Archive for May, 2011
What do you get when three highly regarded DC-area bike shops go head-to-head for the title of First Annual BikeFest BikeBuild Champion? Well, you get three distinct creations with materials running the gamut of leather, aluminum, steel and carbon fiber. You get three teams brimming with creative energy and competitive fervor. You get local craftsmanship at its finest. And you get it all in support of WABA’s mission to advocate for better bicycling in our region.
In short, you get one heck of a contest!
The mechanics of City Bikes, Oasis Bike Works and Papillon Cycles eagerly stepped up to the challenge of constructing a custom, one-of-a-kind bike using high-quality new and used parts and whatever else they could get their hands on, without going over our $250 spending limit. As BikeFest looms on the horizon, we’ll be tracking the progress of these bikes, so keep this blog bookmarked! Remember, at the event, you’ll get the chance to vote on which bike you like best and help us crown the First Annual Bike Fest BikeBuild Champion.
For now though, we’ll leave you with a sneak peek at each shop and the fine machines that they’re constructing for BikeFest!
For the builders at Papillon Cycles, life is always better behind handlebars. Which is why they are crafting an, “eccentric all-arounder.” Whether you want to pitch a tent along the C&O Canal or conquer WABA’s 50 States Ride this September, this sporty British touring frame will get you there with style and a smile.
The folks at Oasis Bike Works have set out to make biking more than just another way to shop in Fairfax, VA. They’re building an inclusive community and showcasing a bike that addresses some of the obstacles to biking – from comfort to safety and everything in between. Their 3 speed (internal) NYC mountain bike is the city cruiser that meets the demands of the region’s topography (and sometimes dubious pavement), while protecting all of your assets.
City Bikes is the transportation cyclist’s go-to shop in DC. To prove it to you, these builders have set out to redefine the cargo bike and create the ultimate grocery-getter: a steel-cage basket on steroids. This utility bike for modern living will carry your groceries and lift your spirits!
So who will select our First Annual BikeFest BikeBuild Champion? Every person at BikeFest gets a vote! And since BikeFest is WABA’s fundraiser, each of the bikes will also be up for auction throughout the event. So bring your deep pockets, and you might actually get to ride one of these unique creations home!
And help us spread the word about BikeFest on facebook!
We wanted to take this moment, while everyone is basking in that Bike to Work Day glow to also introduce you to BikeFest, our 2011 fundraiser. We absolutely love Bike to Work Day, the attention it brings to biking in DC, and the new folks it gets onto bikes. We wouldn’t miss it for the world.
But putting on an event the size of the Freedom Plaza BTWD Pit Stop is expensive, and we don’t share in the funds committed by sponsors of the regional event. That means we’re largely responsible for finding funds for all that equipment, stage, food, and coffee on our own. And because the National Park Service doesn’t allow sales on Freedom Plaza, we can’t sell memberships or WABA merchandise to try to offset the cost.
So if you enjoyed Bike to Work Day, appreciate WABA’s work, and want to help us fund our mission and recover costs from big outreach events like this one, we would love to see you at BikeFest on June 11th.
- What’s happening at this event?
At BikeFest, we are celebrating cycling with art, music, and games. It’s an upscale event for your inner-child, with a bike carnival theme and a light-hearted feel. We will have art bikes and decorations from local artists, a midway with bike-themed carnival-style games, musical accompaniment from DC’s Second String Band, acrobats and jugglers, a silent auction, raffles, and the main event: A Bike Build Contest in which local bike shops (CityBikes, Oasis, & Papillon) will compete to build the most crowd-pleasing bicycle from recycled parts—with the winner chosen by audience votes and bids.
- Why does it cost $45?
BikeFest is WABA’s 2011 fundraising event in support of our advocacy, outreach and education. With grant funding currently lagging, regional governmental budgets tightening, and a large Bike to Work Day under our belts, we are committed to raising funds to continue our mission of advocating for increased and improved cycling in the region.
As cycling has grown, so have the regional advocacy and education demands on our staff time and budget. It’s undoubtedly a good problem to have, but to meet the increased advocacy needs, serve our members, and reach underserved communities while governmental funding is less prevalent, we need your financial support. Thus, we have put together this fun event that will provide an enjoyable time for all, at a price that is a bargain for a bike-friendly night-on-the-town with food, drink, and entertainment.
