Best of WABA Events: 2016

Looking back at 2016, the WABA Events Team wanted to share with you our favorite moments from our signature events of the last year:

February 2016: The Bicyclist Choice Awards and Annual Members Meeting

DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo accepts The WABA Vision Zero award.

WABA staff.

The Awards event is our opportunity to be fancy and to recognize and thank those people who really and truly make a positive difference for bicycling in the region. It was really special this year to have the Director of the District Department of Transportation in attendance to accept an award we gave him. -Michelle

March 2016: The Congressional Ride 

Photo Credit: The League of American Bicyclists

The Congressional Ride is a really unique ride event that WABA organizes as part of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit each year. It’s special because we get to meet bike advocates and bicyclists from all over the country, talk to them about the work WABA is doing in our Nation’s Capital and around the region, and show off some of DC’s best bicycle infastrucutre. Everyone is always so impressed with the bike lanes and protected infrastructure, and they love hearing about our programs, events, and the impact we have on the region. -Michelle

The Vasa Ride

Vasa Ride 2016

The weather machine cooperated and the cloudy skies held their rain for this year’s Vasa Ride. Flowers were in bloom. The breeze was almost warm. The highlight is always the grumbling and tight muscles in the morning as sleepy-eyed riders stretch out their riding legs for the first time all winter, and then the joy, smiles, hugs, and happy conversations had over warm blueberry soup at the end of the ride inside the absolutely gorgeous House of Sweden. -Michelle 

May 2016: Bike to Work Day

Photo Credit: John Pickett

What’s not to love about Bike to Work Day? The ENTIRE WABA staff and board unite to go spread the bike love. This year, WABA had a presence at a record number of pit stops for us: 26 different pit stops! We mobilized 31 WABA captains and 112 volunteers to get out there super early on a Friday morning and talk to people about better bicycling. So much sunshine. So much coffee. So many bagels. And so many bicycle-induced smiles and high fives. -Michelle

Tour de Fat

DC celebrity spotting! Local bicycle advice columnist Gear Prudence for City Paper came out to support WABA.

Just look at those lines!

I was a bit terrified when Tour de Fat rolled around this year because there was rain in the forecast — LOTS of rain. But, to my delight, people still came out to celebrate and drink beer and ride bikes in the rain! I couldn’t believe it and I am SO grateful that the #bikedc community is so supportive of the work we do. -Michelle 

June 2016: Bike to Work AGAIN Day

Bike to Work Again Day + beer!

We loved Bike to Work Day so much this year that we decided to celebrate it again a month later! With three “pit stops” at local bars and restaurants in Arlington, Bethesda, and the District, we hung out with bike commuters on their way home and talked about our favorite subject: bikes! -Nick

July 2016: Bike to the Pools Ride

Cooling off at a splash park right off the Marvin Gaye Trail!

The Washington area gets pretty hot in July, so we decided that we’d combine two things we all love to do: biking and swimming! (And a bit of splashing.) We rode our bikes from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens along the Marvin Gaye Trail, stopped at a splash park, hopped on our bikes again, and finished the ride at the Deanwood Pool. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon! -Nick

August 2016: Open Streets Community Organizing

Petworth residents, ANC commissioners, and community leaders came together to help guide us in planning a community wide event in their neighborhood that will have a positive lasting impact, promote community building, and bring neighbors together.

This entire year we have been working to bring an open street event to DC, where a roadway is temporary closed to vehicles so it can be opened up to the people to walk, bike, dance, and play in the middle of the street. We are lucky to have the support of the DC Office of Planning in this effort and received a substantial grant for this project from the agency. It’s a big undertaking, and we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited for the connections and relationships we’ve begun to build with Petworth and city officials, and can’t wait to continue work in 2017 to bring DC its first open streets program. -Michelle

September 2016: The 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride

Photo credit: Chuck Cage

Years of tinkering with WABA’s weather machine to let up on the rain finally paid off, but someone forgot to adjust the temperature… it was HOT! Despite the heat, we welcomed our biggest crowd yet—700 registrants—to a fun and challenging ride throughout DC’s 8 Wards. This year, we hosted riders from California, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, and many other far-flung places! -Nick

October 2016: WABA in the Wild Overnight C&O Tour

In a matter of days, the 11 strangers who came together for WABA in the Wild became fast friends.

Everyone celebrated in the warm autumn sunshine at mile marker 0 in Georgetown at the end of the ride.

