We’re hiring: are you WABA’s next Events Coordinator?

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks an impeccably organized, enthusiastic Events Coordinator to execute and grow WABA’s signature events portfolio: the Sprouts Ride, the Sweet Ride & Shindig, the 50 States Ride, WABA in the Wild, the Cider Ride, and the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards.

We seek a process-oriented fundraiser with sincere people skills and someone with enthusiasm for WABA’s mission. There is space for the right candidate to creatively reimagine and reshape our events portfolio with an eye towards revenue growth.

The Events Coordinator reports to the Development Director and works closely with WABA’s development team and collaborates regularly with other staff. Like all staff at this smaller nonprofit, this person is required to assist with general organization-wide/administrative duties and at major events, including those which they don’t manage.

Responsibilities

The Events Coordinator plans, organizes, and implements six high-quality events annually, with 150 – 750 attendees, to meet a revenue goal of $175,000+:

  • Coordinate all event logistics, including but not limited to:
    • Scouting and mapping routes;
    • Securing venues;
    • Securing and organizing event supplies;
    • Tracking event budgets (revenue and expenses);
    • Overseeing volunteers and staff during the event; and
    • Managing all day-of event logistics and execution.
  • Drive event registration in collaboration with the Communications team, which includes drafting clear, concise, and exciting content.
  • Work closely with WABA’s Business Partnerships Coordinator to secure event sponsors and ensure a quality experience for them, from promotion to event activation to wrap-up.
  • Ensure a quality attendee experience by:
    • Planning and creating a welcoming, inclusive space for bicyclists of all abilities to enjoy our events; and
    • Responding to event queries by email and phone in a timely manner.
  • Cultivate a community of WABA supporters surrounding events, including but not limited to:
    • WABA in the Wild riders and alumni (who spend several months fundraising for WABA before enjoying a supported tour on the C&O Canal Towpath);
    • Host committee volunteers; and
    • Event volunteers, who are the backbone of WABA’s rides.
  • Assist the development team with additional tasks or responsibilities as needed to achieve the team’s—and the organization’s—short- and long-term goals.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have some of these qualifications, but they’re not required:

  • Demonstrated success in—and a passion for!—fundraising;
  • An enthusiastic commitment to WABA’s mission;
  • Experience organizing large-scale, outdoor recreation events; and
  • Experience with Salesforce, Raiser’s Edge, or other CRM tools.

Desired competencies include:

  • Strong project management skills;
  • A deadline-oriented approach to work;
  • The ability to balance multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously;
  • Computer literacy skills with experience using the Google Suite and Microsoft Office (graphic design skills a plus);
  • Enthusiastic, sincere interpersonal and communications skills, both verbal and written;
  • Comfort bicycling about 30 miles in the city.

The job also requires:

  • A current driver’s license, clean driving record, and the willingness to occasionally drive and parallel park a 19.5-foot cargo van;
  • The ability to lift 40 pounds to un/load event supplies in and out of a truck;
  • A flexible schedule surrounding events, including occasional nights and less frequent long, weekend days (with compensatory time);
  • A willingness to jump in and help out the team; and
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist if and when you ride.

Employment Details

This position is full-time. All employees are expected to work some evenings and weekends with compensatory time in exchange. Expected salary range is $38,000-$42,000. The position is based in the WABA Office in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC.

Benefits include health/dental insurance (WABA covers 100% of the premium for full-time staff); flexible work schedule; vacation and sick leave; committed colleagues; fun working environment; optional voluntary accident/disability insurance; WABA’s 403(b) retirement program; indoor bike parking; and surprising amounts of ice cream.

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.

Apply

Send a compelling cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org. Please include “Events Coordinator” in the subject line. Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls or visits, please.

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 47 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 bicycling 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.

We can’t wait another year for laws to make our streets safer.

Rally in April, 2019.

In a flurry of activity this spring, the DC Council announced four different bills (details below) to promote safer streets and a better bike network.  We need your help to make sure these bills turn into laws.

The Council’s next step is to hold a hearing. If a hearing doesn’t happen before the Council’s summer recess that starts in July, the bills are unlikely to move through the legislative process in 2019.

We can’t afford to wait another year for laws that make our streets safer.

Use the form below to contact your Councilmembers and ask them to hold a hearing on street safety bills before the summer recess.

Note: your messages are more effective if you include a personal story about why this legislation is important to you.

About the bills:

  • Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh (Ward 3) introduced legislation, called the “Mandatory Protected Cycling Lane Amendment Act of 2019” which would essentially mandate that DDOT build a contiguous protected bicycle lane whenever the agency does significant reconstruction or repair work on a street. While we have some serious questions about definitions in the legislation, we think this is an important start.
  • Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) introduced two pieces of legislation. First (which passed on Tuesday, May7th, 2019) is the “Florida Avenue Multimodal Project Completion Temporary Amendment Act of 2019”— this act specifically requires DDOT to fast track their existing plans to redesign Florida Avenue NE into a safer space for pedestrians and bicyclists (including adding dedicated bicycling infrastructure) or face a procedural hurdle before spending money over a certain dollar amount.
  • Councilmember Allen’s second piece of legislation, the “Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act of 2019” is much more comprehensive than a previous 2018 version. This bill bans right turns on red, reduces residential speed limits to 20 mph across the city, and holds contractors/development companies more responsible for the disruptions they cause in the bike and pedestrian networks, among other things. Perhaps most importantly, the bill codifies the modeshare goals of the Sustainable DC 2.0 plan in law (25% of trips on foot or by bicycle, 50% by transit, and a maximum of 25% by car) and required DDOT to produce city-wide plans to meet these goals.
  • Councilmember David Grosso (At-large) introduced legislation, the “Curb Extension Act of 2019” (B23-0292), mandating curb extensions, which improve sightlines and reduce crossing distances for pedestrians, in all future DDOT road improvement projects.
  • Councilmember Brandon Todd (Ward 4) also introduced legislation, “Cyclist Safety Campaign Amendment Act of 2019”,to add a “bike-related rules” test on the DMV application. The idea behind this is to “re-enforce good habits early on” when someone goes to get a license.

For a more in depth look at these bills, read Greater Greater Washington’s analysis here.

The Arboretum Bridge and Trail is a once-in-a-lifetime connection

Rendering courtesy of DDOT and NPS.

The Arboretum Bridge and Trail is a project that will connect Wards 5 and 7 in DC for people who walk and bike. It is an incredible opportunity to improve access to some of the District’s most unique outdoor places, and it’s an important step to a better connection across the Anacostia River for everyone.

This project is one of the final pushes in a much larger vision called the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. Started in 2003, this initiative created the blueprint for the Anacostia River Trail, which is nearly complete. This bridge will be one of the final segments in the larger plan.

Connection is the main focus of this project. Currently, to cross the river without this bridge, people have to travel from Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens either 1.5 miles south, to Benning Road, or 2.5 miles north, to the pedestrian bridge at Bladensburg Waterfront Park. These distances make it impractical and difficult for residents of Eastland Gardens, Kenilworth or Deanwood to walk or bike across the Anacostia River. It’s important that we aren’t placing an undue burden on the communities adjacent to the trails if they are trying to cross the river.

National Park Service and DDOT have revisited and modified the plans for the bridge to accommodate the concerns of the rowing community, and maintain the navigability of the deepest part of the channel. While the compromises made have slowed the project a bit, we think that the redesigned bridge is a winning design that serves all users.

Support the Arboretum Bridge and Trail!

Oak View Elementary Excels Beyond the (Bike) Bell

Standing on the blacktop under a toasty May sun, the adults who had travelled to Oak View Elementary — parents, Montgomery County officials, local advocates — all asked the same question: “Where are the kids?!”

As if on cue, cheers erupted from the open door leading into Oak View’s gymnasium. Moments later, 31 third grade students, emerged onto the blacktop, greeted by applause and cheers. After six weeks of Excel Beyond the Bell’s Pilot Bike Safety Program, today was the day they would actually go on a two-mile bike ride!

EBB students wearing their helmets, donated by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

Back in April 2019, when Excel Beyond the Bell first began at Oak View, 70% of the kids in the program’s cohort did not know to ride a bike. It was a “unique challenge” that changed the dynamic of how this cohort would learn over the next six weeks, said Jeff Wetzel, Youth and Family Coordinator at WABA.

