Hey Alexandrians! Hey Arlingtonians!

We have some super classes in your neighborhood this weekend.

This Saturday!

Fundamentals of City Cycling

  • In this class, we’ll learn confident control of the bike in all situations. You will use these skills every time you ride, guaranteed. This group goes for a ride on a nearby trail and learns about dealing with traffic, clear communication, proper use of trails, and the trail-to-road transition.

Confident City Cycling

  • The Confident City Cycling group learns advanced bike handling maneuvers. These techniques can get you out of some dangerous situations. This group goes for a ride on the roads and learns about bike infrastructure, lane control, communicating with drivers, and effective road behavior.

Jones Point Park, Alexandria, VA

Register now!

This Sunday!

Delores April 11 April 12 promo

Fundamentals of City Cycling

  • In this class, we’ll learn confident control of the bike in all situations. You will use these skills every time you ride, guaranteed. This group goes for a ride on a nearby trail and learns about dealing with traffic, clear communication, proper use of trails, and the trail-to-road transition.

Confident City Cycling

  • The Confident City Cycling group learns advanced bike handling maneuvers. These techniques can get you out of some dangerous situations. This group goes for a ride on the roads and learns about bike infrastructure, lane control, communicating with drivers, and effective road behavior.

Quincy Street Parking Deck, Arlington, VA

See you there?

Psst … we also have a Community Ride in Old Town this Wednesday, April 8. We’ll be riding all over Alexandria and learning about how to transition from open streets to trails to bike lanes and back again. And we’ll be filling our bellies with delicious tacos afterward. Come on out!

Fabulous Instructors

Some of these fabulous folks will be teaching.

Who should be next in our Tiny Space Lecture Series?

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Recently, we welcomed Professor James Longhurst from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse to our offices for a special member lecture. He’s the author of Bike Battles: A History of Sharing the American Road and he shared with us a chapter from his new book on the fate of Victory Bikes during World War II, which happened right here in Washington DC. Space was tight, but cozy, for our inaugural “tiny space” lecture series. We all enjoyed his talk, complete with videos and never before seen photos that he was able to dig up from various archives.

Professor Longhurst discussed the history of bicycles and how they have shaped American society. Unfortunately, just as they are often dismissed as a legitimate transportation mode, they are also not taken seriously as a research topic and therefore are almost completely left out of the social science canon. However, bicycles are clearly an important part of our country’s history. The history of bicycling in this country intersects, of course, with the history of automobile use at several critical points.  And decisions that were made decades ago in favor of cars, still resonate and hinder how we move about on bicycles today.

During World War II there was a brief moment where, with automobile production expected to be restricted to war vehicles only, and gasoline rationed, the US war office recommended the mass government production of what they nicknamed “Victory Bikes.” A heavy public relations campaign was envisioned, pitching daily bicycling as a patriotic duty. UnfortunatIMG_2378ely, another US war department intervened and instead, car production was saved, albeit restricted, and US production of bicycles plummeted. It was an early missed opportunity to establishing daily bicycling in this country as socially responsible, safe and sustainable, even in times of national crisis.

James Longhurst’s book will be published later in April, but it is available now for pre-orders. The other chapters seemed just as interesting, including chapters on the Sidepath movement, bicycle taxation and more.

The lecture was so successful that we are planning another. So tell us, who would you like to hear speak on the lost history of bicycles?

 

We want to ride Alexandria with you on April 8

Last fall, we launched our first-ever Education Ride Series, and this spring we’re back with all-new rides in all-new places!

And we’re just in time. Capital Weather Gang says winter is over.

The bad news: You have no weather related excuses.

The great news: You can meet us in Old Town next Wednesday, April 8 for a transitions ride that will get you moving and grooving all over Alexandria.

mike let's ride

Sign up!

What are education rides? They are 90 minutes long, and usually around 5 to 7 miles in length. They’re a fun time, but they are also designed to be a safe space to ask questions, try some new biking techniques, and learn about local infrastructure.

They are each organized around a theme. Our April 8 ride is called “Escape from Old Town,” because we’ll be using trails, roads, and protected bike lanes to get out of Old Town, to Del Ray, and ride back again. Oh, and afterward we’ll celebrate with tacos at Los Tios Grill.

