How to be a bike advocate

It’s a big deal and people notice when 19,000+ bicyclists ride to work on a single day — including your elected representatives.

Make sure you register for Bike to Work Day now so you get counted, and put a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget to stop by your local pit stop on Friday, May 19th.

Bike to Work Day is your opportunity to advocate for bicycling by simply signing up and riding.

Sign up » 

Many local elected officials and decision makers will be in attendance at your local pit stop on Bike to Work Day. Councilmembers, County Board Supervisors, State Delegates, State Senators, Members of Congress or even a Senator might make an appearance. Important decision makers such as Directors of Transportation Departments, officials from State Highway and DOTs and other planners and traffic engineers could be at a pit stop too.

Here are some tips on how to be a bike advocate at your Bike to Work Day pit stop:

  • Know your elected officials and other decision makersUse our handy legislator look-up tool and be familiar with your representatives.
  • Ask them now if they are planning to attend Bike to Work Day – Send them a message and inquire if they are attending Bike to Work Day. Include in your message an invitation for them to attend a local pit stop.
  • Plan what you want to say – Practice your elevator speech. You’re only going to get 30 seconds to talk to them about biking. Introduce yourself, including where you live, and ask them to support a project or for their help in addressing an issue. Ask how to follow-up. Thank them for their support.
  • Introduce yourself at the pit stop – Identify the official and introduce yourself. Be respectful of others speaking with them and wait your turn to speak.
  • Thank them for attending and for their support of biking – Show your appreciation for their attendance of Bike to Work Day and general support of bicycling. It goes a long way to thank and appreciate people first. If they have recently supported a specific initiative, mention it and give credit where due.
  • Have an “ask” – What do you want them to do? Have a one sentence “ask.” Good examples include “could you send a letter of support to DOT about this bike trail?” or “please ask the state DOT to address the issue of biking on this road.”
  • Be respectful of their time (be quick!!) – You might only get 30 seconds or less. Officials and their staff have busy schedules and multiple appointments in a single day. Be respectful of their time at an event.
  • Follow-up that day – Make sure to ask how you can follow-up with them. Should you email them or is there a staffer who you should reach out to directly? Send a follow-up email that day!

And one last thing, don’t forget to register for Bike to Work Day: especially if you bike every day. This is the one day of the year to be counted (literally). Good luck being a bike advocate and have a great Bike to Work Day!

Event: Bike to Work Day
Date: Friday, May 19th, 2017
Location: Find your pit stop here. There are 86 pit stops across the region.
Time: Various times, but most pit stops are open from about 6:30am to 9:30am. Some are afternoon stops.
Cost: FREE! Don’t forget to register.
More Info: www.waba.org/aboutbiketoworkday

Sign up » 

Tom Sherwood of NBC4 Washington will host the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards

We are excited to announce that Tom Sherwood of NBC4 Washington will host this year’s Washington Area Bicyclists’ Choice Awards on February 28th.

Photo Courtesy of NBC Washington

The Awards will take place at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health on Tuesday, February 28th from 7:30-9:00pm. Anyone is welcome to attend the party and admission is free. There will also be complimentary food from Cava as well as beer and wine. We hope that you will celebrate the people and places that make our region a great place to bike. If you wish to attend, please RSVP for the Awards event here.

It is also the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards and that means that we need YOU to decide the winners. Voting will be open through February 21st. Vote for your favorites here.

Additional information about our annual Bicyclists’ Choice Awards can be found here.

Best of WABA Events: 2016

Looking back at 2016, the WABA Events Team wanted to share with you our favorite moments from our signature events of the last year:

February 2016: The Bicyclist Choice Awards and Annual Members Meeting

DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo accepts The WABA Vision Zero award.

WABA staff.

