Posts Tagged ‘volunteers’
If you aren’t attending tonight’s MoveDC Ideas That Build workshop in Ward 6, come to our volunteer happy hour at Smith Commons!
Whether you’re a bike ambassador, an assistant at events, a committed office volunteer, or a future volunteer, we want to thank you for your help. Join us and our friends from New Belgium and Smith Commons for an evening of beer and bicycle cheer. There will be a beer-tasting challenge with a chance to win a New Belgium bike, and brewer Matty “Smooth” Gilliland will be in the house. A dollar from every pour of a New Belgium brew will be donated to WABA.
Smith Commons is located at 1245 H St. NE. Happy hour starts at 7 p.m.
WABA’s “Got Lights?” project gives away 1,000 free sets of front and rear lights (provided by DDOT) and will continue all year in various locations throughout the District. We are committed to giving each and every light set to cyclists who are riding without lights when we find them. If you already have lights on your bike, please consider helping us put these lights on the bikes that need them. Call 202-518-0524 x200 or email email@example.com to help out! This post was written by WABA member and volunteer DC Bike Ambassador Jason Clock.
The Dark Ages
Daylight Savings Time ended on November 6th, and since then WABA has been waiting for their bike light sets to be paid for/arrive (as a volunteer, information isn’t always easy to come by). The first few weeks after the time change are statistically some of the worst to be a pedestrian (or a bicyclist), as the number of crashes jumps up.
But for most bicyclists, evening commutes stay dark well into the late winter/early spring, so even though WABA’s lights only arrived last week, the need for lights on bikes hasn’t gone away. This is definitely the time of year when many cyclists are not visible due to lack of lights and reflective clothing.
Bike Lights For the Lightless
WABA’s goal is to target cyclists “riding dark”, i.e. people who don’t have any lights on their bike at all. Whether it’s due to a lack of knowledge about the laws requiring lights, an inability to afford them, not knowing where to buy them, or just plain forgetfulness, these people are the ones who are the most vulnerable.
So when the DC Bike Ambassadors were asked to sign up for the Bike Light Blitz–riding around with a bag of light sets and handing them out with a smile and a “Got Bike? Get WABA” business card, I was happy to help out. Here’s my timeline of the evening.
- 6:00 PM: I arrived at WABA HQ in Adams Morgan and grabbed a bag of bike lights. 15 white front lights and 15 red rear lights in the “knog” style, single-piece lights with a silicon strap that loops around handlebars, seat posts, or pretty much anything else.
- 6:10 PM: I decked out my bike with a few light sets to draw attention and designated a pocket each for front lights, rear lights, and WABA cards. Joined by the rest of the Bike Light Blitzers, I headed out. We were allowed to pick our own routes, and I chose to head towards downtown, riding along the 15th street cycle track with an eye out for “stealth riders” to start blitzing. I quickly encountered a few “False IDs”–riders with rear red lights but no front white lights. I told them that a front light is not only good for visibility, but is required by law when riding at night.
6:30 PM: Feeling like a bike messenger, I pushed hard to chase down one stealth rider after another, standing on the pedals and hoping for a red light that would give me a few seconds to pull up alongside and enlighten them. The adrenaline rush helped break the ice, since most riders were a little suspicious at first. “I am just going across the street,” complained one single-speed cyclist–decked out in dark clothing on a black bike. “How much?” asked another rider. “No trick here,” I assured him, “I’m just shedding some light on the stealth riders of the District.” My pun went unnoticed, but the bike lights were appreciated.
- 6:45 PM: I fully expected that the morning’s rain would keep the number of cyclists low in the evening, but I was shocked to find myself out of light sets in just 35 minutes! I was surprised by how many cyclists did not have lights. Many of them also wore dark clothing which certainly did not help visibility. And worst of all, most people didn’t even realize they were putting themselves in unnecessary danger.
A Brighter Future
I have to say I had a blast helping out with the Bike Light Blitz, and I plan to grab a few more bike light sets to keep on hand for when I come across stealth riders on my normal commute. And, after counting dark cyclists while walking my dog, I might stash a few sets in my coat pockets for those times when I’m on foot, too.
You Can Help Too
Become a volunteer Bike Ambassador and help spread the word about bikes to your community, workplace and friends. We educate cyclists and motorists about safe cycling and have a good time doing it. You can contact Daniel Hoagland, WABA’s Bike Ambassador Coordinator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to WABA & DDOT for making free bike lights possible!
Last month, WABA held the region’s first Women’s Bicycling Forum, an important and innovative event designed to start the conversation about why more women aren’t bicycling. Our Women’s Bicycling Advocacy & Outreach intern played a critical role in planning the Forum and took part in a wide range of WABA activities.
For the spring, we’re looking for a new intern to take on this challenging and engaging project and to develop the next steps in our Women’s Bicycling outreach strategy. This internship will involve improving our advocacy and outreach capacity to women and will help drive the broader conversation about gender issues in bicycling, as well as monitoring the feedback from the Forum and designing/implementing WABA’s followup events, campaigns, etc.
This position is unpaid, but WABA is happy to work with local colleges and universities to provide course credit to any student looking for experience in transportation/bicycle advocacy or community outreach and organizing.
Whoever said that cyclists in Washington, DC can’t deal with rainy weather never made it out to see all the bikes parked at the Solar Decathlon this past weekend. Cyclists ignored the cold and layered up as they brought along their families to check out the innovative solar powered houses at the National Mall West Potomac Park. With this year’s event being located far away from the closest metro station and long lines to board the free shuttle bus to get to and from the Solar Decathlon, getting there by bike was the best option.
WABA would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all the volunteers who came out and helped park 700 bicycles at the 2011 Solar Decathlon. We would also like to thank the US Department of Energy and Perkins + Will for your support.
WABA is proud to partner with the Nation’s Triathlon again this year to provide our bike valet service for over 5,000 triathletes, and we need your support! Without the helping hands and smiling faces of volunteers like you events like this wouldn’t be possible.
Every year WABA members and supporters volunteer to check tens of thousands of bikes at local events like the Casey Trees Open House, to the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Bike valets are a great opportunity for WABA members and supporters to get involved, support your regional bike advocacy organization and have a good time. Join us for an afternoon of checking in bikes, checking out bikes and talking about bikes!
Please consider volunteering at The Nation’s Triathlon Bike Valet! Check out our sign-up page for more information.
**volunteers at this valet will receive a free T-shirt and snacks from the Triathlon’s organizers. And you know the deal, those who volunteer with WABA 3 times per year receive a free annual membership!
WABA will be staffing the valet at the Marriott Wardman Park during Course Briefings, Packet Pick-Up & Registration.
Dates and Shifts
Friday, September 9th from 11am to 4pm (Shift full).
To sign up for Friday, September 9th from 4pm to 8pm, click here.
To sign up for Saturday, September 10th from 9:30am to 3pm, click here.
To sign up for Saturday, September 10th from 3pm to 8pm, click here.
Don’t let the government shutdown ruin your weekend! Shutdown or no shutdown you can still celebrate the last weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival on bike. The American Diabetes Association Cherry Blossom Family Bike Rally and Ride is a fun and FREE event featuring a kids bike rodeo, kids learn2 ride area, balloons, a signed family ride, live entertainment and more!
Date: Sunday, April 10, 2011
Time: 11:00AM – 3:00PM
Location: Yard’s Park, 10 Water Street SE, Washington, DC 20003, (Yard’s Park is a new location, if your GPS has trouble locating “Yard’s Park” please use the address: 4th St SE and Tingey St SE, Washington D.C.)
Volunteer: Want to help put kids on bikes at our rodeo course? Email email@example.com
- National Cherry Blossom Festival: Saturdays and Sundays throughout the festival (March 26/27, April 2/3, and April 9/10). We’ll be at the Jefferson Memorial from 10am-6pm each day, though the racks will be available all three weeks, and unattended racks will be available at the other location at 14th and Independence. Check out our Cherry Blossom Festival page for more information.
- Fireworks during the Cherry Blossom Festival, sponsored by PN Hoffman: Saturday, April 2 from noon to 10pm. We’ll be stationed at the Southwest Waterfront (7th and Water St., SW), so leave your bike with us, enjoy the festival and fireworks, and bike home safely after you’re done.
