Women & Bicycles Tip: Your Helmet May Not Be Protecting You

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis is part of our Women & Bicycles blog series,  part of WABA’s initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes.  These posts aren’t exclusive to women, but they’re produced with and through the Women & Bicycles’ programming.
Click here to learn more and get involved.

We recommend and teach responsible, predictable, confident biking. We teach you to bike where you are most visible,  bike in visible clothing, and bike so that other road users can predict your behaviors.

We also teach that helmets are really your last line of defense on the road. So we definitely recommend them. But there’s a good chance your helmet isn’t protecting you at all, because so many people don’t know how to fit them properly.

If your helmet is not fit to your head properly, it’s not doing you any good.

 

Six Common Helmet-Fit Problems:

Helmet 11

Problem 1.)  You forget to buckle your helmet!
If it’s not buckled, it’s the same as wearing no
helmet at all.


Problem 2.) You have not adjusted the helmet clasps
(the plastic piece that joins the two straps on one side)
to fit below your ears. This woman’s helmet clasps are
nearly below her chin.


Problem 3.)You have not shortened the helmet straps
to sit snug around your face so that the buckle
sits securely below your chin. The straps should
be tight enough such that you can only fit two fingers
between your chin and the buckle.


Helmet 3Problem 4.) You’ve adjusted your helmet properly,
but you put it on backwards, a mistake countless
bicyclists in the D.C. area make every day.


Problem 5.) Your helmet straps are too loose,
so the brim of your helmet isn’t sitting level across
the top of your eyebrows.


Helmet 6
Problem 6.) Your helmet straps and clasps are too loose,
so the brim of  your helmet is not just above your eyebrows.
This woman’s helmet is sitting at the top of her forehead instead
of just above her eyebrows.  Her forehead would not be protected in a crash.


Perfect Helmet Fit Looks Like This:


The helmet is facing forward and buckled
The helmet clasps sit right below her ears
The helmet buckle is snug below her chin
The helmet brim is level and  just above her eyebrows

 

To make sure your helmet fits properly, click here to watch a tutorial by the League of American Bicyclists.

And please remember, just because you’ve strapped a helmet, doesn’t mean you’re any more safe on our roads. Fit your helmet properly and attend a WABA class to practice visible, predictable, and confident biking (classes are $10 and hosted throughout the region).

 

 

 

Women & Bicycles Tip: Bring Back The Romper!

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis is part of our Women & Bicycles blog series,  part of WABA’s initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes.  These posts aren’t exclusive to women, but they’re produced with and through the Women & Bicycles’ programming. Click here to learn more and get involved.

 

All the buzz  over the Penny In Yo’  Pants #CycleHack has me buzzin over my personal preferred bike-friendly feminine formal wear: rompers.

Rompers are lovely to bike in. I own six or seven. Rompers are like dresses except the bottom half is shorts or pants. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and dress-like plus you don’t have to worry about pulling a Marilyn Monroe or getting your skirt caught all up in yo’ wheel spokes.

So, yes, by all means continue rocking your skirts and dresses on your commute, and if you haven’t worn a romper since 1987, bring it back!

 

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Women & Bicycles Tip: Steer Clear of Streetcar Tracks

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis is part of our Women & Bicycles blog series,  part of WABA’s initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes.  These posts aren’t exclusive to women, but they’re produced with and through the Women & Bicycles’ programming.
Click here to learn more and get involved.

 

DC Streetcars on Pennsylvania Ave

Image courtesy of Flickr user DC Streetcar

Even though  Streetcar won’t be up and running until 2015 (at the earliest), people who bike along the H Street corridor interact with the system on a regular basis. These interactions are not always friendly.

Since the  installation of tracks along the H Street corridor, WABA has received many reports of bike crashes involving the tracks. Here are the three most important tips for avoiding hazardous encounters with streetcar tracks:

1. Never ride between the tracks.

seguiMI

Image courtesy of Flickr user SeguiMI

2. Always cross at a 90 degree angle.

Streetcar tracks

Image courtesy of Flickr user Jonathan Maus

3. Use alternative routes.  Contraflow bike lanes on G St. and I St. NE offer safe alternatives for bicyclists going east and westbound.

