Last Week Tonight with the Bike Ambassadors

On November 1st, a shipment of 750 bicycle lights arrived at the WABA Office. By November 20th, our team of Bike Ambassadors distributed all of them to DC area bicyclists in need. Thanks to a heroic volunteer effort, WABA was able to quickly fill a need in the DC bicycling community. Along with our standard outreach near heavily traveled bike corridors, Ambassadors went to local restaurants in search of service industry employees who bike to and from work. More often than not these workers end their shifts well past midnight, so reaching them with the “Got Lights?” campaign was a top priority. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get everyone in DC a bicycle light, but it was a good start in the right place.

Phill helps to bicyclists riding at night without lights.

Bike Ambassador Phill helps two bicyclists riding at night without lights.

If you would like to join our efforts to make DC the friendliest bike town in all the land, consider becoming a DC Bike Ambassador. Our next orientation is on December 9th 2014 from 6 pm-7:30pm. You can register here. It will be held at the WABA headquarter in Adams Morgan. There will be plenty of bicycle parking and metro accessible. Light refreshments will be served.

What’s a Bike Ambassador, and Should You Be One?

A Bike Ambassador helps pull a trailer down in SE DC

A Bike Ambassador helps pull a trailer down in SE DC

The Bike Ambassadors are a group of volunteers who ride around the city in bright red shirts and serve as a bicycling resource for the community. We tow around that bright green trailer emblazoned with helpful reminders, table at events to promote responsible cycling in the city, and spread positive messages about bicycling out on the city’s roads and trails.  Outreach is fun on its own, but we also get together for social gatherings from happy hours to coffee clubs and even book clubs.

Count me in!

If you want to make DC bicycling happier (and you like bright red t-shirts),  join the Bike Ambassador team!

The next orientation is tomorrow evening from 6:00-7:30 pm. No experience required! All you need is a love for biking.

Visiting the Anacostia River Walk during a recently sunny day in SE DC.

Visiting the Anacostia River Walk during a recently sunny day in SE DC.

Bike Ambassador social bike ride to Union Market.

Bike Ambassador social bike ride to Union Market.

Bike Ambassadors flag down an ice cream truck after a long ride.

Bike Ambassadors flag down an ice cream truck after a long ride.

Bike Ambassadors tackle the Pennsylvania Ave. Cycletrack.

Bike Ambassadors tackle the Pennsylvania Ave. Cycletrack.

An evening enjoying food from Indigo on K St. NE and discussing the book Triumph of the City.

An evening enjoying food from Indigo on K St. NE and discussing the book Triumph of the City.

Monday Morning Outreach—Changing Bike Behavior One Intersection At A Time

Sharply dressed man respectfully rides down the sidewalk of 16th Street NW

Sharply dressed man respectfully rides down the sidewalk of 16th Street NW

16th Street is one of the scarier roads to bike down in the city. Regardless, it doesn’t stop hundreds of commuters from taking the popular route to downtown. It warms my heart to see a steady stream of bicyclists riding down the street with helmets that fit, stopping for red lights, and yielding to pedestrians. On the other hand, it is perfectly legal to ride on the sidewalk anywhere in the city (excluding the Central Business District). Bike Ambassadors were out on Monday morning asking bicyclists who using the sidewalk to bike politely and respectively. Guess what, bicyclists were respectful! The jury is still out on whether our signs and encouragement did the trick, but lets just say it didn’t hurt!

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday August 14 6 pm at the WABA Headquarter 2599 Ontario Rd — Kitty Litter Pannier Workshop. Learn how to make your own Kitty Litter Pannier to haul large amounts of groceries by bike. Sign up here.
  • Saturday August 16 Bike Ambassadors visit the Ward 8 Farmers Market. We will be promoting a Kitty Litter Pannier give away while passing out handy bike maps and law guides.

Kitty Litter Pannier Workshop

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Meet Kirby. He stopped by the Bike Ambassador’s tent last night at the National Night Out event and we got to talking about kitty litter panniers!

As you can see these containers are GREAT for hauling groceries from the store. If you’re interested in making your own kitty litter pannier, Bike Ambassadors are hosting a workshop on August 14th at WABA HQ (2599 Ontario Rd NW) at 6 pm. To register, or to find out more click here.