The Awards event is our opportunity to be fancy and to recognize and thank those people who really and truly make a positive difference for bicycling in the region. It was really special this year to have the Director of the District Department of Transportation in attendance to accept an award we gave him. -Michelle

March 2016: The Congressional Ride 

Photo Credit: The League of American Bicyclists

The Congressional Ride is a really unique ride event that WABA organizes as part of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit each year. It’s special because we get to meet bike advocates and bicyclists from all over the country, talk to them about the work WABA is doing in our Nation’s Capital and around the region, and show off some of DC’s best bicycle infastrucutre. Everyone is always so impressed with the bike lanes and protected infrastructure, and they love hearing about our programs, events, and the impact we have on the region. -Michelle

The Vasa Ride

Vasa Ride 2016

The weather machine cooperated and the cloudy skies held their rain for this year’s Vasa Ride. Flowers were in bloom. The breeze was almost warm. The highlight is always the grumbling and tight muscles in the morning as sleepy-eyed riders stretch out their riding legs for the first time all winter, and then the joy, smiles, hugs, and happy conversations had over warm blueberry soup at the end of the ride inside the absolutely gorgeous House of Sweden. -Michelle 

May 2016: Bike to Work Day

Photo Credit: John Pickett

What’s not to love about Bike to Work Day? The ENTIRE WABA staff and board unite to go spread the bike love. This year, WABA had a presence at a record number of pit stops for us: 26 different pit stops! We mobilized 31 WABA captains and 112 volunteers to get out there super early on a Friday morning and talk to people about better bicycling. So much sunshine. So much coffee. So many bagels. And so many bicycle-induced smiles and high fives. -Michelle

Tour de Fat

DC celebrity spotting! Local bicycle advice columnist Gear Prudence for City Paper came out to support WABA.

Just look at those lines!

I was a bit terrified when Tour de Fat rolled around this year because there was rain in the forecast — LOTS of rain. But, to my delight, people still came out to celebrate and drink beer and ride bikes in the rain! I couldn’t believe it and I am SO grateful that the #bikedc community is so supportive of the work we do. -Michelle 

June 2016: Bike to Work AGAIN Day

Bike to Work Again Day + beer!

We loved Bike to Work Day so much this year that we decided to celebrate it again a month later! With three “pit stops” at local bars and restaurants in Arlington, Bethesda, and the District, we hung out with bike commuters on their way home and talked about our favorite subject: bikes! -Nick

July 2016: Bike to the Pools Ride

Cooling off at a splash park right off the Marvin Gaye Trail!

The Washington area gets pretty hot in July, so we decided that we’d combine two things we all love to do: biking and swimming! (And a bit of splashing.) We rode our bikes from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens along the Marvin Gaye Trail, stopped at a splash park, hopped on our bikes again, and finished the ride at the Deanwood Pool. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon! -Nick

August 2016: Open Streets Community Organizing

Petworth residents, ANC commissioners, and community leaders came together to help guide us in planning a community wide event in their neighborhood that will have a positive lasting impact, promote community building, and bring neighbors together.

This entire year we have been working to bring an open street event to DC, where a roadway is temporary closed to vehicles so it can be opened up to the people to walk, bike, dance, and play in the middle of the street. We are lucky to have the support of the DC Office of Planning in this effort and received a substantial grant for this project from the agency. It’s a big undertaking, and we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited for the connections and relationships we’ve begun to build with Petworth and city officials, and can’t wait to continue work in 2017 to bring DC its first open streets program. -Michelle

September 2016: The 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride

Photo credit: Chuck Cage

Years of tinkering with WABA’s weather machine to let up on the rain finally paid off, but someone forgot to adjust the temperature… it was HOT! Despite the heat, we welcomed our biggest crowd yet—700 registrants—to a fun and challenging ride throughout DC’s 8 Wards. This year, we hosted riders from California, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, and many other far-flung places! -Nick

October 2016: WABA in the Wild Overnight C&O Tour

In a matter of days, the 11 strangers who came together for WABA in the Wild became fast friends.

Everyone celebrated in the warm autumn sunshine at mile marker 0 in Georgetown at the end of the ride.