- Is this the WABA Gala? Is it the Bike Prom?
No, and no. But it is fun, and we want a big crowd. And it is our annual fundraiser that is critical to our success over the next year. This is replacing this year’s Gala, as we are going back to our roots and sticking more closely to a fun, bike-related themed celebration rather than a formal, black-tie event.
- Why is it in Crystal City?
After searching extensively for a space that could be appropriately converted into an upscale bike carnival, the Crystal City BID provided us a space steps from both the Mount Vernon Trail and the Metro with a layout that allowed for game booths, concessions, stage space, seating space, and showcases for the bike build. And they have given us total freedom to decorate with bikes, custom designs, and personal touches.
- How do I get there?
That’s the easy part. The space is easily accessible from the Mount Vernon Trail and from the Crystal City Metro. We will have ample bike parking, so feel free to ride in and Metro home with your bike if you choose. Several attendees will be leading meet-ups along the way if you would prefer to ride with a group (details to come on meet-ups). Bottom line: getting there is incredibly easy.
For more information and to purchase tickets visit: www.waba.org/bikefest
In the days preceding Bike to Work Day, we get dozens of requests from the media to “tell us what cyclists need to do to be safe.” We try to fit what we can into soundbites, but it’s worth taking the time to learn from qualified instructors. New cyclists will learn a lot that will help them be safer on the region’s roadways and trails, and experienced cyclists might learn a few additional tips or unlearn unsafe habits.
CLICK HERE to see our course offerings and schedule.
With so much bike-related going on this week and over the next month, here is a very quick list of the top items and the links you need:
Bike to Work Day, Friday, May 20th. Over 8,000 registered. Still aiming for 10,000. WABA staff, board members, and volunteers will be throughout the region at pitstops, in addition to operating the Freedom Plaza pitstop. If any part of your commute on Friday takes place by bike, REGISTER HERE and be counted.
BikeDC, Sunday, May 22nd. Closed streets, riding at your own pace, coasting down the GW Parkway with other cyclists. BikeDC is 20 miles of no cars and great views, and perfect way to spend a Sunday. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
BikeFEST, Saturday, June 11th. BikeFEST is the summer’s hottest ticket. A bike-carnival themed fundraiser and celebration of cycling in the region: there will be bike art, music, games, raffles, a live auction, and a bike-build contest between local bike shops using recycled parts & held to a strict price limit of $250. It’s a fun way to celebrate cycling and help support our serious mission to get more people onto bikes and make cycling safer and better for all. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS.
Last Saturday, WABA held a Learn to Ride class for adults and a Mobile Bike Shop at Anacostia Public Library. After weeks of community-based outreach from our Bike Ambassadors and dedicated neighbors, the turnout was excellent. You can read more about the Learn to Ride class HERE, as covered by DCentric. Photos from the class and Mobile Bike Shop event are below.
We are grateful to all who donated to this program and enabled us to hold these outreach events.
For those keeping count: This was our third East of the Anacostia class and second Mobile Bike Shop. The classes are now complete for the season, but the Mobile Bike Shops will continue, and will be supplemented by a number of short rides.
And, of course, the bike and CaBi membership giveaway is still to come.
Reminder: The Montgomery Bicycling Conference is this weekend. WABA Board Member Casey Anderson joins other County cyclists, advocates, and interested residents in discussing the future of cycling in Montgomery County.
MONTGOMERY BICYCLING (For ALL of US) CONFERENCE
DATE: Saturday, May 14, 8:40 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: 1st Floor Auditorium, Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville. Enter building through the black glass doors of the cafeteria, ground level facing Jefferson St. & the COB garage.
PARKING: free in COB Public Parking garage accessed from Monroe St. or eastbound Jefferson
Objective: to bring together elected and appointed officials, bicyclists and bicycle advocates to brainstorm on how to get more ordinary people to use bicycles for routine trips such as commuting to transit and work, running errands, traveling to entertainment and recreation destinations and getting to and from school and after-school activities.
8:40 Sign in, coffee & light refreshments, viewing of James Mackay’s film, “International Scan on Pedestrian & Bicyclist Safety & Mobility” filmed in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Film will also be shown during intermission and at end.
