Put the Pedal to the Podcast

These days, podcasts are sort of a big deal. Especially since the breakout success of “Serial”—the 2014 true crime podcast from This American Life that explored a murder case in Baltimore in the Winter of 1999. Just four years later, podcasts are everywhere you look—oops, we mean listen!

Podcasts have become a way to consume news, learn new skills, connect with pop culture, and discover stories we might never have heard otherwise. If you aren’t familiar with podcasts, they are sort of like on-demand radio. Podcast topics can range from parenting to politics and everything in between.

There are even quite a few podcasts on bicycling! And here at WABA, we thought it was about time to explore some of the options.

Here are our favorites:

  • Shift Up Bike Podcast – This podcast is a new bike-industry focused weekly podcast where host Arliegh moderates healthy conversations to build a better bike industry!
  • The Bike Nerds Podcast – The Bike Nerds Podcast hosted on the OAM Network. The Bike Nerds is hosted by Kyle Wagenschutz and Sarah Studdard. Their podcast features community leaders, neighborhood advocates and urban thinkers on how bicycling makes cities better. They also nerd out on the aspects of their lives that influences their life on two wheels.
  • We Got to Hang Out – This podcast is hosted by four friends living in the Portland who have been biking or working in the biking industry for nearly a decade. They gather to tell authentic stories of biking in a casual storytelling style.  
  • Breaking Bike – This new podcast by Lanespotter is all about urban biking. It’s about bike lanes, bike tech, and people who bike telling bike stories.
  • The Slow Ride Podcast – three former bicycle messengers from Minneapolis, MN gather for an unscripted conversation about the bike racing and culture.

Download ‘em and take a listen, and if there’s a bike-related podcast you love, let us know on Twitter (@WABADC) or Facebook.

What to give your bike loving sweetie for Valentine’s Day

WABA members and their bike loving sweethearts

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This is the day we get to celebrate our love for our partners. For many that means dinner, candles, chocolate (of course), or flowers. But if your partner loves to ride a bicycle, we have some gifts that you may want to consider giving instead. No guarantees, but we’re pretty sure they’ll love them.

WABA merchandise

Your partner loves to ride their bicycle, so make sure that they become a member of WABA (it’s only $35/year to join and get a lot of great perks). If they already are a member, then why not outfit them with some of our WABA merchandise? We have socks to keep their toes warm during a winter ride and cool in the summer, t-shirts that let everyone know they love biking, and jerseys to show off that WABA pride. Your purchase helps us continue to advocate for better bicycling across the region and supports our efforts to get more people riding bikes!

Velofix

At some point, your loved one will need to have their bike serviced or repaired. But it can sometimes be inconvenient to take it to a shop and wait for the repair. There’s no need to do that when you could give them the gift of Velofix. Velofix is a mobile bike shop that can do any repairs or service needed on-site at your home or office. They even sell bikes in case you need a new one. Check out all the services they offer here.

Car2go

Even though your loved one rides a bike, there are some times when a car is necessary. Maybe they need to go somewhere farther than they are willing to bike. Or perhaps biking in less-than-ideal weather just isn’t fun for them. Well, you can give them the gift of options with car2go. With a car2go membership, they can use the app to reserve a car nearby and unlock it when they arrive, then simply hop in and go. Even better, you can park it (almost) anywhere and end your trip. It’s perfect for one-way travel or even full-day trips. Learn more about why a car2go membership is a great gift for your honey.

Grip Unlimited

Most likely if your sweetie is biking, they need to carry stuff. It may be clothes or just a flat repair kit. No matter what it is, they will need a way to transport it. And Grip Unlimited is the perfect way to do that. Their products are made locally and attach to the frame of a bike. Check out their collection of bags here.

DoorDash

Let’s be honest, going out to eat on Valentine’s Day can be frustrating and expensive. But you still need to eat (and impress that special someone). Instead of going out this year, you could stay in and order a delicious meal via DoorDash. Download the app or order online and have your food arrive in less than an hour.

Urban Stems

And finally, if you want to go traditional on Valentine’s Day and send flowers, consider having them delivered by one of the wonderful bike couriers from Urban Stems. Who wouldn’t love beautiful flowers delivered by bicycle? It’s the best of both worlds. The flowers will also pair nicely with your meal from DoorDash.

When you love a person who loves bicycles you may as well get them something they will truly appreciate and you can’t go wrong with any of these gifts.

Get updates on all of the Bike Ambassador events that your bike loving sweetie (or you) will enjoy by joining our email list.

Yes!





Meet a PAL Ambassador: Leeann

Throughout January, we’ve been asking bicyclists, walkers, and drivers alike to share their new year’s resolutions to #BEaPAL.

