Bike Theft is on the Rise. Take 10 Minutes and Do This Now.

Last week, we gave you a brief overview of what to do in the event that your bike is stolen. In that post, we mentioned WABA’s bicycle owner record sheet, which we’d like to discuss in a bit more detail today.

When a bike is stolen, the first thing you should do is to call the police and report the bicycle stolen. An officer will come and meet you to file a stolen property report. To file the report, they will need the following information: type of bike, color, serial number, a photo, etc.

To make sure you have this information available in the event that you need it, use our form. Download this PDF with fillable fields, enter all the relevant information, and save a hard copy in a safe place. Take some photos of your bike, making sure to capture any distinguishing characteristics (modifications you’ve made to the bike, damage or signs of wear and tear, stickers or other bling). Attach the photos to the record sheet. This information on this form will also be required by your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance if you decide to make a stolen property claim.

You can significantly reduce the risk of your bike being stolen by using proper locking techniques with a strong u-lock at secure parking spot in a well-lit area where there’s good foot traffic. DDOT, WMATA, private property managers, and others are working to increase the amount of secure bike parking in the region, but there is still a shortage—and still a chance your bike could be stolen.

The Washington Post recently covered the increase in bike theft in and around D.C., and Fox5 ran a story about an upcoming documentary about a professional bike thief. We hope you’ll never have to use this information, but if you do need it, providing the police with a complete record of your stolen bike could greatly help in its recovery.

Thank You for Joining Us!

Our yearly membership drive ended last Friday, and we’re pleased to announce that over 550 people joined us—some for the first time, some for the first time in a long time, and some for yet another few years. Membership dollars help us expand our advocacy, outreach, and education work, and we enthusiastically welcome and greatly appreciate financial support of what WABA does. If you joined or renewed during the drive, thank you!

2013 Staff Photo

We’re really excited about our new members!

We’d also like to thank to local businesses City Bikes and Lunar Massage for graciously donating materials to the drive. And a number of WABA supporters volunteered to help us solicit memberships throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia last week—we couldn’t have pulled off the membership drive without them!

You can engage with us in a number of ways in addition to being a WABA member: You can become a D.C. bike ambassador; get involved with our advocacy efforts; take a class (the last oneof the season is this Sunday!); join the Women & Bicycles group if you’re women-identified; follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Flickr (and contribute to our Flickr pool!); read our blog; ride your bike; and encourage your friends to join us, too.

If you didn’t join during the drive, that’s OK! You can join or donate to WABA at any time. Plus, WABA members get great perks.

We look forward to working with all our new members to better bicycling in the D.C. region.

2013 Membership Drive: This Is It

It’s the last day of our 2013 membership drive. Have you become a WABA member yet?

This week, we’ve told you about the great perks WABA members are eligible for, and about some of the specific endeavors that your WABA membership supports. We’ve had an amazing show of support from our current members; if you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve likely noticed an abundance of gold icons, which represent an affiliation with WABA. And over 300 of you have joined since we kicked off the drive on Monday.

We hope that—if you haven’t already—you’ll make the choice to join us. If you join during this membership drive (which runs until this Friday, Oct. 25—that’s today), your membership is good through December 2014—that’s two free months of membership. And this week, joining at any level nets you sweet incentives*:

$35: Membership, plus sticker and notepad
$50: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a standard-issue WABA T-shirt
$100: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a special-edition gold WABA T-shirt
$500: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a WABA bike jersey

Today is the last day to join WABA and take advantage of the great incentives we’re offering during this membership drive. Join today

*Your notepad, sticker, T-shirt, or jersey will be mailed to you, along with your WABA membership card, in four to six weeks.

This post is part of our yearly weeklong membership drive. Your membership supports our advocacy, outreach, and education efforts, and you get great perksJoinrenew, or donate today.

2013 Membership Drive: What Does WABA Do?

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Among many other things, we teach people how to ride bikes—for the first time, or just better.

Today marks the home stretch of our membership drive. Today and tomorrow are the last remaining days to join us and get great incentives. This week, nearly 200 Washington Area Bicyclist Association supporters have become members or extended their commitment to help us improve bicycling in the D.C. region.

WABA members get great perks and discounts (see the full list here); can register early for our awesome (and frequently sold-out) events, like the 50 States and Vasa rides; and support our programming.

You may be wondering, however, what that programming is. Though we’ve previously put in bike racks throughout D.C. under contract from the District Department of Transportation, we generally are not responsible for the installation of bike infrastructure in the regions that we represent. We also don’t get the final say on where bike lanes, cycletracks, racks, Capital Bikeshare stations, and other pieces of infrastructure should go. That kind of work is the duty of local and state departments of transportation.

Rather, we provide the reasoning for why things should be built and why laws should be passed. Biking is a marginalized form of transportation, and demonstrating that WABA has a solid, engaged, informed, and active member base is necessary to convincing local and state departments of transportation that more and better infrastructure, laws, policies, and education and outreach programs are needed. Even if you bike for recreation or fitness, we speak for you when we advocate for better road conditions and clearer laws. We’re in the room representing the interests of bicyclists so you don’t have to (though we love it when our members become advocates with us!).

Here are some of the things we’ve done to better bicycling in the D.C. area in the past year:

You can see some of our historic gains here (scroll down).

For the past 40 years, WABA has worked tirelessly to improve policies, education initiatives, road infrastructure, and the cultural understanding of bicycling for transportation. WABA is the reason why D.C., Montgomery, Prince George’s, Arlington, and Fairfax counties and the city of Alexandria are bike-friendly. We are a member-supported nonprofit and lobbying doesn’t pay the bills—which is why we run campaigns like this one. Your membership and donations ensure that our staff can work for you.

