Posts Tagged ‘education’
WABA’s Workshop Series brings FREE bike education workshops to your neighborhood! You can read more about our Workshop Series here. Want to bring a WABA Workshop to your local bike shop? Just call them and ask them to request one! You can use our list of local bike shops in the region. Questions? Comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-518-0524 x200.
Interested in finding out more about commuting by bicycle? The Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Spokes Etc. Bicycles in Alexandria are teaming up to bring you the Bike Commuter Clinic! This is the perfect opportunity to interest your friends and coworkers in bike commuting. Don’t forget, National Bike to Work Day is right around the corner! Sign up for the Bike Commuter Clinic here.
Spokes Etc. Alexandria
1545 N. Quaker Lane
Alexandria VA 22302
Join Daniel Hoagland, WABA’s DC Bike Ambassador Coordinator as he presents tips, tricks, and essential knowledge for commuting by bicycle in the Washington DC area. Daniel is a League Cycling Instructor, has taught many different cycling classes, and is heavily involved in community cycling resources throughout the area.
The clinic will address safe bicycle commuting techniques and equipment, riding in traffic, safe routes for commuting, preparing for your ride, and more. Plus, we’ll show you a wide variety of bikes and accessories you can use to get you ready to ride. We’ll even have a couple of commuter bikes set up and ready to roll.
Refreshments will be served. Due to space constraints, you must register beforehand here. For more information, call Spokes Etc Alexandria at 703-820-2200 or email Nate Graham, Communications Manager, at email@example.com Thank you!
WABA’s “Got Lights?” project gives away 1,000 free sets of front and rear lights (provided by DDOT) and will continue all year in various locations throughout the District. We are committed to giving each and every light set to cyclists who are riding without lights when we find them. If you already have lights on your bike, please consider helping us put these lights on the bikes that need them. Call 202-518-0524 x200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to help out! This post was written by WABA member and volunteer DC Bike Ambassador Jason Clock.
The Dark Ages
Daylight Savings Time ended on November 6th, and since then WABA has been waiting for their bike light sets to be paid for/arrive (as a volunteer, information isn’t always easy to come by). The first few weeks after the time change are statistically some of the worst to be a pedestrian (or a bicyclist), as the number of crashes jumps up.
But for most bicyclists, evening commutes stay dark well into the late winter/early spring, so even though WABA’s lights only arrived last week, the need for lights on bikes hasn’t gone away. This is definitely the time of year when many cyclists are not visible due to lack of lights and reflective clothing.
Bike Lights For the Lightless
WABA’s goal is to target cyclists “riding dark”, i.e. people who don’t have any lights on their bike at all. Whether it’s due to a lack of knowledge about the laws requiring lights, an inability to afford them, not knowing where to buy them, or just plain forgetfulness, these people are the ones who are the most vulnerable.
So when the DC Bike Ambassadors were asked to sign up for the Bike Light Blitz–riding around with a bag of light sets and handing them out with a smile and a “Got Bike? Get WABA” business card, I was happy to help out. Here’s my timeline of the evening.
- 6:00 PM: I arrived at WABA HQ in Adams Morgan and grabbed a bag of bike lights. 15 white front lights and 15 red rear lights in the “knog” style, single-piece lights with a silicon strap that loops around handlebars, seat posts, or pretty much anything else.
- 6:10 PM: I decked out my bike with a few light sets to draw attention and designated a pocket each for front lights, rear lights, and WABA cards. Joined by the rest of the Bike Light Blitzers, I headed out. We were allowed to pick our own routes, and I chose to head towards downtown, riding along the 15th street cycle track with an eye out for “stealth riders” to start blitzing. I quickly encountered a few “False IDs”–riders with rear red lights but no front white lights. I told them that a front light is not only good for visibility, but is required by law when riding at night.
6:30 PM: Feeling like a bike messenger, I pushed hard to chase down one stealth rider after another, standing on the pedals and hoping for a red light that would give me a few seconds to pull up alongside and enlighten them. The adrenaline rush helped break the ice, since most riders were a little suspicious at first. “I am just going across the street,” complained one single-speed cyclist–decked out in dark clothing on a black bike. “How much?” asked another rider. “No trick here,” I assured him, “I’m just shedding some light on the stealth riders of the District.” My pun went unnoticed, but the bike lights were appreciated.
