Resolutions you’ll keep (and that will make you feel good)

Do you make New Year’s resolutions on January 1st and then forget about them by January 18th? You’re not alone. The University of Scranton suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New year’s Resolutions.

Rather than lofty goals like “ride a century” or “win that segment of Strava,” Here are a few resolutions that are easy to keep. You’ll feel like a winner at the end of 2018 if you do just one of them!

 

Attend a City Cycling Class

If you are uncomfortable riding your bike on city streets, consider joining one of our City Cycling Classes. These classes are designed to help people who know how to ride feel more comfortable and confident on the road. Sign up here to be notified when the spring schedule is available.

Attend a Learn to Ride Class

If you don’t know how to ride a bike, it’s never too late to learn. (I learned to ride a bike when I was 25, while on a date!)

Last season, WABA’s instructors taught a 79-year-old, proving that nobody is too old to learn. Even better, the class is fun, and just three hours long. Don’t put it off any longer, sign up here to be notified when the spring schedule is available.

Renew your WABA membership

WABA represents more than 5,500 people who see bicycling as a solution to the traffic, health and environmental challenges we face in our community. We depend on area bicyclists like you to continue our work making bicycling a healthy and more sustainable means of transportation and recreation. Your $35 membership gives you member perks to area bike shops, car2go, Zipcar and many more! And your membership also allows you to sign up for member only rides such as the VASA ride, 50 States Ride and Cider Ride.

Join a Community Ride

These low key rides are a great way to get started riding comfortably and confidently on city streets. Our next community ride is January 27th- Ride to the Rink. We will be riding in Ward 7 to DC’s only indoor ice rink, Ft. Dupont Ice Arena to celebrate National Ice Skating Month. We’d love to have you join us.

Learn to be an advocate in your community

Have you always wanted to know how to get a bike lane on your route to work? Or how to get a bike rack in front of your building? All of that requires advocacy. Come join us on how to be an advocate for bikey things in your neck of the woods. Learn how to be an advocate at the next workshop.

Ride a Trail

We have a lot of beautiful trails in the area. Take some time to ride on one of them today (or when it’s nice out). Check out one of them below and post your pic on social media and tag @WABADC

    1. Mount Vernon Trail
    2. Custis Trail
    3. Four Mile Run Trail
    4. Capital Crescent Trail
    5. C & O Canal Path
    6. Metropolitan Branch Trail
    7. Oxon Run Trail – runs from 13th St SE to South Capitol St
    8. Washington, Baltimore, & Annapolis Trail
    9. Anacostia River Trail

Volunteer at a WABA event

Check out our volunteer hub and Bike Ambassador Facebook page to see what opportunities are available monthly and stop by our next Volunteer Night on January 24th!

Become a monthly donor to WABA’s mission to make biking accessible and fun for our entire region. You can donate to WABA using this link.

Sign the Vision Zero Pledge (you can do this one right now. It’s that easy to do. Seriously, take the pledge now)

Take your family on a bike ride.  Use one of the trails listed above or if you have children or know children who would be interested in biking, sign them up for BikeCamp!

You don’t need to do all of them (but that would be awesome), but these are easy resolutions to work into your year of biking. Go for a ride, get involved— make 2018 better for everyone on a bike and help WABA continue to do the work that matters most to you!

Make a difference in your community – teach bicycle education

Are you looking to make a positive impact in your community? Do you ride your bicycle and think, “I’d like to see more people riding their bicycles safely and happily.” Do you have spare time on Saturdays and Sundays that could be better spent making bicycling better in the region? Then, you should consider applying to become a WABA instructor!

In 2016, WABA taught 483 adults how to ride a bicycle for the very first time and 311 adults how to ride more comfortably and confidently throughout the region. None of this could have been accomplished without the help of our amazing team of League Cycling Instructors (LCIs).

WABA is growing our instructor team and looking for people to teach with WABA to get more cyclists on the road in our region. WABA is hosting a LCI seminar in November. This seminar will be an intensive, fun and engaging course taught by experts and it will be free! Click here to learn more and apply.

Recently, I asked one of WABA’s Lead Instructors, Liz, why she applied to become a LCI four years ago. Not only does Liz teach for WABA, she also provides one-on-one instruction to many members of her community. Liz shared some very compelling reasons to to become an instructor:

I applied for the LCI seminar because I’ve always been enthusiastic about preaching the gospel of bike commuting, but now I could be paid to do so! Seriously, it seemed like a brilliant way to make some extra money doing something I was doing anyway. But once I started going through the process, I discovered that becoming an LCI is so much more.

The LCI seminar is, hands down, the hardest I’ve ever worked to get through a training program but is also the single most valuable professional development course I’ve ever attended. The things I learned there helped me communicate not only to bicyclists but also helped me communicate better and get more done in my day job. Knowing about how people learn and how to cater to more than one learning style makes every communication more powerful.

