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

Celebrate Biking to Work (Again!) with us on June 9th

BTWD 2016_0048

We’ve created our own holiday: June 9th is Bike to Work Again Day.

Bike to work again and join us on June 9th, 2016 for a happy hour in DC, Maryland or Virginia to celebrate!

We’re throwing three parties at once!

All three of the Bike to Work Again Day Happy Hours will take place on Thursday, June 9th from 6-10pm:

WABA will provide information about biking at the happy hours, have free resources like bike maps and law guides, and have up to date information about SafeTrack.

RSVP for the Bike to Work Again Day happy hour near you on Facebook using the links above. See you soon! ❤️

Thank you for riding on Bike to Work Day

thank you mvt

Our region’s largest celebration of people on bikes happened once again this year on Friday, May 20th. More than 17,500 people registered for Bike to Work Day this year, exceeding the number of registrants from last year. Bike to Work Day 2016 had pit stops at 83 locations around Maryland, DC and Virginia to celebrate people choosing to commute by bicycle.

WABA wants to thank you for riding your bike, thank you for participating in Bike to Work Day (because whether that was your first time or your 400th time biking to work, your registering for the event and helping us show the growth in biking is important), and thank you for supporting better bicycling.

We hope you’re still biking to work or if you haven’t tried it again since, then there’s an excellent opportunity coming up to do your commute on two wheels once again. Join us on June 9th, 2016 for a happy hour in DC, Maryland or Virginia to celebrate “Bike to Work Again Day.”

BTWD 2016_0048

To celebrate biking and encourage you to bike again, WABA will be throwing three parties at once!

 

All three of the Bike to Work Again Day Happy Hours are Thursday, June 9th from 6-10pm:

 

WABA will provide information about biking at the happy hours, have free resources like bike maps and law guides, and have up to date information about SafeTrack.  RSVP for the Bike to Work Again Day happy hour near you on Facebook using the links above.

Here’s a REALLY easy way that you can make biking better

btwd photo 2 this is going to be SO great

Want to know what it is? Want to make biking better?

Click this button to make biking better

Yes, that button just takes you to WABA’s webpage about Bike to Work Day because registering for Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 20th is really important!

Yes, I want to make biking better!

By registering for Bike to Work Day, you get to show the decision makers across our region that biking matters, that you matter, and that you choose to bike for transportation. It’s a fun and important way to make sure that our policymakers take bicyclists seriously.

That’s why, you should still register even if you bike every day. The growth of Bike to Work Day is one of many statistics planners use to track the growth of bicycling, so make sure you’re counted! Plus, you can use this bike holiday on May 20th as a way to spread the bikelove. Tell your coworkers in your office about Bike to Work Day and ask them if they would consider biking to work.

By signing up and stopping by your nearest pit stop—and with 83 pit stops across the region there is bound to be one near you—you and that coworker you’re riding can rake in all sorts of snacks, swag, coffee and that badge of honor, the Bike to Work Day t-shirt.

Plus you get to feel like you are something bigger than your normal commute, and that is a powerful feeling.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for Bike to Work Day today.

WABA and goDCgo to host “Bike to Work Day Pit Stop 101” webinars

btwd photo 2 this is going to be SO great

The 2016 Bike to Work Day will take place on Friday, May 20th. In gearing up for the best Bike to Work Day ever, WABA is working to strategically recruit a few additional pit stops around the region where there is a need. You can see a map of 2016 pit stops here. Bike to Work Day is an annual event that celebrates bicycling region-wide with more than 80 pit stops throughout the Metropolitan Washington region.

Are you, or is your business or employer interested in being a part of Bike to Work Day by hosting and managing an official pit stop in DC, MD or VA?

WABA and goDCgo, in coordination with Commuter Connections, are holding webinars on Jan 28th & Feb 3rd for interested or potential new pit stop mangers. Please RSVP here for the January 28 webinar, or here for the February 3 webinar.

Pit stops offer free refreshments for bicyclists, fun activities and/or entertainment, engagement with local business, raffles, and of course the opportunity to pick up a free BTWD t-shirt. These “Pit Stop 101” webinars will talk about the purpose of Bike to Work Day pit stops, explain the responsibilities and logistics that go into hosting/managing one, and share tips and best practices from veteran pit stops.

