‘Tis the season…to add more lights

Riding a bike around Washington, DC can be a bit intimidating, for sure. But, if you keep your eyes up and take in some of the sites, it can also be awe inspiring. WABA wants to inspire you during this dark and cold season by riding around downtown DC and take in some of the more impressive light displays on the Lighting the Way community ride.

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Unlike some of our big signature rides WABA community rides are usually shorter weeknight events, sort of the bike equivalent of taking a stroll. Generally a dozen or two riders will ride 4 – 6 miles at a conversational mosey. No one gets left behind, no matter their skill level, and we stop a few times to discuss different riding scenarios and take in some beautiful sights one can only enjoy while riding a bike.

So clear your calendar next Wednesday, December 14th and join us. The ride will begin at 7th and Indiana Ave NW, by the Archives Metro station (map). We will depart shortly after 6:30 p.m. In addition to taking in some scenic lights, we will also be giving them away! Thanks to the DC Bike Ambassadors, we have a number of bike lights to give away to to riders we see along the route that don’t have any lights on their bike.

Finally, since the highly anticipated WABA Member Holiday Party is the same night, after the ride ends near City Center DC, a group of people will continue on to Boundary Stone, to arrive around 8:30 p.m.

The 5th Annual Hains Point 100 is December 18th!

It’s gray and cold and wet outside today, but soon you too can be as happy as these people:

That’s right, the 5th Annual Hains Point 100 is almost here! This year’s event will be on Sunday, December 18th, and you can find all the details at the official website: www.hainspoint100.com

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What is the Hains Point 100?

This fabulous event began five years ago when Megan Jones decided to ride 100 miles around Hains Point in East Potomac Park to raise awareness and funds for WABA’s Women & Bicycles program. Since then, hundreds of riders and their friends have joined in, lending their voices and leg muscles to spread the word about our program.

How do I get involved?

Participating is easy! Simply sign up to ride and the choices are up to you!

  • Ride 100 miles around the park loop (about 33 laps)
  • Ride 100 kilometers (about 19 laps)
  • Ride for  100 minutes
  • Have fun with 100 new friends (bike a few laps, take photobooth pictures, eat pie!)
  • High-five 100 people
  • Tweet 100 times with the hashtag #hp100
  • Get 100 people to donate
  • Bring 100 friends to the event
  • The possibilities are endless…

Anything else?

Still on the fence, huh?  Nelle and I can help! Look, here’s a handy checklist of reasons why you should ride:

  1. Choose-your-own-adventure ride. Start when you want. Ride as long as you want. Stop for snacks and prizes.  Pet people’s dogs.  Ride funny bikes.  Drafting is legal.  Time trials are legal.  Slow rides are legal.  
  2. It’s impossible to get lost or off-track.  The route goes around Hains Point… and around, and around. No electronic devices needed… but if you ARE on Strava, it will be hilarious.  
  3. Did someone say snacks? There’s potluck snacks… and I even hear there’s a pie guy coming.
  4. Look at all the awesome ride sponsors! Must. Win. Door Prize.  
  5. Ride with the finest of D.C.’s bike advocacy community, including all those people you’ve only gotten to see on Facebook or in the news. And you’ll bond over the fact that we have survived 2016, and we are still kicking it in DC, riding our bikes in circles in the wind around a peninsula in December.
  6. This is a locally organized, sustainable, homegrown, organic event, coordinated by one very dedicated supporter of the Women & Bicycles program.  
  7. You’ll get bragging rights for riding 100 somethings around Hains Point.
  8. What a great opportunity to practice your counting. One hundred miles is 33 laps! 100 Minutes is 100!  One minute is 60 seconds!  Do you have kids who like to count?  The Hains Point 100 is the perfect event for them!
  9. Normalize winter riding! Mittens, gloves, fun scarves, reindeer horns on your helmet…
  10. Your donations to the Hains Point 100 will help get more women on bikes. One hundred percent of the ride proceeds will be donated to WABA’s Women & Bicycles program, helping to fund another year of dedicated outreach.

DDOT Installs Safer Sidewalk on the Interim Metropolitan Branch Trail

Sometimes change is dramatic, like the opening of Kenilworth section of the Anacostia River Trail. But the small modifications can have a big impact as well – that one pothole that scares you, the fantastic new bike repair stand, a repaired streetlight. The Metropolitan Branch Trail saw a few great improvements this fall that we wanted to highlight.

New lighting in the pipeline

One of the new LEDs being tested

Durability and reliability of the lighting has posed a challenge on the trail. The original solar lights installed weren’t up to the test with easily broken fixtures and an inadequate power supply from the solar panels. Earlier this year, many of the poles were hard-wired and temporary fixtures installed from Edgewood St NE to T St NE. A new round of work has been done in the last few weeks to continue this farther south, and now poles are wired until south of R St NE. The trail is brighter with more reliable lighting but the final solution is still in the works. Two new LED fixtures were installed on the trail at the S St intersection two weeks ago for testing. Should they be up to the job, the trail will get new and much improved fixtures.