- 6:45 PM: I fully expected that the morning’s rain would keep the number of cyclists low in the evening, but I was shocked to find myself out of light sets in just 35 minutes! I was surprised by how many cyclists did not have lights. Many of them also wore dark clothing which certainly did not help visibility. And worst of all, most people didn’t even realize they were putting themselves in unnecessary danger.
A Brighter Future
I have to say I had a blast helping out with the Bike Light Blitz, and I plan to grab a few more bike light sets to keep on hand for when I come across stealth riders on my normal commute. And, after counting dark cyclists while walking my dog, I might stash a few sets in my coat pockets for those times when I’m on foot, too.
You Can Help Too
Become a volunteer Bike Ambassador and help spread the word about bikes to your community, workplace and friends. We educate cyclists and motorists about safe cycling and have a good time doing it. You can contact Daniel Hoagland, WABA’s Bike Ambassador Coordinator by emailing email@example.com
Thank you to WABA & DDOT for making free bike lights possible!
This winter, we’re looking for the brave, the bold, and those willing to get cold. We’re having a bike education class for our committed Bike Ambassador volunteers on Saturday, January 21st. While this class is primarily for the Bike Ambassador volunteers, it is also open to the general public.
The class will be our Confident City Cycling 1 curriculum, which covers basic bicycling information and on-bike skills. Half of this class will be in the WABA classroom and half will be on-bike practicing bike handling skills.
You might be asking “Who are the Bike Ambassador volunteers?”
The Bike Ambassador program is our way of outsourcing our bike outreach and education. Bike Ambassador volunteers are just like you–people who love bikes and bicycling. We give them tools and resources to go back into their own communities and workplaces and help WABA spread the word about bicycling. They answer questions, attend events, and generally act as one-stop mobile information booths for all things bike-related. It’s a lot of fun, and we’re always looking for more volunteers.
You can fill out this form, and our Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator will let you know how you can join the Ambassadors!
Last Thursday, The Bike Rack offered a new educational opportunity to its customers and we were happy to help out. Our Bike Commuting Seminar has been one of the services that we offer to are employers looking to show the benefits of biking and physical activity to their employees. Traditionally, we have held the class as a “brown bag” lunchtime education session for employees, complete with a slideshow, folding bike demonstration, free maps and guides for attendees, and a discounted WABA membership offer.
But The Bike Rack wanted to offer the class not to its employees but to its customers–giving non-commuter cyclists a chance to ask questions and current bike commuters an opportunity to expose their friends to the idea in comfortable environment. We worked with them to be able to provide the class for free, and as a result, we may have created some new bike commuters! More than 20 curious bicyclists packed the bike shop and helped themselves to free wine and pizza provided by local pizzeria Pizza No. 17.
We want to thank Chuck and the rest of The Bike Rack staff for inviting us out to the shop and for giving us the opportunity to expand our bike education offerings, and for providing such a great event space!
But one class isn’t enough…we want to extend this opportunity to other bike shops throughout the region. We want to give you the opportunity to bring your friends out so they can learn about bike commuting in a fun, easy way. So let your local bike shop know that you would be happy to see a class offered there. Let them know that they can get in touch with us to set it up.
And of course, our Bike Commuter Seminars are still available to employers as a great way to encourage bicycle commuting, provide a little education to your employees and make some headway on that “Bicycle Friendly Business” application…
Contact info for Bike Commuter Seminars:
The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) regional network is ending the year with several major successes in Fairfax County. After convening a special SRTS working group within Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Transportation and Safety division in June, FCPS has agreed to several initiatives that will highlight SRTS activities and increase the numbers of students walking or biking to school everyday.
FCPS will add SRTS specific language to their “Golden Wellness Award” scorecard, which is used to determine how closely the individual schools are implementing the FCPS Health and Wellness Policy. This sought after award will now include specific recommended activities, like Walking Wednesdays, Bike Trains, Walking School Buses, participation in International Walk to School Day (IWTSD) as well as Bike to School Day. In addition, delivery of bicycle and pedestrian safety education at the individual school will be a required element in order to win the award. The schools system’s 95210 A Day (9 hours of sleep, 5 fruits and vegetables, less than 2 hours of screen time, at least 1 hour of exercise and 0 sugary drinks) will be updated to include walking or bicycling to school as a suggested activity to get to the 1 hour daily activity goal.