The purpose of the webinars is to provide a forum to educate potential new pit stop managers, spread the word about Bike to Work Day, and make new connections and relationships that could help grow BTWD in a strategic and meaningful way.

The Bike to Work Day Pit Stop 101 webinars will take place on Thursday, January 28th from Noon-1:00 pm, and Wednesday, February 3rd from 4:00-5:00 pm.

If you have any questions in advance about either webinar, please email events@waba.org.


BTWD 2016 logo

Webinar Details:

Pit Stop 101 Webinar #1: January 28th, 12-1:00pm. Sign up here. 

Pit Stop 101 Webinar #2: February 3rd, 4-5:00pm. Sign up here.

I biked to work today, now what?

Thank you for participating in Bike to Work Day today. You – and thousands of other DC, Maryland, and Virginia residents – rode your bicycle, and that is something to be celebrated.

You are probably wondering: what happens next?

General WABA - Bikes in front of Capitol B&W

Here’s some frequently asked questions we get after Bike to Work Day happens, and helpful answers for you:

Q: I’m a regular bike commuter, so do I just bike to work again Monday, like I do everyday, without all the fanfare and free stuff?
A: Yes. And if you happen to bike by the WABA office on your commute, you’re more than welcome to stop in during business hours (9am-5pm) for a free double high five… Or just high five your co-workers.

Q: Since this was only the third time I’ve biked to work, I still feel like a newbie. should I try it again next week?
A: Yes! Keep going, you are doing great! If you are interested in learning some new skills try one of our City Cycling Classes or Community Rides!

Q: Should I go to this silly sounding bicycle festival I heard about on May 30th at Yards Park called Tour de … something?
A: Yes!!!

Q: Should I go to the Tour de Fat even if I don’t like beer?
A: Definitely yes. The festival is free to attend, and there will be a bunch of food trucks with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Plus, the event is family friendly and has a kids specific area.

Q: So when is this bicycle festival?
A: Saturday, May 30th at Yards Park, DC. The pre-festival bike ride that WABA leads leaves Yards Park at 11am and you don’t want to miss that (so get there by 10:30am!). And the festival itself starts at 12pm and goes until 5pm. More details here.

Q: I had so much fun on Bike to Work Day. I really enjoy biking and I wish there were more bike lanes! How can we get more bicycle infrastructure across the region? How can I help convince everyone to give bicycling a try?
A: The Washington Area Bicyclist Association works very hard every day to advocate for betting bicycling across the region and to make bicycling accessible, normal, fun and low-stress for everyone. You can support our advocacy and outreach work by joining the WABA community as a member. Today, you can join for just $25 and help support our efforts to make bicycling better for you for the next year.

 

After the show it’s the after party

Bike to Work Day is BIG this year, with 79 pit stops located across the entire region! We definitely want you to register for Bike to Work Day and participate in an official pit stop on your way to work on Friday morning (Bike to Work Day is Friday May 15th, in case you missed it…).

And in case you still want to celebrate after you bike to work, here are some after work celebrations of Bike to Work Day. (These celebrations are organized by partners, friends and sponsors of Bike to Work Day, but are not official pitstops/COG/WABA events.)

So grab a friend, co-worker, or someone you meet on the ride home and continue to celebrate bicycling at one of these parties:

Photo courtesy of Joe Flood from the WABA Flickr Pool

Photo courtesy of Joe in DC from the WABA Flickr Pool

Whole Foods’ After Work Party: Bethesda, MD

Fri., May 15th from 4pm to 7pm at Whole Foods Market, 5269 River Road, Bethesda, MD. Why you should celebrate here: It’s located right off the Capital Crescent Trail and there will be cheap eats, raffle prizes and freebies.

biketoworkflyer_final-01

 

Atlas Brew Works’ Half Price Pints: NE Washington, DC

Fri., May 15th from 4pm to 9pm at Atlas Brew Works, 2052 West Virginia Avenue NE, Washington DC. Why you should celebrate here: Half price pints for anyone on two wheels. Craft beer at a good price, and the fact that a local brewery is celebrating bicycling! Here’s the link to their event on Facebook – tell your friends.

 


Do you know of other Bike to Work Day celebrations going on in MD, VA or DC the afternoon or evening of Friday, May 15th in honor of everyone commuting on two-wheels? Let us know by tweeting @wabadc!