Meet Jon Gonzalez, Our New DC Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator!

15th Street Cycletrack

15th Street Cycletrack (photo: @SharrowsDC)

Hello! I’m Jon. As WABA’s newest team member I am excited to jump in head first and build upon the success of the Bike Ambassador Program this summer!

This morning, Bike Ambassador Dani and I were out on the 15th Street cycle track encouraging bicyclists to bike nicely and yield to pedestrians. It was a big hit! Many pedestrians came up and suggested we stop by 14th street next time to do the same, so stay tuned, you never know where we might end up!

We’ve got a few things on the calendar for July, starting with a “Bike to the Movies” event on July 9th in NoMa. We’ll be handing out bike lights to bicyclists without lights after The Muppets movie finishes. It’ll also be our first “Bike KINDly” event for July—we will hand out KIND bars with pro-bicycling tips, so come on out and join the fun!

If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador, or know someone who might be, sign up for the Bike Ambassador Orientation on July 15th at the WABA HQ. We’d love to have you participate and could totally use your help.

 

Still Seeking a Full Time D.C. Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator

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Photo Courtesy of former Bike Ambassador Coordinator, Megan McCarty

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for a full-time coordinator for the DC Bike Ambassador program, an innovative grassroots approach to bicycle outreach and encouragement.

The DC Bike Ambassadors are educators and enthusiasts who work to bring better bicycling to the people of the District. Ambassadors are carefully selected for a love of bicycling, an understanding of the benefits that bikes can bring to communities, and effective communication skills. They can be found out on the streets day and night to promote bicycling and act as two-wheeled role models in our city.

The DC Bike Ambassador Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of the Bike Ambassador program, including volunteer recruitment, training and coordination, event scheduling and staffing, developing new strategies and approaches to bicycle outreach and encouragement, and online program support and marketing. The DC Bike Ambassador coordinator will develop, produce and distribute bicycle safety publications, implement bike safety and education presentations, manage volunteer coordination and training efforts, participate in WABA events (both on- and off-bike), and maintain and expand the Bike Ambassador program’s unique trailer program. The position will report to WABA’s Outreach Coordinator.

Responsibilities

 The DC Bike Ambassador Coordinator will:

  1. Develop the calendar of Ambassador events and appear in public as the face of area bicycling.
  2. Communicate an effective and encouraging message about bikes and bicycling to employers, employees, cyclists, motorists, pedestrians and the press.
  3. Develop and implement Ambassador events, including: scheduling, logistics, planning, volunteer coordination, loading and unloading, staffing events, and pulling the bicycle trailer(s).
  4. Run the Bike Ambassador Trailer program, which involves pulling an advertising/public awareness bike trailer to target bicyclist, motorist and pedestrian behaviors.
  5. Administer all aspects of the program, including: budgeting, volunteer recruitment/coordination, data entry, organization/inventory, equipment maintenance, clerical work, grant reporting, etc.
  6. Assist WABA in a non-Ambassador program capacity as needed.

Preferred Qualifications

 The ideal candidate will have:

  1. A strong commitment to WABA’s mission and 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 evenings and weekends as needed.
  6. Experience with Microsoft Office, Facebook and Twitter (for professional purposes), experience with Salsa/Democracy in Action and WordPress a plus.
  7. The ability to pull a bicycle trailer weighing 20 lbs. for 1-3 hours.
  8. The ability to lift at least 50 lbs.
  9. The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  10. Conversational fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
  11. Prior League of American Bicyclist Instructor certification a plus.

Benefits include flexible schedule, vacation, sick and personal leave, and WABA’s retirement and health insurance programs. Compensation: low to mid-$30K’s. This position is full-time, 40 hours/week.

 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 4,000 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, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex or age.

 

First St. NE Cycle Track Ribbon Cutting Tomorrow

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WABA will be celebrating the completion of newly rebuilt First St. NE Street at a community event hosted by the  NoMA Business Improvement District (BID). Mayor Vincent Gray will cut the ribbon on the new street which includes DC’s first curb protected cycle track. Construction began in the spring of 2013 and lasted about a year.

