Posts Tagged ‘outreach’
Held at the Anacostia Arts Center, the Expo brought entertainment, activities, and conversations about what it’s like to bike east of the river to the grant zone, which includes Anacostia, Congress Heights, and St. Elizabeths. The Expo was intended to foster dialogue about riding in wards 7 and 8 and help residents of nearby neighborhoods have a better understanding of how bike advocacy and outreach works.
Workshops addressed topics such as biking with children—during which Kidical Mass D.C.’s Megan Odett talked parents through some of the obstacles and barriers to biking with their kids—and provided an introduction to advocacy—which saw WABA Advocacy Coordinator Greg Billing and the League of American Bicyclists Policy Director Darren Flusche describe local and national transportation initiatives that will affect biking in and around wards 7 and 8.
Additionally, the Cap City Bike Expo convened a group of local bike shop owners to discuss how to improve access to bike facilities east of the river. Capitol Hill Bikes, Phoenix Bikes, Velocity Co-Op, the Bike House, Maryland Park Bikes, City Bikes, and the Daily Rider met with WABA staff to get the ball rolling for the Black Thumbs Collective, a group that will work to provide resources, outreach, and education on how to fix bikes in what’s currently an amenities desert.
The highlight of the Expo was the revealing of a Dero Fixit station, graciously funded by employees of CH2M Hill. The Fixit station is the first to be installed outside of a building that’s not a bike shop. It lives outside the Anacostia Arts Center and is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for passerby to use to repair their bikes.
WABA staffers, volunteers, and those involved with making the Expo happen had ample time to chat with people who dropped into the Anacostia Arts Center. We heard from a number of residents that they bike or are interested in biking, because it’s a low-cost, easy way to get around. And attendees of the panels and workshops came away from the Expo with a larger knowledge base of what it takes to make biking better, especially east of the river.
The Cap City Bike Expo was the final activity funded under this year’s East of the River grant. Many thanks to the employees of CH2M Hill for donating the Fixit station and to BicycleSpace, Capitol Hill Bikes, and Velocity Co-Op for donating bikes as raffle prizes. Maryland Park Bikes, the Bike House, City Bikes, Capitol Hill Bikes, Velocity Co-Op, Bicycle Space, Phoenix Bikes, the Daily Rider, Honfleur Gallery, ARCH, Congress Heights on the Rise, and the Anacostia Arts Center contributed their staff’s time and expertise to the Expo (including by fixing bikes!). Our awesome volunteers helped make the event run perfectly.
See more photos of the Expo below the jump, and continue to read our blog for updates on the East of the River program. Read the rest of this entry »
This entry is part of our Women & Bicycles Tips series. Women & Bicycles is WABA’s outreach and encouragement initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes. These tips certainly aren’t exclusive to women, but they’re produced with and through the Women & Bicycles’ programming and staffing. Click here to learn more and get involved.
The days are shorter, commutes home are darker, and those bike rides are getting a little colder. Let’s talk about staying warm and staying safe. If you haven’t already, check out this cold-weather riding infographic from GoDCGo and BikeArlington.
We could all use some simple, low-cost tips on biking through these colder months: How do you layer? How do you protect the extremities? How do you stay flashy?
This week, our focus is on the flashy. Reflectivity is important for all road users, and it’s becoming an trend—sometimes, even fashionable. There’s reflective gear for all kinds of mobile beings, from runners to cyclists to dogs.
Why stay flashy? As vulnerable users of the road, cyclists must do what we can to be most visible. It’s our responsibility to position ourselves in the road properly, use bike lights, and adorn our bodies in vivid, vibrant clothing and accessories to further our visibility powers.
Your local bike shop likely has plenty of high-viz gear in stock. Here are some of our favorite products:
Another affordable approach? Purchase some rolls of reflective tape and go to town.
