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!

How to Prepare for Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day is in two days! But don’t freak out, WABA is here to make sure you and your bicycle are ready for your commute to work. (Procrastinator? There is still time – Sign up here!)

Whether it’s your 500th time biking to work, your first time in years, or your very first time ever: WE ARE SO HAPPY THAT YOU CHOSE TO COMMUTE ON TWO WHEELS.

Yes, you may get a little sweaty (that’s what work place bathrooms and deodorant are for). Yes, you may have helmet hair all day (tell everyone you’re going for the grunge chic look). And yes, you may just smile on the way to work (biking = happiness).

Here’s our top five tips to make your commute on Friday easy and enjoyable:

1. Get your bicycle ready before Friday morning.

One of the worst feelings is going to roll out your trusty stead just to realize that the air in your tires is low or that your breaks are too lose. Go ahead and check over everything tonight or Thursday to make sure you and your bicycle are ready to roll on Friday. You can read about what to check for on your bicycle here.

bicycle

2. Dress for success.

Don’t feel comfortable biking in your business casual clothes? That’s totally fine. Dress for success on the bike. Wear shorts and a t-shirt and carry your work clothes (neatly folded) in a pannier if you have a rack or in a back pack, and then sneak into the office and change before going to your desk. Or if you work in a more casual setting, plan to wear light weight clothing and layers that you can peel off if you get a little toasty on the ride. How else do you think the “all powerful bike lobby” always looks so good?

10594353943_25964b4888_z

3. Plan your route.

Make sure you know the best way to bike to your pit stop and then from there to work. Google Maps has a handy “biking” tool, so you just put in your starting and ending point and then click the bicycle icon and they will give you suggested biking routes. Additionally, under “Getting Around” on the map, select the “Bicycling” function and the map will highlight in green where bike lanes and “suggested roads for bicycling” are located. One extra tip: if you’re taking a route for the first time, write down the directions on piece of paper that you stick in your pocket or tape to your handlebars.

10495508246_8260623407_z

4. Find a bike buddy.

It’s not too late to text your friend, knock on your neighbors door, or email a co-worker and invite them to bike with you. That way you have someone to help navigate or laugh with you when your pant leg gets caught in your chain – plus it will be an extra special day if you get a friend to bike with you who wouldn’t have considered commuting on two-wheels if it wasn’t for you. Are you the shy type or just the world’s worst person in the morning? Sometimes a solo bike ride is just the thing to get you feeling alive and refreshed – and you’ll get to wave or smile to bike buddies you pass by on the ride.

16147963638_a81353548e_z

5. Enjoy the ride.

Biking should be all about enjoying your ride. Just think: it’s less stressful that sitting in a traffic jam on the Beltway and the fresh air is much better for you than breathing in that that stale underground smell for two hours. So on Friday, take it slow, take it easy, smile when you pedal, follow traffic laws, bike safely and enjoy the ride.

enjoy the ride

Haven’t yet signed up for Bike to Work Day? It’s not too late! Sign up here to be eligible for bike giveaways, raffle prizes and the free breakfast snacks at your pit stop.

Click this one button to make biking better

Want to make biking better?

click this button

It really works!*

OK sure it’s a cute gimmick, but here’s the thing: one of the best ways to make biking better in our region is to get more people on bikes. More people on bikes means more people demanding better infrastructure. More people on bikes reinforces the growing consensus that bicycling is a legitimate transportation option.

Bike to Work Day is a great chance to help that person in your life who’s bike-curious give bike commuting a shot.

So go ahead and click that button a few times. Get your friends to click the button too. Invite a neighbor or a coworker or a friend to ride with you. It’ll be great!

*If the button doesn’t open your email client, write this email:

To: [your coworker, friend, or neighbor]

Subject: Want to bike to work together on Friday?

Message: Friday is Bike to Work Day, let’s do this!

I’ll meet you at X.

We can grab a bagel at the X pit stop on our way.

Sign up here: waba.org/biketoworkday

Bike to work day: This is going to be great.

Bike to work day: This is going to be great.

Bike to Work Day 2014: Thank you!

**Update: If you were unable to attend Bike to Work Day on Friday due to the bad weather and you previously registered for the event and would like to get your t-shirt, please contact your individual pit stop manager. Pit stops may have leftover t-shirts; WABA does not at this time. The list of pit stops can be found here. Click on your pit stop name to view your pit stop managers name and contact info. Pit stop managers may also be emailing registrants to inform them of when and where they can pick up their t-shirts.**

Thank you to everyone who participated in Bike to Work Day today and to everyone who signed up for the event.

We understand that with forecasts leading into Bike to Work Day of potentially dangerous weather, the heavy rains that occurred early this morning, and flooding in some areas, many folks chose another commute option for getting to work. That is ok.

We high-fived those who did bike this morning, and we hope those who did not will choose to bike to work again soon. Many pit stops across the region today still welcomed smiling (and wet) faces of people biked, walked, bussed, and even drove to their local stop.

WABA is talking with our regional partners, MWCOG, and pit stop mangers to find a feasible way of providing another t-shirt pickup option for those who didn’t make it to their pitsops. (But please note that shirts were distributed to the pitstops throughout the region, so stopping by the WABA office won’t get you one.)

As the rain moves out of the area today (there are blue skies out there now!), consider stopping by one of the afternoon pit stops and Bike to Work Day events. But please note that these pit stops will NOT have t-shirts for you to pick up if you had not previously registered for their stop, but they are a great way to still join in on the BTWD festivities.

Afternoon stops will be at Columbia Heights, College Park Metro, Arlington East Falls Church at the W&OD Trail, Silver Spring East West Highway at The Blairs, and Malmaison in Georgetown.

