Hey. Come ride with us!

Take on the fall with WABA’s education ride series!

When it comes to learning about biking, nothing beats real-world experience, so we’re embarking on a series of four rides — each covering a different topic or theme that will help you get around the city.

Our rides are certain to be a good time, but they’re also a safe space to practice riding with people who live and breathe (and teach) this stuff every day. Come to tour DC, come to ride, come to ask any of your deepest, darkest, secret-est bike questions, and come to have fun.

Still not sure? Did we mention that each ride will end at one of DC’s premier taco establishments?

Click on a ride below to register — advance registration costs 10 bucks a person, but you can join us for free on the day of, providing we still have space. Bring a bike, wear your helmet, and read the fine print here.

ch-ch-ch-changes

First up, we have our Ch-ch-ch-changes Ride on Wednesday, Sept. 17th! This ride is all about preparing for what comes next when you’re on your bike. We’ll be riding from trails to roads, from bike lanes to open lanes, and from Northeast to Northwest, all while summer changes to fall around us. Get ready to reinvent yourself and change the way you ride!

Starts at 6:30 p.m. @ M Street NE, between 1st Street NE and 2nd Street NE, in front of the NoMa Metro station

Ends at 8:00 p.m. @ Taqueria Nacional (14th and T Street NW)

Every other Wednesday, we’ll be setting off to explore riding in DC. And these rides are just the beginning. Next year, we’ll have a whole new series!

Check ‘em out:

On Wednesday, October 1st:

gotta get up to get down

And on Wednesday, October 15th:

bike lane blitz

And finally, on Wednesday, October 29th:

round round get around

 

Ride the Shelter Century Fall Foliage Tour This Saturday

From our event partner, the Shelter Century Fall Foliage Tour:

The 2013 Talbot Interfaith Shelter Century cycling fundraiser will take place on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at St. Michaels School Complex in St. Michaels, Md. The cycling event will include three ride choices, including an 11-mile family fun ride, a 31-mile fitness ride, and a 62.5-mile metric century ride, all with fully supported rest stops.

The event will support the Talbot Interfaith Shelter, a voluntary interfaith-based service organization in Talbot County, Maryland. It is dedicated both to providing safe, temporary shelter to men, women, and children who lack adequate housing, and to raising awareness of the issues of homelessness in our community.

Register online now!

The Shelter Century Fall Foliage Tour is a WABA event partner.

Women & Bicycles Tip: Find a Local Group Ride

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis 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.

 

Crabcake ride 2

Photo courtesy of Karen White

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. Continue reading

What You Get as a WABA Member

WABA Bike Boxes

This bike box could be yours to borrow.

Whether you have been a WABA member for years or just joined, you benefit in countless ways—like access to an array of enticing member benefits. To ensure that you don’t miss out on these awesome benefits, we wanted to remind you that as a WABA member you get:

You also get discounts from our community business partners (when you present a current membership card or discount code). Those include:

  • Annie’s Ace Hardware: 5% off one item under $50
  • Bike and Roll: $10 off bike rentals and/or bike tours
  • Bike Escapades: $150 off bike touring trips (plus $150 donated to WABA)
  • Brighter Days Collective Dog Walking & Pet Sitting: Get the cost of your WABA membership taken off your dog-walking or pet-sitting bill
  • Car2Go: Free Car2Go membership, plus 30 minutes of free drive time. Contact membership@waba.org for discount code
  • Czech Active Tours: $50 off bike rentals
  • Embody Pure Fitness: 15% off personal training packages, plus a free fitness evaluation
  • Flow Yoga: 15% discount on all yoga classes
  • Gottaswing: 20% off beginner dance classes at D.C. locations (for first-time students)
  • Lunar Massage: Free membership to Lunar Massage
  • Rentabikenow.com: Save $5 on a bike reservation. Contact membership@waba.org for discount code.
  • Results Gym: Discounted gym enrollment
  • Tranquil Space: Receive unlimited 15% discount on 1-,6-, or 10-class yoga passes
  • YMCA: Reduced enrollment and 10% off monthly dues at D.C., MD, and VA locations. Discount does not apply at the new 14th & W NW location
  • Zipcar: Half off first year annual fee ($30). Contact membership@waba.org for discount code.

Are you a business interested in offering a benefit to WABA members? Contact our Membership Coordinator Megan Van de Mark at membership@waba.org or call 202.518.0524 x203.

Tour the European Countryside By Bike With WABA-Discount Partner, Czech Active Tours

“Membership with Benefits” is a blog series in which we highlight a different WABA member benefit each month. Last month we featured Bike Escapades, a US bike touring company. This month we’re traveling to Europe by bike, featuring Czech Active Tours, a US-European bike touring company.

What could be better than touring the European countryside by bike? Touring the European countryside by bike while someone else handles the logistics! Czech Active Tours, a small bike touring company, provides fully supported bike trips throughout central Europe. Your lodging, breakfasts and dinners, a tour guide, and luggage transport are all taken care of, allowing you to focus on the sites rather than on the planning.

Visit an olive oil mill in Spain. Walk the streets of Seville. Enjoy a boat tour of Budapest. Meander through Austrian vineyards. Tour Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance cathedrals, churches, monasteries, and castles in the Czech Republic.  Czech Active Tours makes this all possible. And by bike!

Join Czech Active Tours on any of their bike tours and save $100 as a WABA member. For every member that takes advantage of the discount, they will donate an additional $50 to WABA. For the month of November only, Czech Active Tours is also offering a special discount to WABA members. For groups of four or more, they will offer an additional $50 off per person and $50 off bike rentals.

Now THAT’S a member benefit!

Tour the US by Bike with Bike Escapades, a WABA Discount-Partner

“Membership with Benefits” is a blog series in which we highlight a different WABA member benefit each month. Last month we featured Brighter Days Collective Dog Walking & Pet Sitting. This month we’re featuring Bike Escapades, a bike touring company.

Planning trips can be stressful and planning bike trips can be even more stressful. Figuring out where to stay and eat, what route(s) to bike, and how to transport everything can be demanding. Sometimes we just want to ride our bikes in new, beautiful settings and not worry about the logistics of how to do so. Fortunately, Bike Escapades makes bike vacations easy.

Bike Escapades is a small bike touring company that provides fully supported bike trips throughout the United States. Enjoy spectacular scenery and local culture on quite roads without the logistical headache of arranging it. Where to stay and eat? They take care of it.

Join Bike Escapades on any of their 2013 bike tours and save $150 as a WABA member. For every member that takes advantage of the discount, Bike Escapades donates an additional $150 to WABA in your name.

Now THAT’S a member benefit!

Bike Carnival & Car-Free Streets at St. Elizabeths East

On August 25th, the streets of the St. Elizabeths will be opened to bicyclists, and the campus will be converted into a bike carnival for all ages.

We are incredibly excited about this event, as it combines two rare happenings.

First, the public is invited to tour the long-closed, historic St. Elizabeths campus. For years, security restrictions have made it nearly impossible to visit and see this amazing campus.  When occasional exceptions were made for tours they filled immediately (and of course they weren’t for biking).

Second, we almost never get the opportunity to use closed streets for a free event, in which we can invite kids, parents, and novice cyclists to come and enjoy their bikes in a car-free setting.

When WABA was invited to use these car-free streets for biking our reaction was immediate: Yes!

So we have mapped out two self-guided tour routes that are safe and family-friendly, and that will allow you to see as much of the historic campus is possible.  We will be marking those routes, so all you have to do is show up, pedal, and enjoy the views.  We’ll have staff members and volunteers riding the routes as well to help with any issues and make sure things go smoothly.

Meanwhile, at the main gate, we will have an assortment of bike-themed carnival games with prizes, a bike decoration station, a kids’ bicycle skills course, plenty of giveaways, answers to all your questions about biking in the city, and much more.

