We talk a lot about bike facilities, bike laws, and bike safety. And we’ve encouraged thousands to bike in the Washington area. But the one time our Bike Ambassador says he wouldn’t personally recommend biking to an event, that’s what gets repeated everywhere.
To be clear, WABA still thinks biking is a good way to get to the rally (or wherever else you’re going this weekend). That is how I will be getting there.
But WABA will not be providing parking and we don’t know of any arrangements by the organizers to supplement the minimal parking that is available on the Mall perimeter. So I’ll be arriving plenty early, well prepared to walk a few blocks after finding a secure place to lock up. Oh, and I’ll be bringing a good U-lock plus a cable for the tires.
But I still expect to have a more pleasant trip than those who arrive by other means.
Bottom line: Ride your bike. But bring a lock and don’t assume WABA will be able to watch your bike for you this time. The important thing for you, the bicycling public, is to know what to expect.
And cut the Bike Ambassador some slack. The guy bikes to events for a living and answers questions from everyone, from new cyclists to journalists, while hauling a giant bike safety trailer all over the District. If he wants to take a day off and walk to an event for a change, WABA will look the other way.
Here's a handy link for letting the park service know that the time has come for bike valet fees should now be part of the rally permit, or no rally http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#contactUs and the link to let Jon Stewart know that the bike valet is almost as important as toilets is http://www.comedycentral.com/help/questionsCC.jhtml and the link to Colbert is http://www.comedycentral.com/help/questionsCC.jhtml cheers b
Too bad the organizers of the rally/march did not take WABA's offer for a bike valet. I've biked to a number of big events on the mall and have sometimes used the valet, but have also just locked up to a fence or a post - there are a number of options. In the large crowds I've never had issues with theft. David - Many of the buildings at that end of the Mall are government buildings - I could be wrong but I doubt they will let you in to park your bike.
Thank you for that update and the good advice. Really appreciate it. And yes, I wholeheartedly agree that the Bike Ambassador can and should -- walk, metro, even drive if he wants to. After all it's Saturday and everyone is entitled to time off. So whoever's not cutting him some slack -- please express your appreciation for all that he and the WABA staff do to make DC a bike-friendly place. After all, I'm sure you don't want to work 24/7.
Thanks for trying to set up a Bike Valet. We are also going to ride our bikes down from Maryland. Do you have any ideas on nearby parking garages that might have secure bicycle parking facilities?