 

Preparing for a Rainy Bike to Work Day

The weather reports are calling for rain during our celebration of biking but don’t let that stop you from celebrating Bike to Work Day!

When you’re prepared to be out in the rain your experience can be refreshing, relaxing, and downright adventurous. So here are some tips for rain preparedness:

Bike to Work in the Rain Day!

Rain gal STAYING DRY 
Fenders: These plastic shields frame your front and rear wheels and single-handedly prevent many wet behinds and soaked shoes.

Second change of clothes: At minimum pack a second change of clothes, and even a change of underwear. Pack anything you may need to freshen up your hair, and if you need to really freshen up, pack wet wipes to wipe yourself down.

Rain jacket or poncho: You can pick up a cheap poncho to store in your bike bag, or invest in a lightweight rain jacket (this option avoids heat-trapping plastics). The more breathable the better because you can pretty easily get more wet by sweating than by the rain; pit-zips are a plus. Specifically designed rain ponchos, often called rain capes, provide better opportunities for airflow, but are still compact.

Rain pants: Rain pants are a major plus, especially because these can be used in cold snowy conditions as well. If you aren’t up for buying a new pair of rain pants and it’s warm out, try out athletic shorts that you can change out of once you get to your destination.

Cycling cap or bandanna: If you want to keep your hair dry, try out a cycling cap or bandanna under your helmet.

Glasses: Clear-lens glasses shield your eyes from heavy rain and help with visibility.

Breathable shoes or shoe covers: You can purchase some cheap booties that cover just about any kind of shoe, and still give you the grip and range of motion you need. Plastic grocery bags are a cheap solution.

Bike bag: Consider investing in a waterproof backpack, messenger bag,  purse, or pannier to keep your everyday essentials dry and cared for.

 

Bicycling in the rainSTAYING VISIBLE 
Brightly colored clothing: This is where the bright neon colors and reflective accessories in your closet can come in handy. A lightweight reflective vest is a low-cost accessory that’s easy to carry with you at all times.

Bike Lights: Front and rear lights are required on your bikes even in sunny weather, but in the rain it’s even more important to have lights on your person and your bike.

Lane placement: Most of your visibility power is in your position on the road and how you communicate with other road users. Do what you can to make yourself the most visible and most predictable among your fellow road users. If there are no bike lanes present, position yourself in the middle of the lane. If there are bike lanes present, ride to the far left-hand side of the bike lane to avoid the door zone. If you’re on a trail, always yield to walkers and joggers. When communicating passing and turning to drivers, other bicyclists, and pedestrians do your best to use hand signals make eye contact, and use verbal cues if necessary. This is all basic bike know-how, but having it under your belt will make your rain-riding experience more safe, and therefore better.

STAYING SAFE 
Be cautious: if you haven’t already, you will certainly figure out your rain riding style with time. It may mean you need to ride a little slower to feel more alert and in control.

Avoid slippery surfaces and puddles: Do your best to avoid street car tracks, gutters, grates, white street markings, piles of leaves, and anything that becomes slippery when wet. You do not have to worry about bike lanes that are painted green; the green paint is not the same as slick thermoplastic white street markings and instead has a granular texture to help prevent slipping.

Lightly use your brakes: Also called “feathering your brakes” which means, avoid quickly pulling your brake levers too hard. Instead lightly pulse both front and rear brakes equally with consistent pressure as needed.

Follow your Gene Kelly intuitions: You will probably find yourself singing more in the rain, and you may hear the occasional, “WEEeeeeeEEE!” and some “WoooIiiPEEE!'”s  Because as usual, your bike ride should be fun. If it’s not, you’re doing it wrong.

 

BTWMasthead2014

Become a WABA Member this Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day is a great day for bicycling. It shows how many people enjoy and support a better bicycling network (and  how many of them like free t-shirts) and why having an organization like WABA is essential to our region. If you haven’t already registered for Bike to Work Day, you can do so here.

One of the big perks of Bike to Work Day is that you can become a member of for the reduced rate of $25 (normally $35). Becoming a WABA member is the best way to support our advocacy efforts, and contribute to the growth of the region’s safe bicycling networks. By showing our strength in numbers we can show our cities, governments, and business that biking is growing and safe bicycling infrastructure is in demand. If you joined on Bike to Work Day last year, your membership is about to expire, so now is a perfect time to renew it!

8751419792_1d62ac62ee_b

We got over 300 new members last Bike to Work Day. With your help we can get even more this year! Photo By: MrM

Still on the fence? Take a look at some of our victories from the past year:

–          Protected bike lanes on M St NW and First St NE.

–          Expanding Capital Bikeshare to over 200 stations in DC, Virginia, and Maryland, including Alexandria & Montgomery Co.

–          Pushing for the completion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail from Brookland to Downtown Silver Spring.

–          Passage of the 3 Foot Passing law in Virginia in 2014.

–          Passage of the Bicycle Safety Amendment in 2013 & the Access to Justice for Bicyclist Act of 2012 in DC

More members means we can amplify our voice and impact region-wide.. That’s why we need you to become a member today. Already a member? Refer a friend!

On Bike to Work Day members of our staff, board, Bike Ambassador team, and volunteer crew will spread out across the region to cover as many pit stops as possible. Currently, we plan to be at: Rosslyn, Freedom Plaza, Downtown Bethesda, Old Town Alexandria, Ballston, Crystal City, Adams Morgan, National Geographic, NoMa, Eastern Market, Vienna, Georgetown, Columbia Heights (in the afternoon), Golden Triangle at Farragut Square, Silver Spring Discovery Place, Mt Vernon Triangle, Falls Church, and Capitol Riverfront.

Stop by and say “Hi” to WABA on Bike to Work Day and become a member!

You can also become a member right now by visiting our website!