Come join the fun and thank DDOT for this awesome new protected bike lane. WABA Bike Ambassadors and Trail Rangers will be at the event, so stop by and say hello. The 2014 WABA Trail Rangers will be riding the cycle track almost daily on their way to the Met Branch Trail. The celebration will include goodies, music and more.

Event Details
When: Friday, May 30.
11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Where: grassy field adjacent to 1100 First Street, NE
(intersection of Pierce and First Streets, NE)
What: Neighborhood celebration of the completion of construction on First Street, NE. Free goodies, food, and more will be available from the NoMa BID.

Alexandria Spokeswomen Are On a Roll

10152996_1376507422634751_74342430398535397_nOn Sunday, May 4th Alexandria women will join together for the Women on a Roll Ride. The group will wear green, gather at Jones Point Park, and tour local bike shops to declare and share their support for women’s biking.

“Women are a powerful consumer force,” says the League of American Bicyclists in its August 2013 “Women on a Roll” report on women’s cycling, “but too often they do not feel welcome in bike shops or do not feel products address their desires and needs.”

This is where the green comes in. The group wants to visually show that women who bike mean business; they represent spending power.

The ride is being organized by the Alexandria Spokeswomen, who formed in September 2013 out of a city focus group on women’s cycling with the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and WABA’s Women & Bicycles.

Click here to view the Facebook event page, and click here to register.

What to Do In the Event of a Crash

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Bicycle crashes are scary, disorienting events. Nobody wants to think about being involved in a crash, but it’s important to know what to do in case of emergency. Hopefully you will never have to experience this first-hand, but you may be able to help out your fellow bicyclists with your level-headed understanding of what to do in the situation.

This Thursday, April 17, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the MLK Library, join WABA and local attorney Bruce Deming for a roundtable presentation on important information bicyclists should know regarding bike crashes. We’ll cover steps to take now that can improve the outcome for you following a crash and how WABA is working to reduce the number of bike crashes through improving street infrastructure, street-level police education, and increasing crash data. Register here.

If you’re unable to attend the seminar, read below the jump for some tools to prevent, prepare for, and deal with an emergency situation:

At the Scene
You’ve been in a crash. Now what?

Try not to panic.

Make sure you are safe to move or stay where you are and wait for paramedics. If there is any doubt, err on the side of caution.

Call the police. Call 911. Make sure the police make a report. If you can’t call, ask someone nearby to call for you. This step is imperative. Without a police report, there is no record of the incident. Even if you don’t think there is any damage, this step cannot be overlooked.

Get contact information for any witnesses. Do not assume the police are doing this for you as they take the report. Make sure you are able to get in touch later with anyone who saw what happened.

Take photos of everything, including the vehicle involved, license plate, your bicycle, any property damage, the scene of the incident, etc.>

Collect the following information:

  • Driver’s Name
  • Driver’s License number
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Make and Model of Car
  • License Plate #
  • Insurance Company
  • Date, Time, Location of Accident

What if the driver flees the scene or doesn’t stop? A driver who is involved in an accident and feels the scene has committed a serious legal offense. Try to get the vehicle license plate number and state issued in.

Get home safely. Remember that backup plan? Now is the time to use it. Don’t attempt to ride a damaged bicycle or ride if you’re hurt.

After the Crash
You’re off the road. You’re home safe. What are the next steps?

Seek medical attention.

Write it down. While the crash is fresh in your memory, write down as many details about the event as possible.

Pick up a copy of the police report.

Take your bicycle to a shop for inspection and repair.

Document all expenses from the crash. Keep a log of any and all expenses incurred due to the crash. Life changes like taking the bus instead of riding your bike to work, damage to your clothes, personal property, bike, stuff in your backpack, time off work, etc. The WABA Crash Tracker App includes an expense tracker for this purpose. Use it.

Complete the WABA Crash Tracker. We use this data to work on both infrastructure and law enforcement changes. Fill out the Crash Tracker form here.

Ways You Can Attempt to Prevent Crashes
Avoid crashes and problems by riding safely.

