Quick Release: WABA Blog Front Page

Posts Tagged ‘education’

City Cycling Classes Return for April


We want you to ride all spring and have fun doing it! But it’s hard to have fun when you’re riding while nervous, worried, or anxious about drivers, car doors, clueless pedestrians, and everything else. Lucky for you, our City Cycling classes are back to ease your mind and let you get back to having fun.

Whether you’re getting on a bike for the first time in years or have been riding every day, we can teach you new tricks, answer your questions, and even get you ready to teach your friends and family!

City Cycling classes in April are as follows:

11:00 a.m., Sat., April 12 in Bethesda, Md. (Montgomery County residents only, please)
10:00 a.m., Sun., April 13 in Washington, D.C.
10:00 a.m., Sun., April 20 in Alexandria
10:00 a.m., Sat., April 26 in Arlington, Va. (Arlington County residents only, please)

More classes will be added soon!

We’re Hiring! Be Our Assistant Education Coordinator

Fall 2013 LCI Seminar

We’re hiring an assistant education coordinator to work with our lead education coordinator to carry out our initiatives in teaching adults and kids how to bike and how to bike better. Read more about the job and how to apply below the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

WABA’s Fall Education Season, in Photos


The last leaf has fallen on the youth bicycle education tree! We wrapped up our fall in-school bicycle education classes last week at Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School.

This calendar year alone,WABA has shared the joys of bicycling with 3,425 students in the District’s public and public charter schools.  We’ll be back after winter break in more schools, to teach more students, and with (hopefully) more bikes!

Want to help us get more bikes so that we can teach more kids? Vote for us in the Do the Kind Thing contest!

If you are the parent of a child in a D.C. public school or public charter school in grades kindergarten through 6th and would like to bring WABA’s Youth Bike Education program to your child’s school, let us know! We will get in touch with the school’s PE teacher about spring classes.

Bruce Monroe Elementary 10/7/13

Janney Elementary

Janney Elementary


Our adult programming has also finished up for the season. While it’s satisfying to cross off the final fall class on our education chalkboard, there’s certainly no erasing the experiences of 373 adults who attended WABA’s bicycle education classes this year. Some were learning to ride for the first time, while others fine-tuned their skills as long-term commuters. WABA’s Education Department provides confidence and knowledge that D.C, Maryland, and Virginia residents can use to enjoy their trips on two wheels.

See you in the spring!


Montgomery County



City cycling in Washington, DC


Adult Learn to Ride Alexandria 9/8


Your Last Chance to Take a City Cycling Class (For Now)


The days are getting shorter, the mornings are getting colder, and another WABA adult education season is drawing to a close. But you’re likely planning to bike through the winter! Lucky for you, there’s still have one more chance to attend one of our City Cycling classes.

For more information about what our City Cycling classes are like, read some previous posts. They’re intended to teach you how to be a better cyclist on city streets and address such topics as riding with traffic and fixing flats.

Come to the Anacostia Park skating pavilion this Sunday at 10 a.m. in Washington, D.C. to attend the last City Cycling class of the season. For more information and to sign up, see this page.

See you there!

Montgomery County Bike Classes Kick Off in Friendship Heights


In celebration of the launch of Capital Bikeshare in Montgomery County, WABA has partnered with MCDOT to provide our City Cycling classes to Montgomery County residents this fall. Our first class was held last Sunday in Friendship Heights to launch the new partnership and give people the chance to learn some riding skills, practice confidently biking on city streets, and have an opportunity to ask their burning bike questions.

Just across Western Avenue, Maryland cyclists gathered to hear a bit about some of the challenges faced by bicyclists when they decide to ride on the street. WABA’s education instructors (certified to teach bike education by the League of American Bicyclists) then gave a few pointers about bike fitting, helmet adjustments, and how to do a quick checkup on a bike before riding. From there, it was onto a series of drills in a secluded parking lot designed to teach control and handling, as well as techniques vital to sharing space with cars, such as looking over the shoulder without wobbling or veering to the side. Students had plenty of opportunity to practice before moving on to a more advanced set of drills called Crash Avoidance Maneuvers.

After the training session and a short break, the class ventured out for a practical on-bike lesson. With WABA’s instructors as guides, students began on a quiet side-street and were gradually introduced to busier roadways and more complicated situations. With frequent stops to discuss issues and infrastructure, the ride covered more metaphorical ground than literal ground, but students finished with plenty of real-world examples, context, and experience.