WABA in the Wild was the highlight of my year for sure. It was a feat of an event to pull off: the first time WABA has ever done an original peer-to-peer fundraising event, the first time we’ve ever done a multi-day bike tour, the first time we’ve ever organized a group camping trip. But we pulled it off and it was a tremendous success. We bicycled through rain and mud with smile on our faces. We saw beauty in the trees along the canal and the shimmering sunshine on the Potomac. There was whiskey, laughter, games, camaraderie, and so. many. snacks. And we can’t wait to do it again with more people in 2017! -Michelle

November 2016: The Cider Ride

Photo credit: Mr.TinDC

This year’s Cider Ride was the biggest ever, with over 700 people riding their bikes along the beautiful trails and farm roads of Prince George’s county, the Patuxent Research Refuge, and the new (and old) sections of the Anacostia River Trail. Riders also helped to advance our campaign to finish the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail in Hyattsville — we collected over 300 signatures at an advocacy pit stop along the course! -Nick

December 2016: The Holiday Party

Many, many bikes outside Boundary Stone for the WABA Holiday Party. Photo credit: Jeremiah Lowery

One of our ‘accomplishments scrapboards’ from the party

We hosted our year-end Holiday Party at Boundary Stone and had an awesome time chatting with members about all the things we accomplished together in 2016 and what we’re looking forward to working on in 2017. It was great to hang out with so many of our members and enjoy some holiday cheer! -Nick


We hope you enjoyed being part of the bike community as much as we did this year. Happy New Year and here’s to more awesome WABA events — and a few awesome event surprises — in 2017!

Cheers,

WABA Events Team

You’re invited: WABA Member Holiday Party!

When: Wednesday, December 14th from 6:00-10:00pm

Where: Boundary Stone, 116 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC

Who: WABA Members and your family and friends

RSVP: Join the Holiday Party event on Facebook and invite your WABA friends

All WABA members are invited to join the WABA Staff, Board of Directors, and your fellow WABA Members on Wednesday, December 14th at Boundary Stone in DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood for an evening of bicycle cheer.

Come eat and drink and be merry with us in celebration of this year’s advocacy successes and mingle with fellow WABA members.

The party is free and there will be food and drink specials available for you to purchase at the bar.

*Please note this party is for WABA Members and their close friends and family. WABA is a member supported non-profit organization and your yearly membership dues fund our ongoing advocacy and outreach work. If you have friends that are not WABA Members, bring them and encourage them to become a WABA member at the party!*

WABA in the Wild was AWESOME!

A few weeks ago, we held our very first WABA in the Wild, a three and a half day bike tour and camping trip from Cumberland, Maryland at one end of the C&O Canal Trail to Georgetown, Washington, DC at the other end of the C&O Canal Trail.

Riders in Cumberland

A wet but happy start in Cumberland, MD

Simply put, WABA in the Wild was epic.

Take a look at the adventure below and read on to hear what a few ride participants had to say about their experience. Plus, this event was a peer-to-peer fundraiser ride that raised almost $14,000 for WABA! A huge thank you and props to all of our WABA in the Wild riders.

Here’s what people said about the trip:

Waba in the Wild was an incredible experience for more reasons than I even anticipated.The ride itself was an extraordinary immersion in nature and cycling all day; the WABA crew was amazingly hospitable and thought every detail through, allowing us to just ride, make friends and marvel at the scenery; and I got to try a short bike tour with all the logistics taken care of- and instead of paying a tour company, I got to raise money for an organization that directly makes me safer and happier on my bike.

I’m so happy WABA decided to organize this trip because I’ve wanted to bike the entire C&O canal for years but was having trouble with logistics. WABA arranged everything seamlessly and gave me the opportunity to do this not just for myself and my own achievement but also to raise money to support making biking safer. I learned so much about what I can do in my community, it was so inspiring!

Favorite parts of the event for me were the camaraderie and moments to ride and chat with both the riders and the WABA crew; Camping, campfire and camp meals; Learning more about the WABA mission and goals. Lastly, being completely consumed in the event from start to finish.

I am still basking in the WABA in the Wild afterglow! I’ll start by expressing my appreciation for the way you handled the logistics for this event. The guidance you provided in advance of the trip from fundraising through packing lists and daily schedules were thorough and immensely helpful. I felt a part of the WABA team in reaching the goals and from wheels up at Walter Pierce Park I also felt that friendships were formed among the WABA crew and all of the riders. I feel a connection to everyone who participated. There are many challenges presented in riding and camping the C&0 canal. Conditioning, hydration, nutrition, recovery are all a part of what each rider has to do. WABA injected massive amounts of fun into every aspect of this adventure. I truly felt like i was being taken care of throughout. WABA in the Wild was a memorable experience. Thank you!

