Celebrating 15 Years of 50 States

On Saturday, September 8th, WABA hosted the 50 States Ride!

Despite wet weather predictions, hundreds of riders joined us to pedal one of three routes and explore the District by bike! While the rain eventually did materialize, it did nothing to dampen spirits—riders made their way around the city, ticking off state-named avenues one by one on the 50 States, Route 66, and 13 Colonies routes. Afterward, participants celebrated the ride’s 15th year at Mellow Mushroom, collected a free drink and t-shirt, and basked in the glow of the day’s accomplishments—and plenty of hills.

To all the riders: thank you for supporting WABA! Like all signature rides, the proceeds from the 50 States Ride directly fund the hard work that WABA is doing to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better trails and more bike lanes. Thank you.

If you want to get more involved with WABA, sign up for our advocacy alerts, join us for a City Cycling class, or volunteer at an event. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the Cider Ride on November 3rd!

We’ve collected some photos from the ride below, but, first, a final shoutout to our sponsors:

Enjoy these highlights from this year’s 50 States Ride!

 

What’s new with 50 States?

This year marks the 15th anniversary of WABA’s legendary 50 States Ride. First started in 2003, the 50 States Ride holds many superlatives. It’s WABA’s longest-standing signature event. It’s WABA’s biggest and most popular ride. It’s a local institution, coming in at #1 in Andrea Sieger’s “111 Places in Washington That You Must Not Miss”. For anyone new to the ride, it’s best described as an “urban scavenger hunt, by bike”.

The 50 States Ride is a well-loved tradition, but we think there’s room for some updates to keep things interesting. So, this year, we’ll be adding a few new features:

Route 66: If you’ve already registered, you saw that we’ve added a third route option. Route 66 is a 35-mile route that tours the eight streets named for states that the original US Route 66 passed through. You’ll ride these states in geographical order, east to west, without riding on any other state streets in the District. Route 66 is a middle distance option between the two classic routes, 50 States and 13 Colonies. But, don’t worry, there are still plenty of hills. Welcome to the new American road trip! We hope you enjoy it.

“State Style” Costume Contest: With Tour de Fat not coming to DC this year, there’s a vacuum where silliness on bikes is concerned. We want to recapture some of that silliness, so we’re running a contest: dress up in a costume, show off your style, or highlight your wacky or unique bike. The theme is *states*, so you can choose to show off your home state, or you can interpret the theme more broadly: state of mind, stately, etc. Full costumes may or may not be your thing—full costumes, team tutus, helmet decorations, or a simple state-themed jersey are all welcome*.

Rules: To enter the contest, just post a picture of yourself, all costumed up, during the ride to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, with #statestyle #50statesride by 6pm on the day of the ride. We’ll decide on the best costume, and the winner will get a free one-year membership, a 50 States VIP cycling cap, and a social media shoutout that will bring them everlasting fame and fortune.

*Please don’t dress up as anything offensive. This contest is for fun, and we’d really hate for you to bring the mood down for other people.

Scavenger Hunt: The 50 States route has always been a bit of a scavenger hunt. You explore the city, get lost, and find your way again, seeing new places in the city along the way. But unless you have the world’s greatest sense of direction, you don’t always really know where you are, or anything about the place. We want to give you the chance to know the District even better and add another level of fun—through an actual scavenger hunt! The hunt will be included in your cue sheet booklet. It’s totally optional, but it will be a fun way to connect with the neighborhoods you’re riding through.

Here’s to the next 15 years of riding 50 States!

Celebrate Bike Month with business member Island Press

As the leading nonprofit publisher of books about the environment, Island Press supports WABA’s vision of making bicycling safer, easier, and more accessible and is a proud Leadership Level business member. And with a staff full of bicycling enthusiasts, we love to publish books that address our shared goals.

You may have read some of our recent bike-centric books, such as Bike Boom by Carlton Reid, Start-Up City by Gabe Klein (also the keynote speaker at the 2018 Vision Zero Summit!), and our newest biking book, Copenhagenize by Mikael Colville-Andersen.

Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism is a fun and visual guide to show cities how to effectively re-establish the bicycle as a respected, accepted, and feasible form of transportation. In his book, Mikael offers project descriptions and stories of best practices alongside beautiful photos to illustrate how to make the bicycle an easy, preferred part of everyday urban life.

“The first step in bicycle urbanism is to think bicycle first…We have been thinking car first for decades and that worked pretty well for motorists and the engineers who cater to them. Now it’s time to switch it up. It’s time to change the question.”

-Mikael Colville Andersen in Copenhagenize

Island Press will be celebrating Copenhagenize throughout May to celebrate bike month and our annual sweepstakes. This year, the grand prize is a trip for two to Washington, DC and two tickets to WABA’s annual 50 States and 13 Colonies Ride! The second place prize is a Fortified bike, and each week we’re giving away a Patagonia biking pack. We will also spotlight a different city with successful bicycle infrastructure alongside the work of local bike organizations on the ground. Enter the sweepstakes each week to increase your chances of winning and to see what city is next on our list!

Enter the sweepstakes by joining our newsletter and entering your zip code https://islandpress.org/bike.  If you’re ready to take a deeper dive into Mikael’s book, you can use the 25% off discount code BIKES to purchase it from the Island Press store. Also check out WABA’s events for more fun ways to enjoy Bike Month!

Best of WABA Events: 2016

Looking back at 2016, the WABA Events Team wanted to share with you our favorite moments from our signature events of the last year:

February 2016: The Bicyclist Choice Awards and Annual Members Meeting

DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo accepts The WABA Vision Zero award.

WABA staff.

The Awards event is our opportunity to be fancy and to recognize and thank those people who really and truly make a positive difference for bicycling in the region. It was really special this year to have the Director of the District Department of Transportation in attendance to accept an award we gave him. -Michelle

March 2016: The Congressional Ride 

Photo Credit: The League of American Bicyclists

The Congressional Ride is a really unique ride event that WABA organizes as part of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit each year. It’s special because we get to meet bike advocates and bicyclists from all over the country, talk to them about the work WABA is doing in our Nation’s Capital and around the region, and show off some of DC’s best bicycle infastrucutre. Everyone is always so impressed with the bike lanes and protected infrastructure, and they love hearing about our programs, events, and the impact we have on the region. -Michelle

The Vasa Ride

Vasa Ride 2016

The weather machine cooperated and the cloudy skies held their rain for this year’s Vasa Ride. Flowers were in bloom. The breeze was almost warm. The highlight is always the grumbling and tight muscles in the morning as sleepy-eyed riders stretch out their riding legs for the first time all winter, and then the joy, smiles, hugs, and happy conversations had over warm blueberry soup at the end of the ride inside the absolutely gorgeous House of Sweden. -Michelle 

May 2016: Bike to Work Day

Photo Credit: John Pickett

What’s not to love about Bike to Work Day? The ENTIRE WABA staff and board unite to go spread the bike love. This year, WABA had a presence at a record number of pit stops for us: 26 different pit stops! We mobilized 31 WABA captains and 112 volunteers to get out there super early on a Friday morning and talk to people about better bicycling. So much sunshine. So much coffee. So many bagels. And so many bicycle-induced smiles and high fives. -Michelle

Tour de Fat

DC celebrity spotting! Local bicycle advice columnist Gear Prudence for City Paper came out to support WABA.

Just look at those lines!

I was a bit terrified when Tour de Fat rolled around this year because there was rain in the forecast — LOTS of rain. But, to my delight, people still came out to celebrate and drink beer and ride bikes in the rain! I couldn’t believe it and I am SO grateful that the #bikedc community is so supportive of the work we do. -Michelle 

June 2016: Bike to Work AGAIN Day

Bike to Work Again Day + beer!

We loved Bike to Work Day so much this year that we decided to celebrate it again a month later! With three “pit stops” at local bars and restaurants in Arlington, Bethesda, and the District, we hung out with bike commuters on their way home and talked about our favorite subject: bikes! -Nick

July 2016: Bike to the Pools Ride

Cooling off at a splash park right off the Marvin Gaye Trail!

The Washington area gets pretty hot in July, so we decided that we’d combine two things we all love to do: biking and swimming! (And a bit of splashing.) We rode our bikes from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens along the Marvin Gaye Trail, stopped at a splash park, hopped on our bikes again, and finished the ride at the Deanwood Pool. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon! -Nick

August 2016: Open Streets Community Organizing

Petworth residents, ANC commissioners, and community leaders came together to help guide us in planning a community wide event in their neighborhood that will have a positive lasting impact, promote community building, and bring neighbors together.

This entire year we have been working to bring an open street event to DC, where a roadway is temporary closed to vehicles so it can be opened up to the people to walk, bike, dance, and play in the middle of the street. We are lucky to have the support of the DC Office of Planning in this effort and received a substantial grant for this project from the agency. It’s a big undertaking, and we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited for the connections and relationships we’ve begun to build with Petworth and city officials, and can’t wait to continue work in 2017 to bring DC its first open streets program. -Michelle

September 2016: The 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride

Photo credit: Chuck Cage

Years of tinkering with WABA’s weather machine to let up on the rain finally paid off, but someone forgot to adjust the temperature… it was HOT! Despite the heat, we welcomed our biggest crowd yet—700 registrants—to a fun and challenging ride throughout DC’s 8 Wards. This year, we hosted riders from California, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, and many other far-flung places! -Nick

October 2016: WABA in the Wild Overnight C&O Tour

In a matter of days, the 11 strangers who came together for WABA in the Wild became fast friends.

Everyone celebrated in the warm autumn sunshine at mile marker 0 in Georgetown at the end of the ride.

WABA in the Wild was the highlight of my year for sure. It was a feat of an event to pull off: the first time WABA has ever done an original peer-to-peer fundraising event, the first time we’ve ever done a multi-day bike tour, the first time we’ve ever organized a group camping trip. But we pulled it off and it was a tremendous success. We bicycled through rain and mud with smile on our faces. We saw beauty in the trees along the canal and the shimmering sunshine on the Potomac. There was whiskey, laughter, games, camaraderie, and so. many. snacks. And we can’t wait to do it again with more people in 2017! -Michelle

November 2016: The Cider Ride

Photo credit: Mr.TinDC

This year’s Cider Ride was the biggest ever, with over 700 people riding their bikes along the beautiful trails and farm roads of Prince George’s county, the Patuxent Research Refuge, and the new (and old) sections of the Anacostia River Trail. Riders also helped to advance our campaign to finish the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail in Hyattsville — we collected over 300 signatures at an advocacy pit stop along the course! -Nick

December 2016: The Holiday Party

Many, many bikes outside Boundary Stone for the WABA Holiday Party. Photo credit: Jeremiah Lowery

One of our ‘accomplishments scrapboards’ from the party

We hosted our year-end Holiday Party at Boundary Stone and had an awesome time chatting with members about all the things we accomplished together in 2016 and what we’re looking forward to working on in 2017. It was great to hang out with so many of our members and enjoy some holiday cheer! -Nick


We hope you enjoyed being part of the bike community as much as we did this year. Happy New Year and here’s to more awesome WABA events — and a few awesome event surprises — in 2017!

Cheers,

WABA Events Team

This year’s 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride was huge and awesome

This year, WABA saw record numbers of attendees at the annual 50 States and 13 Colonies Ride. That also means we raised some serious dough for better bicycling in the District, Maryland and Virginia— thanks for your support!

Check out some of the photos of the amazing day:

Thanks to our amazing event sponsors, riders were able to enjoy fruit, water, granola bars, burritos, beer, pizza, and more!

DistrictTacologo 3StarsBrewinglogo

MellowMushroomlogo  CoffeeNaturelogo

Giant  KIND Logo  DrinkMoreWaterlogo

Keep being awesome, and see you at our next ride event!

Thank you for riding with WABA

Last weekend, the annual 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride, WABA’s signature community ride event of the year, took place. Hundreds of cyclists braved the threat of rain and joined us for an adventurous (and some would say grueling) tour of all 50 state-named streets within the District or a downtown exploration of the 13 streets named after the original colonies.

Check out the ride in photographs below, and we hope you will join us in 2015 for next year’s 50 States Ride. You can also check out all of our 50 States photos on Flickr and if YOU took any photos yourself, we encourage you to share them with us by adding them to the WABA Flickr pool.

50statescollage


And a  BIG BICYCLE THANK YOU to all of our sponsors who made the 2014 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride possible:

chipotle logo

Coffee nature logo   PetMAC logo  MellowMushroom

DMWjpeg logo2013 50 states kind snacks logo   GiantTheBikeHousebicyclespace

citybikes_logo_bluegrnd         Progold

Just Announced: 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride

50-States-Web-Banner-2014

The 2014 50 States & 13 Colonies ride, WABA’s signature ride event of the year, will be held on Saturday, September 13th.

Ride registration will open on August 4th and the ride will be open to WABA Members only.

Not yet a WABA member but interested in the ride? No problem!

Join WABA today for the invitation to register for the 50 States Ride. We’ll send out an email to all WABA members on the morning of August 4th inviting them to register for the ride, so you do have to be a WABA member to receive this invitation. Additionally, when registering for the ride, the form requires you to provide your WABA Member ID number. 50 States 2011 - t-shirts for finishers

Ride participants can choose from a long and challenging 65-ish mile route that winds up and down the District on all 50 state-named streets or a shorter 15-mile route that takes you for a ride down all 13 streets named after the original colonies. All riders are invited to the post-ride celebration at Mellow Mushroom to celebrate and get their special edition 50 States & 13 Colonies ride t-shirt. Read more about the 50 States Ride here.

We’re also looking for volunteers! We need help making this event a success. Sign up to volunteer at one of the pit stops here. Or if you’re a confident cyclist and want to help lead the ride, volunteer as a Ride Marshal.

We hope to see you at the 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride!