We’re Hiring! Bike Camp! 2019

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks a Camp Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare for our 2019 summer Bike Camp!

Position Overview

WABA’s Bike Camp! consists of six one-week sessions for kids to ride, explore, build, and have fun! Our Bike Camp! Counselor will keep things running smoothly, help the campers ride and work together as a team, build rapport and community, and make this summer one to remember.

During training, the Counselor will be taken through a thorough ride-safety course to learn the ins-and-outs of leading and supporting youths on bikes. Further training will include: security and safety procedures, emergency management, behavior management, food and health safety, team training, and more.

The Counselor team will be the primary staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of Bike Camp! and will report to our Camp Director, Jeff Wetzel.

This is a temporary, seasonal, full-time position (38 hours/week). The season runs from Wednesday, June 13th to Friday, August 9th. There will be no camp on the 4th of July.

Hourly rate: $15.50 per hour

Responsibilities

The Camp Counselor will:

  • Ensure the safety, well-being and health of Bike Campers (ages 8-14).
  • Lead and/or support bike rides ranging from 3 to 20 miles in length in summer weather.
  • Organize group activities and team-building exercises.
  • Provide engagement, humor, and positive spirits as a role model for the Campers.
  • Evaluate and provide feedback on Bike Camp! afterwords.

Qualifications

  • 0-2 years experience working with youth, preferably in a summer camp environment or similar.
  • Must be able to provide a working bike and helmet.
  • Must be able to ride a bike in city traffic with competence and confidence enough to pay attention to the actions and well-being of other riders.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate safe biking practices.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred.

About WABA

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is working to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.

WABA’s programs, from youth education to grassroots community organizing, engage residents in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC. Six thousand dues-paying members and thousands more generous supporters have helped WABA transform bicycling in the region again and again over its 46 year history.

WABA is building a region where, in 2020, we’ll see three times the number of people riding bikes. And, by 2035, every single person will live within one mile of a dedicated safe place to bike. We envision a region in which biking is joyful, safe, popular, and liberating; supported by the necessary infrastructure, laws, activities, and investments; and where bicycle ridership mirrors the incredible diversity of our communities.

Employment

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

How to Apply

Please submit a one-page resume and briefly answer the following questions:

  • How you meet the qualifications listed above
  • What makes you a great Bike Camp! Counselor
  • A positive experience you had while working with youth

Send application materials to jobs@waba.org and include “Bike Camp Counselor” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

Meet the Sweet Ride & Shindig

After a successful first Sprouts Ride, the Sweet Ride & Shindig, presented by Conte’s Bike Shop, is our second new signature event launching this spring. Hopefully we’ll see you there on June 15th in Crystal City!

There are two main parts to this event.

First, the Sweet Ride. Riders will get to choose from four routes around Northern Virginia: approximately, 5-miles, 15-miles, 30-miles, and 50-miles. (We’re still working on them, but we’ll update you as we get the routes pinned down.) Whichever one you choose, you’ll get the classic WABA signature ride experience: bustling check-in, ride marshals, snack-filled pit stops, and nice people. It’s a great ride to bring your friends, throw together a picnic to share at a pit stop, and enjoy the ride!

You can register for the Sweet Ride here.

Register today!

But, the fun doesn’t stop when you get off your bike. When you arrive at the Shindig, you’ll check-in with WABA to pick up your free ride swag and a ticket (this will get you a freebie—either beer or ice cream!). Then, you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon jamming out to a live band, grab snacks at a food truck, sample offerings from a local brewery (the proceeds will support WABA!), engage with other local organizations and businesses, and continue basking in the glow of an awesome summer ride.

Oh, one more thing: the Shindig is open to public. You won’t get all the great freebies if you don’t sign up for the ride, but you can still be part of the event, meet some neighbors, enjoy the afternoon with your friends, and support WABA!

As with all WABA signature rides, the Sweet Ride & Shindig is a fundraiser for WABA. We organize five big rides per year to convene our bike community, have a good time riding together, and raise money for WABA’s advocacy, education, and outreach across the region.

So, let’s recap:

  1. You can ride…or not. Anyone is welcome to come have fun.
  2. Spend the afternoon with us—there’ll be plenty of stuff to do.
  3. Give money to help WABA make bicycling better for everyone.

Sound like a sweet deal? We think so, too. Register for the Sweet Ride & Shindig today!

Register today!


Meet Tessla Wilson, our new Business Partnerships Coordinator

I am Tessla Wilson and I am the new Business Partnerships Coordinator at WABA!

I was raised by an industrious and extremely hardworking single mother of two. Being that my mother’s time and resources were extremely limited, teaching me to ride a bike was at the very bottom of her list—and in the absence of an older sibling, I was left to my own devices to learn. I spent many years being envious of the freedom that the neighborhood kids enjoyed riding bikes. They were able to explore beyond our street and build friendships that I was unable to join in on due to my lack of mobility on two wheels.  

It wasn’t until thirteen that I turned to the younger kids to teach me to ride. Being that none of them were WABA instructors, I lost a lot of skin (and pride) that day, but eventually succeeded. As my little family grew older, riding bikes became a cherished family past time that allowed us to explore our city together.

My college and early career was shaped by my desire to be an advocate for those who were not afforded the same privilege that I grew to have. It became my mission to not only be a voice for the marginalized but also to take an active part in shaping the future to one of equity and access for all. That same desire brought me to WABA, and I am so excited to work towards WABA’s vision of a healthier region (for both our environment and our bodies) with our local and national business partners! If you own or work for a company that is looking for partnership or sponsorship opportunities, I would love to chat or meet up for coffee. You can reach me at tessla.wilson@waba.org.

The Sprouts Ride was full of joy

On Sunday, April 28th, WABA hosted the first annual Sprouts Ride!

A dreary start to the morning broke open to reveal balmy sunshine and the grins of riders as they discovered—or rediscovered—how much fun it is to go for a low-stress, casual bike ride around the city.

Riders on WABA’s first Sprouts Ride!
Photo Credit: Jas Sanchez

Riders could choose from two routes: the 6-mile “Bean Sprout Root” and the 14-mile “Sapling Root”. Many riders enjoyed that the routes showed them how to ride their bikes to and from local destinations that they would visit in the course of everyday life: Kingman Island Park, Audi and Nationals Stadiums (Stadia?), and Anacostia Park, while also showcasing the federal DC, with views of the Capitol and the mall.

After a fun ride, participants returned to REI to catch live music from Roan Gap, a local bluegrass band, play games and learn about bike maintenance from REI staff, pick up a free beer or kombucha, and eat tacos! Some riders also took action: after having ridden nearby the K St corridor, riders signed a petition to make K St a better place to bike, walk, and live.

To all the riders: thank you for supporting WABA! Like all signature rides, the proceeds from the Sprouts Ride directly fund the hard work that WABA is doing to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better trails and more bike lanes—safer conditions for all. Thank you.

We’ve collected some photos from the ride below, but, first, a final shoutout to our sponsors:

Find the full album of Sprouts Ride photos here!

Driving advocates mount petition campaign opposing safer streets in Alexandria.

Safe enough! (according to driving advocates.)
photo: google

The city of Alexandria is repaving Seminary Road. As part of its new Complete Streets policy, the City proposed engineering changes to make it safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and ultimately all road users.

These changes, including turn lanes, better crosswalks, and buffered bike lanes, are predicted to add ten whole secondsto driving times during rush hour.

The driving advocacy community is outraged, and has been petitioning the city to abandon the changes.

Right now, the City of Alexandria is facing a critical decision: build a safer street that’s required by its own laws, or don’t, because driving advocates are complaining about it. Help the city make the right decision by signing the petition below:

You can read a detailed explanation of the proposed changes in this Greater Greater Washington post.

Announcing the 2019 Trail Ranger Team!

Meet beth, Rebecca, Gabriel, Blake and Matthew! The Trail Rangers are all about providing a consistent and helpful presence on DC’s mixed-use paved trails. We help trail users, engage with trailside neighborhoods, improve trail conditions, and work with city agencies to keep the trails clean, bright, and clear of obstacles.