Here’s what you should aspire to:
During the government shutdown, wouldn’t it be nice if our Trail Rangers could just tell us which of D.C.’s National Park Service-controlled trails are open and which are closed from their daily patrols?
Since July, WABA’s team of Trail Rangers has been riding the D.C. trails, conducting cleanups, reporting maintenance issues, helping trail users, and generally making our trails a nicer place to be. We’re proud of this program and wish it could have continued longer, but funding for the program expired with the city’s fiscal year, at 11:59 p.m. last night.
Our outgoing Trail Rangers will have a chance to say their goodbyes here on the blog in the coming days. But I’ve gotten a number of questions about the effect of various trail closures on their activities and on their ability to provide updates on trail closures from their patrols. We will do our best to report information as we learn it. Unfortunately, the Trail Rangers are no longer available to help.
We’ve got two great bike-related events in communities east of the Anacostia River this weekend: our second annual Lion Ride, which celebrates Frederick Douglass, and our setup at FIGMENT DC, a participatory arts festival. Both are on Sat., Sept. 28.
We need assistance checking bikes in and out and getting riders situated for the Lion Ride. For more information and to sign up, go here.
And for FIGMENT, we’ll need volunteers to set up, run, and tear down our exhibit, which will involve bikes, paint, maps, and a photobooth (try to tell us that doesn’t sound like a great time!). For more information and to sign up, go here.
Our second annual Lion Ride is back on Sat., Sept. 28. The Lion Ride is a signature event of our east of the river outreach program.
The ride will start and end in Anacostia Park along Anacostia Drive and the Riverwalk Trail path (an exact start location is still to be determined, but if you sign up, we’ll email you to let you know where it is). It’s a slow, parade-paced jaunt along the trail that will wind its way through Anacostia, past the Frederick Douglass house. The ride will end in Anacostia Park. It’s about six miles and will conclude at 3:30 p.m. Youth are welcome with adult supervision!
Free bike rentals will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. One of the goals of our targeted outreach is to get more east of the river residents on bikes, so if you know someone who might want to ride but doesn’t have a bike, encourage them to join us!
The Lion Ride honors civil rights advocate Frederick Douglass—known as the “lion of Anacostia”—for his contributions to the community. In addition to helping found Howard University and serving as marshal of the District, Douglass spent the last 18 years of his life living in Anacostia.
Would you like to volunteer for the Lion Ride? We need a few friendly faces to help us make it happen. If you can volunteer to help set up and check out bicycles, please sign up here to volunteer. We’ll also need a few ride marshals to help lead the ride and make sure every stays safe. To marshal, please sign up here.
After the Lion Ride, all participants are encouraged to visit the Art of Bicycling, WABA’s project at the FIGMENT DC participatory arts festival.
We’re excited to announce that WABA’s first-ever bicycle-inspired art installation, the Art of Bicycling, will debut at FIGMENT DC, a participatory arts festival in Anacostia Park. FIGMENT is on Sat., Sept. 28 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and WABA’s installation will be one of many interactive art projects.
Riding a bike is fun, it makes you feel free, it gets your heart beating fast, and it’s an art, too: It promotes creativity and exploration.
The Art of Bicycling is inspired by the collective love for riding a bike that we’ve experienced as we advocate for more, better biking infrastructure, education, and oversight in the D.C. region. There are three parts to the project that you can do yourself: Create a painting by riding a trike through paint on a tarp, be the literal face of bicycling when we take instant photos to display, and share where you bike on our crowdsourced map.
FIGMENT gives us the opportunity to for a new outreach platform and to engage with people who might not know what WABA does. We want to share our mission and gather input and suggestions on bicycling, especially east of the river.
We’re in need of volunteers to pull off our project. Please sign up here to help out.
FIGMENT DC is a free, interactive, noncommercial, participatory arts festival created for, and by, the community. It takes place on Sept. 28 and 29 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (but please note that WABA’s exhibit will only be there on Sat., Sept. 28). A big thank-you to our friends at FIGMENT for including WABA and encouraging people to arrive to the festival by bike.