Are you thinking about how to improve your own transportation behavior to make our roads, trails, and sidewalks safer? Consider becoming an ambassador like our friend, Leeann.

What’s it like to become a PAL Ambassador?

Meet Leeann Sinpatanasakul, whose amazing work and passion for her community make her a great PAL Ambassador.

How did you get in involved as an Arlington PAL Ambassador? What do you like about being a part of this program?

I became involved in the PAL ambassador program after meeting the coordinator, Ashley Blue, at a community event where she was tabling. What got me interested was that it wasn’t just for bicyclists—it was for drivers and pedestrians, too. I hope more residents will join our efforts and see PAL as something for more than just cyclists. After all, at some point we’re all pedestrians when we travel.

I like everything about the program! I like being involved and making a difference with our events, and I like that the program has encouraged me to be more civically engaged. It’s because of the program that I’ve been involved in Arlington’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

What does the PAL message mean to you? What do you think the program means to the community?

To me, PAL, which stands for “predictable, alert, lawful,” means that we all have a role to play in making Arlington a safer, more enjoyable place to live. PAL tries to educate residents on how to be a safe driver, cyclist, or pedestrian. In the future, I hope that more members of the community will learn about the PAL message and take it to heart.

What are your PAL resolutions for 2018? How will you be a more Predictable, Alert, and Lawful road and sidewalk user?

My resolution for 2018 is to be kinder and more courteous to other bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. While driving, this means giving at least three feet of space between myself and a person cycling and slowing down when passing safely. While walking, this means being visible and predictable to drivers, especially at night with low visibility. We share Arlington’s transportation infrastructure with our neighbors. It’s important to remember to be courteous to them in the shared community space.

What’s your #BEaPAL resolution for 2018?

Join our Outreach Party next week to share yours and collect ideas from the public!

Can’t make it to the party, don’t worry. Share your resolutions with us in other ways:


Want PAL updates by email? Yes!






 

What’s your #BEaPAL resolution?

The Arlington PAL Ambassador program is looking forward to making Arlington a safer place to get around for all in 2018!

That’s why, in January, we’ll be asking the community to share their New Year’s resolutions on how they will be a better PAL (Predictable, Alert, and Lawful road user) while walking, biking or driving in Arlington.  

Keep an eye out for more information and outreach event updates in the new year, and if you’d like to participate online, share your resolutions with us:

  • On our Facebook group
  • On Twitter, you can find us @arlingtonpal or just tweet with the hashtag #BEaPAL
  • On Instagram or post a picture of how you get around Arlington, and don’t forget to tag it with #BEaPAL.
  • Or you can post your resolution on our forum.

And now, here’s a year in review of the amazing work the Arlington PAL Ambassadors did this past year. Enjoy!

A rainy yet spectacular Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade!

The time we made some videos for Annmarie’s PALentines Day!

 

 

Lots of what we call “trailer-ing” with the PAL bike sign.

My first event as the PAL Coordinator (cry emoji) for Earth Day!

ALL the pizza parties…

Predictable, Alert, Lawful: The Musical!

PAL Popsicle Pop-up, in the heat of summer.

Being a PAL means….

A spooky, safety PALoween on Quincy Street!

Daylight Savings bike light distribution to restaurant employees!

Advocacy with art.

A cold, cold, (but super fun) coffee pop-up!


And finally….the PALiversary party!

Thank you to all of our supporters and volunteers for a wonderful 2017. Join us next year in changing road culture in Arlington!

 


Want PAL updates by email? Yes!

               


Tips for Bike Light Season

It’s bike light season again!

Lights are one of the most important safety features on your bike. If you don’t have lights, get some lights! You can buy a good set of front and rear lights at any bike shop, most hardware stores, or your preferred online retailer. If you can’t afford lights, let us know and we’ll help.

lights-101

Light tips

  • Keep a spare battery or a charger at work or in a little bag on your bike.
  • Make sure you have lights that meet your needs:
    • If you’re likely to be riding on an unlit road trail, make sure you have a light that’s bright enough to let you see where you’re going.
    • If you’re just riding on city streets, a small blinking light is probably enough.
  • When you’re riding on a trail, be aware of the angle of your front light. Modern LEDs can be quite bright, and you don’t want to blind on coming trail users.

front-light-good-angle

front-light-bad-angle

Note: WABA gives away thousands of bike lights every year. We’ve found that we can get more lights into the hands of folks who don’t already have them if we do not announce times or locations in advance. Instead, we seek out places where we see lots of people riding without lights. If you see us out there, say hello! Pick up a set of lights only if you need them.