Keep an eye out for them on the Marvin Gaye, Anacostia River, Suitland Parkway and Metropolitan Branch Trails (Click here to see where these awesome trails are!).

beth
Rebecca
Gabriel
Blake
Matthew

Favorite snack?

“This is a tough question…I love hummus, vegan cheese, and avocados with crackers. I also love a handful of trail mix – without chocolate – don’t’ get me wrong I love chocolate – just not in trail mix. :)” – beth

“Marzipan Chocolate!” – Blake

“Any snacks with dark chocolate!” – Gabriel

Cheese and crackers – Matthew

“Key lime pie” – Rebecca

What is your bike story – how did you start and what has the journey been?

“I started biking in San Diego when a friend of mine encouraged me to ride. I was reluctant (it had been years!) and a little wobbly at first but then I felt like a kid again. I bought a bike and started riding to work and the beach. When I loved out of San Diego and back to my hometown, I left my car in the driveway and rode my bike everywhere. When I got married we decided to honeymoon by biking across the country. We arrived in DC in November 2015 and have been biking in DC since.”  – beth

“I started biking at a young age riding BMX bikes with my brother and friends around town. My first job was a bike mechanic at 16 year old. As i got older, I eventually progressed to mountain and road bikes. It’s been a non-stop addiction!” – Blake

“After tricycle, I got a long and shiny banana seat and role like “Bajito y Suavecito.” – Gabriel

“I learned to bike a long time ago but I never regularly biked anywhere in the city until I bought my first $40 Flying Pigeon bike while living in Beijing. I loved biking in the city – there were protected bike lanes even before America had them! When I moved back to DC after China, I was determined to continue biking. I’ve since lived without a car, relying on my two legs or my bike to get around DC, and I love it so much! I’ll never go back to driving!” – Matthew

“Have been biking since a kid. Always enjoyed roller blading, skateboarding and scottergin etc. But biking on trails and long distance was always my favorite.” – Rebecca

Favorite thing about biking?

“My favorite thing about biking…I get there faster. When I need to get across the city it is likely to be faster by bike then public transportation, personal vehicle, or ride share.”  – beth

“The freedom cycling provides. Cycling allows you to explore cities and parks at a relaxed pace with a 1st class view. Traffic and parking is never a problem! It also allows you to see places that you otherwise never would in a car.” – Blake

“Get going without having my feet on the ground.” – Gabriel

“I feel so free! There’s just something about knowing that I can hop onto this machine and go anywhere with my own body. And when I’m on a trail in the middle of a forest, it feels so great to exercise and connect to nature!” – Matthew

“Outdoors” – Rebecca

What are you excited to do as a Trail Ranger this summer?

“I’m excited to be outside on a bike. I’m excited to get a little dirty while clearing vegetation. I’m excited to see the trail that I’m less familiar with.”  – beth

“I’m excited about being outdoors a lot and helping improve cycling conditions in the greater Washington DC area!” – Blake

“Team up with Trail Rangers of diverse backgrounds and interact with the communities of all DC!!!” – Gabriel

“I’m excited to meet new people and show them how awesome our trails are. I can’t wait to get out there and make sure our trails are safe and enjoyable for everyone. Bring on the summer heat!” – Matthew

“Expand my knowledge about the trails.” – Rebecca

Working hard on the MBT!
Stop by for Trail Ranger Coffee Hour on Friday mornings!

Don’t miss out on THE celebration of National Bike Month

National Bike Month is here, and we are only two weeks away from its biggest celebration, on May 18!

DC Bike Ride offers you the chance of celebrating life on two wheels on DC’s only car-free course! This is your chance to OWN THE ROAD worry-free – NO cars, just FUN! Our 20-mile course is full of entertainment, offering you some of DC’s best flavors, music, and sights.

The ride is all about showing our love for bicycling! DC Bike Ride welcomes riders of all ages and riding abilities, offers special prices for kids and youth riders, and great deals on rentals. Yes, we get you covered!We are also proud to support WABA, have raised over $100,000, since 2016, for street safety programs. So, sign up today, join the 7,000 riders on this celebration, and don’t miss out on the chance to give back to the bike community!