Dinner And A Movie With Team Sticky Fingers

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis is part of our Women & Bicycles blog series,  part of WABA’s initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes.  These posts aren’t exclusive to women, but they’re produced with and through the Women & Bicycles’ programming.
Click here to learn more and get involved.

tsf-halfroad

We’re joining Team Sticky Fingers for a fun night out on Thursday, June 26th for dinner and a movie, and cold beverages! Best of all, proceeds from this event go directly to WABA’s Women & Bicycles program and the Women’s Cycling Association.

The event aims to celebrate and raise awareness for women’s road racing with the screening of “Half the Road.”  This award-winning documentary film explores the world of women’s professional cycling, focusing on both the love of sport and the pressing issues of inequality that modern-day female riders face in a male dominated sport.

We promise you’ll have a great time and have a chance to win lots of prizes. Door prizes and more provided by DC-area cycling teams, organizations, local businesses and bike shops!

Event details:
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse
Doors open: 6:30 pm; Program begins: 7:00pm
Click here to learn more and purchase your tickets

Women & Bicycles Tip: Become a Roll Model

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This entry is part of our Women & Bicycles blog 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 posts 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.

 

We’re officially recruiting our next group of Roll Models!

Roll Models are the official Women & Bicycles mentors. These women help achieve our program’s mission by bringing new women into the bike movement and by serving as personal mentors who provide encouragement, information, and ongoing support.

Last year we had the support of 10 committed Roll Models from all around the region. They did an excellent job. These women worked hard to recruit soon-to-be bicyclists from their social networks and encouraged over 200 women throughout the season to give everyday biking a try.

How To Be A Roll Model

1. Be an expert of your own experience. You don’t need to know everything there is to know about biking—far from it! You only need to have incorporated bicycling into your life as a form of transportation, and a desire to share what you learned along the way with women in your life.

2. Attend a Roll Model Orientation. Orientations take place once a month at the WABA office. We will work through what it means to be a Roll Model, set expectations, and answer your questions. And we’ll have snacks.

3. Recruit Proteges. Call upon women in your social circles to be your biking proteges and participate in the program to learn more about bicycling.  As a Roll Model, you’ll be a mentor to this group of women you already know—friends, family members, coworkers, book-club members, neighbors, etc.

4. Coordinate a Meetup. This will be a private event specifically for you and your proteges. You’ll work with our coordinator to choose a setting in which you feel comfortable to share a meal and host a round table discussion. We provide all of the content and educational materials and Chipotle, our program sponsor will provide the delicious meal!

5. Follow-up and be a mentor. Your proteges’ goals and next steps will all vary. It’s up to you to determine how to follow-up and make sure they’ve got what they need to reach their goals. You will probably have to go on bike rides together, convoy to work, visit a local bike shop, check in to hear about progress, and celebrate their successes!

6. Bring your proteges into the fold. Invite them to the Women & Bicycles Facebook forum, attend our workshops and rides together, keep encouraging them to take those next steps, and get them so hooked on biking that they eventually become a Roll Model.

 

Click here to sign up to become a Roll Model.

RM Granny

RM Beyonce

RM Gillian

RM Laurie

RM Sandy

Women & Bicycles Tip: Approaching Kidical Mass

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwI

This entry is part of our Women & Bicycles blog 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 posts 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.

Kidical Mass
Family biking is becoming more popular, more normal, more safe, and more fun thanks to the Kidical Mass groups forming throughout the United States.

Kidical Mass groups are volunteer-run initiatives that organize family bike rides for all ages and all experience levels. The groups find flat (or flattest), short, and scenic routes that start or end with treats.These adorable and lively events help demystifying family biking and encourage more Americans to take it on for recreation and transportation.

In just a few years we’ve seen a surge in these groups here in the D.C. metropolitan area. Find one closest to you, tell your friends, volunteer, start your own, join the ride!