 

We’re Hiring: Outreach Coordinator

Biking is growing faster than ever in the Washington region and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is a dynamic, fun, and committed local organization propelling this change. Much of WABA’s work involves meeting new people, answering questions, and providing opportunities to show just how incredible biking can be.

WABA is looking for a full-time outreach coordinator to manage innovative, community-focused bicycle engagement programs in the DC region.

The outreach coordinator is responsible for managing WABA’s outreach  volunteer corps, including recruitment, training and communications, scheduling and staffing events, pop-up activities, rides, and more throughout the region, developing new strategies and approaches to bicycle outreach and encouragement, and online program support and marketing. This position will report to WABA’s Programs Director.

Responsibilities

The Outreach Coordinator will:

  1. Coordinate an engaging DC Bike Ambassador program, including but not limited to:
    1. Volunteer management
    2. Communications strategy, including email, social media, and blog posts
    3. Events, activities, and rides in all wards of DC
    4. Targeted outreach to communities underserved by WABA and bicycling, including but not limited to spanish-speakers, the deaf community, seniors, and residents of wards 4, 5, 7, and 8.
  2. Communicate an effective and encouraging message about bikes and bicycling to employers, employees, bicyclists, motorists, pedestrians and the press.
  3. Develop a robust restaurant and hotel outreach program that expands WABA’s reach to include bicyclists who have non-traditional commuting hours.
  4. Administer all aspects of WABA’s current and future outreach programs, including: budgeting, volunteer recruitment/coordination, data entry, organization/inventory, equipment maintenance, clerical work, grant reporting, etc.
  5. With the Programs Director, develop outreach strategies and goals for communities outside of the District.
  6. Assist WABA in a non-outreach program capacity as needed.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  1. A strong commitment to WABA’s mission and willingness to be a skillful and committed bicyclist with a solid understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  2. At least two years of combined experience in: project management, events planning/management, marketing and/or volunteer coordination.
  3. Supervisory experience a plus.
  4. Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills.
  5. A flexible schedule and willingness to work up to 50% outside of traditional business hours (including mornings before 9am, evenings after 5pm, and weekends).
  6. Experience with Microsoft Office, social media platforms, WordPress, customer service relations database a plus.
  7. The ability to lift at least 50 lbs and to pull a bicycle trailer weighing 10 lbs. for 1-3 hours.
  8. The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  9. Conversational fluency in Spanish and/or ASL strongly preferred.
  10. League of American Bicyclist Instructor certification (LCI) a plus.

Benefits

  • Full-time employment.
  • Expected salary range is $38,000-$43,000.
  • Work at the WABA Office in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC.
  • 100% employer covered health, dental, and vision insurance.
  • Flexible work schedule, vacation, sick and personal leave,
  • Committed colleagues and a  fun working environment
  • Participate in a 403(b) retirement program after one-year’s service.
  • Optional voluntary accident and disability insurance programs

 

About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 6,000 members region-wide, WABA serves bicyclists throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia.

 

Contact

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

Position available immediately. Applications accepted until the position is filled.

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

 

Learn to Pilot a Tandem Bike with WABA!

WABA and MWABA!

The DC Bike Ambassadors have been teaming up with the Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes (MWABA) all summer to grow our community of bicycling friends by partnering our pilots (the person up front who steers the bike) with MWABA’s stokers (the person in the back who provides extra pedaling) for great tandem riding!

We had our first Tandem Pilot Training Session in May. Since then, we’ve participated in many more rides and training sessions with MWABA. If you would like to join in on the fun, our next tandem training session will be Friday August 25th from 5-7pm at the Eastern Market metro station. Helmets will be required and tandem bikes will be available to try out. No tandem experience (in either position) is necessary but patience and willingness to make mistakes and learn are highly encouraged.

Quick Tandem Tips

For those excited to try tandem riding for the first time, a few things are key to a successful outing:

  1. Communication — You should already be communicating regularly with those around you in everyday bicycling life; signally when turning, alerting those behind you verbally and with your hands so that they know that you are about to slow down or come to complete stop. When it comes to riding in tandem with a partner, you should also communicate when you are going down a hill and want to start coasting, when there is an upcoming bump or pothole in the road.
  2. Flexibility — As a pilot, it is much easier to adapt to your stoker’s riding style than the other way around.
  3. Perseverance — Do not worry if you can’t get it on the first try. Even very experienced pilots need time to adjust to a new stoker to make a well-oiled tandem team machine.

We hope to see you there!

Sign up here

If you would like to learn more about the DC Bike Ambassador Program please join our Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Popsicle Pop-up makes for happy Arlington residents

With the temperature rising and the humidity, well…being humid, it was certainly harder to leave the AC and get outside in June.  For their monthly block party, the Arlington PAL Ambassadors decided to provide a little motivation and encouragement to trail users with some delicious frozen treats!

The PAL Popsicle Pop-up took place where the Custis Trail meets North Quincy Street near Washington-Lee High School in Ballston.  It was also Father’s’ Day, which meant a lot of families spending time outside with their kids! It was great seeing how happy people were to stumble upon our party, especially with the heat in the high 80’s that day.  Some folks followed our chalk signage on the trail, while some PALs made it a point to stop by while on their Sunday adventure.

The bike lanes on Quincy St serve as great connectors to not only the Custis Trail, but to Washington-Lee High School, downtown Ballston and several other Arlington connections, as well.  Quincy has been a central piece of the Bike Friendly Ballston campaign, which we hope to continue improving to enhance safety and comfort getting around town.

With more and more people, including families, getting out on the trails in the summer months, it’s never a bad idea to remind cyclists and walkers to be predictable, alert and lawful!  It was a lovely afternoon connecting with friends and neighbors, as well as meeting some new PALs. 

Want to become an Arlington PAL Ambassador?  Sign up

Reaching Out to Restaurant and Hotel Employees

Last fall, the DC Bike Ambassadors began a new, targeted outreach campaign focused on restaurant and hotel workers. We wanted to provide bike lights (as well as information about bike laws and safe bicycling) to these folks, who are often late-night or early-morning bike commuters.

Since then, we have travelled throughout all eight wards in the city making connections with employees and managers. One thing we heard over and over is that changes to bus and train schedules have a large impact on many of these people’s ability to work. We believe that bicycling can help provide reliable safe, effective transportation for employees in these fields (and others!), so we’ll continue reaching out and connecting with the foodservice and hospitality industries. This work is really just beginning!

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, or recommend a business for our program, please email Jon at jon.gonzalez@waba.org

Meet a PAL Ambassador: Crash

All of the PAL Ambassadors call you Crash…what kind of name is that?!

I once T-boned a police car on my bicycle in the rain. No one was seriously injured.

That’s…not really an answer. What are your favorite things about Arlington? What do you like to do?

I’ve lived here for about six years and it’s a vibrant community with so much diversity and things going on. As small as it is, each corner has a different feel and culture to it. Ballston, Crystal City, West Columbia Pike, Rosslyn. What makes Arlington really unique though is the “Arlington loop”. The 17-mile interconnected connected trail system for walking, bicycling, rollerblading, stroller-pushing, etc, whatever you want to use it for. I don’t imagine many other areas have such a well used and well maintained trail system.  There are also lots of outdoor events, but one of my favorites is the free outdoor movies. Lots of people come out to them.

The Predictable, Alert and Lawful (PAL) message is aimed at everyone in the community: bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers.  Which do you see yourself as?

I’m definitely all three. I own a car but I commute to and from work by bicycle. Being in all three roles definitely makes you better at all three. When I’m driving, pedestrians will illegally cross in the crosswalk when I’m going through the intersection! What are they thinking? When I’m bicycling, cars will change lanes or turn without using their turn signal! What are they thinking? When I’m walking, bicycles will pass me with little room to spare without notifying me with an audible signal! What are they thinking? Using each mode makes me understand what I can do better in the others.

Describe your involvement as a PAL Ambassador and what you enjoy about volunteering.

Not going to lie, I saw something in a bicycle newsletter about a pizza party and I can’t turn down food. That was many years ago and now the advocacy is more interesting than the pizza to me. Being a PAL Ambassador is pretty simple, the most important thing is to practice the PAL principles. The aspect I like the most is seeing people from the community being brought together. Volunteering at a big event like Bike To Work Day is amazing because you see how massive the bicycle community is. Volunteering at smaller events like our block parties is amazing because you get to meet families with young children who genuinely enjoy spending wholesome, quality time together outside.

Why do you think the PAL program is important and relevant to the Arlington community?

Arlington is a perfect intersection of cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Commuters going into DC by car go through Arlington. Arlington is dense enough that Arlingtonians can easily walk to restaurants and bars. We have fantastic bicycle infrastructure and services so that most of us can either bicycle the complete distance to where we want to go or use it for some of our journey. These three modes of transportation aren’t separate; cars share the lane with bicycles, bicycles may need to share the sidewalk with pedestrians, and pedestrians cross streets used by cars and bikes. Where there’s a feeling of disconnect between the modes is where problems can happen, and the PAL Ambassadors are out there to remind people to put more thought into their behavior.

You can meet Crash and more PAL Ambassadors at our Block Party this Saturday!

Want to learn about future Arlington PAL Ambassador events?  Yes!