Wow it’s so much more fun to ride my bicycle after that!

‘Wow it’s so much more fun to ride my bicycle after that!’ is essentially the essence of WABA’s City Cycling classes!

Our City Cycling classes offer a relaxed, focused, and welcoming opportunity for beginner and experienced riders alike! After class we often hear students remarking how much better they feel riding their bike – how city streets, bike lanes, and trails aren’t such a big deal anymore and most of all, riding their bicycle is more fun than ever! And smiles, look at these smiles!

Each City Cycling class offers two tracks that students can self-select into when they arrive to class. The basics track focuses on techniques to make your ride go as smoothly as possible. The advance track focuses on techniques to avoid uncommon, but occasional, sticky situations.

At class you will have the opportunity to:

  • Feel more confident on a bicycle
  • Realize your bicycle dreams
  • Practice moves in a controlled space
  • Gain feedback from certified instructors (and give us feedback too!)
  • Make friends, go for a ride, and leave feeling like “Yeah, I can bike there now!”

“I entered this class thinking I would only learn a few things, but I ended up realizing that I had TONS of questions I wanted to ask them (and that they were happy to answer). I came away from the class feeling super knowledgeable and confident and eager to get riding!” – Feedback from a City Cycling Alumni

Come join us for one of our upcoming City Cycling classes!

Visit our website for more classes including our Adult Learn to Ride Classes!

Celebrate Kidical MASSIVE, The Worldwide Celebration Of Family Biking!

The international family biking movement is uniting on a single day to celebrate the joy of biking with children, and the DC area is leading the pack!

On Saturday, September 19th, Kidical Mass groups from Hungary to California are hosting rides to demonstrate that biking with kids is easy, safe, healthy and FUN. With seven groups in the area, the Greater Washington region boasts the highest concentration of Kidical Mass groups in the world, a testament to the recent explosion of families bicycling for fun and transportation throughout the region.

All seven groups will be involved in this MASSIVE event. In fact, Kidical MASSIVE will see the Washington region’s family biking scene grow with the inaugural ride of Kidical Mass Prince George’s County in College Park. Everyone is welcome on the rides – with or without children.


Four Ride Locations!
On Saturday, September 19 at 10am, rides will leave from:
Washington, D.C.: Stanton Park, hosted by Kidical Mass DC
Arlington, VA: LBJ Grove, hosted by Kidical Mass Arlington, Kidical Mass Alexandria, and Kidical Mass Falls Church
Gaithersburg, MD: Main Street Pavilion, hosted by Bike Gaithersburg and Kidical Mass Rockville
College Park, MD; Calvert Park, hosted by Kidical Mass Prince George’s County

About Kidical Mass
Kidical Mass is a safe and FUN bike movement for kids, kids at heart, and families of all types. The first ride was held in April 2008 in Eugene, Oregon, and now dozens of communities throughout North America and beyond have rides. These inclusive, family friendly rides take short, flat, safe routes through their communities. Usually, rides start and end parks, ice cream shops, pools, events, or other fun spots. More than 30 American Kidical Mass groups plan to take part in this MASSIVE event, from Buffalo, New York to Walla Walla, Washington and Brownsville, Texas. Internationally, more than 35 groups plan to ride along, in six countries.

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Bike Acronyms: A Glossary

Acronyms can make for soupy conversation.

At a recent Roll Model meeting, one of the attendees leaned over and asked, ‘What is an LCI?” It made me realize that we can use a lot of acronyms around people who have no idea what we are talking about. So this week, let’s look at a few of the most common acronyms you might hear if you spend a lot of time around people who ride bikes.

WABA – Washington Area Bicyclist Association. We help to build better bike lanes, better bike laws, and ultimately better bicyclists. Hello!

MTB – Mountain bike. These bikes are design for riding rough off-road trails. They usually have flat or upright handlebars and very low gears for pedaling up steep trails. Many mountain bikes have some type of shock absorbers or suspension. Not to be confused with:

MBT – The Metropolitan Branch Trail, which runs from Union Station to Silver Spring. Not to be confused with:

MVT – The Mount Vernon Trail, which goes from Rosslyn to Mount Vernon.

