How to be a bike advocate

It’s a big deal and people notice when 19,000+ bicyclists ride to work on a single day — including your elected representatives.

Make sure you register for Bike to Work Day now so you get counted, and put a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget to stop by your local pit stop on Friday, May 19th.

Bike to Work Day is your opportunity to advocate for bicycling by simply signing up and riding.

Sign up » 

Many local elected officials and decision makers will be in attendance at your local pit stop on Bike to Work Day. Councilmembers, County Board Supervisors, State Delegates, State Senators, Members of Congress or even a Senator might make an appearance. Important decision makers such as Directors of Transportation Departments, officials from State Highway and DOTs and other planners and traffic engineers could be at a pit stop too.

Here are some tips on how to be a bike advocate at your Bike to Work Day pit stop:

  • Know your elected officials and other decision makersUse our handy legislator look-up tool and be familiar with your representatives.
  • Ask them now if they are planning to attend Bike to Work Day – Send them a message and inquire if they are attending Bike to Work Day. Include in your message an invitation for them to attend a local pit stop.
  • Plan what you want to say – Practice your elevator speech. You’re only going to get 30 seconds to talk to them about biking. Introduce yourself, including where you live, and ask them to support a project or for their help in addressing an issue. Ask how to follow-up. Thank them for their support.
  • Introduce yourself at the pit stop – Identify the official and introduce yourself. Be respectful of others speaking with them and wait your turn to speak.
  • Thank them for attending and for their support of biking – Show your appreciation for their attendance of Bike to Work Day and general support of bicycling. It goes a long way to thank and appreciate people first. If they have recently supported a specific initiative, mention it and give credit where due.
  • Have an “ask” – What do you want them to do? Have a one sentence “ask.” Good examples include “could you send a letter of support to DOT about this bike trail?” or “please ask the state DOT to address the issue of biking on this road.”
  • Be respectful of their time (be quick!!) – You might only get 30 seconds or less. Officials and their staff have busy schedules and multiple appointments in a single day. Be respectful of their time at an event.
  • Follow-up that day – Make sure to ask how you can follow-up with them. Should you email them or is there a staffer who you should reach out to directly? Send a follow-up email that day!

And one last thing, don’t forget to register for Bike to Work Day: especially if you bike every day. This is the one day of the year to be counted (literally). Good luck being a bike advocate and have a great Bike to Work Day!

Event: Bike to Work Day
Date: Friday, May 19th, 2017
Location: Find your pit stop here. There are 86 pit stops across the region.
Time: Various times, but most pit stops are open from about 6:30am to 9:30am. Some are afternoon stops.
Cost: FREE! Don’t forget to register.
More Info: www.waba.org/aboutbiketoworkday

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Register for Bike to Work Day!

Registration is open for Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 19th, 2017. You should sign up!

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Three reasons why you should participate:

1. FREE t-shirts, bagels, coffee, and smiles.
2. It’s super fun to be a part of something big: 19,500+ people biking to work.
3. You could WIN A BRAND NEW BICYCLE!

Three reasons you should register online:

1. It shows your support for bicycling.
2. You want to make bicycling better (and showing your support bolsters WABA’s advocacy efforts to make biking better).
3. It helps elected officials, city governments, and local transportation departments recognize biking is important and normal.

Sign up

You can also learn more about Bike to Work Day on our website here or check out the regional Bike to Work Day event website here.

Register for Bike to Work Day!

We are excited to announce that registration for this year’s Bike to Work Day is now open. Sign up for this free event today!

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Bike to Work Day will take place on Friday, May 19th, 2017.

The region’s largest celebration of getting to work on two wheels, Bike to Work Day is an annual event that celebrates those who ride a bicycle. Whether you commute to work by bike every single day or just want to give it a try for the first time this year, this event celebrates you! This is the one day each year that our regions recognizes bicycling as an everyday form of transportation.

This year’s Bike to Work Day event will feature 86 pit stops across the region in Maryland, DC and Virginia. Registration for Bike to Work Day is always free, and includes a free t-shirt, food/drink at your pit stop, and the chance to win pit stop giveaways.

You can read more about Bike to Work Day here. And you can sign up and select your pit stop here.

 

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.