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Archive for December, 2012

There’s Only One More Day to Double the Dollars You Donate to the Women & Bicycles Program

Over the past few days, we’ve posted a whole lot about our Women & Bicycles program, which will officially launch this spring. That’s because last Wednesday, we received a $4,000 match grant on donations made before the end of 2012.

So far, thanks to your help pitching in and spreading the word, we’ve raised $2,135. Dec. 31 is the last day to donate with matching funds still eligible. We’d so appreciate your help in closing the $1,865 gap.

Need a refresher on what Women & Bicycles will do and why it’s important? Read all about it:

If you haven’t donated yet, you can do so here. Won’t you help us reach the maximum match?

Watch: What Is Women & Bicycles?

Our fundraising for the Women & Bicycles program is progressing steadily. Many thanks to those of you who have donated. We passed the $2,000 mark last night. As of this morning, we’ve raised $2,050, all of which will be matched.

American University student Terence Johnson shot and produced a few clips for WABA that show off the Women & Bicycles program. Watch the 60-second clip below and get as excited about it as we are:

Up to $4,000 in donations will be matched; this opportunity runs through Dec. 31, so if you’d like to contribute, please do so today! There’s only two days left to make your dollars count for twice as much!

Our Women & Bicycles Program Is for Everyone

Many thanks to those of you who have donated to WABA’s Women & Bicycles program since we announced a $4,000 match grant on Wednesday. As of this morning, we’ve raised $1,450 to be matched.

We’ve told you why getting women on bikes matters, especially for, well, women. But there’s also the fact that once women start doing something, it’s normalized; getting more women on bikes means that cycling’s more accessible for everyone. You’ve heard the jargon-y “indicator species” thesis before. To illustrate the reasons why women biking can make a difference for everyone, we asked a few cycling-minded guys in the D.C. area to tell us why they think the Women & Bicycles program is important.

Brian McEntee, blogger extraordinaire, Tales From the Sharrows:

It’s important to get women on bikes because it’s important to get everyone on bikes. The bicycle is the most egalitarian and democratic form of transportation ever devised and for society to truly enjoy its benefits, bicycling should not be curtailed to one gender, nor limited by any other stricture or inhibition.

Brent Bolin, councilmember, city of Mount Rainier:

The metro area needs to improve transportation infrastructure across the board to give a growing region more options. If we want these new spaces to be inclusive and welcoming to all modes of transportation, we likewise need a cycling community that is inclusive and welcoming of all users. That’s why WABA’s Women and Bicycles program is so important.

Erik Kugler, owner, BicycleSpace (and rabblerouser, The Assembly):

D.C., as of 2011, ranks third in the U.S. in its percentage of women cyclists with 39 percent, only 1.1 percent under the national leader. It’s important to watch this statistic, because an increasing percentage indicates that the safety of bicycle infrastructure is improving, making bicycle transportation safer for all.

Helping women feel more comfortable, confident, and inclined to get on their bikes will make biking in D.C. a better experience across the board. Cycling’s good for everyone, as is the Women & Bicycles program. Your money will fund smart, engaging, and accessible programming that will educate and support D.C.-area women who are hesitant about using their bikes for transportation.

Donate today and your contribution will be matched. Getting your donation in by Dec. 31 is important, since that’s the last day that we can accept the matching funds that have been granted. Get to it!

How Will Your Contribution Help the Women & Bicycles Program?

Thank you so much for your support of the Women & Bicycles program since our announcement of a $4,000 match grant. As of this afternoon, $1,115 has been donated!

Yesterday, we told you about the many great things that your donation to the Women & Bicycles program will fund–including dinner parties, bike rides, and the coalescence of 10 “Roll Model” mentors who will reach into their own communities to encourage cycling-tentative women.

Here’s a more specific breakdown of what we expect some of those things will cost:

A dinner party for a small group of women to come together in a warm, comfortable environment to learn about incorporating cycling in their lives, followed by the distribution of educational materials and the facilitation of a discussion covering the ins and outs of bicycling: $970 (includes educational materials, meeting-space rental, food, drink, and staff time)

An interactive workshop focused on a specific issue related to daily bicycling, like gear essentials, bike maintenance, self-defense and cycling, cycling with kids, or running errands by bike: $950 (includes League Certified Instructor fees, meeting-space rental, light refreshments, and staff time)

A group ride that demonstrates safety and etiquette tips for city biking and allows women to apply what they’ve discussed in dinner parties and workshops–as well as refine practical skills like integrating cycling with Metro and Metrobus trips, identifying best routes, and locking bikes: $950 (includes ride insurance, light refreshments, and staff time)

A final, proper, celebration to honor the impact that Roll Models and Women & Bicycles participants have and will have in their communities and personal lives: $1,000 (includes it’s a party and there’s no reason not to go big)

Our program will get women on bikes, rather than walking next to them.