“At the beginning, only 30 percent of the kids had some ability to ride,” Wetzel said. “By the end, more than 50 percent of the kids were able to ride and competent to go on a 10-mile ride. Basically, they were ready for Bike Camp!

Joined by Councilmember Hans Riemer, Oak View Elementary Principal Jeffrey Cline, County officials, and other distinguished guests, each person had a similar, positive message for the students.

“Let’s keep working on this,” Councilmember Riemer said, “so that in the next couple of years, there’s the opportunity for every kid in Montgomery County to learn how to ride a bike and find that freedom for themselves!”

Excel Beyond the Bell as a program is not new to Montgomery County; it’s been around since 2010. The Bike Safety Program as an option for kids is a first. Not only did Oak View Elementary students learn how to ride, but the progressive curriculum included lessons on traffic rules, bike-handling skills and safe travel routes.

After the culminating bike ride, the Department of Recreation gave away eight bikes to students based on two criteria: progress in the EBB Bike Safety Program and a separate, essay contest where students wrote about what they would do if they had a bike. All the students went home with their own helmets, donated by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

One of the eight students who received a bike from of the Department of Recreation.

The day was a hit, and the program will expand to two sites next school year. As Montgomery County continues to expand its support for bicycling, we look forward to to the continued success of Excel Beyond the Bell’s Bike Safety Program!

Check out the Montgomery County Council’s video on Oak View Elementary’s EBB Ride!

Meet Sydney Sotelo, our Adult Education Coordinator

Hello! My name is Sydney Sotelo, and I am very excited to be joining WABA as the new Adult Education Coordinator.

A true lover of all things outside, in my free time you can usually find me biking, hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, camping and playing outside with my dog, Waffle. For the past six years, I have worked as an Outdoor Recreation educator, helping people to get outside, learn new skills and invest in the natural world around them. I believe that public lands, parks, trails and paths can teach us so much about ourselves, and I am passionate about using the outdoors as a catalyst for personal growth and change.

I come to WABA with an eagerness to inspire others to try a new skill. I believe that with a supportive, encouraging environment, effective teaching and a whole lot of stoke, anyone can learn to do anything. I value hands on teaching as an opportunity to engage with others and create meaningful, transformative experiences. So, try something new! You might learn a little bit more about yourself along the way.

If you would like to get to know me better, learn more about my teaching philosophy, or just need to get over the fear of taking that first step to getting on a bike, feel free to reach out to me by email. I am happy to sit down for a chat and brainstorm new ways to learn! Check out all of our Adult Education classes online and feel free to reach me at sydney.sotelo@waba.org.

Meet Trey Robinson, our DC Bike Ambassador Coordinator

I am Trey Robinson and I am the new DC Bike Ambassador Coordinator at WABA!

I began riding bikes in college to get to and from classes and now use biking for transportation, fitness and fun. As a Maryland native, I first started biking in DC as a Trail Ranger with WABA. I did not know my way around the city but soon learned how to navigate by using various trails and bike lanes. I now bike through the city with confidence while using the resources that keep people on bikes safe. I can now lead friends on bike rides throughout DC, showing them all the resources that make cycling a fun time.

In my free time, I ride bikes with kids in the neighborhood and help fix small bike repairs to keep people riding.  I’m always sharing information about the various bike rides and trails in DC because riding bikes in DC is so fun! I’ve formed some great relationships with many people because of our common joy of cycling.

WABA has showed me that riding bikes is more than an occasional ride on the weekend. Cycling is a great form of transportation, exercise, and fun way to enjoy the outdoors. DC has the best places to ride and you also get to pass some historical places with beautiful scenery on your route. Biking in DC is a rewarding experience when you realize how much more efficient it is than driving.

As a DC Bike Ambassador, I’m eager to interact with people and share the benefits of riding bikes. I’ll be reaching out to pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists to encourage shared road use. I’ll also continue to do my best to model good behavior and respectful, safe road use for everyone. I hope my encouragement helps get more people bicycling in their daily lives. The DC Bike Ambassadors will help educate more people about some of the ways to make biking easier, fun, and safer.

I’m looking forward to speaking with more people to help them learn more about biking in DC. If you have questions or would like to become a DC Bike Ambassador, you can reach me at trey.robinson@waba.org.

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!