I keep teaching because it is joyful to see someone master a new handling skill or pedal away for the very first time. The WABA classes are a blast, but I also give private lessons and help friends improve their bicycling. I’ve found that many of my private clients are women who didn’t grow up in the U.S. who now want to learn to ride bikes to keep up with their children or get back into shape now that their kids are more independent. As a new mom, I can relate to this line of thinking now!!

I especially love the students who are nervous or scared or think they are too old to learn. How brave it is to try new things as we age! I admire every single person who reaches out to me or shows up at an Adult Learn to Ride class and takes a big step out of their comfort zone. They remind me to keep trying new things, and they are SO GRATEFUL for the few short hours of time I devote to them. And, somehow, I’m paid very well for this time that I’m lucky to spend with them. It’s a dream job.

If you’re interested in teaching for WABA or know someone who would be a great asset to our instructor pool, join us in bicycling better in the region.

Registration now open for Aug 27 Advocacy 101 Training for Prince George’s Advocates

advocacy on a map

Want to learn how to be an effective bike advocate in Prince George’s County? Register for training on Saturday, August 27th.

What: The training, hosted by WABA’s advocacy team, is for Prince George’s folks interested in making their community more bike-friendly. We’ll explore how decisions are made in the County, dive into some of the fundamental tools and approaches to influencing those decisions, and see how we, as individuals or groups, can push Prince George’s County to be more bike-friendly.

Why: Every week, our advocacy team gets emails from local citizens, asking what seems to be a simple question: “I have a great idea that will make it easier and safer to bike in my community. How do I make it happen?”

We love these questions because behind every one is someone riding a bike on the way to work, to the grocery store, or with their kids, thinking “biking is great, but it could be better, and I know how.” Sometimes that idea is as simple as restriping a lane or trimming a bush to improve sight lines. Sometimes it is bigger: a new protected bike lane, lighting a dark stretch of trail, improving an intersection or changing a city policy. We hope that the ideas never stop coming because while parts of the region have made great strides recently, we have  a long way to go.

But the idea is usually not the challenge. Getting a solution implemented is. And that’s what advocacy is all about. That’s what we work towards every day. And while advocating for a great solution can be challenging, it doesn’t take a degree or years of training. Anyone can be an effective bicycle advocate. A little training helps, though.

When/Where:

9:30 am – 1:00 pm
Hyattsville Municipal Building— 4310 Gallatin St. Hyattsville, MD

 

Breakfast and light snacks will be provided. Registration is free and open to all. No advocacy background or experience required.

Register Here

 

WABA’s Fall Education Season, in Photos

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The last leaf has fallen on the youth bicycle education tree! We wrapped up our fall in-school bicycle education classes last week at Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School.

This calendar year alone,WABA has shared the joys of bicycling with 3,425 students in the District’s public and public charter schools.  We’ll be back after winter break in more schools, to teach more students, and with (hopefully) more bikes!

Want to help us get more bikes so that we can teach more kids? Vote for us in the Do the Kind Thing contest!

If you are the parent of a child in a D.C. public school or public charter school in grades kindergarten through 6th and would like to bring WABA’s Youth Bike Education program to your child’s school, let us know! We will get in touch with the school’s PE teacher about spring classes.

Bruce Monroe Elementary 10/7/13

Janney Elementary

Janney Elementary

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Our adult programming has also finished up for the season. While it’s satisfying to cross off the final fall class on our education chalkboard, there’s certainly no erasing the experiences of 373 adults who attended WABA’s bicycle education classes this year. Some were learning to ride for the first time, while others fine-tuned their skills as long-term commuters. WABA’s Education Department provides confidence and knowledge that D.C, Maryland, and Virginia residents can use to enjoy their trips on two wheels.

See you in the spring!

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Montgomery County

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Arlington

City cycling in Washington, DC

D.C.

Adult Learn to Ride Alexandria 9/8

Alexandria

Montgomery County Bike Classes Kick Off in Friendship Heights

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In celebration of the launch of Capital Bikeshare in Montgomery County, WABA has partnered with MCDOT to provide our City Cycling classes to Montgomery County residents this fall. Our first class was held last Sunday in Friendship Heights to launch the new partnership and give people the chance to learn some riding skills, practice confidently biking on city streets, and have an opportunity to ask their burning bike questions.

Just across Western Avenue, Maryland cyclists gathered to hear a bit about some of the challenges faced by bicyclists when they decide to ride on the street. WABA’s education instructors (certified to teach bike education by the League of American Bicyclists) then gave a few pointers about bike fitting, helmet adjustments, and how to do a quick checkup on a bike before riding. From there, it was onto a series of drills in a secluded parking lot designed to teach control and handling, as well as techniques vital to sharing space with cars, such as looking over the shoulder without wobbling or veering to the side. Students had plenty of opportunity to practice before moving on to a more advanced set of drills called Crash Avoidance Maneuvers.

After the training session and a short break, the class ventured out for a practical on-bike lesson. With WABA’s instructors as guides, students began on a quiet side-street and were gradually introduced to busier roadways and more complicated situations. With frequent stops to discuss issues and infrastructure, the ride covered more metaphorical ground than literal ground, but students finished with plenty of real-world examples, context, and experience.