WABA in the Wild was the highlight of my year for sure. It was a feat of an event to pull off: the first time WABA has ever done an original peer-to-peer fundraising event, the first time we’ve ever done a multi-day bike tour, the first time we’ve ever organized a group camping trip. But we pulled it off and it was a tremendous success. We bicycled through rain and mud with smile on our faces. We saw beauty in the trees along the canal and the shimmering sunshine on the Potomac. There was whiskey, laughter, games, camaraderie, and so. many. snacks. And we can’t wait to do it again with more people in 2017! -Michelle

November 2016: The Cider Ride

Photo credit: Mr.TinDC

This year’s Cider Ride was the biggest ever, with over 700 people riding their bikes along the beautiful trails and farm roads of Prince George’s county, the Patuxent Research Refuge, and the new (and old) sections of the Anacostia River Trail. Riders also helped to advance our campaign to finish the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail in Hyattsville — we collected over 300 signatures at an advocacy pit stop along the course! -Nick

December 2016: The Holiday Party

Many, many bikes outside Boundary Stone for the WABA Holiday Party. Photo credit: Jeremiah Lowery

One of our ‘accomplishments scrapboards’ from the party

We hosted our year-end Holiday Party at Boundary Stone and had an awesome time chatting with members about all the things we accomplished together in 2016 and what we’re looking forward to working on in 2017. It was great to hang out with so many of our members and enjoy some holiday cheer! -Nick


We hope you enjoyed being part of the bike community as much as we did this year. Happy New Year and here’s to more awesome WABA events — and a few awesome event surprises — in 2017!

Cheers,

WABA Events Team

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.

Unlimited s’mores, miles of gravel, and this super sweet limited edition jersey

You can support better bicycling in just 184.5 miles while enjoying unlimited s’mores and trail snacks, miles and miles of stress-free and car-free gravel riding with scenic river views and vistas, and a new super sweet limited edition WABA in Wild adventure jersey!

Jersey

Be Part of this Epic Adventure

The registration deadline for signing up for WABA in the Wild is September 23rd (that’s tomorrow) at Midnight. Register today to save your spot!

The Details

WABA in the Wild is a fully supported peer-to-peer fundraising ride that raises support for WABA’s advocacy and outreach efforts in the DC region. The tour will take place on the Chesapeak and Ohio Canal Towpath from Friday, October 7th to Monday, October 11th.

WABA will bus riders and all their stuff (all you need to bring is your bicycle, tent, sleeping bag, and a couple changes of clothes) to Cumberland, MD on Friday. We’ll camp in Cumberland on Friday night, Hancock, MD on Saturday night, and bunk or camp at the Harper’s Ferry Hostel on Sunday night. We’ll spend three days (Sat, Sun, Mon) bicycling downhill on the canal towpath going about 60-65 miles each day, with plenty of snack breaks in between the miles.

It is a peer-to-peer fundraising ride, so every dollar you raise goes to support WABA – that means that if we get 35 riders to join us for WABA in the Wild, over $40,000 will go directly to support WABA’s efforts to make bicycling better.

We Will Downright Pamper You

We know bike touring, camping, and biking 65 miles a day can be a bit intimidating. That’s why we want to make it as easy as possible for you to check this off your bucket list. If you’ve never biked the entire C&O Canal – or even if you have and you’ve been wanting to do it again – this is your chance to do it.

  • We plan all the super boring and annoying logistics for you so all you have to do is show up
  • We arrange transportation to the tour start in Cumberland
  • We build the fire and cook delicious campfire meals for you
  • We load up and carry and your camping gear and luggage to each campsite
  • We take you out for lunch and dinner one day in Canal Towns along the towpath
  • We have a SAG vehicle ready to meet you at a trail access point just in case
  • We bring the bug spray, lanterns, candles, s’mores, music, clotheslines, evening story times, camp chairs  – and if it’s muddy we’ll even wipe down your bike for you

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Join us for WABA in the Wild: our first overnight bike camping tour!

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It’s about time WABA was a bit more adventurous: WABA in the Wild is about better bicycling through 184.5 miles, fireflies, and coffee outside.

We are super excited to announce that registration for WABA’s first overnight event, first bike camping tour, and first peer-to-peer fundraiser event to support our advocacy and outreach work is now open. The WABA in the Wild tour includes three nights of camping, three days of bicycling along the towpath, and a guided scenic journey by bike from Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC. This adventure is a peer-to-peer fundraiser ride to support WABA’s mission to get everyone within one mile of a safe, dedicated place to ride a bike.

Tour Dates: 

When: Friday, October 7th through Monday, October 10th, 2016
Where: Bike from Cumberland, MD back home to Washington, DC (transportation from DC to Cumberland is included)
Learn more about the WABA in the Wild Towpath Tour here. 

We’ll provide everything you need to fundraise for this tour: your own fundraising webpage, email templates, postcards, strategy session at the WABA office, a fundraising happy hour you can invite your friends to, and of course a Bike Camping 101 Workshop. Transportation, gear support, food, snacks, and tons of awesome programming are included on the tour. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Each rider will raise $1,250 from friends and family to support WABA’s advocacy and outreach mission. In return, they get to join us for a wild weekend outside connecting with WABA staff, trail experts, and their bicycles.

Register for WABA in the Wild