Archive for July, 2012
My name is Megan McCarty, and I recently joined WABA as the new DC Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator.
The Bike Ambassador program was designed to educate cyclists, drivers and pedestrians on safe use of roads, sidewalks, and trails. As the new program coordinator, I want to make sure I provide the Bike Ambassadors with the leadership, resources, and knowledge to help others make the choice to go by bike a safe and easy one.
My ultimate goal for the program is to encourage more DC residents and visitors to get on a bike, whether it is for fun, fitness, or transportation. Bicycling is an integral and growing part of the transportation system in DC, and I know that the Bike Ambassadors can play a huge role increasing the visibility of cyclists and welcoming all of the new riders out there to life on two wheels.
My first event as a Bike Ambassador was a Commuter Cycling class with an organization called Back On My Feet, a nonprofit group “dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.” They invited Bike Ambassador Katie Bolton and me to talk to some new bicyclists about bike safety, basic traffic skills, and taught them how to properly fit a helmet and use Capital Bikeshare. It was a great learning experience and hopefully more Bike Ambassador Volunteers will join me next time!
As a fairly new DC resident, I am excited to explore the city on my bicycle. I grew up biking around my neighborhood in sunny Tampa, FL and moved to Baltimore, MD after graduating from the University of Central Florida. My background is in Civil Engineering and Transportation Planning, and I have always had a passion for Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning, specifically. I fell in love with commuting by bicycle, and decided to switch gears and work full-time in bike advocacy.
In the coming weeks and months, you will probably find me at various community events, as well as biking around town with the Ambassador trailer – a moving bike advocacy billboard on two wheels! I hope you will join me!
Our Adult Bicycling Education program helps nearly a thousand people each year to become better bicyclists. Our classes give them confidence and skills that make bicycling a part of their daily lives. But none of this would be possible without our enthusiastic and experienced instructors! Many of these men and women are not WABA staff. They are bicyclists just like you who want to give back by becoming certified as League Cycling Instructors and helping us teach. (And we should mention, these instructors are paid $50/hr for time spent teaching.)
To keep pace with the demand for our classes we need to grow our team of instructors, so if you are an enthusiastic and outgoing bicyclist, we want you! All it takes to get certified is a couple of your weekends this fall and a willingness to teach folks how to be better, more confident bicyclists. Additionally, for the first time ever, we’re offering you the chance to get certified for FREE.
Becoming a WABA Instructor
We hold our teachers to a high standard, both on bikes and in the classroom. So we’re committed to having every class on our schedule taught by instructors certified by the League of American Bicyclists. The League has been at the forefront of bicycle education for over a century, and the foundation of the program are the League Cycling Instructors. WABA requires that all of its education classes be taught by certified LCIs. Once you’ve been certified as an LCI, you’re not confined to the DC area though, you can teach the League’s Adult Bicycle Education curricula across the country.
We want to make becoming an LCI easy for you. Here are the basic steps:
- Learn the content. By completing our full Confident City Cycling course suite, you will experience WABA’s classes & learn the content you will be responsible for communicating to your future students. The Confident City Cycling suite consists of three distinct sessions:
- Confident City Cycling (I): Trails.
- Confident City Cycling (II): Traffic.
- Confident City Cycling (III): Evaluation.
- The training seminar is led by an experienced LCI Coach, assisted by WABA’s Adult Bicycle Education staff. Over the course of the weekend, you’ll learn to teach the League’s classes and be evaluated as a rider and as an instructor.
If you have already taken one or more of WABA’s Confident City Cycling classes, you only need to take those you have not already taken to be prepared for the Seminar. To make it easy for everyone to get all the components necessary, we will be offering a one-day session of all three on September 8th. So you can start from scratch, or you can finish what you’ve already started. More details on the September 8th session can be found here (CCC) and here (CCC: Evaluation).
And if all of this sequencing seems a little confusing: we know. Give us a call at 202-518-0524 ext. 212, or email email@example.com and we’ll talk you through it and figure out what you need to do to become an instructor.
WABA’s LCI Scholarships
For the first time ever, we are proud to announce that we are offering a limited number of full scholarships to our LCI Seminar on September 28-30. This is a unique opportunity to become certified to teach Adult Bike Education anywhere in the country, host your own classes as an independent instructor, or teach WABA’s classes at our standard instructor rate ($50/hour).
Our Scholarships include:
- The $300 fee for the LCI seminar itself.
- A guaranteed spot at the LCI seminar on Sept. 28-30.
Our Scholarships DO NOT include:
- The cost of joining the League of American Bicyclists.
- The cost of any CCC courses.
- Transportation, lodging, meals, or any other incidental expenses.
Additionally, by accepting a WABA Scholarship, you agree to teach 5 hours’ worth of our classes in the first year of your LCI certification. After your 5 hours are completed, you will be entitled to our regular WABA Instructor rate ($50/hour).
Scholarship applications are due by Friday, September 14th, and recipients will be notified the week of September 17th.
From our friends at City Bikes:
Please join us on a bicycle ride for Kadian Harding, who tragically passed away on Wednesday after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle with his father.