Take a City Cycling class. Most bicycle crash incidents result from the bicyclist losing control of their bicycle, hitting debris or other hazards, or running into fixed objects, and not with motorists. Learn avoidance maneuvers, practice control drills, and gain skills needed to avoid dangerous situations at one of WABA’s City Cycling Classes.

Download the WABA Crash App. Available for both iPhone and Android users.

Consider your riding style, confidence level, and route. Are there adjustments or improvements you could make to decrease your risk of a crash?

Follow the law. Following the law makes you more predictable. It is also important to your ability to recover damages suffered in a crash. Due to contributory negligence, a bicyclist can get stuck with 100% of his or her medical bills and damages from a crash if even only 1% at fault for the crash–and failure to follow the law is evidence of fault.

At the Scene: Witness Edition
Not involved in the incident, but saw it happen? Here’s what to do:

Stay at the scene.

Call 911.

Give your name and contact information to those involved in the crash and let them know you are a witness.

Offer to help take down the above information (or do it yourself) for the victim.

We hope this overview helps to prepare you for the unlikely event that you are involved in a crash. Please consider joining us tomorrow evening at MLK Library from 6:30-8:30 p.m. for our crash seminar.

April Trailer Challenge: Halfway There!

ATC Week 2

To kickoff the spring season, the Bike Ambassadors started a month-long project: the April Trailer Challenge! We’re now halfway through the month and halfway through the challenge. During the second week of the challenge, the trailer made it to all eight wards of D.C.

ATC Week 2

For a closer look at this week’s ride map, follow the WABA Trailer on Strava.

This week, our volunteers rode 160 miles with the trailer in tow, bringing our monthly total up to 226 miles! Our goal for the entire month is 500 trailer team miles, and we’re right on track to reach that.

The ATC is a campaign to message WABA’s offerings of bike education, outreach, and advocacy to a broader audience in a fun way! Our goal for the month of April is to get the Bike Ambassador trailers around as much of the city as possible. We’re aiming for 500 trailer team miles in just 30 days.

Have you seen our trailer? You can participate in the April Trailer Challenge! Take a photo and post it on social media. Tag us @wabadc using #bikeambassador (on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) and you’ll be entered to win a free bike tune-up.

Check out all the photos from the April Trailer Challenge!

For more information, contact the D.C. Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator Megan McCarty at megan.mccarty@waba.org.

See you in the bike lanes in April, and see more Trailer Challenge photos below the jump: Continue reading

Join Us for Our Public Everyday Biking Seminars

April Trailer Challenge

This spring, we’re launching our Everyday Biking seminar program for those who want to learn more about urban biking. The Everyday Biking Seminars are launching just in time for Bike to Work Day!

Everyday Biking seminars are typically presented to local offices and workplaces, but we are making a few available to the public. Join us if you are interested in learning the basics on how to safely and easily fit biking into your daily life. Both events are free and open to all. If you’re an everyday biking pro, we encourage you to pass this along to your friends!

We’ll provide tips on:

  • Making sure your bike is in good working order
  • Planning a good route
  • Understanding safe riding principles and rules of the road and trail
  • Carrying your stuff, and more

After the presentation, WABA’s trained staff will answer questions, address concerns, and help resolve any other issues that may be keeping you from bicycling.

There are two upcoming public Everyday Biking seminars:

Mon., April 14
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Northeast Public Library, 330 7th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Sign up to attend here, or just show up!

Thurs., April 24
6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
WABA Office, 2599 Ontario Road NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
Sign up to attend here, or just show up!

April Trailer Challenge: Week 1

April Trailer Challenge - Week 1

To kickoff the spring season, the Bike Ambassadors started a month-long project: the April Trailer Challenge! For our inaugural week, we had 12 volunteers participate for a total of 65.8 trailer team miles.

The ATC is a campaign to message WABA’s offerings of bike education, outreach, and advocacy to a broader audience in a fun way! Our goal for the month of April is to get the Bike Ambassador trailers around as much of the city as possible. We’re aiming for 500 trailer team miles in just 30 days.

To get things started, we trained volunteer Bike Ambassadors to pull the rolling billboards through the streets of Adams Morgan, near WABA HQ. Each ambassador got a chance to learn the basics and ride with the team at Monday’s kickoff event.

