I live in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County, Virginia. For years, like nearly everyone else, I used a car for my local transportation needs – driving was the normal thing to do. When they put in a gym at work, I decided to try bike commuting on the Mount Vernon Trail along the Potomac River. My bike commute opened up a new world to me that I completely missed from behind the wheel: Bald eagles and ospreys. Great blue herons. Snapping turtles. Beavers. Rabbits. Foxes. Magnificent sunrises. Airplanes roaring low overhead leaving a ghostly sounding air wake. Opera singers. I kid you not. I still drive a car. I just drive a lot less than I used to. So many more people are making the same decision, an invaluable decision, because whether we know it or see it or feel it, we’re all working to make biking normal. I don’t wear spandex. I don’t look like an athlete. I’m just the dad, the husband, the co-worker, the guy in line at the grocery store. Of course you can’t see that I have the cardiovascular health of a 40 year old, or that I save thousands of dollars a year on car-related expenses. We can bike around town because year after year the culture of the Washington area is changing. I know this first hand. In the summer of 1980 when I was 25, I rode my bike in D.C. while working as a summer intern. Over the past 35 years, I have seen how people have become increasingly accepting of bicycling, and, more and more, people are using a bike for basic, everyday transportation on our ever-improving bicycling infrastructure. At the forefront of this change stands the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. WABA has worked since the 1970s to improve all things bike-related with determination, persistence, and hard work. Here’s how it works: you support WABA and WABA will deliver better bicycling for you. It‘s that simple. I urge you to support WABA with your money and your time. If you think bicycling in D.C. is good now, wait until you see what WABA’s efforts will bring by the time you turn 60!WABA’s effective advocacy is funded by thousands of bicyclists like you with stories like John’s. Please contribute to WABA’s bold vision for safer streets in 2016.
Last week, we here at WABA announced an ambitious plan to triple the number of people riding bikes throughout the region over the next five years. You’re a part of that! But we need your help. At the end of this story we’ll ask you for a contribution, but before we get to that, we want to highlight one of our members and why he supports WABA: