How to be a bike advocate

It’s a big deal and people notice when 19,000+ bicyclists ride to work on a single day — including your elected representatives.

Make sure you register for Bike to Work Day now so you get counted, and put a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget to stop by your local pit stop on Friday, May 19th.

Bike to Work Day is your opportunity to advocate for bicycling by simply signing up and riding.

Sign up » 

Many local elected officials and decision makers will be in attendance at your local pit stop on Bike to Work Day. Councilmembers, County Board Supervisors, State Delegates, State Senators, Members of Congress or even a Senator might make an appearance. Important decision makers such as Directors of Transportation Departments, officials from State Highway and DOTs and other planners and traffic engineers could be at a pit stop too.

Here are some tips on how to be a bike advocate at your Bike to Work Day pit stop:

  • Know your elected officials and other decision makersUse our handy legislator look-up tool and be familiar with your representatives.
  • Ask them now if they are planning to attend Bike to Work Day – Send them a message and inquire if they are attending Bike to Work Day. Include in your message an invitation for them to attend a local pit stop.
  • Plan what you want to say – Practice your elevator speech. You’re only going to get 30 seconds to talk to them about biking. Introduce yourself, including where you live, and ask them to support a project or for their help in addressing an issue. Ask how to follow-up. Thank them for their support.
  • Introduce yourself at the pit stop – Identify the official and introduce yourself. Be respectful of others speaking with them and wait your turn to speak.
  • Thank them for attending and for their support of biking – Show your appreciation for their attendance of Bike to Work Day and general support of bicycling. It goes a long way to thank and appreciate people first. If they have recently supported a specific initiative, mention it and give credit where due.
  • Have an “ask” – What do you want them to do? Have a one sentence “ask.” Good examples include “could you send a letter of support to DOT about this bike trail?” or “please ask the state DOT to address the issue of biking on this road.”
  • Be respectful of their time (be quick!!) – You might only get 30 seconds or less. Officials and their staff have busy schedules and multiple appointments in a single day. Be respectful of their time at an event.
  • Follow-up that day – Make sure to ask how you can follow-up with them. Should you email them or is there a staffer who you should reach out to directly? Send a follow-up email that day!

And one last thing, don’t forget to register for Bike to Work Day: especially if you bike every day. This is the one day of the year to be counted (literally). Good luck being a bike advocate and have a great Bike to Work Day!

Event: Bike to Work Day
Date: Friday, May 19th, 2017
Location: Find your pit stop here. There are 86 pit stops across the region.
Time: Various times, but most pit stops are open from about 6:30am to 9:30am. Some are afternoon stops.
Cost: FREE! Don’t forget to register.
More Info:

Sign up » 

Register for Bike to Work Day!

Registration is open for Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19th, 2017. You should sign up!

Sign up 

Three reasons why you should participate:

1. FREE t-shirts, bagels, coffee, and smiles.
2. It’s super fun to be a part of something big: 19,500+ people biking to work.

Three reasons you should register online:

1. It shows your support for bicycling.
2. You want to make bicycling better (and showing your support bolsters WABA’s advocacy efforts to make biking better).
3. It helps elected officials, city governments, and local transportation departments recognize biking is important and normal.

Sign up

You can also learn more about Bike to Work Day on our website here or check out the regional Bike to Work Day event website here.

Tour de Fat is coming to DC on July 22!

We have a very exciting announcement to make: New Belgium Brewing’s “Fat Tire Presents the Tour de Fat” is coming to Washington, DC on July 22!

The traveling philanthropic beer, music and bike festival is a great fundraising opportunity for WABA. You should come! This super fun event helps us fund our bicycle advocacy and outreach efforts.

Vintage Trouble will headline the DC show, along with costumes, cirque performers, and lots of fun. This year, the event will be ticketed and tickets are available in advance online.

About the Tour de Fat:

Date: Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Time: 4:00pm to 9:00 pm

Where: 136 N St SE, Washington, DC

Tickets: Purchase tickets from New Belgium here.

For more information about the event, check out New Belgium’s Tour de Fat event page!

Proceeds from beer sales at Tour de Fat are donated to local bicycle non-profits: WABA, Black Women Bike DC, Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Phoenix Bikes, and Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling. We hope you will come dance, celebrate, have a blast, and drink a beer with us. See you on July 22nd!

Purchase Tickets

Register for Bike to Work Day!

We are excited to announce that registration for this year’s Bike to Work Day is now open. Sign up for this free event today!

Sign up » 

Bike to Work Day will take place on Friday, May 19th, 2017.

The region’s largest celebration of getting to work on two wheels, Bike to Work Day is an annual event that celebrates those who ride a bicycle. Whether you commute to work by bike every single day or just want to give it a try for the first time this year, this event celebrates you! This is the one day each year that our regions recognizes bicycling as an everyday form of transportation.

This year’s Bike to Work Day event will feature 86 pit stops across the region in Maryland, DC and Virginia. Registration for Bike to Work Day is always free, and includes a free t-shirt, food/drink at your pit stop, and the chance to win pit stop giveaways.

You can read more about Bike to Work Day here. And you can sign up and select your pit stop here.


Your winners of the 2017 Bicyclists’ Choice Awards

We held our third annual Bicyclists’ Choice Awards event on Tuesday, February 28th at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health, and the celebration was a huge success! Our host Tom Sherwood of NBC4 Washington graced the stage with humor and wit, and the awards event brought together close to 150 excited and passionate bicyclists, advocates, WABA supporters, VIPs, and award winners to celebrate the amazing achievements made in 2016 to make bicycling better in our region.

We want to thank Tom Sherwood for being a part of our event and making us laugh. Tom is a reporter for News4 specializing in politics and the DC government. He is the resident guest analyst each Friday on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi’s Political Hour. You can find Tom on Twitter at Tom, we will snap a photo of you stopping at the stop sign at Hains Point East Potomac Park one of these days,  just you wait.

Tom Sherwood of NBC4 Washington hosting the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards.

Thank you to everyone who came out to watch and support the awards show: the event could not have happened without you – your nominations, your votes and your interest in attending the event.

The Bicyclists’ Choice Awards is an important opportunity for WABA to recognize the people and places in our region that make bicycling great, and we were so happy that many of you were a part of it.

Continue reading to find out who won and to see photos from the event.

We are pleased to announce the nominees and winners of the publicly-chosen Bicyclists’ Choice Awards:

Nominees for the Best Improvement for Biking in 2016 in the District of Columbia:

  • Rehabilitation of Rock Creek Park Trail and Beach Drive underway
  • 14th St NW bike lane connection through Columbia Heights with striping and green paint
  • Northern extension of the 15th St NW Protected Bike Lane from W St to Euclid St NW alongside Meridian Hill Park
  • Completion of the new Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens segment of the Anacostia River Trail

DDOT accepts the award on behalf of the entities who worked on building and completing the trail, which include the District Department of Transportation, National Capital Parks East of the National Park Service, the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commision, and the US Department of Transportation.

Winner: Completion of the new Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens segment of the Anacostia River Trail!

Nominees for the Best Improvement for Biking in 2016 in Maryland:

  • C&O Canal Towpath resurfacing near Great Falls
  • Safety improvements at Capital Crescent Trail crossing of Little Falls Parkway
  • New protected bike lane in White Flint on Nebel Street
  • Repaving of Sligo Creek Trail

Michael Riley, Director of Parks for Montgomery County, accepts the award.

Winner: Safety improvements at Capital Crescent Trail crossing of Little Falls Parkway!

Nominees for the Best Improvement for Biking in 2016 in Virginia:

  • Wilson Boulevard protected bike lane and improvements
  • Custis Trail and W&OD Trail maintenance and repaving
  • BikeArlington’s support and promotion of bicycling during Safetrack
  • Capital Bikeshare expansion in Fairfax County and to Tysons and Reston

Kevin Stalica, Park Manager at Arlington County, accepts the award.

Winner: Custis Trail and W&OD Trail maintenance and repaving!

Nominees for the Bike Friendliest Neighborhood or Business Improvement District in 2016:

  • Capitol Riverfront/Yards Park, DC
  • NoMa, DC
  • Crystal City, VA
  • Golden Triangle, DC

Bonnie Wright, Marketing & Communications Manager for the Capitol Riverfront BID, accepts the award on behalf of the BID.

Winner: Capitol Riverfront/Yards Park, DC!

Nominees for the Best Bike Shop in 2016:

  • The Bike Rack
  • BicycleSPACE
  • Proteus Bicycles
  • Bikenetic
  • Gearin’ Up Bicycles

Laurie Lemieux, co-owner of Proteus Bicycles, accepts the award.

Winner: Proteus Bicycles!

Nominees for the Best Social Ride in 2016:

  • The Tweed Ride
  • DC Bike Party
  • Kidical Mass
  • BicycleSPACE Cupcake Ramble
  • DC Bike Ride
  • Proteus Sunday Morning Coffee Ride

Laurie Lemieux, co-owner of Proteus Bicycles, accepts her second award of the night.

Winner: Proteus Sunday Morning Coffee Ride!

Nominees for the Bike Friendliest Business in 2016:

  • District Taco
  • The Java Shack
  • Vigilante Coffee Company
  • Right Proper Brewing Company
  • Swing’s Coffee
  • Filter Coffeehouse

Winner: District Taco!

Nominees for the Biggest Bicycle Advocacy Win of 2016 in the District of Columbia:

  • The Downtown West Transportation Study on protected bike lanes on Pennsylvania Ave west of the White House
  • New York Ave Trail Concept Plan
  • Passage of the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2016
  • Passage of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act (which fixes contributory negligence for vulnerable road users)

Accepting the award on behalf of the DC Council is Tony Goodman, Councilmember Grosso’s Chief of Staff.

Winner: Passage of the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act!

Nominees for the Biggest Bicycle Advocacy Win of 2016 in Maryland:

  • Dedicated funding for bicycle infrastructure (a $9 million increase in bike/ped funding over next 6 years) in Montgomery County’s budget
  • Montgomery County commits to Vision Zero
  • Prince George’s County Trails Master Plan
  • Silver Spring Circle planning

Councilmember Hans Reimer accepts the award.

Winner: Dedicated funding for bicycle infrastructure in Montgomery County’s budget!

Nominees for the Biggest Bicycle Advocacy Win of 2016 in Virginia:

  • New Transportation Master Plan for Alexandria
  • Passage of the dooring bill that made dooring illegal in Virginia
  • Bikeshare expansion to Reston and Tysons in Fairfax County

Winner: Passage of the dooring bill that made dooring illegal in Virginia!

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners of the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards.

We are pleased to announce and honor the winners of the WABA Awards:

WABA Advocate of the Year Award: Chris Slatt, Chair of the Arlington County Transportation Commission and WABA’s Arlington Action Committee

Chris Slatt receives the Advocate of the Year Award for his dedication and hard work on the transportation commission and the Bike Friendly Ballston campaign. 

Chris Slatt wins Advocate of the Year.

WABA Future Trails Award: Tara Morrison, Superintendent of National Capital Parks-East, National Park Service

Tara Morrison receives the Future Trails Award for championing the Rock Creek Park trail rehabilitation while superintendent of Rock Creek Park.

Tara Morrison wins the Future Trails Award.

WABA Biking for All Award: Jessie Webb, DC Department of Parks and Recreation

Jessie Webb receives the Biking for All Award because of how much he has gone above and beyond to promote bicycling in his community and for being such a positive internal advocate at DPR. Jessie started a youth bike club at the Benning Park Rec Center, sought out additional training as a bike educator and became a League Cycling Instructor, expanded his bike club program to adults, and trained additional DPR staff.

Jessie Webb wins the Biking for All Award.

WABA Protecting Bike Lanes Award: Patricia Shepard, Montgomery County Department of Transportation Engineer

Patricia Shephard receives the Protecting Bike Lanes Award for leading Montgomery County’s efforts on installing protected bike lanes in the County, including the Woodglen and Nebel Street protected bike lane projects.

Pat Shepard wins The Protecting Bike Lanes Award.

WABA Volunteer of the Year Award: Lesly Jones

Lesly Jones receives the Volunteer of the Year Award because year after year, she continues to help and support WABA and our mission to make bicycling better. Lesly is committed to positive bicycling and going above and beyond for WABA

WABA Community Organizer Award: Dustin Scott, Color of Cycling Organizer

Dustin Scott receives the Community Organizer Award for being a shining star within the bike community and organizing the local Color of Cycling rides. This award recognizes your tireless work to bring together people who bike and to build up, strengthen, and grow the DC bike community.

Dustin Scott wins Community Organizer of the year.

WABA Public Leadership Award: DC Councilmember Mary Cheh

Councilmember Mary Cheh receives the award for Public Leadership for championing contributory negligence and for her dedication and support of making bicycling better and safer in the District.  

DC Councilmember Mary Cheh wins the Public Leadership Award.

Tom Sherwood of NBC4 Washington will host the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards

We are excited to announce that Tom Sherwood of NBC4 Washington will host this year’s Washington Area Bicyclists’ Choice Awards on February 28th.

Photo Courtesy of NBC Washington

The Awards will take place at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health on Tuesday, February 28th from 7:30-9:00pm. Anyone is welcome to attend the party and admission is free. There will also be complimentary food from Cava as well as beer and wine. We hope that you will celebrate the people and places that make our region a great place to bike. If you wish to attend, please RSVP for the Awards event here.

It is also the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards and that means that we need YOU to decide the winners. Voting will be open through February 21st. Vote for your favorites here.

Additional information about our annual Bicyclists’ Choice Awards can be found here.

Nominate your favorites!

Nominations for the third Annual Washington Area Bicyclists’ Choice Awards are now open and we want to hear from you:


The Bicyclists’ Choice Awards is WABA’s way of celebrating the people and organizations that are working to make bicycling safer, easier, and more popular. Plus, we just want another excuse to party with you.

We want YOU to tell us who you think is the “Best of the Best” when it comes to biking: the bike lanes, policies, and infrastructure that you love; your favorite shop; your favorite social ride; the bike friendliest business you know, and more.

Nominate your favorites, and RSVP for the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards event, today! You can read more info about the Awards event here.

Nominations will be open through Friday, January 27th. Voting for the winners of the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards will be open from Tuesday, January 31st through Friday, February 17th. Winners will be announced at the event in late February. More details about the exact date and location of the Awards event are coming soon.