Come join us! It will be so much fun!

anica and tiffany bring a friend

The nitty gritty:

  • Ride start – the corner of S. Union St. & Prince St. in Old Town Alexandria
  • Start time – 6:30 PM
  • End time – 8:00 PM
  • Ride end – Los Tios grill, 2615 Mt. Vernon Ave.
  • Distance – approx. 6 miles

10 bucks for advance registration. As always, walk ups on the day of class are free.

Coming up later in April:

Claim your everyday superpower at City Cycling on April 11 and April 12.

Learn to ride for the first time and see DC United on April 18.

Ride Ch-ch-changes with us in Arlington on April 22.

 

It was the last class of the season. We had a great time!

Last Saturday, we gathered in Silver Spring to celebrate something bittersweet – our last scheduled adult biking class of the fall season.

A chilly morning, but the weather cooperated with cerulean skies and sunny spots in which we warm up while we talked and planned our routes.

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Instructors Megan McCarty, Caleb James and Hamzat Sani got flexible to teach the instant turn.

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And then we practiced it together!

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We stopped and started and scanned and signaled and shifted:IMG_1715

And ended with a group ride led by Sam Mazur and Brenda Ruby, both veteran WABA instructors.

A big thanks to all who joined us this season for any of our adult education programming. This fall we brought our City Cycling curriculum and educational rides to 108 people. We also got 180 adults riding bikes for the first time ever, through our tremendously popular Learn to Ride program.

Finally, we expanded our course selection substantially, offering a brand spankin’ new set of educational rides which we plan to bring back in the spring.

In case you missed it! The last ride, Round, Round, Get Around, explored biking the dreaded DC traffic circles, and the lines we traced around the city looked something like this:

Round Round Get Around route for blog

Give it a try on your own if you missed our session on October 29.

Stay in touch with us through the winter, and happy riding!

 

 

 

 

 

Become a WABA Member: Support our Education programs

you-bike-you-vote

This week is our 2014 WABA Member Drive. On the blog, we’re highlighting the work your membership supports.

Join or Renew Now!

Our education program teaches children and adults how to ride a bicycle, safe rules of the road, and confidence on a bike. We go into local schools, day camps, and hold adults classes throughout the city. In 2014 alone our education program has reached 1,469 kids and 267 adults.

This fall our education program is expanding in a few key ways. Our adult programming includes a new series of educational rides.

What is an educational ride? It’s not quite a class – there’s no sitting around or listening to lectures or doing exercises. Each of our rides is focused on a different topic that’s critical for successful city riding: infrastructure, hill climbing, and transitioning from trails to city streets.

Our youth education programming is expanding to include two after school Bike Clubs. Bike Club is a progressive 5-7 week after school program designed to get kids aged eight through fourteen thinking about bicycling for fun, exploration, physical fitness, and transportation. We’re using bicycling as a vehicle to teach team building, community engagement, volunteerism, and awareness of the urban environment.

Our education programming is always striving to meet the needs our our community. Being a WABA Member shows your support for our unique programming. Join or Renew your WABA Membership this week to show your support!

The first 500 people to join or renew this week will receive a limited edition “I bike. I vote. @ I’m a WABA Member” t-shirts. T-shirts can be picked up on October 17 from 5:30-8:00 PM at Beirgarten Haus on H st. or will be shipped the week after.

 

We conquered Northwest’s toughest hills — you can too!

In case you missed last week’s fun, we’re posting the routes to the first of our education rides. Ride them on your own, and join us for the next ones!

Coming up on October 15:

Bike Lane Blitz

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This ride is about making sense of all that bike-specific white paint on DC streets. Ride the good, the bad, and the ugly of DC bike infrastructure with us — we’ll debunk myths, wax philosophical on questions both whimsical and specific, and at the end of it all we’ll seek solace at District Taco.

Tackle the first two educational rides on your own:

Ride # 1, Ch-ch-ch-changes

We rode from Northeast to Northwest and from protected bike trails to streets without infrastructure — and got a chance to look at some fall colors on our way. Click the map below to try the ride yourself.

ch-ch-ch-changes_blog

 

Ride # 2, Gotta Get Up to Get Down

We powered up to the highest natural point in the District and shot back down to Adams Morgan in time for food at Super Tacos — a neighborhood favorite where you can find WABA staffers most days during lunch.

gotta-get-up-to-get-down_blog

 

Read about our fall educational ride series here.