That’s not all, of course. We’ll want to have swag on hand for Women & Bicycles participants–think highly visible stickers, T-shirts, banners, and buttons–and there will also be a launch party. But those figures above should give you a better idea of how your dollars will be used.

Remember that if you donate now through the end of the year, your donation will be matched up to a total of $4,000. So help us reach that match maximum by donating today.

Images via Brainpickings and Fashion Era

In Case You Missed It: There’s a $4,000 Match Grant for WABA’s Women & Bicycles Program!

Following an incredibly fun Hains Point century ride on Saturday, we were able to announce that, thanks a generous program supporter, donations to the WABA Women & Bicycles program through the end of the year will be matched up to a total of $4,000.

This means that, in the next five days, we need your contribution. You can donate to the program, which will aim to get more D.C.-area women on bikes, here.

Why is getting more women on bikes a critical cause?

  • In 2012, women represented just 22.7 percent of cyclists on the road in D.C. According to DDOT, that’s a slight drop since 2011.
  • In Women on Wheels, April Streeter writes, “New bike commuters are overwhelmingly male. Data reviewed by researchers John Pucher and Ralph Buehler show that almost all of the recent growth in cycling in the united states recently can be attributed to men between 25 and 64 years old. Pucher and Buehler found that cycling rates are just holding steady for women, and have fallen sharply for children.”
  • Our women’s bicycling forum identified three top barriers for getting women on bikes: safety (fear, safety concerns, inexperience/confidence, harassment), logistics (facilities, time commitment, weather, gear, money), and perception (misconceptions, double standards, and professionalism).

How is WABA going to fix these problems through the Women & Bicycles program?

  • Ten “Roll Models” will be selected to mentor women in their friend, family, church, and work groups
  • Roll Models and mentees will be invited to a series of bike dinner parties, group rides, and workshops that will mix practical advice and conversation about how to incorporate cycling into one’s lifestyle with socializing and low-key hanging out.
  • Non-participants will be kept abreast of the program, so they’ll learn more about the issues facing women on bikes and be inclined to encourage their friends and family to bike, regardless of gender.

We don’t want to sit around and talk about what’s discouraging women from biking, so we’ve created a program centered on peer-to-peer encouragement, information, and experience through events. Your support will ensure that we can make the dinner parties, group rides, and workshops that we’ve planned out happen successfully, and that we can reach as many women as possible. If you contribute before the end of the year, the $4,000 match grant will make your money stretch even further.

At 9:30 a.m. today, $705 had been donated to the Women & Bicycles program. Donate now and your dollars are worth double.

A Successful Hains Point 100 and a Very Merry Match Grant

Yesterday’s Hains Point 100 today, organized on the fly by WABA member Megan Jones, was a wonderful way to spend a chilly Sunday before Christmas. Megan, an absolute powerhouse who committed to riding a century around Hains Point to raise money for WABA’s Women & Bikes program, finished around 4:30 p.m. with a total of 102 miles and 32 laps.

Over 50 people kicked off the ride just after 10 a.m., and many more trickled in to check out the information tables and ride in circles for a bit. In total, 100 people rode throughout the day. Long-distance riders paced with casual cyclists, the wind scaled back its intensity, and while the temperature never quite warmed up, riding conditions and attitudes were sunny all around.

The Hains Point 100 raised over $1,500 for Women & Bikes—and plenty of awareness. At the ride’s start, the group appeared to be majority men, an accurate reflection of the gender breakdown of cycling. But plenty of women came out to ride; Outreach Coordinator Nelle Pierson was able to talk extensively to those interested about the program, which will officially launch in March.

Donations and raffle prizes were generously provided by Revolution Cycles, the Bike Lane, Java Shack, BicycleSpace, and Bike Arlington, and ride attendees pitched in plenty of delicious snacks and baked goods. We’d like to thank Megan many times over for her enthusiasm and dedication to WABA and Women & Bikes, as well as those who donated to the Hains Point 100.

Megan talks up Women & Bikes

Couldn’t make it? Read Chasing Mailbox’s writeup of the Hains Point 100 here, and check out some photos by other participants. Head over to the event’s Facebook page for miscellaneous pictures, memories, and comments (or to share your own!).

If you haven’t yet donated to Women & Bikes, your contribution can still make an incredible difference. Thanks a generous program supporter, donations to the WABA Women & Bikes Program through the end of the year will be matched up to a total of $4,000. If you’re interested in donating, please do so here.

