nights on a neighborhood street, the rush of being in a big group of people riding along the Potomac, and the last one– winning. Yes winning. For me, the bike advocate leaving the Annapolis Statehouse represents how much we’ve won in the last forty plus years.

I hope you find your own story in these prints. I hope you stick one to your refrigerator or your wall. I hope it’s an everyday reminder of the collective benefits of biking, and a reminder of all our concrete accomplishments– biking is only getting better.

If you haven’t already, please donate to WABA this holiday season. With a lot on the line, your contributions are especially critical this year. As a thank you, we’ll send you the complete set of four postcards for your contribution of $100 or more.

It’s been an incredible six years working for WABA. One thing I’ve learned is the importance of transparency. Behind the veil: If you donate now, we won’t send you anymore fundraising emails this holiday season!

(If you’re a poster buff, you’ll recognize the visual references in these paintings. They are a riff on the wonderful posters of the WPA era and Amtrak’s familiar retro poster campaign. We loved the idea of asserting bicycling’s role as part of Americana and part of the core of the nation’s transportation network, all in a sweet and playful way.)

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Donations to WABA are tax-deductible to fullest extent of the law. All donations postmarked before 12/31/16 can be claimed as a 2016 donation.