Alexandria Bike Campus: Miles’ Story

Alexandria-Bike-Campus-Mockup-animated

Last week, we announced our plan to turn an unused parking lot into the region’s first ever bike campus. Thanks to our members, we’re halfway to our fundraising goal!

The total cost of the project is around $55,000. We’re trying to secure $35,000 in grants and sponsorships, and we need your help to cover the remaining costs.

Before we ask you to make a donation, we want to highlight one of our members and why he and his family support the Alexandria Bike Campus. Miles learned to ride in the city as an adult, and taught his daughter to ride at—you guessed it—Jones Point Park.

Hello!

My name’s Miles and I really don’t know what I’d do without my bike. I wasn’t born a bicyclist, I learned in an old orchard as a kid. Although I crashed into trees, I never had to worry about how to bike sensibly with cars, pedestrians, and other people on bikes.

It was years later, in my early thirties, before I was comfortable riding in the street at all. Now I ride my bike to work 25 miles a day. Think of all those lost years between the orchard and the city streets! It was a difficult process. Even as an adult, I had a hard time getting comfortable and and feeling safe and learning to be courteous around other people moving through the city.

It’s even harder for kids. My kids didn’t have an orchard to learn in, but places like Jones Point park are a good environment to teach kids how to fall in love with biking. It’s great: safe, flat, bathrooms nearby, and a relaxing setting by the river.

I’m thrilled to learn about WABA’s proposed bike campus. I love the idea of a fun practice course that models our city streets, because we need a dedicated space to teach people how to ride safely around town. Think of all the years of lost biking joy we can spare them! Think of all the family excursions they’ll be able to take if they can learn someplace safe! Imagine how much more fun we’d have if everyone learned at a young age how to love biking and how to bike safely around town!

Thank you, WABA!

Miles’ confident new rider!

Sincerely,
Miles

We need $11,750 to make the Alexandria Bike Campus a reality.

Alexandria Bike Campus – We’re Halfway There!

Quick update: we’re 50% of the way to having enough money to build the Alexandria Bike Campus –thanks for helping us get this far!

Help the bike movement reach new heights at the Alexandria Bike Campus!

bike campus thankyou

 

Quick rundown: here’s what makes the Alexandria Bike Campus awesome: 

  • It’s the first of its kind in our region! Baltimore has one, Austin has one, Santa Monica has one. We deserve one!
  • Anyone can go learn, practice, teach, anytime, any day – especially the days we’re teaching classes.
  • The design is simple. It’s paint and instructional signage. And it’s a pilot. Over time we’ll try to build it out to a 3D streetscape!
  • We’re grateful to partner with National Park Service, and plan to get to work and launch this fall.
  • We’re grateful for any leads on other potential bike campus locations and partners. You know you want one in your neighborhood!

We need $20,000 to make the Alexandria Bike Campus a reality.

Draft Alexandria Bike Campus Design

 

Propaganda is such a strong word—let’s go with “Skillshare.”

Are you tired of explaining to your co-workers how to bike to work?

No, you probably aren’t. But maybe your coworkers are!

Let WABA do the explaining.

Talk to your HR team about bringing an Everyday Biking Seminar to your workplace. We’ve got fun, engaging ways to review the logistics of riding to work, and you can help us answer some of the workplace specific questions.

An Everyday Biking Seminar is an hour long Lunch & Learn specifically tailored for the workplace. During the seminar we cover many popular topics for new bike commuters. We will also leave plenty of time to answer questions and concerns.  The seminar will cover:

  • Finding a bike that feels good
  • Bike Law, traffic law and bike etiquette
  • How to be safe & confident on the road
  • Tips on preparation for commuting
  • Tips on having fun while riding to work

We’ll answer questions, assuage doubts, and make sure you and your coworkers have all the information and inspiration you need to hop on two wheels and experience all of the joy and benefits of biking to work.

Note: Probably don’t send this blog post to your HR people. Instead, send them our Official Everyday Biking Seminar PageOr, if you’re the decision maker in your office, you can request an Everyday Biking Seminar by completing this form.   

Yep! We’re Finally Getting Our Region’s First Bike Campus!