About $550 of the money raised from the Hains Point 100 will be matched by the aforementioned grant. We’ll keep you updated on the progress of donations here, on Facebook, and on Twitter throughout the week. We’d love it if you considered donating before the end of 2012 to help us get more D.C.-area women on bikes.

 

Bring Lights to Cyclists in Your D.C.-Area Community

As many WABA members know, we–led by our D.C. Bike Ambassadors–annually give out hundreds of lights to cyclists who are riding unlit at night. This program is funded through by the District Department of Transportation, so the lights are given out only in D.C. It is a wonderful program, and we would love to expand it regionally and to targeted areas.

If your business or community organization would be interested in helping to fund the purchase of additional lights that can be used in other parts of the region or as part of additional outreach in D.C., please email us so that we can discuss the details. We will be placing our main order within the next couple of weeks, and we invite groups interested in helping to provide lights to be in touch.

 

Access to Justice for Bicyclists Act Passes D.C. Council

On Tuesday, as part of the D.C. Council’s marathon legislative session, the “Access to Justice for Bicyclists Act of 2012″ passed its second reading. This was the final point the bill needed to pass at the local level. The 30-day period of congressional review that applies to nearly all D.C. legislation will begin when the bill is signed by the Mayor.

The passage of this law is a big victory for D.C. bicyclists, as it will allow those who are intentionally assaulted on our roadways to seek redress in court. It will also bring consequences to motorists who inflict harm upon cyclists for using roadways. Too often, these cases have slipped through the cracks because criminal charges are not brought and the cyclist cannot afford legal representation. Thus, those who assault cyclists suffer no consequences.

The most difficult part of working at WABA is answering the phone and hearing of a cyclist who has been intentionally run off the road. We often hear of drivers shouting and cursing at cyclists simply for using a bike on the road and have until now had to admit that, in all likelihood, there are no real consequences for perpetrators of that kind of assault. Additionally, there’s been nothing to deter anyone from repeating the offense.

We are grateful to the D.C. Council for the passage of this law, and especially to Councilmember Tommy Wells, for initially introducing the bill, and to Chairman Phil Mendelson, for his work to improve it through the committee process.

Ride the Hains Point 100 for WABA’s Women & Bicycles Program

Will you be in town on Sun., Dec. 23? Ride the Hains Point 100!

WABA member Megan Jones will be riding 100 miles around Hains Point to raise money for WABA’s Women & Bicycles program, which will launch next year. Follow the steps to donate to Megan’s ride here, or bring cash on Sunday.

You don’t have to ride to donate, and you don’t have to commit to 100 miles to participate. Do as many laps of Hains Point as you’re comfortable with, move at your own pace, ride with a group, or ride solo—on whatever bike you want (we heard that Capital Bikeshare has even put together a relay team). Don’t hesitate to dress up or decorate your bike!

Do keep in mind that this is a largely unsupported ride, so you may be on your own for repairs, water, and snacks of your preference. Megan is casually crowdsourcing snacks and treats, however, so feel free to bring something to share and treat breaks in your ride like a big, communal picnic.

In-kind donations have been made by Revolution Cycles, Bike Arlington, New Belgium Brewing Company, Sticky Fingers Bakery, and the Java Shack. If you’re interested in contributing something, fill out this form.

A Facebook event with additional information is here, and you can follow the event on Twitter for real(ish)-time updates. RSVP for the ride here.

Gather at the southern end of Hains Point by 9:30 a.m. this Sunday, and be ready to ride at 10 a.m.!

How We Feel About Funding Bikeshare in Montgomery County

Last week, County Executive Ike Leggett sent to the Montgomery County Council a request for appropriation of county funds that, along with state funding and private-sector support, will fund the expansion of bikesharing into the County.

WABA fully supports the implementation and expeditious growth of bikesharing in Montgomery County.  Several outlets have recently suggested that WABA and local advocates called for a series of improvements prior to starting up bikesharing in Montgomery County. We do believe that there are significant infrastructure improvements needed in the county to maximize the opportunities presented by bikeshare, and to make bikesharing safe and appealing to a broader audience of potential cyclists. But those improvements are not a precondition to the expansion of bikesharing in the county. The lack of such infrastructure certainly does not prevent many from bicycling in Montgomery County today.

WABA supports bikesharing because it is a great way of getting more people to travel by bike. And we support improvements to infrastructure because they make bicyclists safer, and get more people to travel by bike. Bikesharing and infrastructure improvements are mutually supportive, so we hope the implementation of bikeshare and improvements to infrastructure combine to accelerate Montgomery County’s growth as a bike-friendly county.

For reference, read WABA’s most recent memorandum to Councilmember Nancy Floreen detailing infrastructure needs to support bikesharing.

WABA Bikeshare Memo

 

 

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