Interested in WABA in the Wild 2017?!

Like what you hear? Are you up for the challenge? Join us for WABA in the Wild in 2017!

If you’d like to be the first to know about when information and adventure dates are available for the 2017 event, and to find out when registration opens, sign up for the WABA in the Wild C&O Canal Tour interest email list here.

We Make it Easy for You to Get Out and Ride!

It’s our annual fall membership drive! We disrupt our regularly scheduled updates to urge you to join or renew with WABA today. 

Join or Renew right now!

wwriders

WABA in the Wild riders at Milepost 0 on the C&O Canal Towpath after three days of biking and camping.

WABA has an incredible line up of large community bike rides that challenge, unite, and help you get miles of beautiful roads and trails under those tires. These rides are designed just for you – our WABA Members. Our signature events exist to bring together people who bike in Maryland, Virginia, and DC — hey, that’s YOU! — in a safe and welcoming space to celebrate bicycling and ride together. We make it easy for you to get out and ride.

We just held our FIRST EVER multi-day bicycle tour, WABA in the Wild, and it was a tremendous success.

postwwcelebration

Celebrating 184.5 miles and raising $12,000 for better bicycling!

Here’s what a few of the WABA in the Wild riders had to say about it:

“My weekend with WABA was wet, wild, and so, so wonderful. What an incredible bunch of new friends. Having been a road rider up to now, I found the towpath surface more technical (and painful!) than expected. But with great company, gorgeous weather two of the three days, and so much positive, passionate, bike-loving energy, the 185’ish miles were pure joy. It was impossible not to fall in love with this trail and the great folks of WABA who seek to protect it and create more like it.” – WABA Member Lauren A.

And also this:

“We made it. And all of you who helped me – you gave to some incredibly talented and dedicated people. 185 miles of amazing scenery and history with an awesome group of people. Feeling really grateful.” -WABA Member Joe Q.

And finally:

“We had a great ride this past weekend riding from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown via the C&O canal – from overcoming the rain and giant trail puddles on Saturday, to infinite cheezit (occasionally with Nutella) consumption, trail names, aching backsides, glorious fall sunshine, and new friends. WABA is an amazing advocacy organization in DC with qualified leadership and a strategic vision.” – WABA Member Cassie H.

Here’s our challenge to you:

If you’ve participated in a WABA event and enjoyed the ride, we urge you to show your appreciation for our community and give back to the organization that continues to work day in and day out to make the region a better place to ride a bike. Join WABA or renew your membership today.

Excited about jumping into a WABA Event now that you’re a member?

You’re in luck, because our next signature ride, The Cider Ride, is coming up in just a few weekends on Saturday, November 5th. Register today!!

The Cider Ride is your chance to join or renew if you haven’t yet, and then to experience the fun, welcoming, and inclusive community that WABA is. Plus, all of our signature rides are essentially fundraisers in disguise – you get to ride your bike, get a custom ride branded t-shirt or mug, and enjoy a bunch of snacks and treats – while we get to raise funds that help support our advocacy, education, and outreach efforts.

img_20151114_160542264

See views like this on the 2016 Cider Ride on November 5th!

We do our best to make it easy for you to get out there and ride. We hope to see you on November 5th for The Cider Ride, and we hope you will consider joining us for WABA in the Wild next year!

 

This year’s 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride was huge and awesome

This year, WABA saw record numbers of attendees at the annual 50 States and 13 Colonies Ride. That also means we raised some serious dough for better bicycling in the District, Maryland and Virginia— thanks for your support!

Check out some of the photos of the amazing day:

Thanks to our amazing event sponsors, riders were able to enjoy fruit, water, granola bars, burritos, beer, pizza, and more!

DistrictTacologo 3StarsBrewinglogo

MellowMushroomlogo  CoffeeNaturelogo

Giant  KIND Logo  DrinkMoreWaterlogo

Keep being awesome, and see you at our next ride event!