9:00 a.m. Welcome Remarks and Charge – Peggy Dennis, President, MCCF
9:05 Safe Bicycling in Montgomery County
Montgomery County Pedestrian & Traffic Safety Advisory Committee: Steve Friedman
Maryland Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee: John Wetmore, member
Montgomery Park Police: Chief Darien Manley,
9:25 Policies, Planning & Implementation for Bicycling – Where We Are Today?
9:25 M-NC/PPC – Planning Office – David Anspacher
9:45 M-NC/PPC – Parks Office – Charles Kines
10:05 Montgomery County DOT – County Bike Coordinator – Gail Tait-Nouri
10:25 Maryland DOT – Michael Jackson – Director of Bicycle & Pedestrian Access
10:40 Maryland SHA – Dustin Kuzan, Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator
10:50 WMATA – Matthew Zych, Long Range Planning Office
11:00 15 minute break for coffee/tea/juice
11:15 – MCDOT –Nadji Kirby – Coordinator: Safe Routes to School Program
11:30 – City of Rockville – Case Study of a Bicycle-Friendly Municipality, Nancy Breen,
Chair, Rockville Bike Advisory Committee
11:45 Where Do We Want to Go? Advocates Visions for the Future of Cycling:
Casey Anderson – Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) Board member
Richard Layman – Bicycle Advocate and Planner
12:15 What Do We Need To Do To Get There? – Action Planning for Most Effective Improvements – Moderator, Robert Patten, Toole Design Group
12:45 Wrap-Up and Closing Remarks: Francoise Carrier, Chairman, Maryland-National Capital/Park & Planning Commission & Valerie Ervin, President, County Council
1:00 Conference Ends – break for lunch
2:00 BYOB Bike tour of Rockville (see next page or reverse for details)
*subject to last minute additions and changes
BICYCLE TOUR OF BICYCLE-FRIENDLY ROCKVILLE
2:00 Bill Michie of the Rockville Citizens Bicycle Advisory Committee will lead a Bike Tour of Rockville. Bring Your Own Bike (BYOB). The bike ride begins at 2:00 PM meeting at the small asphalt area by the entrance to the Council Parking Garage on E. Jefferson Street and Monroe Street. This is directly across Monroe Street from the Jury Parking Lot where the Farmers Markets are held on Saturday mornings during late spring and summer.
The ride will familiarize us with on-road bike routes, bike paths, the MilleniumTrail,
cut-throughs, signage and bridges. The purpose is to demonstrate to riders how such facilities create safe bicycling routes that are suitable for many everyday trips.
How long the bike ride will take depends on the capabilities of the least able cyclist. The route Bill has in mind has hills that people who have biked very little may find difficult. But novices should rest assured that Bill will not leave the slowest and least fit behind.
The proposed route for the ride is:
START at E. Jefferson Street & Monroe Street
SOUTH on Monroe Street
LEFT on Cabin John Parkway
STRAIGHT onto the bike path where Cabin John Parkway ends at Leverton Road
RIGHT onto the Millennium Trail at Wootton Parkway
CROSS Seven Locks Road to remain on the Millennium rail
CROSS Falls Road to remain on the Millennium Trail
RIGHT onto Hurley Avenue
RIGHT onto Watts Branch Parkway
BEAR LEFT onto Friendship Bridge over I-270
WALK bikes across Nelson Street & then W. Montgomery Ave at traffic light
STRAIGHT on sidewalk along Nelson Street
RIGHT onto Anderson Ave
FOLLOW signs to Town Center using the on-street route.
GATHER at Town Square to answer any questions.
BIKE towards the Movie Theatre and then Monroe Street to return to START
Bill will stop several times during the ride to point out various features that enable and enrich safe bicycling. He will stress that most adult bike trips for everyday purposes should be much shorter and easier than this bike tour. He will also stress that short bike trips can be done in everyday clothing — not the high-tech cycling gear he normally wears.
Over the weekend, a cyclist was killed in a collision with a motor vehicle near the intersection of the W&OD Trail and the Four Mile Run Trail.
WABA Board Member Mark Blacknell visited the scene and has posted more details on his blog.
Our sympathy goes out to this fallen cyclist’s friends and family. While statistically, cycling is a very safe activity, these sorts of incidents remind us all of the risks involved. Be safe, everyone.
WABA will continue to follow this incident as more details are shared.