FCPS has also agreed to create and host a SRTS focused webpage with resources for school administrators, parents, community champions and children who would like to see more SRTS activities at their school. This site will include policy, curriculum standards and sample lesson plans, state and local contacts, grant application resources, sample newsletter articles and resources for planning walking and bicycling events. FCPS will also prepare scripts and create videos specifically geared to youth bicycling and safe pedestrian practices for the Fairfax County public access television channels as well as the internal FCPS channels.
An annual survey of schools will be continued (modeled after the first one in May 2011) in order to adequately account for how every student is transported to and from school. Counts will be made of bus riders, walkers, kiss and ride users as well as data collected comparing those numbers to the assigned mode. The survey in May proved invaluable, allowing us to create a list of the top ten schools where with a little encouragement, FCPS could see an increase in the numbers of students walking or bicycling to school, thereby alleviating the extreme traffic jams due to the kiss and ride queues. Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB) is contemplating creating a “Green Transit” award for the top schools in Fairfax Co who increase their assigned mode numbers, whether it is by bus transportation or walking or bicycling. A survey of the 27 schools who participated in IWTSD will also be completed to determine their strategies, success and participation rate.
FCPS officials also committed to working in tandem with Fairfax County transportation planners to submit an application for a SRTS non-infrastructure grant in the spring and also agreed to begin the process of determining which school locations would most benefit from an infrastructure grant, when the application is revised and those grant opportunities announced.
The FCPS SRTS Working Group will continue to meet quarterly throughout 2012 to update partners on progress, monitor initiatives and strategize for system wide events, including Bike to School Day (in conjunction with Bike to Work Day) in May and International Walk to School Day in October.
Author’s Note: This article inadvertently left out those on our Fairfax County SRTS Task Force who have worked tremendously hard to achieve this progress in the County. Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB), Trails for Youth as well as Wolf Trap Elementary parent, Jeff Anderson and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ Transportation Advisory Committee member Jenifer Joy Madden were central to this effort.
On Thursday morning, more than 30 people crowded into a small room at the Shirlington Education and Employment Center (SEEC) in Arlington County to attend a Bicycle Commuter Seminar jointly presented by WABA and Bike Arlington. The big difference between this particular seminar and the other 29 that our instructors have done throughout the region this year is that this one was given completely in Spanish.
The Spanish Bike Commuter seminar was given by Edgar Gil and we were invited by Andres Tobar, the director of the SEEC, and Tim Kelly of Bike Arlington. The seminar covered all of the same topics as the English version, including:
- Benefits of bike commuting
- What to do before you ride
- Choosing a bike
- Choosing a route
- Riding visibly
- Lighting and reflectivity
- Lane position and control
- Communication and hand signals
- Riding predictably
- Lawful bicycling
- Bike helmets
- Bike locks
- And more!
Additionally, Bike Arlington provided bike lights and reflective straps to attendees for free, and we handed out Spanish copies of our Safe Bicycling in the Washington Area guide, as well as bike maps of Arlington County and other relevant information. As a follow-up, we’ll be providing free helmets for the SEEC to hand out to participants.
If you or your employer is interested in setting up a Bike Commuter Seminar, in either English or Spanish, please feel free to contact us for more information by calling 202-518-0524 x200 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Shirlington Education and Employment Center matches day laborers with employers who are in need of temporary labor. Potential workers who have the skills and background required are referred to employers who then negotiate the working conditions and wages. Workers are expected to complete the tasks requested to the best of their ability and employers are expected to be fair.
On your way into work tomorrow, you may notice vast hordes of children walking, bicycling and making their way down the street. It’s quite likely that they will be pretty loud and boisterous, making you look out your window to see what the commotion is. Have no fear-it’s just International Walk and Bike to School Day!
Seeing kids walking or bicycling to school used to be as common as butterflies in your stomach on the first day. Now however, not so much. Parents’ work schedules, ultra heavy backpacks, speeding commuter traffic and worry that your child is not safe on their walk to school have all contributed to the decline of walking to school from nearly 50% in 1969 to only around 13% in 2009. Walking or bicycling to and from school every day shows children that incorporating an active lifestyle into their daily routine is easy, and as a bonus, it’s fun!
This year the District of Columbia has a record number of schools participating-22 spread out all over the city. WABA, DDOT and Children’s Hospital representatives plan to celebrate the day at our main event at Anne Beers Elementary in Ward 7 where US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is going to lead one of their four “walking” school buses. So join us by starting your day off with a nice brisk walk or an invigorating bike ride with your child tomorrow, to school, to your bus stop, or even around the block. And if you have to drive, be extra aware of those roaming bands of children and parents making the most of their morning by walking to school.