During the first week of the challenge, the trailer made it to all four quadrants of D.C., including special pitstops at Nationals’ Opening Day, five embassies, the downtown cycletracks, and everywhere in between! Next week, we’re aiming to bring the trailer to all eight wards.

April Trailer Challenge - Week 1

Have you seen our trailer? You can participate in the April Trailer Challenge! Take a photo and post it on social media. Tag us @wabadc using #bikeambassador (on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) and you’ll be entered to win a free bike tune-up.

Check out all the photos from the April Trailer Challenge!

For more information, contact the D.C. Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator Megan McCarty at megan.mccarty@waba.org. See you in the bike lanes in April!

April Trailer Challenge - Week 1

April Trailer Challenge - Week 1

April Trailer Challenge

April Trailer Challenge - Week 1

Welcome to the April Trailer Challenge!

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Perhaps it won’t snow in April.

The D.C. bike ambassadors kicked off the April Trailer Challenge yesterday. Expect a month of amped-up visibility from our bike ambassadors and the friendly, roving trailers to spread the love of bicycling.

Want to be involved? There’s a few ways:

Pull the Bike Ambassador Trailer: You can sign up to pull the trailer on your own or to an event, or ride alongside the team as support crew. Sign up here to let us know you want to pull the trailer. Check out our trailering calendar and e-mail dcba@waba.org to set up a time.

Snap a picture: Spot the trailer? Take a photo, and post it on social media! Tag us @wabadc using #bikeambassador (on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) and you’ll be entered to win a free bike tune-up.

Read more about the ATC here! Happy April. We hope to see you on the streets.

 

 

Get Involved: Bike Ambassador April Trailer Challenge

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April is almost here, and we are excited to introduce a month-long bike ambassador project: the April Trailer Challenge.

You’ve probably seen the BA trailers around town, and wondered what they’re all about. This month, our goal is to spread the message of bicycling to everyone in the community in a positive, tangible way! The best part is that you can participate.

What is the April Trailer Challenge? The ATC is an opportunity to get messages of bike education, outreach, and advocacy out to a broader audience in a fun way! Our goal as bike ambassadors is to get the trailers around as much of the city as possible during the month of April, and we’re going to need YOUR help! We’re aiming for 500 trailer team miles in just 30 days.

Why the Bike Ambassador trailer? Pulling the BA trailer is a great way to reach drivers and other bicyclists and communicate with a different audience that we might miss through other forms of outreach. Our BA trailers have a series of interchangeable signs with various bike-friendly messages that aim to get people thinking about bicycling, acting as “roll” models, or driving safely around bicyclists. Engaging a broad audience with cheerful reminders is a huge part of the BA program, and we want to give everyone a chance to get involved.

And, throughout the month of April, we’ll want to remind as many people as possible to register for Bike to Work Day. We want to hit 17,000 registrants—a massive increase from last year’s 12,000—and we hope that the ATC challenge will provide a great lead-up to May 16.

How can I participate? Keep reading!

Attend the Kickoff Event: It’s on Mon., March 31st, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the WABA office. Sign up here! This kickoff doubles as a training session. We’ll be acquainting ourselves with the nitty-gritty details of the how to participate, the rules, incentives, and gear up to take the trailers for a spin. Even if you’re not sure you want to pull the trailers yourself, we still encourage you to attend the kickoff event! It will be a great way to meet the bike ambassadors, go for a fun ride, and get volunteer credit for riding with the trailer parade. (Volunteer with WABA three times, and you earn a free membership.)

Pull the Bike Ambassador Trailer: You can sign up to pull the trailer on your own or to an event, or ride alongside the team as support crew. Sign up here to let us know you want to pull the trailer. Check out our trailering calendar and e-mail dcba@waba.org to set up a time.

Snap a picture: Spot the trailer? Take a photo, and post it on social media! Tag us @wabadc using #bikeambassador (on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook) and you’ll be entered to win a free bike tune-up.

For more information, contact the D.C. Bike Ambassador Program Coordinator, Megan McCarty at megan.mccarty@waba.org. See you in the bike lanes in April!