Alexandria Spokeswomen Are On a Roll

10152996_1376507422634751_74342430398535397_nOn Sunday, May 4th Alexandria women will join together for the Women on a Roll Ride. The group will wear green, gather at Jones Point Park, and tour local bike shops to declare and share their support for women’s biking.

“Women are a powerful consumer force,” says the League of American Bicyclists in its August 2013 “Women on a Roll” report on women’s cycling, “but too often they do not feel welcome in bike shops or do not feel products address their desires and needs.”

This is where the green comes in. The group wants to visually show that women who bike mean business; they represent spending power.

The ride is being organized by the Alexandria Spokeswomen, who formed in September 2013 out of a city focus group on women’s cycling with the Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and WABA’s Women & Bicycles.

Click here to view the Facebook event page, and click here to register.

Ladies, become a Bike to Work Day Pro or Protege

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIWomen & Bicycles is WABA’s outreach and encouragement initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes. These posts 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.

 

Women & Bicycles is gearing up for Bike to Work Day and doing what we do best; sharing skills to inspire more women to ride.

Regardless of your gender we need you to pass along the  invitation below and encourage the women in your life to participate as a Bike to Work Day Protege.

 

Dear lovely (friend, colleague, church-mate, neighbor, bus driver),

 

I think you should become a Bike to Work Day Protege!

 

You know how you always comment on my helmet? And you ask about how I fair on the rainy days? And remember the time you called me worried one morning because I was late for our meeting, when really I just stopped to smell the flowers a little too long?

 

Well, now it’s your time to join the bike movement with our women’s group. Our goal is to get more women like you out biking. This Bike to Work Day we’re pairing up all the bike Pros with bike Proteges to mentor each other for Bike to Work Day.

 

Sign up to be mentored as a Protege, and your Pro will get you all set up and excited to take on your commute. They’ll work with you and your goals, like go with you to the bike shop, meet up with you for a weekend ride, share tips and tricks on bike laws and packing and safe riding. And Maybe they’ll even go with you to a WABA Confident City Cycling Class.

 

Click here to sign up! And join us at our Bike to Work Diva Happy Hour.

 

Happy Riding!
(Your name)

 

Clipart is always encouraged. 
mentorship_clip_art

Buy Women & Bicycles Swag

Will you be at WABA’s first-ever Sadie Hawkins Dance this Friday? It’s a fundraiser for our much-loved, super-successful, absolutely awesome Women & Bicycles program. If you liked Bike Prom, you’ll love Sadie Hawkins.

You can also support the Women & Bicycles program by buying stuff! We’ve got reflective bands and American Apparel T-shirts, both branded with the program’s logo, for sale. Click here to purchase your tickets to the Sadie Hawkins Dance or purchase Women & Bicycles merchandise.

Check out our staff modeling the swag:For

leg bands

 

leg bands in light

 

shirts 3

Women & Bicycles Tip: Time To Spring Bike Clean!

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwI

This entry is part of our Women & Bicycles blog 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 posts 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.

 

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Winter is rough on bikes, but it’s incrementally warming up. Get outside and show your bike some love!

This week, Women & Bicycles rode, washed, and maintained their bikes. Team Sticky Fingers hosted a Bike Washy PartAY in Arlington, which included a 15-mile ride, food, beer, and bike-washing skillshares from the team. Thanks to ProGold Bikes, everyone had the perfect materials to give their bikes a thorough cleaning.

Then, we joined Alexandria’s VeloCity Bike Co-op to learn about DIY bike maintenance. The shop staff and volunteers from the Bike House showed off how to tinker away the squeaks and creaks from the winter season.

Get inspired by our photos below the jump, then consider the 15-minute bike wash. This weekend would be perfect for some bike-washing and tinkering!

This weekend is also perfect to support Women & Bicycles. This Friday, March 14, is WABA’s Sadie Hawkins Dance at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, which will raise money for the 2014 season of Women & Bicycles. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.  Continue reading