LAB – League of American Bicyclists. Created in 1880, the League represents bicyclists in the movement at the national level to create
 safer roads, stronger communities, and a bicycle-friendly America.

LCI – League Cycling Instructor. These instructors attend a rigorous course to be able to teach people to feel secure riding a bicycle, to create a mindset that bikes should be treated as a vehicle, and to ensure bicyclists know how to ride safely and legally.

MAMIL –  Middle Aged Man in Lycra.  Often used negatively to describe riders who emulate professional racers.

CAT 6 – Commute Racing. In an organized bike race, competitors are divided up by skill levels—Categories 1 through 5. “Cat 6-ing” refers to racing (often one-sidedly) in a transportational setting like a commute. Some people enjoy it, others find it annoying. WABA thinks you should have fun on your bike but not be rude to other road or trail users.

SAG – Support and Gear. A SAG vehicle follows a group of cyclists in a race, tour or recreational ride and may carry equipment, food, rider luggage, or mechanics. They may also carry riders who are unable to finish the ride.

TDF – Tour de France. The premier multi stage bicycling race held every July in France. Not be confused with:

TDF – Tour de Fat: The premier beer and bicycle carnival put on by New Belgium Brewing to raise money for local bicycling advocacy.

W&OD – The Washington and Old Dominion Trail. A very popular rail trial that runs between Shirlington, VA and ends in Purcellville, VA.

CCT – Capital Crescent Trail, A popular trail from Georgetown to Bethesda.

C&O – The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath, an unpaved trail from Georgetown to Harper’s Ferry and then on to Cumberland, Maryland. Popular for bike camping.

LBS–  Local bike shop

RT – right turn (usually appears on a cue sheet)

LT – left turn (usually appears on a cue sheet)

UT – U- turn (usually appears on a cue sheet)

n+1 –  A popular mathematical expression among starry-eyed bicyclists, n+1 = the number of bikes you should own, where n = the number of bikes you currently own. Not technically an acronym. Not technically true, either. But still popular.

You are now equipped to carry on conversations with your bikiest friends!



Chrome Industries is coming to DC


And they’re supporting WABA with 10% off their first month’s sales! Plus, they’re hiring! In their own words:

Chrome is very excited to be opening our latest Hub this Fall right in the Nation’s Capital. We’re exceptionally happy to be partnering with WABA who has been promoting cycling and advocating for cyclists in and around Washington DC since 1972!

For the first month once we open the doors of our new DC Hub, we’ll be donating 10% of all sales to WABA. So please come in and shop that month and know that you’re helping to further one of the greatest causes in DC!

We’re also looking for talented people to join our growing DC retail team! Please have a look at our job board and pass the word along to your friends as well:

Chrome hopes to open their DC Hub in October—we’ll let you know.


Recap: Clearing Kudzu on the Marvin Gaye Trail

What happens when you spend a few hours pulling vegetation? Good plants have an easier chance of growing, you get to know your community better and the trail is a more inviting place to be.

Trail Rangers and volunteers had a fabulous time last weekend uncovering a section of Marvin Gaye Park from destructive plants. In the process of removing a massive mound of vines, we saved trees from being choked to death, gave saplings a fighting chance for survival and turned a blanket of green into a healthier habitat. It was incredibly satisfying to give trees new life and find a park.

Somewhere, underneath the greenery, is the trail corridor we want.

Somewhere, underneath the greenery, is the park we want.

But it was not just the plants that benefited from our efforts – we had the pleasure of introducing the trail to more people and more trail users to the Trail Ranger program. And all before lunch! If you’d like to join us, our next cleanup will be on the Suitland Parkway Trail later this month. Sign up here.