So you want to get some exercise while getting to work pumped up and ready to go? Maybe save some money? Could it be you’d like to avoid our crazy traffic or standing on a crowded bus or metro car? Perhaps you just want to get some fresh air in the morning? We have the solution: Bike commuting.
We invite to join us for one of our upcoming bicycle safety education classes! We have several Confident City Cycling (CCC) classes this fall. These classes will teach you how to ride safely and comfortably in DC streets.
Our Confident City Cycling 1 (CCC1) class is for people who feel comfortable riding a bike around a parking lot or trail but don’t yet have the skills or confidence to safely bike in traffic. CCC1 is also for cyclists who maybe haven’t ridden in a while and want a short refresher course on city riding. CCC1 students will learn the basics of proper road biking and practice essential drills to make you a better cyclist and as a bonus CCC1 students will learn how to change a flat tire.
Our Confident City Cycling 2 (CCC2) class will build upon skills learned in CCC1 and give cyclists the confidence they need to feel comfortable riding in most road situations. CCC2 will teach how to avoid specific dangerous situations with cars, pedestrians and the road. CCC2 will cover emergency turning drills to be a well-prepared cyclist. CCC2 will also have our student-cyclists practice with our instructors on the road so that they can confidently ride our city streets in style.
So sign up today before the classes fill up!
Its time to learn some urban riding skills. WABA is hosting a series of classes this fall designed to help you become a safer, happier and all-round better cyclist. Click here to sign up for our immediate schedule of classes. Hurry, because they will fill up quickly.
We have classes for every level of cyclist.
Our Learn to Ride (L2R) classes are for people who have never ridden a bike before but want a dedicated group of instructors to help them to learn.
Our Confident City Cycling 1 (CCC1) class is for people who don’t have the skills to safely bike in traffic or who are just a little rusty and want a refresher course. CCC1 students will learn the basics of proper road biking and practice essential drills to make you a better cyclist. Plus, all CCC1 students will learn how to change a flat tire.
Our Confident City Cycling 2 (CCC2) class will build upon skills learned in CCC1 and teach you how to avoid specific dangerous situations with cars, pedestrians and the road. CCC2 will cover emergency maneuver drills to give you the knowledge to be a well-rounded cyclist. CCC2 will also have you practice with our instructors on the road so that you can confidently ride our city streets in style.
Whether you bike, walk or drive around DC, it is becoming clearer and clearer that there is a traffic enforcement problem on our streets. Traffic laws are routinely violated by everybody, without repercussion, making everybody less safe. At WABA, we take the safety of bicyclists very seriously, and we’re not very fond of endangering pedestrians or drivers either. So we were thrilled to help DDOT train some of their Traffic Control Officers in bike safety and the finer points of the District’s bike laws.
DDOT’s Traffic Control Officers (TCOs) “prevent congestion through enforcement and traffic control services” and have the authority to issue citations (write tickets) to offenders. This puts them on the front lines, and with the help of a bit of bike education, makes them a powerful force to protect cyclists’ rights on DC’s streets.
WABA’s Bike Ambassador, Daniel Hoagland, has taken two full “classes” of TCOs through a condensed version of our Confident City Cycling classes, focusing on vehicular cycling and DC traffic laws regarding bicycling, as well as the District’s bike infrastructure, common enforcement errors and practices that marginalize bicyclists. After that, they saddled up and went on a 7-mile bike tour of the city. The tour included a wide variety of bicycling infrastructure and facilities, emphasizing the issues bicyclists face with current traffic enforcement in the District. Key issues included cars parked in bike lanes, driver aggression and harassment, sidewalk cycling downtown and the enforcement issues surrounding new infrastructure like the 15th St. cycle track. We’re hopeful that these men and women will start to address the lack of enforcement out on our streets, inspire bicyclists to bike safely, and promote bicycling among public officials.
Additionally, the TCOs will use their new bike skills to be more mobile, improving their response times to emergency calls and enabling them to more effectively get from the Reeves Center to their deployment locations and back. And, of course, there is one more benefit to getting these men and women onto bikes. When we asked them what they were hoping to get out of the training, their number one answer was “exercise”.