When they returned to the practice area, our instructors demonstrated how to fix a flat tire and answered a few more questions, then loaded up the students with bike maps, tip sheets and guide books to keep them learning after the class was finished.

Here’s what students are saying about WABA’s City Cycling classes this season:
“Both my partner (a new city cyclist) and I (an experienced city cyclist) learned a lot.”
“[The Iinstructors] were informative, patient, and able to communicate to a group on different riding levels.”
“After taking this course, I am significantly less terrified of riding on the street.”
We have three more City Cycling classes on the calendar for October in Montgomery County in the following locations:

Sat., Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Bethesda (Montgomery County residents only)
Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Takoma Park (Montgomery County residents only)
Sun., Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Silver Spring (Montgomery County residents only)

We hope to see you there! For more photos from our classes, see this Flickr set.

How Great Are Our Adult Education Classes? (Hint: Pretty Great)


City Cycling

We talk often about our adult education classes, so perhaps you’ve wondered about their impact. Read this testimony from a recent alum:

Living in Washington DC can make you feel pretty incapacitated if you don’t know how to ride a bicycle. At least that is how I used to feel, never having learned as a child and moving to the city where non-motorized two wheels are such a convenient mode of transportation and recreation used by many.

Then I came across WABA. Discovering their program offers support to all levels of expertise in cycling was very comforting. The Adult Learn to

Ride class was a true confidence builder, where one hour into the class everyone is independently and happily pedaling away. And the City Cycling class I took more recently not only reinforced my new skills but also prepared me to be out on the road with traffic. Both classes were very affordable and conducted by friendly and well-prepared staff which by itself is a great start to fully enjoy and take advantage of the training.

I’m paying special attention to the Women and Bicycles program. Its unique events are very much in tune with women’s needs and concerns, and they sound like a lot of fun.

The day that I will commute to work on a bicycle for the first time is coming up very soon and I will raise a glass to WABA on that same evening!

Adult Learn to Ride Alexandria 9/8

Adult Learn to Ride

Consider learning to ride a bike—or learning to become a better bicyclist—for yourself! Register for a City Cycling class or Adult Learn to Ride class today. Check out the class calendar here.

For more information on WABA’s Women & Bicycles program, visit this page.

Women & Bicycles Tip: Know The Power of Shifting

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis entry is part of our Women & Bicycles Bi-Weekly Tips series. Women & Bicycles is WABA’s outreach and encouragement initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes. Click here to learn more and get involved.


Shifting gears; important for greater comfort, power, and in general for being a more confident bicyclist. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we’re consulting Bicycling magazine to get you shifting like a pro. Want some in-person assistance? Check out a WABA City Cycling class, or ride with us this Sunday!


Photo courtesy of Microvector and Bicycling Magazine

Photo courtesy of Microvector and Bicycling

Here’s what Neil Bezdek wrote for Bicycling:

1. The Gears
Most bikes have two or three chainrings in the front and anywhere from 7 to 11 gears, or cogs, in the back. Moving the chain from the smallest rear cog to the largest eases your pedaling effort incrementally. Moving it between the chainrings in the front results in a more noticeable change—pedaling feels easier in a smaller chainring and harder in a bigger one.

2. Shifter Savvy
The left-hand shifter changes the front gears; the one on the right controls gears in back. If you get flustered on the fly, remember: RIGHT = REAR.

3. It’s Okay To…
• Use only the rear cogs and the small or middle front chainring when you’re just getting comfortable on a bike.
• look down to see what gear you’re in.
• shift whenever a more experienced rider does.

4. When to Shift
The reason bikes have gears is so you can pedal (relatively) comfortably no matter what the terrain. Shift to an easier gear on climbs or when you’re riding into the wind. Use a harder gear on flats or if the wind is blowing from behind. When in doubt, shift before the terrain changes. When you shift, ease up on the pedals, especially on hills; if you’re pushing hard, the chain may skip or fall off.

5. Avoid Cross-Chaining 
That means the chain is at an extreme slant, either in the big ring up front and the biggest cog in back, or the small ring up front and the small cog in back. This not only stresses the hardware, but it also limits your options if you need to shift again.

6. Cheat Sheet
For: Uphills and headwinds
Use: Small or middle front chainring + bigger rear cogs

For: Downhills
Use: Large front chainring + a range of rear cogs

For: Flat terrain
Use: Small or middle front chainring + ­smaller rear cogs

We searched the internet high and low for an effective video tutorial on shifting gears, and we came across Ken here from Landry’s Bicycles:

This Month in Education


It’s back to school month for kids and adults with WABA’s bike education programs. We have great classes for adults all September long, and our youth in-school education in D.C. is beginning to ramp back up.

