The Sweet Ride & Shindig

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 9:00 AM — 1102 S Eads St, Arlington, VA

Ride Tags: Long Ride / Members / Short Ride / Virginia /

The 2019 Sweet Ride is over! Thank you to everyone who came out to ride and support WABA. You can read about the ride here.


The Sweet Ride & Shindig, presented by Conte’s Bike Shop, is WABA’s new northern Virginia bike ride and get-together. Bring the family! It’s a bike ride, it’s a picnic, and it’s a party! You can ride, walk, eat, and/or dance—whatever your summer jam is.


As a WABA signature ride, the Sweet Ride & Shindig helps further WABA’s mission and impact. The ride embodies the spirit of community and inclusion that is core to WABA’s mission of growing bicycling throughout the region. Your registration fee supports WABA’s advocacy, education, and outreach work that makes bicycling more safe, fun, and accessible around the region.

Additional Details

Choose from one of four routes (approximately, 5-, 15-, 30-, and 50-miles) looping around Arlington, Alexandria, and beyond! Each route will start and end at The Grounds in Crystal City, and will have at least one pit stop.

All riders are welcome to join WABA at the Shindig afterwards to pick up a free treat, meet neighbors, interact with local businesses and organizations, eat, drink, and enjoy live music!

Read our FAQs below for more details!

Fine Print

The Sweet Ride & Shindig will take place rain or shine. There will be no refunds, exchanges or transfers for this event, even in the event of inclement weather. Helmets are required for all riders.

You must be a current dues-paying WABA member to participate in this ride. Each WABA member is allowed one non-member guest only. Children 12 and under may join you at no additional cost. You can become a member with your registration below or at waba.org/join! (Attendance at the Shindig is open to the public.)

Do you need any accommodations to make this event accessible to you? Contact Cyrus Chimento at events@waba.org.


Frequently Asked Questions

Am I registered for the Sweet Ride & Shindig?

All registrants receive a confirmation email after they complete registration online. If you personally registered but have not received a confirmation, please check your spam folder, then email events@waba.org to confirm your registration.

Is this a supported ride?

The Sweet Ride is an unsupported ride—we will not have a SAG (Support And Gear) van to pick you up during the ride. If there is a medical emergency, call 911.

However, there will be ride marshals along the route to ride with you and guide you in the right direction. There will also be paper cue sheets and turn-by-turn Ride with GPS directions available. Ensure that you have a loaded Smartcard, cab fare, charged phone, and/or a friend or family member who can pick you up in case you cannot complete the ride.

Is there a cutoff time for riding?

Since this is an unsupported ride, we will not cut you off. However, the pit stops have closing times. We suggest showing up at the beginning of check-in so that you have the maximum amount of time to ride.

Will roads be closed to cars during the ride?

No. You will be riding on roads and trails with other vehicles and users during this ride. Don’t feel confident riding next to cars? Look into our City Cycling classes to increase your comfort level! (They’re free for WABA members!)

Will I get a refund if it’s raining?

No. The Sweet Ride & Shindig is a rain or shine event!

Is the Sweet Ride & Shindig a fundraiser?

Yes! Signature events, like the Sweet Ride & Shindig, are the only rides we organize for WABA members that cost money. All proceeds from this event benefit WABA and the work that we do to make bicycling safer and more fun in the region. Don’t know much about our work? Read about our advocacy, education, and outreach work and keep up to date on our latest projects on our blog.

Can I apply for a scholarship for this ride?

Through our Free Ride Fund we provide free rides to community members who could otherwise not participate. This is one way that WABA is making sure that bicycling in the DC region is accessible to everyone. If you want a free ride, or, if you want to donate to the Free Ride Fund but already registered, contact Cyrus Chimento at events@waba.org.

Are children allowed on this ride?

Children ages 12 and under can ride for free, accompanied by an adult. The accompanying adult must register themselves and the child(ren), be present at check-in with their entire group, check-in the youth riding with them, and sign a wavier on their behalf. Children twelve and older must be registered independently (at a reduced rate), and check in with a guardian who will sign a waiver on their behalf. WABA members can bring as many children as they can manage!

Will you feed me?

Riders receive snacks and water at each pit stop. There will be food available for purchase at the Shindig after the ride. If you want additional snacks or meals, please plan to pack or buy them along the route. Food and drink options at local businesses along the route will be plentiful—feel free to make your own pit stops! Please note: we do not provide bottled water. You must bring your own water bottles. Restrooms are available at each pit stop.

Where can I find information about the routes?

We will post the routes to this webpage as soon as they are finalized. Riders will receive access to online files of the route the week leading up to the event, and a paper cue sheet at check-in.

Do I have to stop at stop signs?

Yes. We can’t control what you do on the roads, but, through participating in a WABA ride, you are setting an example for other road users. We ask you to ride safely, respectfully, and lawfully to maximize safety for all the ride participants and other trail and road users.

Stop at all red lights and stop signs. Always yield to pedestrians. Use hand signals when turning. Communicate verbally with other riders. Do not ride more than two abreast, and do not take up more than one lane of travel. When riding on sidewalks, trails, or paths, be cautious when passing other users and slow down.

How do I ride in the city?

To get familiar with riding in the city, take a WABA City Cycling class (free for WABA members)! You can also find video tutorials on city cycling on the League of American Bicyclists’ website.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes. WABA’s insurance requires it. This is standard for organized rides across the country. Learn how to properly fit your helmet here. (We can help at check-in, too.)

I’m not sure my bike is ready for this.

We’ll have bike mechanics at check-in, who can help you get air in your tires and make any quick adjustments. Or, you can bring your bike to a participating shop and use your WABA coupon for a tune-up! Email membership@waba.org for details.

Is the route signed?

No, but we do our best to make the route directions clear and comprehensive. If you get lost, you can check the map on your phone, or hang out for a few minutes and see if you can connect with a rider or marshal who is familiar with the area.

Can I take shortcuts?

Of course! There are many places throughout the ride where you can skip a few miles if you’re tired. Furthermore, there’s no shame in bailing out early. You should do however much of the ride you feel good about—don’t push yourself to ride until you’re not having fun. Just join us at Shindig!

Can I change which route I signed up for?

Yes! Just show up at the correct start time for the route you’d like to ride. You can decide to ride any of our available routes!

Will there be marshals?

There will be ride marshals. They will be wearing vests with numbers on them. Marshals are WABA volunteers that are the first line of response in incidents that involve ride participants and be an avenue of communication between ride participants and WABA staff members. The numbers on their vests allow you to identify them: if you see a great marshal, be sure to tell us in the post-ride survey!

Should I bring a lock?

Yes. You may want to stop for more food along the ride, or spend time lounging once you get back to The Grounds, so you should plan to lock your bike up. (You can leave your lock with us when you check in, too, if you don’t want to ride with it, and we’ll have it at the Shindig.) Don’t know the best ways to lock up? Check out thishandy guide on preventing bicycle theft!

How do I get there?

The start location, The Grounds, is in Crystal City, in northern Virginia. It is accessible by bike from the Mt. Vernon Trail and surrounding neighborhoods. If arriving by public transit, the closest metro station is Pentagon City station on the Yellow Line (bikes are allowed on Metro at all times). There are also several bus lines that go through the area. (Find out more here.)

If you plan to arrive by car, there may be limited on-street parking available in the neighborhoods near the start, but double check any street parking restrictions. There are also pay-to-park garages located close by (find out more here).

Thank you to our sponsors!

Title Sponsor:

Platinum Sponsor:

Pit Stop Sponsor: