The Strong Women Ride Makes an Impact

Who’s ready to ride DC? This group.

In February, our Women & Bicycles program led the Strong Women Ride. This city is full of women who shaped history–and who were law-breaking, sanctuary-providing, kidnapping scalawags at the same time. We figured folks would jump at the chance to shake off the winter cobwebs and learn something new at the same time.

Turns out we were right. So right, in fact, that we had to scramble to schedule a second ride in March! Both rides were big successes, with great weather, great company, and great education all at once.

Want to learn about future Women & Bicycles events and rides?  Yes!





Group in front of Belmont-Paul Womens Equality Monument

 

So who were these strong women?

Our three main historical women were the Rev. Paulie A. Murray, Dr. Carla Hayden, and Marion Pritchard. But along the way, we also stopped at the Lady Fortitude statue at Howard U, Anna J. Cooper circle (near her preserved home), the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument and House, the Eleanor Roosevelt statue at the FDR memorial, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Rev. Paulie A. Murray

In the 1940s, Paulie refused to sit in the broken seats of the colored section of a bus. Her subsequent arrest inspired her law career. She would later become one of the first women Episcopal priests, serving in Washington, DC and focusing on reconciliation.

Dr. Carla Hayden

Carla Hayden is the current Librarian of Congress, and both the first woman and the first person of color to hold that post.  During the Baltimore riots in the days after the death of Freddie Gray, as other businesses closed their doors, she insisted on keeping the libraries open so people had a place to go.

Marion Pritchard

Marion Pritchard was a Dutch resister during World War II. Special thanks to Marion’s granddaughters Abigail Pritchard and Grace Pritchard Burson, who shared stories of Marion’s resistance work with our riders. Our favorite story was one from near the end of the war. Marion was riding on rims, her bike tires long gone. With everyone starving, she traveled across a river to finagle some extra food beyond the meagre rations. On her way back, she was captured by a Nazi patrol. When questioned, she reportedly let them have it–she told them exactly what she thought of them, their regime, and their leader. The next morning, the soldiers drove her across the bridge where they had captured her. They returned her bike, and the extra food, and sent her on her way.

After that night of darkness, she saw some glimmers of hope and humanity.

After hearing these stories, the ride offered an option to show our own strength, with a ride to Meridian Hill Park that included the 15th street climb. Every rider who attempted the hill achieved the top… and a trip to cupcakes as a reward!

Climbing Meridian Hill like a girl. On a Brompton.

 

WABA in the Wild was AWESOME!

A few weeks ago, we held our very first WABA in the Wild, a three and a half day bike tour and camping trip from Cumberland, Maryland at one end of the C&O Canal Trail to Georgetown, Washington, DC at the other end of the C&O Canal Trail.

Riders in Cumberland

A wet but happy start in Cumberland, MD

Simply put, WABA in the Wild was epic.

Take a look at the adventure below and read on to hear what a few ride participants had to say about their experience. Plus, this event was a peer-to-peer fundraiser ride that raised almost $14,000 for WABA! A huge thank you and props to all of our WABA in the Wild riders.

Here’s what people said about the trip:

Waba in the Wild was an incredible experience for more reasons than I even anticipated.The ride itself was an extraordinary immersion in nature and cycling all day; the WABA crew was amazingly hospitable and thought every detail through, allowing us to just ride, make friends and marvel at the scenery; and I got to try a short bike tour with all the logistics taken care of- and instead of paying a tour company, I got to raise money for an organization that directly makes me safer and happier on my bike.

I’m so happy WABA decided to organize this trip because I’ve wanted to bike the entire C&O canal for years but was having trouble with logistics. WABA arranged everything seamlessly and gave me the opportunity to do this not just for myself and my own achievement but also to raise money to support making biking safer. I learned so much about what I can do in my community, it was so inspiring!

Favorite parts of the event for me were the camaraderie and moments to ride and chat with both the riders and the WABA crew; Camping, campfire and camp meals; Learning more about the WABA mission and goals. Lastly, being completely consumed in the event from start to finish.

I am still basking in the WABA in the Wild afterglow! I’ll start by expressing my appreciation for the way you handled the logistics for this event. The guidance you provided in advance of the trip from fundraising through packing lists and daily schedules were thorough and immensely helpful. I felt a part of the WABA team in reaching the goals and from wheels up at Walter Pierce Park I also felt that friendships were formed among the WABA crew and all of the riders. I feel a connection to everyone who participated. There are many challenges presented in riding and camping the C&0 canal. Conditioning, hydration, nutrition, recovery are all a part of what each rider has to do. WABA injected massive amounts of fun into every aspect of this adventure. I truly felt like i was being taken care of throughout. WABA in the Wild was a memorable experience. Thank you!

Interested in WABA in the Wild 2017?!

Like what you hear? Are you up for the challenge? Join us for WABA in the Wild in 2017!

If you’d like to be the first to know about when information and adventure dates are available for the 2017 event, and to find out when registration opens, sign up for the WABA in the Wild C&O Canal Tour interest email list here.

We hope you enjoyed the blueberry soup!

Vasa 2015_0013

Hundreds of WABA members joined us at the House of Sweden last Sunday for the 2015 Vasa Ride. Riders chose from a 59-mile, 31-mile, or 16-mile ride. Although the weather was windy and chilly, the sun came out as the day progressed and ride participants returned to the house of Sweden exhausted, but with smiles on their faces, to enjoy the warm blueberry soup.

A huge thank you to the House of Sweden and the Swedish Embassy for hosting our Swedish-themed ride event for the 9th year in a row. And thank you to District Cycle Works for providing bike maintenance to riders at the start, and to KIND Snacks for donating granola bars.

The Vasa Ride is named after Sweden’s famous Vasaloppet, the world’s longest running cross-country ski race. The Vasaloppet ski race honors the trial of a renegade Swedish king who, in the 16th century, led the rebellion to free the country after a long pursuit on skis. For nearly a century, blåbärssopp—warm blueberry soup—has been served during the Vasaloppet to keep riders warm.

WABA’s Vasa Ride brings together riders from D.C., Maryland and Virginia and is a fundraiser ride to help support WABA’s work. When people participate in our rides, they fuel WABA’s mission to make riding a bike safer and more accessible for all.

ambassysweden-partners-logoDistrict Cycleworks    2012 KIND - High Res -- Perfect Square

Check out photos from this year’s Vasa Ride below:

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.