Newsletter: Nature doing its thing

The chatter around the office this week had a theme of sorts: cool nature stuff by bike. Jordan, our events mastermind, is working on a new tulip-bloom themed ride in May, and the Trail Rangers were sharing some cool bird photos from their recent outings. It got me thinking about all the neat things you see while riding that you’d miss from inside a car. A few years ago on a warm day in late spring I was riding home on the C&O towpath and the canal was just exploding with turtles. I lost count after about 70 in the course of two miles, but there must have been more than 300 of them over the ten miles I spent on the trail that afternoon. Sometimes you are awed by the majestic beauty of a soaring raptor, sometimes all it takes is a whole lot of turtles.

Got a good wildlife by bike sighting? A spot where you can reliably see some nature in action? Let me know!

News & Updates: 

Some good legislative news: WABA has been actively supporting three bike safety bills in the Virginia General Assembly. All three – HB 657 (bikes can proceed w/ walk signal at crosswalks), HB 1077 (authorizing the Safety Stop), and HB 1266 (allowing two-abreast riding, among other changes) – were approved this week by the House Transportation Committee, setting up a crucial full House of Delegates vote this Monday (February 12th). Check out the Virginia Bicycling Federation’s writeup on the legislative progress here.

And the DC Council passed the STEER Act, which contains some first-in-the-nation policies that tackle unsafe driving. There’s some work left to do to make sure the programs are funded, but this is a huge win for safer streets. 

Also: we’re hiring a shop manager for Gearin Up! Pass along the posting if you know people who might be interested. 

Things to do this week:

A Fun Route Idea For the Weekend

Check out this extremely cool map from the Office of Planning that highlights Black History sites across the District. Take a ride and go explore some history. Here’s a route that speaks to me—from the Benning Ave Metro, start with Crystal Ballroom, where Marvin Gaye played his first show. Then head over to Bunker Hill road to the former site of Alpha Tonsorial Palace, a barbershop and community hub owned by legendary local bluesman Archie Edwards. That site is now a kid’s dentist’s office, but f you time it right, you can head back to the Archie Edwards Blues Foundation in Hyattsville and catch a jam session. 

Have  a great weekend.