At last Friday’s Bicycle and Trail Advisory Group (BTAG) meeting, Fred Shaffer with M-NCPPC announced that Prince George’s County has won its first ever, large scale SRTS grant. Totaling a whopping $897,000 the money will be used to improve bicycling and walking routes around five schools: Glen Ridge, Oak Crest, Woodridge, Highland Park and Gray Elementary schools. A portion of the money will also be used for bicycle and pedestrian education in these lucky schools. Safe Routes to School is a federally funded program that provides money to do the little things to encourage bicycling or walking to school, like repair sidewalks, install flashing crosswalk beacons; and the big things, like pedestrian safety islands and multi-use trails that connect schools to their communities. Every state in the country has Safe Routes to School funds available through the federal transportation bill, there’s no local match required and the funds are made available through the state. If your child’s school hasn’t received any Safe Routes to School funding for educational programming or infrastructure improvements, you should be asking your elected representatives and school board, “why not?”
When the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on the $800M South Capitol Street project was first released, Washcycle called it disappointing. We agree. While we have few concerns about the replacement Frederick Douglass Bridge itself, the study area surrounding the bridge is filled with opportunities for safety and mobility improvements. Few will be implemented as part of this “preferred alternative.”
It is especially disappointing to see this new bridge, proposed to connect Ward 6 (which is represented by the DC Council’s champion of livability) and Ward 8 (where WABA has focused its outreach efforts this spring and found receptive potential cyclists deterred from regular ridership primarily by the lack of safe connections to and from the places they need to go), do so little to improve connections from the bridge into neighborhoods, or integrate cycling holistically throughout the study area.
- Sub-par infrastructure is proposed, such as a 13 ft. shared curb lane.
- On a portion of New Jersey Ave. that will have 160 ft. of right-of-way, no space can be found for a bike lane.
- Not a single bike lane, cycletrack, or other designated bicycle space is included.
- No facility to accommodate cyclist usage is included in the large, multi-lane oval and circle at either end of the bridge.
- Multi-use paths in Ward 8, included in every build alternative, are removed from the preferred alternative without explanation.
- Sidewalks and “designated bike routes” without improvement are deemed sufficient connections throughout the area.
Please take a moment to EMAIL THE PROJECT TEAM BY CLICKING HERE prior to the closing of the EIS comment period to express your support for better bicycling facilities as part of the preferred alternative. And please forward this link to your friends and fellow cyclists who may wish to weigh in on the project and its impact on cycling in the District and region.
WABA’s full comments can be found below.
This event is a change from past years in which WABA’s annual fundraiser has been a more formal gala function. But this year, with the growth of cycling, recent legislative and regulatory victories, and progress on trail and infrastructure projects, it just makes more sense to have a celebration.
With so many cyclists joining us on the regions trails and roadways: we needed a bigger party. So this year’s event will celebrate the past year of cycling while building momentum and raising funds for coming advocacy and outreach initiatives in the region.
We are adding more to the program every day. But so far, you can count on:
- Live music from DC’s Second String Band
- Bike-related prizes, silent auction, and raffles
- Bike-themed carnival games and entertainment
- Excellent food and drink
- A fun-filled and enjoyable celebration of the year that brought us Capital Bikeshare, the first phase of the Metropolitan Branch Trail, Pennsylvania Avenue Bike Lanes, DC’s First Cycletrack and Bike Signal, a DC Complete Streets Policy, Maryland’s Negligent Homicide Law, a Tyson’s Bike Master Plan, WMATA Bike Modeshare Goals, and a general growth of cycling in our region that shows we’re on the right path!
- And the main event: The crowning of BikeFest’s Best Builder of 2011, which pits 3 local shops–CityBikes, Papillon, and Oasis–against one another to build a full bike with only $250, their used parts bins, and creativity. You select the winner with a combination of votes and bids, and someone in the crowd will get to take home each of the bikes.
We have designed this event to have something for everyone–whether you’re a sit-and-enjoy-the-show sort or a hit-the-dance-floor-partier, we have a place for you to come, spend time with your fellow cyclists, and celebrate a big year for biking in DC.
Our goal is to welcome cyclists of all types, young and old, new and experienced, for a night of celebrating the one thing that can bring this diverse bunch together: A love of bikes.
And we are especially grateful to the Crystal City Business Improvement District and Vornado for providing us a great space and the freedom to turn it into a BikeFest carnival and celebration like no other!
Tickets can be purchased HERE.