- National Sustainable Design Expo: Saturday, April 16 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, 17 from 10am to 3 pm. The expo will be on the National Mall and will bring together students, scientists, engineers, and business leaders whose innovative technologies are designed to advance economic growth while reducing environmental impact.
We need 4-8 volunteers for each one of our bike valets, and we’d love your help. Check out our events page for more information, and email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to sign up for a shift or two!
Last night, a packed upstairs bar at Solly’s Tavern on U St. was home to an exciting trivia match between teams with names like “Moustache Bars” and “Tears for Gears.” At the bi-weekly trivia night, Solly’s hosts a local non-profit organization as the benefactor. WABA staff and volunteers scored the game and held a fundraising raffle while 10% of the bar tab for the night was donated to WABA. The event was perfect for rainy night (if you were smart enough to leave the bike dry at home unlike most of us). We would like to thank everyone who came out last night to support us; and a huge thank you to Solly’s Tavern and its staff for hosting us! If you missed the opportunity to toss a few bucks in the WABA bucket last night or you’d like to give a few more, you can donate online or become a member.
See complete photos of the event on the WABA Flickr page.
Last week, WABA board member Casey Anderson and I attended a meeting convened by Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner to discuss trail safety on the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT). Also in attendance were officials from the relevant parks, planning, and police agencies, as well as citizen representatives and representatives of the Coalition for the CCT.
The meeting was intended to allow all to discuss how to more safely share the trail and was notable for its focus on a variety of solutions and on the willingness of all users to work together to make the trail a better option for cyclists and walkers.
The county is looking into numerous educational and infrastructure improvements designed to minimize conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians, including increased signage, side-of-path improvements, and other engineered solutions.
I reiterated our concerns regarding the 15mph speed limit that, if enforced, would undermine the usefulness of the trail as a transportation path and raised the point that an across-the-board imposition of a speed limit does not address the myriad of behaviors — on the part of both cyclists and non-cyclists — that lead to conflicts on the trail. I acknowledged, however, that both cyclists and non-cyclists have a responsibility to be considerate of other trail users and to work for solutions that will make the trail safer and more pleasant for everyone.
The meeting focused primarily on low-cost solutions that those of us in the room could bring about in the near term. So while the officials will continue to look into the longer-term, infrastructure-based solutions, we want to remind our members and supporters to:
– Be courteous and respectful on the trails.
– Give notice as you pass, even if the pedestrian or jogger is wearing headphones.
– Give other trail users plenty of space.
– Pass safely, and accept that sometimes safety and civility may dictate that you put a foot down.
WABA will remain vigilant in asserting the rights of cyclists to use appropriate recreational and transportation facilities like the CCT, and we’re happy to report that no one at the meeting proposed draconian measures to keep cyclists off the trail or lessen its effectiveness as a significant commuter route. But acting with consideration and care for others can, and should, go together with defending our rights.
Representatives of walkers and other trail users from neighborhoods along the trail agreed to communicate with their constituents with similar safety reminders in the spirit of working together to make the CCT safer and more pleasant for everyone.
We’d like to thank Councilmember Berliner for convening this meeting. It is always helpful to know that the county is seeking solutions, even if they are in the exploratory phases. And we appreciate the frank but friendly discussion among all officials and users.
We look forward to working with Councilman Berliner’s office and the Coalition for the CCT in the coming weeks to expand our outreach efforts on the trail.
If any of our members or supporters would be interested in volunteering to conduct outreach on the CCT, please email us at email@example.com.
– Shane Farthing, Executive Director
September is a busy month for WABA with students going back to school, the weather cooling off for biking, and many neighborhood and street fairs. We need help at many area events and bike valets. If you are new to volunteering with WABA, we’ll teach you everything you need to know. Volunteering with WABA is a great way to meet other area bicyclists and help support better bicycling. Below is a list of upcoming events. A complete list of volunteer opportunities can be found on the new WABA website’s volunteer page.
9/12 – Adams Morgan Day Info. Booth
9/12 - Adams Morgan Day Valet
9/23 - Moonlight Ride
9/25 – 50 States / 13 Colonies Ride
10/3 - Takoma Park Street Festival
Sign up to volunteer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202-518-0524 x202