At 2pm we will raffle off a number of new bikes–both adult and youth models–to be given away to those in attendance, then we will kick off the first ever St. Elizabeths Bike Parade.  So be sure to get to the event in time to visit the bike decoration station to get your ride ready for the show.  I want to see hundreds of people, smiling and safe, riding car-free streets on decorated bikes, enjoying the opening of this space and the fun of being on a bike.

Whether you live across the street from the campus or across the region, this is a unique event in a truly unique place.  Please mark your calendars, RSVP on the Facebook page so we know how many people to expect, and come join us at the carnival.  Bring your kids.   Bring your friends.  Especially bring your friends who are thinking about biking and need a safe place and a good reason to give it a try.

Hope to see you there!

(If you have a bike, please bring it.  Remember, Metro allows bikes at all times on Saturdays.  We will have a rather limited number of bikes available for use on a first-come, first-served basis.  But there won’t be enough for everyone.)

 

 

 

 

A Great Saturday Ride Along Oxon Run

(An update from Alex Hutchinson, WABA’s East of the Anacostia Bikes Program Manager.)

On Saturday July 14th, WABA staff, residents, and volunteers gathered in Oxon Run Park. Nestled between the neighborhoods of Bellevue, Congress Heights, and Washington Highlands, Oxon Run features wetlands, ball fields, BBQ pits, and naturally where WABA comes in, a beautiful bike path.

Despite flirting with Mother Nature’s rains early in the morning, by the start of the event pockets of blue sky began to peak out from behind the clouds. With much-appreciated assistance from Capital Bikeshare, Bike & Roll DC, and the District Department of Transportation our ride was supplied with 45 bikes and helmets for all ages and sizes. We even had some brave young riders go out on an attached tandem bicycle before they traded it back in for something a little simpler.

The event was a huge success in no small part due to the help from local community groups such as the office of Councilmember Marion Barry, ANC commissioner Dionne Brown, and the 7th District Metropolitan Police Force. Commissioner Brown was pleased to have her bike repaired, then proceeded to cruise up and down the trail several times before the mid-July humidity finally got to her. “I prefer this to spinning” Brown joked.

Community members remarked on the therapeutic effect of cycling along Oxon Run. Many doctors are beginning to prescribe “park prescriptions”, a program where doctors send patients outdoors for physical and mental benefits. One of the objectives of this ride was to make residents aware of this fantastic park, a resource some don’t realize exists right in their backyard. Additionally, local community members learned to get more comfortable on a bike after a prolonged absence with the help from WABA educational instructors.

The Oxon Run ride provided a valuable forum for community members to learn about who else is riding in their community and provided WABA insight into residents’ feelings about cycling safety and benefits. A number of bicycle commuters came out to talk about their challenging rides along the Suitland Parkway–a trail that is currently in need of cleanup due to a large amount of broken glass and overgrown limbs along the trail. Other neighborhood residents came with their toddlers in tow, disappointed they didn’t hear about the event sooner to inform more of their students and neighbors.

The Oxon Run event was WABA’s first ride this summer as part of our East of the River initiative after several mobile bike repair clinics and classes to get everyone ready to roll. Other rides slated for later in this summer include a bike carnival and tour of the St. Elizabeths Historic Campus and the first annual Lion Ride through historic Anacostia and Anacostia Park.

Join Us for the Women on Bikes Spring Finale: the Tour de Bells!

This post is part of WABA’s Women on Bikes program, an ongoing campaign to create a community, share resources, and develop strategies for getting more women on bikes. To read about the project so far, click here to check out the WABA blog. To learn more and sign up to receive emails about this project, click here.
By Kiera Zitelman & Laura Jean Shane, WABA’s Women’s Bicycling Interns

WABA’s Women on Bikes campaign is pleased to present the Tour de Bells, an inaugural ride open to all women and celebrating confident, fun and accessible bicycling for women of all levels of experience. The goal of this summer bike ride is to provide an easy and safe riding opportunity to women and to further encourage more women to simply go out and get on a bike!  The Tour de Bells is a leisurely, slow paced ride where no woman will be left behind.