Whether you don’t know how to ride a bike or are a two-wheeling veteran, WABA’s education programs have something for you. Check us out!

Adult Learn to Ride
Our most popular classes by far are our Adult Learn to Ride classes. Unfortunately, all of the classes currently scheduled are full, but you can sign up to be notified when we add more! Follow this link to sign up.

City Cycling
While we love teaching adults how to ride bikes, City Cycling is what really gets us going. The ins and outs of riding a bike on city streets can be complicated and intimidating. But it can also be fun and very rewarding! Our City Cycling class is designed to teach people how to ride in a way that is confident, comfortable, and considerate. They’re our streets, so let’s go ride ‘em! Upcoming classes include:

  • Sat, Sept. 7 in Arlington
  • Sat., Sept. 14 in D.C.
  • Sat., Sept. 22 in D.C.
  • Sat., Sept. 28 in Arlington

You can find more info and sign up for City Cycling classes here.

With kids everywhere back in school, WABA’s in-school education, funded by DDOT’s Safe Routes to School program, is gearing up again. We are scheduling schools as fast as we can, but our program is limited to 13 schools per year. Keep an eye on WABA’s blog for updates on our in-school programming! If you’d like to bring WABA’s in-school bike education to your child’s school, contact DDOT’s Safe Routes to Schools coordinator. More information can be found here.

Announcing August City Cycling Classes

Bikes and Baseball

Did you miss out on our spring education season?

That’s OK! As temperatures recede in August, join us for a City Cycling class and hone your skills to tackle trails and roads with confidence this fall! See the class calendar to reserve your spot. Remember, you can always walk-up to any City Cycling class for free.

Maybe you learned to ride with us at one of our Adult Learn to Ride classes and you’ve been itching to take your new skills out on some of the region’s awesome trails. Or maybe you’ve been riding all summer long and want to feel a little more secure while commuting in traffic. Either way, our City Cycling classes will teach you sills you can use next time you hop on the saddle!

Don’t take my word for it. Listen to our students:

  • “As I have been cycling for a number of years I was wondering if the class would be too basic for me, but it was not. I was very pleased (and surprised about how much I didn’t know!)”
  • “All of the instructors are attentive and encouraging and helpful.”
  • “Taking a bike ride around the city streets after [the class] made me feel more secure (and confident!) riding around cars.”
  • “The instructors were top notch. They taught me what I needed to learn in a happy, down to earth way and did not make me feel stupid for not knowing basic things.”

What Is a City Cycling Class?
This 3-hour class is meant to be taken twice! After a brief introduction and some fundamental tips, we’ll split the class into two groups. Ideally, new students will take the “Trails” section the first time and join us again for the “Traffic” section. Experienced bicyclists can choose either section.

In the “Trails” group, we will cover basic bicycling information and on-bike skills. We’ll finish with a ride on a nearby trail and demonstrate proper passing, communication and trail etiquette. In the “Traffic” group, we will explore riding a bike on the roads with cars. We’ll cover on-road techniques and teach hazard avoidance maneuvers. We’ll finish with a ride on the roads and demonstrate techniques, highlight bike infrastructure, and put everything we’ve learned into practice. Both groups come back together for a demonstration of changing a flat tire.

Online study is required prior to arriving at class. Please complete the material on www.bikeed.org. This material is free, but is very thorough and can take up to 3 hours to complete. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Participants must bring their own bikes, helmets, and water. Clipless/SPD shoes/pedals are not recommended for this class. Participants will be required to sign liability waivers.

Register today! Not sure which class is right for you? Send an email to education@waba.org and we’ll help you find the ideal education experience.


Apply By Aug. 9 to Become a WABA Instructor

WABA Bike Rodeo, Shaw, Kennedy Recreation Center

We began the search for the next 15 WABA Education Instructors in early July, and applications have been pouring in. But don’t worry, we’ll keep the application open until August 9th, so if you’re a passionate bicyclist with a great “bike-side” manner, apply today.

For more information, follow the above link or click here for a list of frequently asked questions about the certification process. The application for 2013 instructors can be found here. Visit waba.org/teachwithwaba to stay up-to-date with certification and teaching opportunities.

If you have any questions, email education@waba.org or call 202-617-0849 x206.

Photo by Flickr user fifteenwren. Join our Flickr pool!

Switch to our mobile site