Introducing The Center For Plastic Surgery, A WABA Business Member

WABA’s Business Members understand the importance of a community that bicycles. Their membership supports our advocacy, outreach and education. Our business members are committed to a sustainable future of our region and are adding their voice to a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses supporting WABA. Today meet The Center For Plastic Surgery.



Located in both Chevy Chase, MD and Annandale, VA The Center for Plastic Surgery (CPS) is a multi-doctor plastic surgery practice that has provided Washington D.C. area patients with safe and successful plastic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic services for decades. With a unique approach to plastic surgery, CPS strives to provide patients with thoughtful, caring, and comprehensive patient care. The surgeons and staff at CPS are committed to providing patients with the latest in safe, clinically proven minimally invasive and non-surgical technologies and treatments.

The CPS recently welcomed two new surgeons to the practice, James R. Bruno, MD, FACS & C. Coleman Brown MD, FACS.  Looking to check out treatments for the first time? Check out their seasonal September specials, like 20% off laser hair removal packages, a luxury HydraFacial® for $175, and more!

With two practice locations, the surgeons and staff at CPS often find themselves bouncing back and forth between Chevy Chase and Annandale which inspired them to create the best bike route between their centers.

They put together a fun, heart-pumping 90-minute bike ride filled with great local sights as well as places to refuel and hydrate. Click here to see the Ultimate CPS Bike Route, give it a try, and enjoy the trails, bike lanes, and great D.C. businesses along the way.



Do you own, work for, or patronize a business that is a good candidate for our business membership? For just $300 or $800 per year, you can show your support for a bike-friendly region and WABA’s advocacy and get all sorts of perks, including your very own blog post! Details here.

Biking and Gender-Based Street Harassment, It sucks


Things I heard on my bike ride the other day:
“Hey Baby- come over here,”
“Damn I wish I was that bicycle,”
“Get out of the road you stupid [gender expletive],”

Most bicyclists get yelled at, honked at, threatened, and experience near-misses or direct harm. We all have bike horror stories. Everyday roadway interactions take on different forms for Women, Women of Color, queer and trans women.  Being on a bike invites nuance in gender-based street harassment and the aftermath.

Sure, I feel much more safe on a bike than I do walking, especially at night, because I have the power to escape and often I can avoid the interaction in the first place. But when I’m on my bike I’m more visible, more physical, more assertive, and strong. I take the lane and wait beside lines of cars and packs of peoples at stop lights. I’ve re-wired my brain take up public space and wield my physical power. I stand out.

Ask a room full of women who bike about street harassment and you’ll hear a complete range and repetition of experiences: catcalls, whistles, kissy noises, offensive pick-up lines, offensive comments on our body or gender expression or race or sexual identity, belittling comments, attempts to look up skirts, attempts to grab your butt, actually being grabbed in the butt, being followed, the threat of physical harm, being chased off the road, and in the rare but very real case – physical harm.

Not only does harassment change when I’m on a bike, so do outcomes. Likely the person is in a car, likely I’m on a road that was designed for cars, likely they outweigh me by a few tons, and if they threaten my life with their car likely I’m in a jurisdiction with arcane and outdated legal structures designed for people in cars. If I get hit, hurts or emotionally scarred, likely society and society’s legal structure will tell me it was my fault. I invited it. I misinterpreted. I shouldn’t be biking at night. I should’ve taken a defense class. Why didn’t I have pepper spray. I should’ve been out with a group of friends. My clothing was inappropriate. Oh – come on, boys will be boys.

Physical harm is an extreme example, though a very real example. What’s more likely to happen is that over time the people who experience harassment regularly start to subconsciously and consciously change their own behaviors. Likely we smile and interact in public less. We change our route, change our routine, change our wardrobe, turn hurt, angry, bitter, and resentful. I know I have.

Women & Bicycles is holding our FREE 3rd-annual Biking and Street Harassment Workshop with the Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) open to all women, trans women, and gender non-conforming folks. We hope you can join us. Mark your calendars.

Click here to learn what CASS is doing in our region to stop street harassment. Click here to read the first National Report on Street Harassment.