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

Community Meeting in Petworth about open streets project

WABA is excited to announce we received a grant from the DC Office of Planning to hold a creative placemaking project in DC’s Petworth neighborhood. Office of Planning’s initiative, Crossing the Street: Building DC’s Inclusive Future through Creative Placemaking, funded by the Kresge Foundation, will promote community-building in neighborhoods that are experiencing rapid demographic and social change.

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Together WABA and the Office of Planning, along with our grant partners, Street Plans Collaborative and Equitable Cities, will use this opportunity to bring open streets to DC.

What is open streets? It’s when you temporarily close a roadway to vehicle traffic and open it up to the people – so that the neighborhood and the city can walk, run, play, push strollers, bike, hulah hoop, hopscoth, dance, and have fun in the middle of the street.

Why are open streets projects awesome? Open streets encourage active transportation and community engagement. By opening up streets to people, this project will:

  • Create a safe and welcoming place for residents to come together and enjoy playing and moving through a car-free space
  • Serve DC residents and connect neighbors
  • Invest in the community
  • Draw national attention to DC’s commitment to safe streets and active transportation
  • Encourage community members and decision makers to think about public space in a new way

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Petworth residents, DC community groups, and those interested in open streets  are invited to join us, DC Office of Planning, Street Plans, and Equitable Cities for a Community Meeting on Tuesday, August 16th to help envision what an open streets project in Petworth could look like. Meeting details are below:

Petworth Placemaking Project Community Meeting
When: Tuesday, August 16th from 6:00-8:00pm
Where: Petworth Library, downstairs large meeting room, 200 Kansas Ave NW, Washington, DC

Anyone is welcome to come to the meeting to learn about open streets – the platform we are using for this community placemaking project – and share your ideas for what you would like to see as part of this Petworth community celebration.

If you live in Petworth, we hope to see you, and if you have friends or coworkers  who live in Petworth, please share this community meeting with them.

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You can also find us at the weekly farmer’s market, the Petworth Community Market, tomorrow morning from 9am-1pm! We’ll be there asking the Petworth community what they would like to see as part of a community event, what makes Petworth special to them, and how they typically get around their neighborhood and utilize public spaces. Stop by and say hi!

WABA has spent the past couple of months talking with community members, ANC commissioners, neighborhood organizers, and other Petworth stakeholders about this opportunity and what it means to hold an open streets event. Because of the length of time it takes to secure street closure permits and the necessary permissions from the Mayor’s Special Event Task Group, we are planning for a Spring open streets event.

Stay tuned for more information about our open streets campaign. And if you would like to receive regular (think: monthly) updates on our open streets efforts or get involved with volunteering for this effort, sign up for our open streets working group list here.

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