Have you seen our plan to convert an unused parking lot into a next-generation classroom for biking? With your help, we’re finally bringing our region its first-ever Bike Campus!

We’re asking you to help us raise funds to create the region’s first Bike Campus.

If you’ve donated to WABA, you know you’ve contributed to concrete change in our built environment and a tangible shift in the way we all interact on the road. You’ve made a lasting impact in our region. Thank you for continuing to back us. Thank you for driving our mission to make our region the best place to ride a bike.

Donate today to create a safe and vibrant place for people to learn about biking.

Bike Camp 3

 

For two and half years we’ve worked with National Park Service to take Jones Point Park, in the heart of Alexandria, to the next level as a place for bike education. With your help, we’ll have the funds to convert an unused parking lot into a vibrant skills course and replica streetscape so we can teach you and your children how to safely and confidently navigate city streets. And so you can take your children out on the weekends and teach them how to ride. But we can’t do it without your help.

Donate today to show your support for the next generation of bicyclists.

Bike Camp 2Over a dozen cities across the country have bike campuses, and it’s time we get one ourselves! Your support will pay for actual supplies so we can clean and re-seal the surface, lay out and paint the campus, and post new signage around the park! Your support will pay for our maintenance fund, so that we can help cover the costs of ownership over the new park. With your backing we’ll have a template to pressure other counties to adopt, and with your help we’ll eventually have bike campuses across Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.

Chip in today so we can create a Bike Campus our region deserves.

Alexandria-Bike-Campus-Mockup-animated

Meet Doug, our New Education Coordinator

Doug Smith

Hello everyone, I’m Doug Smith. I’m very excited and fortunate to be the new Education Coordinator here at WABA. I was encouraged to apply for this position by my family because the role directly aligns with my personal passion. I love to ride a bike. I don’t care if I’m riding down to the corner store, across town to meet friends, or repeatedly up and down the largest hill near my house so my son (on the “tag-a-long”) can feel the thrill of going downhill fast. I am looking forward to sharing my love of riding the bike with you in the community.

Professionally, leading up to this position I found myself mostly working from the road. For ten years, I worked in the natural care and wellness industry with a special focus in values-based business and leadership practices. I was a member of the customer development team for the leading producer of natural toothpaste and deodorant. I regularly saw people riding in town while I was stuck at a light and I envied them, I was tired of always looking through my windshield.

In this role as the Education Coordinator I’m getting back to where my passion lives, bikes. I’m looking forward to working with the community to get people safely on bicycles that have never ridden before. I believe everyone should be able to experience that joy and freedom. If you’re already comfortable on a bike, I’m looking forward to working with you to help you achieve whatever your goals are, be it greater confidence riding in the city, or experiencing the wonderful roads and trails that are available outside the city. Cheers!

You can meet Doug and the rest of our Education Team tonight (2/11) at the Mad Fox Tavern in Glover Park

We’re Hiring: Youth & Family Coordinator

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks a full-time Coordinator for our bicycle education and outreach programming dedicated to serving youth and families in the District of Columbia and the surrounding jurisdictions.

WABA’s education and outreach programs are highly regarded and successful, helping youth and families throughout the DC region to learn to ride bikes, to ride safely and comfortably on city streets, and to use bicycles to commute to and from work. Our youth education program provides bicycle and pedestrian education in DC public schools, public charter schools, and recreation centers, as well as private extracurricular bike education outside the school system.

Reporting to Program Director, this position will coordinate several of WABA’s existing programs, as well as working with development staff to design, fund, and implement new ideas. WABA is a small but growing office, and on occasion, all staff are asked to assist in general WABA duties and major events.