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When they returned to the practice area, our instructors demonstrated how to fix a flat tire and answered a few more questions, then loaded up the students with bike maps, tip sheets and guide books to keep them learning after the class was finished.

Here’s what students are saying about WABA’s City Cycling classes this season:
“Both my partner (a new city cyclist) and I (an experienced city cyclist) learned a lot.”
“[The Iinstructors] were informative, patient, and able to communicate to a group on different riding levels.”
“After taking this course, I am significantly less terrified of riding on the street.”
We have three more City Cycling classes on the calendar for October in Montgomery County in the following locations:

Sat., Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Bethesda (Montgomery County residents only)
Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Takoma Park (Montgomery County residents only)
Sun., Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Silver Spring (Montgomery County residents only)

We hope to see you there! For more photos from our classes, see this Flickr set.

How Great Are Our Adult Education Classes? (Hint: Pretty Great)

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City Cycling

We talk often about our adult education classes, so perhaps you’ve wondered about their impact. Read this testimony from a recent alum:

Living in Washington DC can make you feel pretty incapacitated if you don’t know how to ride a bicycle. At least that is how I used to feel, never having learned as a child and moving to the city where non-motorized two wheels are such a convenient mode of transportation and recreation used by many.

Then I came across WABA. Discovering their program offers support to all levels of expertise in cycling was very comforting. The Adult Learn to

Ride class was a true confidence builder, where one hour into the class everyone is independently and happily pedaling away. And the City Cycling class I took more recently not only reinforced my new skills but also prepared me to be out on the road with traffic. Both classes were very affordable and conducted by friendly and well-prepared staff which by itself is a great start to fully enjoy and take advantage of the training.

I’m paying special attention to the Women and Bicycles program. Its unique events are very much in tune with women’s needs and concerns, and they sound like a lot of fun.

The day that I will commute to work on a bicycle for the first time is coming up very soon and I will raise a glass to WABA on that same evening!

Adult Learn to Ride Alexandria 9/8

Adult Learn to Ride

Consider learning to ride a bike—or learning to become a better bicyclist—for yourself! Register for a City Cycling class or Adult Learn to Ride class today. Check out the class calendar here.

For more information on WABA’s Women & Bicycles program, visit this page.

Take a Confident City Cycling Class This Weekend!

The cherry blossoms are on their way out, but smart-cycling season has just begun! Join us this Sunday in Alexandria for a Confident City Cycling class and get ready to ride with confidence this summer.

Participants of all levels are encouraged to attend our Confident City Cycling classes, which have options for multiple skill levels ranging from simple bike handling skills and using trails, to learning avoidance maneuvers and riding with traffic. Follow this link for more details and to register for the Confident City Cycling class this weekend.

Or check out our education calendar for more classes this season.

Spring 2013 Adult Education Classes

Panning by the White House #bikedc

Soon, this could be you.

Despite this week’s late-season snowstorm, spring is swiftly approaching. Why not spend a Saturday with WABA at one of our adult education classes? Below, learn about the classes we offer. Go to the education calendar to register.

Adult Learn to Ride
This 3-hour class is designed to teach adults how to ride a bike. We start by teaching balance. Then, each rider proceeds at their own pace through starting, stopping, pedaling, and turning.

Our technique is fun, intuitive, and very successful, but it takes work! Please wear comfortable clothes and bring along some water, a snack, and weather-appropriate outerwear.

A rental bike and helmet for the day are included with your reservation. Be sure to provide your height so that we can provide you with a bicycle that fits you.

This class is for you if:

  • You are at least 18 years old
  • You have never tried to learn how to ride a bike
  • You have tried to learn and have not been successful

Confident City Cycling
This 3-hour class is meant to be taken twice! After a brief introduction and some fundamental tips, we’ll split the class into two groups. Ideally, new students will take the “Trails” section the first time and join us again for the “Traffic” section. Experienced bicyclists can choose either section.

In the “Trails” group, we will cover basic bicycling information and on-bike skills. We’ll finish with a ride on a nearby trail and demonstrate proper passing, communication and trail etiquette. In the “Traffic” group, we will explore riding a bike on the roads with cars. We’ll cover on-road techniques and teach hazard avoidance maneuvers. We’ll finish with a ride on the roads and demonstrate techniques, highlight bike infrastructure, and put everything we’ve learned into practice. Both groups come back together for a demonstration of changing a flat tire.

Online study is required prior to arriving at class. Please complete the material on www.bikeed.org. This material is free, but is very thorough and can take up to 3 hours to complete. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Participants must bring their own bikes, helmets, and water. Clipless/SPD shoes/pedals are not recommended for this class. Participants will be required to sign liability waivers.

Register today! Not sure which class is right for you? Send an email to education@waba.org and we’ll help you find the ideal education experience.

Photo by Flickr user Joe in DC