On June 2nd, Tour de Bells women will ride together for ten miles around the city stopping at various famous (and not-so-famous) bell towers. Bring along a friend to help them gain confidence and knowledge about riding in the city in a comfortable setting. You can ride your own bike or you can also rent a bike through Bike and Roll’s Downtown location at the Old Post Office Pavilion. We’ll be starting and ending the ride at this location as well.

Click here to register for the Tour de Bells!

Tour de Bells

Date
June 2nd. Rain or Shine

Time
Meet-up begins at 9:30 AM to allow time to rent bikes.
Ride leaves promptly at 10:00 AM.

Start/End Location
Old Post Office Pavilion
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue

Distance
10 miles (approx.)

Please Note
All riders are required to wear helmets and sign a waiver (available on site) to participate.
Bring along a bike lock if you would like to go to the top of the Old Post Office bell tower (free).

Women on Bikes is dedicated to helping women ride bikes more often and more enjoyably, and so this ride is designed to be women only.

Click here to Register!

Click here to receive Women on Bikes emails!

Bike Rental Information

Rental bikes and helmets are available from our friends at Bike and Roll. Please note that we do not guarantee the availability of bikes on the day of the event, and it is up to you to ensure that you reserve a bike.

Bike and Roll, Downtown @ The Old Post Office Pavilion
1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
In the rear plaza, entrance off of 12th St. NW
202-842-2453

Saturday Hours: 9am – 9pm

Laura Jean Shane is a spring 2012 Women’s Bicycle Outreach & Advocacy Intern. She  came to WABA as a former sports medicine professional and current Masters of Public Health student at GWU. A devotee of RAGBRAI, she moved to DC last year and cannot imagine getting around any other way.
Kiera Zitelman is a spring 2012 Women’s Bicycle Outreach & Advocacy Intern. She has gotten around the DC area by bike for years since growing up in Silver Spring. As an environmental science and policy student at UMD, she uses her bike to navigate campus every day and ride the Anacostia Tributary trails near College Park on the weekends.

Event Recap: Down the Tubes Ride with DC Water

Author’s note: to fully enjoy this entry please pour yourself a nice cold cup of tap water. 

At first glance, WABA’s Down the Tubes Ride, a combination of biking and our sewer system, might have seemed like a bizarre April Fools joke in the making. And well, we only have one thing to say to the suspicious observers out there; you missed out! For the 50 WABA members and staff who participated, it was a fun ride, and a fun way to discover what lies beneath our city streets.

We owe the day’s successes to the warm spring weather, and DC Water. As part of their effort to raise awareness on the city’s water enhancements, DC Water opened up their doors, provided bike racks and snacks, and showed off their facilities. Thank you DC Water!

We stopped at four sites along the way, beginning with The Fort Reno Water tower, the highest point inWashington. We learned about the sources of our water, and the power of gravity in the system. Then we took advantage of our own gravity and meandered through NW DC, along McMillan reservoir to The Bryant St. Pump Station.

After a presentation on the how water is pumped to service areas within the District, we explored the cavernous pumping room and set off to our next destination. The trip down to the O St. Pump Station was especially pleasant along the Met Branch Trail and in the new new bike lanes in SouthEast DC.

The first stage of storm and waste water treatment occurs at The O St. Pump Station.The highlight of the day for many was seeing this process  first-hand. There’s no need to go into graphic details here, but we certainly encourage you to check it out yourself!

We ended the day at Poplar point, a small brick gazebo-like structure on the East side of the Anacostia River. Once water is treated at O St. it’s  pumped below the river to Poplar Point and on to Blue Plains, the biggest advanced water treatment facility in North America. At Poplar Point we learned about the Clean Rivers Project the city’s commitment to address combined sewage overflow (CSOs).

Thanks again to DC Water for making the day possible, and to our ride marshals for volunteering their time. Logistically, the tour was a breeze on our bikes, and we’re looking forward to creating more rides of this sort.

To explore more, we encourage you to visit our photo slideshow,  DC Water’s website, and check out local blogger Ghosts Of DC for more rare discoveries of our city and our water infrastructure.