Kadian’s death is a huge loss for the City Bikes community and beyond, reaching Shepherdstown, WV and the UK, not to mention all of the District of Columbia.
We will ride for Kadian, his memory, his family, and for our safety.
This tragedy reminds us all of the necessity of proper bicycle safety measures. We will require helmets and lights on all bicycles, and we will be practicing all the proper rules of the road. All riders must perform an ABC Quick Check (AirBrakesCranksQuickrelease) on their bicycle before the ride.
The ride will be followed by a candlelight vigil in honor of Kadian’s brilliantly bright life. We plan on lighting our candles at Unity Park (across the street from City Bikes in Adams Morgan) around 8:30pm.
The ride begins at 7pm at the City Bikes Adams Morgan location. Full event information can be found on the Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/events/214173768708524/
Join us in riding as part of the bicycling community with our friends at City Bikes for Kadian, his memory, his family, and our safety.
If you’re a fan of WABA’s Bike Education program, you may have noticed that our calendar has been pretty empty this summer. Well, that’s all about to change.
We’re excited to announce a new Confident City Cycling class this Saturday, July 28th, at 10:00 AM right in the heart of downtown DC. If you haven’t experienced our Confident City Cycling class, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn some skills and practice your riding technique with our team of top-notch bike educators and instructors.
And if you enjoyed our Confident City Cycling class earlier this year, why not tell a friend to come out and join us?
But we’re not stopping with just one new class…many more classes are coming for the fall 2012 season! You should probably subscribe to our google calendar to stay up-to-date!
Want to get the latest class schedule by email? Sign up for Event Hub here, the latest calendar is at the end of every email.
Date: July 28th
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: The Ellipse, 15th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20230
You can reserve a spot in the class for just $10, or you can take your chances and show up on Saturday for FREE as a walk-on. Walk-ons are limited to the first 10 people who arrive for a class and are not on the official attendee list.
You are responsible for providing your own bike and helmet, and you might want to consider water, sunscreen, and maybe a snack.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-518-0524 x212
What is a Confident City Cycling class?
Confident City Cycling (CCC) classes have options for riders of any experience or skill level, and are designed to teach the techniques and knowledge critical to riding safely on city streets.
After a short introduction/review of basic concepts, the class will be divided into two groups: a beginner or “Trails” group, and an intermediate or “Traffic” group.
The “Trails” group will discover basic bicycling concepts and on-bike skills such as: bike sizing and fit, helmet fit, pre-ride bike check, and bike vocabulary. On the bikes, drills will focus on bike handling basics: starting and stopping, riding in a straight line, scanning, shifting gears, and use of hand signals. This group will end with a short ride on a nearby trail to put everything into practice and to learn trail etiquette such as passing, signaling, and communication. The focus throughout is on control.
If you’ve already taken the “Trails” section of a Confident City Cycling class, please come back and join us again for the “Traffic” section!
The “Traffic” group will explore more involved bicycling concepts such as: vehicular cycling principles, roadway positioning, lane changes, turns, and communication with other road users. On-bike, the parking lot drills are a series of hazard avoidance maneuvers: rock dodge, quick stop, avoidance weave, and instant turn. This group will end with a short ride on local roads to put everything into practice and to experience truly confident city cycling. The focus throughout is on visibility & predictability.
On-line study is strongly recommended prior to arriving at class by registering and completing the material on www.bikeed.org.
Participants must bring their own bikes, helmets, and water. Clipless/SPD shoes/pedals are not recommended for this class. Participants will be required to sign liability waivers.
Sound fun? It is! Come out and join us this Saturday!
(An update from Alex Hutchinson, WABA’s East of the Anacostia Bikes Program Manager.)
On Saturday July 14th, WABA staff, residents, and volunteers gathered in Oxon Run Park. Nestled between the neighborhoods of Bellevue, Congress Heights, and Washington Highlands, Oxon Run features wetlands, ball fields, BBQ pits, and naturally where WABA comes in, a beautiful bike path.
Despite flirting with Mother Nature’s rains early in the morning, by the start of the event pockets of blue sky began to peak out from behind the clouds. With much-appreciated assistance from Capital Bikeshare, Bike & Roll DC, and the District Department of Transportation our ride was supplied with 45 bikes and helmets for all ages and sizes. We even had some brave young riders go out on an attached tandem bicycle before they traded it back in for something a little simpler.
The event was a huge success in no small part due to the help from local community groups such as the office of Councilmember Marion Barry, ANC commissioner Dionne Brown, and the 7th District Metropolitan Police Force. Commissioner Brown was pleased to have her bike repaired, then proceeded to cruise up and down the trail several times before the mid-July humidity finally got to her. “I prefer this to spinning” Brown joked.
Community members remarked on the therapeutic effect of cycling along Oxon Run. Many doctors are beginning to prescribe “park prescriptions”, a program where doctors send patients outdoors for physical and mental benefits. One of the objectives of this ride was to make residents aware of this fantastic park, a resource some don’t realize exists right in their backyard. Additionally, local community members learned to get more comfortable on a bike after a prolonged absence with the help from WABA educational instructors.