If you join during this membership drive (which runs until this Friday, Oct. 25—that’s tomorrow), your membership is good through December 2014—that’s two free months of membership. And this week, joining at any level nets you sweet incentives*:

$35: Membership, plus sticker and notepad
$50: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a standard-issue WABA T-shirt
$100: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a special-edition gold WABA T-shirt
$500: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a WABA bike jersey

*Your notepad, sticker, T-shirt, or jersey will be mailed to you, along with your WABA membership card, in four to six weeks.

Don’t forget: Tonight, we’re hosting an open house for our new, old, and potential members. Please stop by for snacks and beverages! We’ll answer your questions and chat about biking in the D.C. area. RSVP here.

This post is part of our yearly weeklong membership drive. Your membership supports our advocacy, outreach, and education efforts, and you get great perksJoinrenew, or donate today.

2013 Membership Drive: An Open House, Just for You

Well, have you? Sign up on the MBT (4th/S NE) until 9:30 a.m.

Yesterday, we launched our 2013 membership drive. We’re continuing to push for new members, and we’d appreciate it if you joined! Your membership dollars support our education, outreach, and advocacy work.

A major success for area bicyclists, the Bicycle Safety Amendment Act of 2013, was passed by the D.C. Council and signed by Mayor Vince Gray last week. Read more about what the the bill does to make biking better and safer in D.C. Support like yours that enables us to not only advocate on your behalf, but distribute information about legal requirements for bicyclists.Becoming a WABA member ensures that we can represent you and let you know what we’re doing.

If you join during this membership drive (which runs until this Friday, Oct. 25), your membership is good through December 2014—that’s two free months of membership. And this week, joining at any level nets you sweet incentives*:

$35: Membership, plus sticker and notepad
$50: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a standard-issue WABA T-shirt
$100: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a special-edition gold WABA T-shirt
$500: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a WABA bike jersey

Today, we want to remind you that on Thursday night, Oct. 24, we’re hosting an open house for our new, old, and potential members. Please stop by for snacks and beverages! We’ll answer your questions and chat about biking in the D.C. area. RSVP here.

*Your notepad, sticker, T-shirt, or jersey will be mailed to you, along with your WABA membership card, in four to six weeks.

This post is part of our yearly weeklong membership drive. Your membership supports our advocacy, outreach, and education efforts, and you get great perks. Join, renew, or donate today.

Welcome to the 2013 WABA Membership Drive!

2013 Lion Ride

Your membership dollars help us get more people on bikes.

WABA’s annual membership drive begins today! We’re a member-supported organization, and we can’t do our work without you. Join now!

If you join during this membership drive (which runs until this Friday, Oct. 25), your membership is good through December 2014—that’s two free months of membership. And this week, joining at any level nets you sweet incentives*:

$35: Membership, plus sticker and notepad
$50: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a standard-issue WABA T-shirt
$100: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a special-edition gold WABA T-shirt
$500: Membership, sticker, notepad, and a WABA bike jersey

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This awesome T-shirt can be yours with a $100 membership.

On our blog this week, you can expect to hear more about our advocacy, outreach, and education successes over the past year. All of our programming works to support people who ride bikes in D.C., Montgomery, Prince George’s, Arlington, and Fairfax counties and the city of Alexandria, which is why our theme for this year’s drive is “I Bike, Therefore I Am…a WABA member.” Join today to make that a true statement!

We’ll also be opening our office on Thurs., Oct. 24 from 6-8 p.m. for new and old members. We encourage you to stop by, ask questions, and learn about what WABA membership can do for you. Please RSVP here so we can stock up on snacks and beverages.

Read more about the 2013 membership drive below the jump. Continue reading

Add Up the Benefits of Wind Power With Clean Currents’ WABA Member Discount

windStarting this April, WABA members in Maryland and D.C. are able to switch to wind power at a discount!

After switching over WABA’s 2599 Ontario Road NW office to wind power with Clean Currents, the region’s leading independent and sustainably certified green energy provider, we are partnering with them to offer members the same discounted rate on wind power for your own homes.

By providing a 12-month fixed rate, Clean Currents is offering WABA members a 10 percent discount from their posted rates for wind power. Starting in June, this discounted rate is approximately 5 percent lower than the average rates Pepco and BGE are charging for electricity generation and transmission.

How does it work? In Maryland and D.C., if you pay your own utility bill (whether you own your home or rent), you have the power to choose your electricity supplier. So you can choose to put the money you already spend on your electricity bills toward Clean Currents and support wind power.

How do you as a WABA member make the switch? It’s easy and takes just minutes, but you need to email us for the discount link at membership@waba.org. For specific questions, contact Clean Currents at (301) 754-0430 ext. 3 or email gogreen@cleancurrents.com.

Here are some important things to know:

  • There is no installation or switching fees.
  • It is the same dependable power to your home.
  • You will continue to receive just one utility bill (from your same provider).
  • Double-check that you are not with another third-party supplier (i.e. an energy provider other than Pepco or BGE).
  • The discounted fixed rate for WABA members will save you approximately 5 percent on your electricity generation and transmission services starting in June. Why?  In June, Pepco is raising its rates to 9.50 cents/KWh and BGE  is raising its rates to 10.47 cents/KWh.

Additionally, throughout April, Clean Currents is giving “We Add Up” shirts (pictured) to each home that signs up for wind power. Each shirt has a unique number on it that counts for every person who is doing their part to support wind power production. To get counted, make the switch to wind power now! Once you sign up, pick up your shirt at the WABA office during office hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

If you have any questions about the benefit or other membership benefits, contact membership@waba.org or call (202) 518.0524 ext. 203.