We are sad to learn and to announce that there will be no 2013 Bike DC ride. Despite a nearly yearlong effort by the event operator, it was not possible to secure the necessary approvals from the Mayor’s Special Events Task Group and the National Park Service to hold the ride.
The inability to secure permits also means the inability to secure sponsors or sell tickets to pay for the significant costs of holding such an event. Therefore, it is impossible to proceed.
This is a significant blow for WABA’s work to promote bicycling in the DC region. Bike DC is the region’s primary opportunity for residents of all ages and abilities to ride bikes on streets closed to automotive traffic. It’s critical as an entry point to attracting new people to bike regularly for transportation. Canceling Bike DC is a step in the wrong direction for biking in the region. We know this, and we know that this leaves the D.C. area without a significant, closed-streets community ride or open-streets event.
This is also a significant financial blow for WABA. As the beneficiary of Bike DC, the event is one of our primary fundraisers and a key opportunity to grow our membership. Nonetheless, we will continue to grow bicycling in the region and continue to push for the trails, infrastructure, and protections for bicyclists to make every ride as safe and comfortable as a closed-streets ride—while also pushing back against the permitting rules that have ceded so much of our public space to automotive traffic that community bicyclists cannot enjoy streets car-free for even one morning.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our many other events, classes, meetings, clinics, or volunteer nights throughout the season, and we appreciate your ongoing support as we continue to serve our mission while working to overcoming this community-wide and organizational setback.
Any insights as to why the approvals were not issued? If this was simply a denial without reason or pushback from the Mayor's office or NPS it would be nice to know. As a DC resident, I would want to do what I can to contact the appropriate official to voice my displeasure.
Really sad to hear this. I participated in the event last year for the first time, and as a new cyclist, the family-length was the longest, most challenging ride I've done to date. It was so much fun to ride on roads that are normally inaccessible to bikes, and to challenge myself. I let several out of state people know, and it will certainly be a loss to DC's economy that these folks will now not be travelling to DC.