A Brand New Sidewalk

It’s been the talk of the trail – there is a new climbing sidewalk on Fort Totten Drive from Bates Rd NE to Crittenden St NE! We worked with DDOT in an effort to get it installed before Safetrack Surge 10 increased trail traffic and are delighted to see it become a reality. Previously, riders had to cross the street and use the narrow west sidewalk or the far more common choice, ride in the road up the short steep hill. It was decidedly unpleasant. The new sidewalk is designed so that climbing riders can get up without competing for roadspace with the dump trucks and other vehicles.

Pothole Free R St NE

Speaking of new paving, the entrance to R St NE was repaved! The roadway had been cracked and broken for years.

Northern Trail Extension

DDOT is still in the design process for Phase 1 of the Metropolitan Branch Trail extension from Bates Rd NE to Gallatin St NE. We will continue to keep you updated when more is known, sign up for updates on the campaign page.

Feedback and Reporting

If you could change or add one small thing about your trail, what would it be? A trash can, bench, new sign? I’ve been mulling over things but want to know what sticks out for you! We’re curious to know.

See something that needs to be fixed? Check out our resources on maintenance reporting.

You’re invited: WABA Member Holiday Party!

When: Wednesday, December 14th from 6:00-10:00pm

Where: Boundary Stone, 116 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC

Who: WABA Members and your family and friends

RSVP: Join the Holiday Party event on Facebook and invite your WABA friends

All WABA members are invited to join the WABA Staff, Board of Directors, and your fellow WABA Members on Wednesday, December 14th at Boundary Stone in DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood for an evening of bicycle cheer.

Come eat and drink and be merry with us in celebration of this year’s advocacy successes and mingle with fellow WABA members.

The party is free and there will be food and drink specials available for you to purchase at the bar.

*Please note this party is for WABA Members and their close friends and family. WABA is a member supported non-profit organization and your yearly membership dues fund our ongoing advocacy and outreach work. If you have friends that are not WABA Members, bring them and encourage them to become a WABA member at the party!*

Thank you EYA!

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WABA would like to give a great big bicycle thank you to EYA for their support of better bicycling, their title sponsorship of The 2016 Cider Ride, and for bringing out an awesome EYA team to ride along with us last weekend on the Cider Ride.

EYA is WABA’s biggest signature ride event supporter. As the Title Sponsor of our fall community ride event for 2016, 2017, and 2018, EYA is making it possible for WABA to hold ride events that not only bring people together to celebrate bicycling, but also raise support for our on-going advocacy efforts to make bicycling better. EYA is a regional developer with a focus on bicycle and pedestrian friendly urban homes and communities.

Since 1992, EYA has earned recognition for introducing innovative and thoughtfully designed new homes in DC metro area neighborhoods that offer life within walking distance. They share a lot of common goals with WABA members to reduce dependence on cars and encourage new opportunities for more sustainable living.

Thank you so much EYA!

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Alexandria Takes Universal Bike Education For a Spin

 

youth on bikes in PE class in Alexandria

Youth riding during PE class

In September, WABA’s Youth & Family Education team trained eight Alexandria City Public School PE teachers for their first year of teaching third graders how to ride bicycles! For the 2016-17 school year ACPS will conduct a pilot program called Bicycling in the Schools—based upon the highly successful Biking in the Park Cornerstone program in DC Public Schools. The intent of these programs is to provide universal bike training and safety education to all students.  WABA is actively advocating for programs like this across the region.

Alexandria begin their program with 150 students in third grade at Mount Vernon Community School in Del Ray this fall.  It was such a hit with the teachers and students that it was immediately expanded to include all 4th and 5th graders, for 450 youth on bikes. That adds up to 120,000 student class-minutes of bike time! Wowzers!

Watch for more youths and their families enjoying the fantastic off-street Potomac Yard Trail between Braddock Rd. and the Four Mile Run trail. And if your children have been a part of an in-school bike education program, we’d love to work with you to help your community support riding after the school’s program ends. Please email youth@waba.org.

 

Helmets lined up as they would be for a class.

Helmets lined up as they would be for a class.

 

It’s Bike Light Blitz 2016

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The end of Daylight Savings Time is nearly upon us! There’s often an uptick in traffic crashes after the time change, so WABA is spending next week distributing bicycle lights. Our goal is to get bicycle lights in the hands (and onto the handlebars) of folks who are riding without them. If you’ve already got bike lights but still want to be part of the fun, stop by to pick up a pair to give away next time you see someone who needs them.  If you are interested in helping the DC Bike Ambassadors distribute these lights please join us at one of our pop up locations next week:

Spread the bike light love!

Here’s where we’ll be 11/7 -11/10:

  • Monday, 5-7pm we’re at 15th & P Street NW
  • Tuesday, 5-7pm we’re at Union Station (The First Street protected bike lane, in front of the Postal Museum)
  • Wednesday 5-7pm we’re at 3201 Benning Rd NE
  • Thursday 5-7pm we’re at the Key Bridge, on the Georgetown  Side.

Light tips:

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When you’re riding on a trail, be aware of the angle of your front light. Modern LEDs can be quite bright, and you don’t want to blind on coming trail users.

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