Responsibilities

The Youth & Family Coordinator will:

  • Plan, coordinate, and implement several key WABA programs in the District, as laid out in WABA’s existing contract with DDOT, including: in-school education, afterschool bike clubs, youth learn to ride classes, and parent/child classes. The Coordinator will be responsible for:
    • Delivering high-quality bicycling experiences to youth and families throughout the District.
    • Scheduling upwards of 20 events per year across these programs.
    • Marketing and promoting programs and conducting outreach activities.
    • Leading and teaching classes and rides.
    • Designing and modifying events, topics, ride routes, and curricula as needed.
    • Recruiting, training, and coordinating volunteers.
    • Collecting student, teacher and administration feedback and incorporating it into programming.
    • General administration, including blog posts, data entry, organization/inventory, clerical work, etc.
  • Maintain a small fleet of bikes, including: cleaning, replacing parts, and minor tune-ups.
  • Be responsible for the usage and service of the WABA van.
  • Manage all aspects of WABA’s Bike Camp! as Camp Director, including:
    • Creating a safe program with a thorough risk management plan.
    • Creation and implementation of a marketing and promotion plan.
    • Oversight of registration and operations of camp.
    • Designing curricula.
    • Hiring and training a team of Camp Counselors.
    • Engaging community partners.
    • Running the day-to-day operations of a 6-week day camp.
    • Evaluating performance and writing a final report.
  • Collaborate with the Programs team in resource sharing, skills development, and cross-program integration of ideas.
  • With the Programs team, commit to achieving the goals laid out in the 2015 WABA Strategic Plan.
  • With the Development team, work to identify new programmatic areas of need, design programs to meet those needs, and implement them.
  • With the Programs, Development, and Advocacy teams, determine if and how to export the programs in the DDOT contract to the surrounding jurisdictions.
  • Perform a variety of tasks related to the operations of WABA including office tasks, event assistance, and clerical work.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 1-3 years physical education/athletics/outdoor education with youth ages 5-18.
  • 1-3 years summer camp management/counselor experience.
  • 1-3 years supervisory experience.
  • Previous youth development training and experience strongly preferred.
  • Current League Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification or equivalent OR the willingness/ability to obtain certification within first 6-8 weeks of employment.
  • Current First Aid/CPR certification for children OR the willingness/ability to obtain certification within first 6-8 weeks of employment.
  • The ability to pass DC Public Schools’ volunteering requirements: negative tuberculosis test and criminal background check.
  • Excellent writing, presentation, and public speaking skills.
  • A flexible schedule, specifically a willingness to work evenings, early mornings, and weekends.
  • The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  • A current driver’s license, a clean driving record, and the ability to drive a large van in city traffic.
  • The ability to lift 45 lbs.
  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission.
  • A solid understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist.
  • Spanish proficiency or ASL proficiency a strong plus

Benefits include flex time, vacation, sick and personal leave, and WABA’s retirement and health insurance programs. Expected salary range: $35,000-$40,000. This position is full-time.

Contact

Send a cover letter and a resume to jobs@waba.org.  No phone calls please.

Applications will be accepted until February 12th. Expected start date is March 1st, 2016.

November 1st: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!

With the Daylight Savings turning the clock back an hour this weekend, your trip home from work, or school will be a lot darker than normal on Monday. WABA has collected a few tips and tricks you can use to maximize visibility when out on the road!

Front White Light For Your Handlebars: These bicycle lights let oncoming road users aware of your presence and are required by law in DC, MD. and VA. Putting the lights in blinking/pulsating mode saves battery, and makes your bicycle distinguishable from other road users. 

frontlight

Front White Light For Your Helmet: This light shines where you are looking, which can be very helpful in areas without much street lighting and helps you spot potholes or debris in your way.
helmet light

Rear Red Light For Your Helmet: Many helmets have have vents or straps where a bicycle light can easily hook on to and is an easy way to increase your visibility.

helmetlight

Rear Red Light For Your Bicycle: Although not required by law to have a rear light (rear reflector is the minimum), having a red blinking, or pulsating light will increase your visibility. Hand signals are also a great way to communicate with other road users what your intentions are!

redlightrighthand

Reflective Clothing: For even more visibility, reflective clothing provides multiple options from jackets, pants, scarves, shoes with reflective strips attached to them that brightly light up when hit with lights from vehicles, or other light sources. Backpacks, ankle straps, and helmet stickers are also other useful accessories that can be incredibly reflective.

reflective

 

If you would like to learn more about bicycling, visit our Education Calendar for a list of upcoming classes.

Happy riding!

joyrider-illuminated-smiley-face-bicycle-light-show