This Friday, Sept. 21, DDOT has permitted the use of public space—parking spaces, specifically—for uses other than depositing cars. Spaces across the city will be transformed into temporary parks.
Stop by WABA’s pop-up park on Friday anytime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Our D.C. Bike Ambassadors will be throwing a tiny, parking space-sized party with music and a photobooth. You can pick up a bike map and some snacks, too.
Meet us outside the WABA office on Ontario Road NW, between Euclid and Champlain streets. See you tomorrow!
This past Saturday, WABA’s Trail Rangers teamed up with an industrious crew of volunteers to tackle our second trail cleanup — this time on the Suitland Parkway Trial in SE DC. Starting at 10 am with an invigorating chill in the air and the sun at our backs, we took up shovels and rakes and loppers to reclaim the trail from a long period of unchecked growth and spotty maintenance. While no amount of handiwork can beat a good resurfacing, in just four hours our crew transformed almost three quarters of a mile of trail. Combined with renewed focus from DDOT and our Trail Ranger program, the SPT is taking big steps towards recovery.
For most of our 12 volunteers, the Suitland Parkway Trial had been just a squiggle on a map or an anonymous stretch of pavement along a scenic drive. Saturday served as a personal introduction to its hills and greenery, the places it connects and those it could, and some of the challenges the trail, and those who use it, face each day. Put in context, it has tremendous potential for recreation around nearby neighborhoods and for getting around the region. Cleaning it up is the first step.
Once we started ripping out vines and shoveling back dirt, it was tough to stop. Every additional bag filled and foot of pavement swept highlighted the contrast of order behind us and disorder ahead. The crew attacked just about every challenge the trail threw at us including some fierce pricklers, excessive garbage, tangled nets of vines, and ubiquitous glass. While it is tough work, motivation to keep going was never in short supply.
The first two hours flew by, and we stopped for lunch. Thanks to the incredible generosity and support of our friends at Chipotle, everyone who lent a hand feasted on a hearty lunch of chips and a burrito. While we ate, we discussed some of our hopes for future projects to improve the SPT’s neighborhood connections, links to trails into Downtown, and to destinations farther along the parkway. With renewed energy, we spent another putting the finishing touches on our work area.
By 2 pm when we started packing up for the day, we’d successfully bagged over 15 large bags of trail debris and cleared an immense amount of vegetation, soil, and other hidden surprises from the trail corridor. Along the way, we unearthed tires, a couch, a rideable bike, traffic cones, and much more. The trail is now cleaner, wider, smoother, more inviting and all-around better than it has all year.
Thanks go out to our incredible trail crew for their efforts and enthusiasm in making this happen and to Chipotle for sustaining us through it. For more photos of the day, find our photo set on Flickr here.
This season, the Women & Bicycles program paired up with local yogi Cory Grace to combine appreciations for bicycling and yoga, and to continue sharing the bike love.
After gathering at theYards Park, we rode the scenic loop around the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail. It’s a flat, paved trail, with lots of surprises, like the Skate Pavilion, Pirate playground, river overlooks on the new 11th Street bridge, and Kingman Island! Following our rides, Cory Grace treated us to her yoga practice tailored for bicyclists.
See more photos below the jump.
This entry is part of our Women & Bicycles Bi-Weekly Tips series. Women & Bicycles is WABA’s outreach and encouragement initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes. Click here to learn more and get involved.
If you’re new to the area, new to bicycling, or want to get more of your friends out on bikes, here are some of the countless group rides in the D.C. metropolitan area. Group rides are an excellent opportunity to get to know a new area, new people, and your bicycle.We crowdsourced our Women & Bicycles forum for group-ride suggestions, and many members gave personal endorsements in addition to general information. Feel free to share your own suggestions!
See the full list below the jump. Read the rest of this entry »