The Oxon Run ride provided a valuable forum for community members to learn about who else is riding in their community and provided WABA insight into residents’ feelings about cycling safety and benefits. A number of bicycle commuters came out to talk about their challenging rides along the Suitland Parkway–a trail that is currently in need of cleanup due to a large amount of broken glass and overgrown limbs along the trail. Other neighborhood residents came with their toddlers in tow, disappointed they didn’t hear about the event sooner to inform more of their students and neighbors.
The Oxon Run event was WABA’s first ride this summer as part of our East of the River initiative after several mobile bike repair clinics and classes to get everyone ready to roll. Other rides slated for later in this summer include a bike carnival and tour of the St. Elizabeths Historic Campus and the first annual Lion Ride through historic Anacostia and Anacostia Park.
Thanks to our dedicated WABA members and supporters, we have reached 10,000 trips today on the CLIF Bar 2 Mile Challenge. This means we’ll receive the full $10,000 donation from CLIF Bar that will go to support our local advocacy work. We are so thankful to our members and other riders who dutifully logged an average of 550 trips every day over the first 18 days of July. Even through two record-setting heat waves, floods, thunderstorms, downed trees, and massive power outages we proved that getting around by bike is happening in DC, even in less than favorable weather conditions.
Now we’re going to help our fellow bike advocates in Kansas City and Los Angeles. Since they didn’t quite make it to the maximum donation, CLIF Bar has graciously agreed to allow us to continue to log trips after we reach 10,000 and split the difference between those two groups. We still have 13 days to help BikeWalkKC and the Los Angeles County Bike Coalition make it all the way to 10,000. They need a combined 4519 trips logged to help each organization reach the $10,000 mark. That’s only 347 trips per day. We know we can do it thanks to the amazing response we’ve already seen from all of the WABA 2 Mile Challengers.
There’s 13 days left in July to keep logging those trips and make a difference for bike advocacy in two other great cities. Let’s do it!
Arlington County is planning to construct a bike trail connection along Washington Boulevard. The trail would be built on the west side of Washington Boulevard between Route 50 and South Rolfe Street.
Recently, the project has come under criticism from the Penrose Neighborhood Association due to the number of trees that would be impacted by construction. The local blog Along the Pike has complete details of the projects, impacts to the environment and the many health and environmental benefits to come with the bike and pedestrian path.
Your support for the Washington Boulevard Trail is needed tonight at the Penrose Neighborhood Association meeting. A representative from Arlington County will be present to explain the project and answer questions from the community. The local bicycling and trail community needs to have its collective voice heard tonight.
Penrose Neighborhood Association Meeting
Date: Tuesday July 17, 2012
Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Trinity Episcopalian Church at corner of Wayne and Col Pike – Google Map Bicycle Directions
Thank you for your help in creating a more bicycle friendly Arlington County.
Attention WABA Members: Our annual business meeting will be held Monday, September 17 at 6:30pm at the Duncan Branch Library in Alexandria. More details to come, but please save the date to join us in reflecting on a year of working to bring better bicycling to the region.
Moving across town? Planning a day trip out of the city? Picking “that” friend up at the airport who decided to fly into Dulles (when you live in Silver Spring)? For those rare times you need to go by car, think about going by ZipCar. It’s easy: 1) Join, 2) Reserve, 3) Unlock and 4) Drive. And luckily, WABA members receive half off their first-year annual fee, making it just $30!
It’s a car on-demand, whether for a couple hours or the whole day. Now you can go mountain biking at the newly-opened Rockburn Skills Park, pick up that amazing vintage couch you just bought off Craigslist, or drive out to Merriweather to see a great show while keeping your day-to-day life on-bike and car-free. Just contact email@example.com for the discount code.
Now that’s a member benefit!
People of 2012,
Greetings from the year 2112, cyclonauts. We’re on a mission to get your circuits jamming and set your thrusters on overdrive. You, and only you, can help DC Bike to the Future! Join WABA for this year’s Bike Prom, presented by New Belgium Brewing. This is your once-in-a-century opportunity to get intergalactic with cybernetic cycleborgs, stellar spokes-models, and parsecs of Plutonian pedalers! What are you waiting for? Invite, build, or beam down your prom date(s), strap on a pair of SPD moon boots, and get ready to Bike…to the Future!
All costumed bots and beings will receive one free raffle ticket. This could be your ticket to a New Belgium Cruiser bike or other sweet bike gear. This year’s Bike Prom will feature musical appearances by Pity Party, Oscar Paul Whiteman, and Jean Pierre Le Douche. Plus free bike valet, games, the best awkward prom photos, and the crowning of Robo-Queen and Robo-King.
DATE: Friday, July 27th
TIME: Doors open at 9pm
LOCATION: Black Cat main stage
TICKETS: $10 WABA members/ $15 non-members
FACEBOOK: Spread the word
VOLUNTEER: All Bike Prom volunteers get in for free, and receive a free drink for bringing this event to life. Fill out this quick questionnaire to sign up to volunteer.