Register today!

Tales and Trails: Trail History of Anacostia Park

Why was Anacostia Park home to thousands of people when the Bonus Army was in town? Who participated in the Pearl escape attempt in 1848? Learn more about Anacostia Park with National Park Service and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association on three FREE guided history rides this summer:

May 26th – The Parks of Capitol Hill

10 AM – 1 PM
Lincoln Park at the Emancipation Statue
ASL interpreted

More details and required registration here.

June 30 – The Bonus Army

10 AM – 1 PM
Anacostia Dr and Good Hope Rd SE
ASL interpreted

More details and required registration here.

August 31st – The History of Anacostia Park

10 AM – 1 pm
Anacostia Dr and Good Hope Rd SE

More details and required registration here.

National Bike Month starts today! Ready to ride?

WABA is here to get you on two wheels! Whether you want to learn how to ride or if you are looking for a bit more confidence on your bike, WABA is offering classes and rides nearly every weekend this Spring all around our region. Check our schedule, bring your family, bring your friends, bring a date – it’s going to be a lot of fun!

View the spring schedule

We offer Learn to Ride classes, Skills Clinics, Confident City Cycling Classes, and more!

Learn how to ride confidently in the city

Our Confident City Cycling classes are a great way to learn new bike handling tips and tricks to boost your joy, confidence, and comfort. These classes are fun, encouraging, and a safe place to learn and to get answers for all of your bicycling questions. The three-hour class culminates in a short ride to learn how to ride in different road, bike lane, and trail situations.

Explore and build community

If you are new to the neighborhood or looking for a new adventure around town, our Community Rides are a great opportunity to explore new parts or the region on bike. This spring, we’ll explore tasty desserts, art, farmers markets, and highlight new bicycle infrastructure. Our rides are led by our league certified instructors and are always a good time and a safe and inclusive space to explore and ask questions.

NEW: Commuting Education Rides

New this spring, our ride series will help you learn how to commute by bike during the upcoming metro shutdown in Alexandria, Virginia. Check the schedule for commuting options that will help you connect to trails to get to the Metro or into Downtown DC.

Learn to ride!

Feel like you’re missing out on all the fun on two wheels? WABA’s Learn to Ride classes are just the place for you! You’ll be on a bike by the end of our three-hour class with the help of our excellent and encouraging certified instructors. The registration fee is $85 and includes a bike and helmet rental. Our local government partners also offer $10 classes for their residents. The demand for these classes is very high, so sign up soon!

Also new this spring, we are introducing our Basic Skills Clinic for folks who already took a Learn to Ride Class in previous seasons or know how to balance on a bike but haven’t had the opportunity to keep practicing their fundamental skills. Skills Clinics will be run in conjunction with other classes, allowing students to move up as they progress. A limited number of bikes and helmet rentals are available, so we encourage you to bring your own bike and helmet and sign up soon!

New rides and classes will be added throughout the season, so keep checking our schedule. If you have any questions please email education@waba.org. We hope to see you this spring at a class and on our region’s roads and trails!

What’s next?

Thank you to everyone who joined us in person or in spirit last Friday as we rallied for safer streets. You can read a write up of the rally at Greater Greater Washington.

Here are several things you can today to keep the momentum going:

Immediate fixes to Florida Avenue NE

Ask your Councilmembers to support emergency legislation that will require DDOT to take immediate action to make this deadly road safer.

Big Picture Meeting

If you are interested in systemic fixes, Councilmember Charles Allen is hosting a meeting this evening (Monday, 4/29) seeking input on how best to use legislation to make DC’s streets less deadly. Details here.

Details Meeting

If you like to get into the nitty-gritty, DDOT is hosting an open house to discuss proposed changes to “Dave Thomas Circle”—the intersection of Florida Ave NE, 1st St NW, Eckington Place NE, and New York Avenue NE. Previous proposed changes to this dangerous intersection were underwhelming—the designs omitted key crosswalks and biking connections to minimize delay for drivers. Details here.