We are also requesting donations of empty kitty litter containers, as well as empty Costco laundry detergent containers. Anything helps! If you have any empty containers you’d like to get rid of, contact jon.gonzalez@waba.org

Meet Jon Gonzalez, Our New DC Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator!

15th Street Cycletrack

15th Street Cycletrack (photo: @SharrowsDC)

Hello! I’m Jon. As WABA’s newest team member I am excited to jump in head first and build upon the success of the Bike Ambassador Program this summer!

This morning, Bike Ambassador Dani and I were out on the 15th Street cycle track encouraging bicyclists to bike nicely and yield to pedestrians. It was a big hit! Many pedestrians came up and suggested we stop by 14th street next time to do the same, so stay tuned, you never know where we might end up!

We’ve got a few things on the calendar for July, starting with a “Bike to the Movies” event on July 9th in NoMa. We’ll be handing out bike lights to bicyclists without lights after The Muppets movie finishes. It’ll also be our first “Bike KINDly” event for July—we will hand out KIND bars with pro-bicycling tips, so come on out and join the fun!

If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador, or know someone who might be, sign up for the Bike Ambassador Orientation on July 15th at the WABA HQ. We’d love to have you participate and could totally use your help.

 

Welcome to the April Trailer Challenge!

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Perhaps it won’t snow in April.

The D.C. bike ambassadors kicked off the April Trailer Challenge yesterday. Expect a month of amped-up visibility from our bike ambassadors and the friendly, roving trailers to spread the love of bicycling.

Want to be involved? There’s a few ways:

Pull the Bike Ambassador Trailer: You can sign up to pull the trailer on your own or to an event, or ride alongside the team as support crew. Sign up here to let us know you want to pull the trailer. Check out our trailering calendar and e-mail dcba@waba.org to set up a time.

Snap a picture: Spot the trailer? Take a photo, and post it on social media! Tag us @wabadc using #bikeambassador (on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) and you’ll be entered to win a free bike tune-up.

Read more about the ATC here! Happy April. We hope to see you on the streets.

 

 

Get Involved: Bike Ambassador April Trailer Challenge

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April is almost here, and we are excited to introduce a month-long bike ambassador project: the April Trailer Challenge.

You’ve probably seen the BA trailers around town, and wondered what they’re all about. This month, our goal is to spread the message of bicycling to everyone in the community in a positive, tangible way! The best part is that you can participate.

What is the April Trailer Challenge? The ATC is an opportunity to get messages of bike education, outreach, and advocacy out to a broader audience in a fun way! Our goal as bike ambassadors is to get the trailers around as much of the city as possible during the month of April, and we’re going to need YOUR help! We’re aiming for 500 trailer team miles in just 30 days.

Why the Bike Ambassador trailer? Pulling the BA trailer is a great way to reach drivers and other bicyclists and communicate with a different audience that we might miss through other forms of outreach. Our BA trailers have a series of interchangeable signs with various bike-friendly messages that aim to get people thinking about bicycling, acting as “roll” models, or driving safely around bicyclists. Engaging a broad audience with cheerful reminders is a huge part of the BA program, and we want to give everyone a chance to get involved.

And, throughout the month of April, we’ll want to remind as many people as possible to register for Bike to Work Day. We want to hit 17,000 registrants—a massive increase from last year’s 12,000—and we hope that the ATC challenge will provide a great lead-up to May 16.

How can I participate? Keep reading!

Attend the Kickoff Event: It’s on Mon., March 31st, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the WABA office. Sign up here! This kickoff doubles as a training session. We’ll be acquainting ourselves with the nitty-gritty details of the how to participate, the rules, incentives, and gear up to take the trailers for a spin. Even if you’re not sure you want to pull the trailers yourself, we still encourage you to attend the kickoff event! It will be a great way to meet the bike ambassadors, go for a fun ride, and get volunteer credit for riding with the trailer parade. (Volunteer with WABA three times, and you earn a free membership.)

Pull the Bike Ambassador Trailer: You can sign up to pull the trailer on your own or to an event, or ride alongside the team as support crew. Sign up here to let us know you want to pull the trailer. Check out our trailering calendar and e-mail dcba@waba.org to set up a time.

Snap a picture: Spot the trailer? Take a photo, and post it on social media! Tag us @wabadc using #bikeambassador (on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) and you’ll be entered to win a free bike tune-up.

For more information, contact the D.C. Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator, Megan McCarty at megan.mccarty@waba.org. See you in the bike lanes in April!