The First Anacostia Bike Clinic of the Season was AWESOME.

Clinic Takeover!

This season’s East of the River Bike Clinics are off to an awe-inspiring start!

During these clinics, co-organized and co-hosted by District Public Libraries, The Bike House, WABA, and Capitol Hill Bikes,  we provide bike tips, tricks and trivia, and get people engaged in the bike advocacy process. Thanks to our great team of coordinators and partners, clinic patrons get paired up with a mechanic and gain wisdom from their “each one teach one” approach. They learn how to work on their own bike and get it ready to go!

This past Saturday, with the help of 12 volunteers (including special guest mechanic MPD Officer Bear and Eric) we were able to get 48 bikes up and running and folks out to ride!

Thank you New Belgium for an amazing Tour de Fat!

TdF Bike Pit

Now that everyone has recovered from spending an entire Saturday saturated with bicycles, beers and bemusement, we want to say a truly heartfelt THANK YOU to New Belgium Brewing for bringing the Tour de Fat bicycle festival to Washington, DC for the fourth year in a row. We are very excited to announce that the DC Tour de Fat raised $65,000 for local bicycle non-profits!!!

WABA is very grateful for New Belgium’s support for making the Washington, DC region a better place to ride a bike. Check out New Belgium’s recap of the DC Tour de Fat here.

And also a big thank you to everyone who attended the Tour de Fat, rode in the group ride, brought a friend or family member with you, enjoyed a beer (or two) and helped us to raise a tremendous amount of money that WABA will use to advance our mission of advocating for better bicycling across the region.

We really appreciate the help and support of our partner non-profits (Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Black Women Bike DC, Phoenix Bikes, and Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling), and we’re happy to be able to share the proceeds of the event with them to further bicycling across the entire region and for bicyclists of all ages.

The Tour de Fat was an amazing way to wrap up this year’s Bike Month!

Check out some of our photos from the Tour de Fat this year, and while you wait for the bemusement to return next summer, go out and enjoy the ride:

How do bikes, field trips, and ice cream sound?

Great?

Greeeeaaaaat!

We’re looking for a few super stellar, dynamic, fun-loving volunteers to assist with our action-packed, ice cream studded, adventure seeking BIKE CAMP!

Bike Camp runs from July 13 – 24 on weekdays. We ask that folks who are interested in volunteering commit to riding with us for at least two days, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

We’d especially love for folks who have youth development, teaching, or outdoor education experience to join us.

Still interested?

Sign up to come to Bike Camp Volunteer Orientation on Tuesday, July 7, from 6 – 8 p.m.!

If you have any questions, please email us at education@waba.org.

Welcoming Renée Moore, Our New Women & Bicycles Coordinator!

Hello!

I’m Renée Moore, the new coordinator for WABA’s Women & Bicycles program, a community of 3,500 women working to inspire more women to bike, teach, lead, and advocate in our region. I get to do all the work to bring people together. Starting now I’m coordinating our monthly workshops, bike rides, social events, and our volunteer Roll Models; the women who volunteer to be bike mentors to friends in their networks. Click here if you’re interested in becoming a Roll Model!

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I’m so happy to be here and work to share the power of biking. It’s very important to me. Riding my bike is my favorite activity and it all started here in D.C. I was able to get rid of a gym membership, avoid parking tickets, lose 37 pounds, and have fun all while getting places around the city.

At 6 years old, I ran into a parked car on my bike and my grandfather took my bicycle away from me- forever. For years I would see others riding and think, “wow, that looks like so much fun.” Finally, when I was 25, a guy asked me on a date and asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to learn to ride a bike. He looked surprised and said cool ok! We went to Georgetown, rented a bike and within 2 hours I was riding along the waterfront all by myself. I was free and I loved it. I even signed up for a triathlon knowing I didn’t know how to swim. I learned to swim and competed in a few tris and enjoyed it as well. I rode a lot but only in races and on trails. In fact, I only saw biking as a recreational activity. In 2008, I started Sassy Sisters Cycling on Meetup for women who wanted to get together and ride trails. It grew to over 1000 ladies in just 2 years!

In 2013, I took my bicycling group to a workshop with Black Women Bike DC, a workshop on how to bike in the city during the winter. I sat in the back the entire time thinking, “ok, there is no way I am riding in DC streets; that is just crazy!” The four or five times we talked about why bicyclists fare best when they ride in the streets I sat there shaking my head. I decided to take the class again in the spring and this time we went on a ride after the workshop.  I found it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. But in September, my mom had a stroke. Luckily, she caught it in time and I got her in George Washington Hospital. Unfortunately, the parking was $22! I told my mom that I was going to ride my bike to see her rather than spend $154 / week parking the car to come visit her. And I did! I fell in love with riding in DC. I was saving money. I was getting outside. It was therapeutic.

A few months after my mom’s stroke and riding in DC, I signed up to be a Women & Bicycles Roll Model. In order to get out and recruit mentees, I created a whole new bike group called Bicycling and the City on Meetup.  We get together to ride to events like kayaking, yoga, movies,  exhibits, and more! My goal was to show women that they can use bicycling as transportation and not just as recreation. We have over 100 members now!

I’m excited to be organizing and representing Women & Bicycles, a community I’ve been learning from and supporting since I found my new passion!

See you in the bike lanes,
Renée

 

Introducing the Summer 2015 Trail Ranger Team!

Trail Ranger Team

Summer is upon us which means the Trail Rangers are back!  We are excited to announce the 2015 Trail Ranger Team (L-R) – John Andreoni, Me (Ursula Sandstrom), Tamara Evans, Ra Amin, Diana Daisey, and Jason Horowitz.  You can meet some of the team and have a cup of coffee tomorrow, June 12th at Trail Ranger Coffee Hour. We will be on the Met Branch Trail, at the S St. park from 7:30 – 8:30 am.  Please come by and say hello!

Now in its third season, the Trail Ranger team can be spotted on the Met Branch, Anacostia Riverwalk, Marvin Gaye, and Suitland Parkway Trails daily during the morning and evening rush on weekdays as well as weekends.  Equipped with a host of trail information, bike tools and first aid supplies, they are always ready to lend a hand when you need it most.  The team also works to maintain and improve trail corridors, ensuring that irksome glass, obstacles, and tree branches are out of your way.  A regular Trail Ranger presence means smoother trail surfaces, a faster response to trail disruptions, and fewer barriers that might keep hesitant riders away.

In just the last few weeks, the team has reclaimed a number of spots on the trails from the spring vegetation growth, and removed other obstacles that had built up over the last few months.

 Suitland Parkway @ Pomeroy Suitland Parkway @ Pomeroy

The Sheridan Rd SE sidewalk entrance of the Suitland Parkway is now navigable.

Benning BridgeBenning Bridge

While the Anacostia Riverwalk connection at Benning Rd SE near Kingman Island is wide enough to allow trail users to pass each other safely.

Fixing a flat

And three cyclists on the Met Branch have been able to reach their destinations in a timely manner with the help of our flat tire repairs.

ART team

In the coming weeks, we will unveil our schedule of cleanup events aimed at bringing trail users and neighbors together to keep DC’s trails looking great.  In the meantime, if you see a green shirt pulling a yellow trailer, be sure to give us a wave!

DC’s newest and safest bicyclists are at Benning Park

In the fall, we started the Benning Park Bike Club — an innovative afterschool program for youth at Benning Park Recreation Center.

This spring, we were happy to bring Bike Club back to Benning Park. Over six weeks, we rode with a group of engaged youth, taught safe bicycling practices and bike fixing strategies, and explored the neighborhood on our own two wheels. We rode over 10 miles, and our adventures culminated with a scavenger hunt and an ice cream party.

Below, meet some of DC’s newest and safest bicyclists.

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Special thanks to Jessie Webb, whose facilitation made this program possible, and to the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Want a bike club at your school, recreation center or youth-serving organization? We’d love to be in touch — email us at education@waba.org.

Where would you like new trails in Prince George’s County?

Photo: Leah L Jones

Photo: Leah L Jones

With over 100 miles of bike and walking trails, Prince George’s County already has some excellent spaces for recreation and transportation. But it is a big county, and those trails only go so far and reach so many residents.

Over the next 25 years, the Department of Parks and Recreation hopes to dramatically expand the current trail system to an impressive 400 miles. They want your help to plan where these new trails should go, where new connections are needed, and what they should look like.

The Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting three open houses in June to discuss its Trails Master Plan. The open houses will help drive the discussion to customize trails to include features that residents want most. A key goal for the plan is to make at least one trail within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from most residents.

We hope you can attend one of the meetings. Together, we can shape the future of biking in Prince George’s County!

South County
Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Tucker Road Ice Rink
1770 Tucker Rd, Fort Washington, MD 20744

North County
Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Parks and Recreation Administration Building
660 Kenilworth Ave, Riverdale, MD 20737

Central County
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Lake Arbor Community Center
10100 Lake Arbor Way, Mitchellville, MD 20721

For more information on the Trails Master Plan, visit www.pgparks.com/TrailsMasterPlan.html