Advocacy Wins Across the Region!

2021 set a powerful precedent of what we can win with your support and the resources we need. Here’s some of what we accomplished together this year, across the region:

Maryland

  • The Purple Line project is moving forward again, which means we’re closer than ever to completing the Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring. And, with your help, we deflected another attempt to cut funding for the trail tunnel under Wisconsin Ave.
  • Speaking of Silver Spring, the Fenton Street protected bike lanes are coming, and they’re going to be great. 
  • Prince George’s County is expanding its trail planning staff so it can keep up with demand for building new trails.
  • The Transportation Planning Board directed federal funding to resurface crumbling trails and replace washed out bridges on the Oxon Cove Trail.
  • The reconstruction of the American Legion Bridge (the northern Beltway bridge over the Potomac) will feature a bike and pedestrian trail connecting Potomac, Maryland and Tysons, Virginia—a vital new link in the transportation network and a drastic expansion of access to beloved parks on both sides of the river. 
  • The successful pilot of a protected bike lane on University Boulevard—the first protected bike lane on a state highway in Maryland. For years and years, the state high administration has insisted that it could not possibly build or maintain this kind of infrastructure, resulting in big gaps in our safe biking network. This year, thanks to support from advocates like you, we convinced them to give it a try. Surprise! It’s completely possible, and this project has opened the door for many new, critical connections in the regional bike network.

Virginia

  • Route 1. The chorus of voices demanding a safer and more sustainable replacement for this unnecessary urban freeway has grown. It’s not just the bike advocates anymore—the pressure is coming from businesses and local government, and it’s working. The Virginia Department of Transportation’s plans to make Route 1 a human-scale boulevard keep getting better and better—with more space for biking, walking, and transit.
  • Funding for reconstruction and widening of some of the busiest sections of the Mount Vernon Trail, from Roosevelt Island to Jones Point park
  • Construction continues on the I-66 Trail, which will extend the Custis Trail all the way to Haymarket.
  • Construction begins next year on the Columbia Pike protected bike lanes between Washington Boulevard and the Pentagon.
  • A newly reconstructed section of the W&OD showcases some of the most forward-thinking trail design in the country, with separated space for people walking and people biking.

Washington, DC

  • A 3.3 mile protected bike lane on Connecticut Avenue, from Woodley Park all the way to Chevy Chase— a major expansion in bike connectivity and a major step towards a city-wide low-stress bike network. 
  • Construction is almost complete on the extension of the 15th Street NW, protected bike lane from The White House to the Jefferson Memorial. That will be a continuous low-stress bike route from Columbia Heights to the Mount Vernon Trail.
  • The shiny new Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge has not one, but two 18-foot bike and pedestrian paths connecting the East and West banks of the Anacostia River Trail, with a connection to the Suitland Parkway Trail coming in the next phase of construction. 
  • If you’ve ridden the Red Line recently, you’ve seen the pavement slowly extending North on the Met Branch Trail to Fort Totten. It’s slated to open in the next few weeks. 
  • In Dupont and Foggy Bottom, new protected bike lanes on 20th St NW and 17th St NW make it easier than ever to breeze in and out of downtown on your bike. 

  • New protected bike lanes across the mall on 4th Street NW and SW connect downtown to the Southwest Waterfront and the Anacostia River Trail.

That bike ride thrill!

Powerful. Freeing. Delightful! These are some of the words I’ve heard WABA supporters use to describe the feeling of riding their bikes. This year WABA introduced hundreds of people to the joy and power of bicycling— and learning to ride is just the beginning!

Whether you’re commuting to work or school, running errands, staying active for that mental-health boost, or having quality time outside with your friends and family, WABA is here to make your ride better. In 2022, we’re bringing you…

  • more resources like fix-a-flat webinars and guides on how to ride in all types of weather
  • more bike lanes and trails
  • and more fun on bikes!

Whether it’s one of your first rides or your one thousandth commute, WABA wants you to feel the thrill, empowerment, and flat out joy that come with riding a bike.

Arlington wants to reach 8% of people getting around by bike by 2025

Help WABA celebrate our partners!

Kids at Bike Camp 2021. Bike Camp is cohosted by the Latin American Youth Center.

At WABA, we love bikes— and, we know our work isn’t just about bicycling. Transportation touches so many other issues: from housing, to food access, to environmental conservation. WABA is able to empower people to ride bikes and transform our streets by working in coalition with our fellow nonprofit organizations across the region.

This Giving Tuesday, we’re proud to share some organizations who are our partners in the work for a more equitable and sustainable region. All of the organizations below showed up for WABA in some way in 2021, by signing onto a letter or campaign, partnering on a class or event, helping craft a forthcoming transportation equity platform, or amplifying a project.

CASA de Maryland is Latino and immigration advocacy-and-assistance organization based in Maryland. CASA is currently actively involved in transportation justice coalitions with WABA, in an effort to expand multimodal transportation options to marginalized communities in MD.

Friends of Oxon Run are hard at work building community and activity around the Oxon Run Trail through outdoor learning, conservation, tree planting and exercise programs.

House of Ruth and SOME are fellow members of the DC Transportation Equity Network Steering committee, working to ensure DC’s most vulnerable communities have dependable, affordable, and safe ways to get to work, school, the grocery store, and health care.

Latin American Youth Center cohosted our summer Bike Camp, where kids pedal all over the city and build confidence, experience, and friendship by bike.

Maryland Milestones champions our trails work in Prince George’s County, and is a member of the Capital Trails Coalition.

Miriam’s Kitchen is committed to ending chronic homelessness in Washington DC. They are currently partnering with WABA on projects to connect transportation and housing advocacy in DC. 

Seasoned Settlers partners with WABA to host youth bike rides in Ward 8, where DC Bike Ambassadors demonstrate how to safely ride in groups, on trails and how to perform basic bike maintenance.

Sierra Club DCSierra Club DC has partnered with WABA on campaigns to reduce traffic fatalities, expand the number of protected bike lanes, and encourage green, sustainable commuting.

Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County is a local voice for better transit, biking and walking in Arlington. They partner with WABA on the People Before Cars campaign in National Landing and keep Arlington officials accountable to climate goals.

Thank you for coming on this ride.

As 2021 nears its end, we at WABA are reflecting on what the year brought for us. 

We saw incredible victories for safer streets, better bicycling, and a more sustainable, equitable region this year. But the progress we’ve made came alongside challenges and heartbreak.

This year, traffic fatalities increased yet again. We saw the worsening realities of climate change. We navigated the socioeconomic divides the pandemic is deepening. And across our region, historic and ongoing inequities in investment from planners, officials, and advocates means some neighborhoods remain unwalkable, unbikeable, and unwelcoming to people who aren’t in cars.

In the face of these daunting challenges, one thing kept us going: our community. Our members, supporters, and partners inspired all of us at WABA to keep fighting.   

We know progress sometimes feels slow, but it’s steady and it’s powerful— and that’s thanks to the support of those who raise their voices for more bike lanes, more car-free spaces, more bold change that puts people first. 

So here’s to our members and supporters. There’s more work to do—we’re glad you’re along for the ride.

What to Expect at a WABA Ride!

Why come to a WABA Signature Ride? Well…a day spent outside riding bikes, eating snacks, and making new friends, all while knowing you’re supporting WABA’s mission to make bicycling better in our region? Sounds pretty good, right?

This year WABA is bringing you three bike ride events celebrating biking in Virginia, DC, and Maryland: the Sweet Ride (June), the 50 States Ride (September), and the Cider Ride (November). 

While each ride is a little different, they have a few things in common. Below is some information on what to expect at WABA’s rides. (Still have questions after you read? Drop a line to events@waba.org— we’re happy to chat.)

Come as you are—these rides are for everyone who wants to explore our region by bike! WABA’s Signature Rides are recreational rides, NOT races. There are 10-16  mile routes in addition to longer 30-50 mile options. You can ride in spandex and cleats if you want, but a lot of participants will be in t-shirts. It doesn’t matter what you wear! So dress comfortably, ride a bike that feels good to you,  don’t worry about the pace— and reach out to WABA staff at events@waba.org if you have questions about what to wear, bring, or ride. 

Check-in is important. When you register for a WABA ride, you’ll receive a start location and check-in time. This is where your ride will start—but when you arrive, make sure you go to the WABA tent first to check-in. This is where you’ll receive your cue sheet, ride swag, and the wristband that gets you into pit stops (access to snacks and water is clutch!) 

Pit stops are snack/water breaks. Along the ride route you’ll have the opportunity to stop at pit stops, where WABA staff and volunteers will have water, snacks, and cheers waiting for you. During COVID-19 pit stop snacks are pre-packaged, single-serving items. Be sure to bring your own water bottle to refill at pit stops— WABA does not provide plastic water bottles.

Ride routes are not marked or closed to traffic. WABA’s rides celebrate bicycling in our region using existing infrastructure. We don’t close any roads for our rides, and the routes go on trails and  streets with varying levels of bicycle infrastructure (protected bike lanes, painted bike lanes, and some roads without bike lanes. We do our best to plan the rides on low-stress streets, but you will be sharing the road with motor vehicles.  Feel like you want to practice before the ride? Sign up for a Confident City Cycling Class. Or, for a refresher, watch this webinar on How to Ride in Traffic

The ride is self-guided— here’s how to navigate!

  • Use your paper cue sheet. Participants navigate WABA ride routes using a paper cue sheet with turn-by-turn directions, which we’ll give you at ride check-in. This method of navigation means you need to consult the sheet every few turns. We recommend clipping it to your bike so you can glance down at a red light or stop sign and see what your next turn is. Feeling unsure about using a cue sheet? Here’s a helpful blog post on how to read a cue sheet, and one on how to attach your cue sheet to your bike.
  • Use Ride With GPS. If you have a smartphone, you can get turn-by-turn audio directions for the ride using the Ride with GPS app (after you register for the ride, you’ll get instructions on how to do this— you’ll need to make an account and join the WABA Ride With GPS club, which are both free, before the day of the ride) Registered for a ride and need help setting this up? Email events@waba.org.
  • You’ll probably take a wrong turn or two during the ride. Most people do! If you feel lost, remember that your cue sheet has a map in it, which can help you navigate back to the route or to the closest pit stop, where you can gather your bearings. 

You probably won’t ride with a group the whole time. Each check-in group at WABA’s rides has an optional group start. But not everyone will ride together, and even if you start with a group, you will probably spread out over the course of the ride. If you want to make sure you have a buddy for the whole ride, consider registering with the ride for a friend, saying hi to someone new at the group start, or chatting with a Ride Marshal.  Speaking of which…

Volunteer Ride Marshals are there to help! Ride Marshals are WABA volunteers who help you navigate and offer encouragement and support. Marshals receive a training from WABA staff before the event and know participants may look to them in their colorful vests with questions, for assistance, or to be a buddy. Marshals carry basic first aid supplies, and are instructed to call 911 in the case of an emergency on the ride.

How to Attach a Cue Sheet To Your Bike

So, you’re going on a bike ride…and you need to navigate using a paper cue sheet. But how are you going to attach that sucker to your bike so you can glance at it easily?

Here’s a low-tech solution that just might help.

Start by gathering your materials (if you come to a WABA Signature Ride, we’ll have these available along with your cue sheet!). You’ll need:

  • zip tie
  • binder clip
  • plastic bag
  • cue sheet

1. Thread the zip tie through the binder clip. 

2. Fasten the zip tie around your handlebar stem to secure the binder clip to the bike.  (The stem is the vertical bar underneath your handlebars!)

3. Clip the cue sheet into the binder clip!  (You’ll have to take it on and off to turn the page.)

4. If it’s raining: use the plastic bag to keep the cue sheet dry

5. To remove after your ride: cut the zip tie off the handlebar stem with scissors. You can also leave it on for your next ride! Either way, don’t throw away the bag or binder clip—use them for something else, too.

To learn more about how to read a cue sheet, check out this post: How to Read a Cue Sheet

Double your impact—today only— and empower even more people to ride.

The 2019 WABA in the Wild group, starting their journey on the C&O Canal towpath in Cumberland, MD. Today only, a generous group of WABA in the Wild trip alumni from multiple years and friends are matching your donations to WABA up to $10k!

Something exciting has happened: a group of WABA in the Wild trip alumni and friends have stepped up to match your donations, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000, today only.

These donors started off as strangers at a WABA event, motivated by everything from the love of a great ride to climate advocacy to safer streets. But after a weekend celebrating the ways bicycling brightens lives, they ended their ride proving the bonds bicycling creates.

That’s what WABA’s all about: not just riding bikes, but feeling safe and supported as you do, and helping  others feel that way, too. Together, we can build a region where everyone feels empowered to ride. 

Today, these donors are giving back to WABA for the long ride—and they’re asking you to join them.  Can you make a gift of $ or more today, and see your gift doubled— a testament to what we can accomplish as a community?

With 2020 almost behind us, we’re ready to roll strong into 2021 and meet whatever’s ahead in this new year. But we can’t do it alone. We need our friends riding beside us (even if it’s not in person). We need you: your energy, your support, and your investment. Can we count on you? 

Can’t stop this bicycling joy machine!

You know what’s even better than bicycles? Getting together with the people who ride them to learn new skills, discover a new trail, and chat over coffee about routes, bike shops, new bike lane projects, and any/everything else about this bike-life.

I’m not gonna lie— it was a bummer that we had to cancel and postpone so many in-person events and classes this year. But even 2020 couldn’t stop the WABA joy machine!

This year brought Virtual Bike Anywhere Week Bingo; digital coffee hours; covid-adapted 50 States and Cider Rides; and —who could forget?!— DC Bike Ambassador Trey Robinson’s how-to-wheelie videos (here’s part 1 & part 2). Because even when it’s from a distance, WABA staff love bringing you and the whole WABA community together fun on one, two, or more wheels.

We don’t know what 2021 will look like yet. But one thing’s for sure: in addition to advocating for better infrastructure and policies to support your ride, WABA won’t stop bringing the fun, the silliness, and the delight that make bikes and the people who ride them spectacular.

I hope to see you in 2021 for some good ol’ bicycling delight. You can see what we have coming up at waba.org/fun— and click here to join Event Hub, our monthly guide to fun on and off your bike.

Sweet Ride Kits

Let WABA send you on a Sweet Ride on Northern Virginia trails!


How does it work?

Sweet Ride Kits are available for purchase—see below.

Every Ride Kit includes PDF cue sheets, route maps, route files, and Ride Prep Guide by email, so you can ride as soon as you’re ready.

Some kits include exclusive swag mailed to your door! If you purchase a Baby Sweet, Sweet, Sweeter, Sweetest, or Bespoke Ride Kit you choose, we’ll mail you a package of exclusive ride swag. Mailings begin the first week of July and continue through August.

Where do I ride?

All registration levels include cue sheets and route files for FIVE ride routes (6 mile, 10 mile, 16 mile, 28 mile, and 45 mile) connected by Northern Virginia trails, so you can ride all summer long.

All the ride routes start and end at The Grounds in Crystal City, but you can hop on and off the routes wherever you want. 

Pack a picnic — these routes take you to destinations in Arlington and Alexandria where you’ll want to stop and take in the sunshine, like Teddy Roosevelt Island, Columbia Island, Glen Carlyn Park, and more.

We are grateful for your support.

While we’re disappointed we can’t celebrate the second Sweet Ride in person, we want to celebrate in spirit. In addition to getting you some great custom swag that won’t be sold again, your Sweet Ride Kit purchase supports WABA and better biking across the region.

Public Health Note

* These rides are meant to be done solo or with members of your household. Please be sure to follow guidelines for physical distancing, and stay home if you are sick. WABA will make reasonable efforts to communicate changes under COVID-19 restrictions, but may not provide an update to registrants with every change to local government policies and recommendations.


Ride Kits

The 2020 Sweet Ride Cotton Cap, available as part of the Sweetest and Bespoke Ride Kits!

Digital Kit — $10

Simple and sweet! This package will come to your email, and includes:

  • PDF cue sheet with five ride routes 
  • Digital route files (GPX, TCX, Ride with GPS) and maps 
  • PDF Ride Prep Guide, including guidelines for biking during COVID-19

Baby Sweet Ride Kit—$25

Digital Kit sent to your email, plus, mailed to your door:

  • Exclusive Sweet Ride spoke card

Sweet Ride Kit — $50

Digital Kit sent to your email, plus, mailed to your door:

  • Paper cue sheets with maps and directions for five ride routes
  • Exclusive Sweet Ride spoke card 
  • Blue and white gingham Sweet Ride bandana
  • WABA patch kit
  • Single-serving lemonade packet
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Voucher for a free chicken, sandwich, wrap, or pita from Nando’s Peri Peri 
  • Voucher for a 32 oz crowler of Port City Brewing Co’s Beach Drive Golden Ale

Sweeter Ride Kit — $95 (while supplies last!)

Digital Kit sent to your email, plus, mailed to your door:

  • Everything included in the Sweet Ride Kit

PLUS

  • Gift card for specialty drink from Commonwealth Joe (fuel your ride!)
  • Gift card for a milkshake from Good Stuff Eatery (cool down after a hot day in the sun!) 
  • Gift card to Los Tios Grill (good food and cold drinks…what could be better? )

Sweetest Ride Kit — $150 (while supplies last!)

Mailed to your door:

  • Everything included in the Sweet and Sweeter Ride Kits

PLUS

  • Cotton Sweet Ride cycle cap

Bespoke Ride Kit—$250 (while supplies last!)

Mailed to your door:

  • Everything included in the Sweet, Sweeter, and Sweetest Ride Kits

PLUS

  • A bespoke route designed for by WABA’s Event Coordinator, customized to your desired start location and comfort level
  • A 30-minute call to discuss the route map and cues and how to prepare for your ride

Note: want a bespoke ride route designed especially for you… but not the other things that come with the Bespoke Ride Kit? Email events@waba.org to add a bespoke ride route to any level Ride Kit for $100.


Get your kit!


Thank you to these awesome sponsors!

Port City Brewing Logo
Nandos Logo



Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t understand what this is.

Because COVID-19 crisis means we cannot gather in person, WABA is offering Sweet Ride Kits: an alternative to a group ride so you can take a sweet summer ride on your own or with members of your household. We’ll be selling kits all summer so you can take the ride anytime, but some will sell out. 

Kits include ride routes, swag, and other goodies (differing based on registration level).

All Sweet Ride Kits include PDF cue sheets, route maps, route files, and a Ride Prep Guide. Some include physical items mailed to your door!

When does the ride take place?

There is no set date or time for this ride; you do it on your own time, any time after you register! 

You will receive PDF cue sheets, route maps, route files, and Ride Prep Guide by email when you purchase your Ride Kit, and can do the ride whenever you’d like after that. 

Sweet Ride Kits are for sale until August 31.

Our Baby Sweet Ride, Sweet Ride, Sweeter Rider, Sweetest Ride, and Bespoke Ride Kits include physical items mailed to your door. We will mail Ride Kits starting the first week of July, and then weekly through July and August. The last mailing will be the week of August 30 or when Ride Kits sell out. 

When will I receive my Ride Kit?

The date you receive your Ride Kit will vary based on when you purchase it.

We will mail out ride packages starting the first week of July. We are a small team being careful about social distancing, so thank you for your patience!

Kits will be mailed at the beginning of the week every week through July and August. The last mailing will be the week of August 30 or when Ride Kits sell out. 

You will receive the digital items (PDF cue sheets, route maps, route files, and Ride Prep Guide) when you purchase your Ride Kit, so you can start enjoying the ride routes as soon as you purchase your Ride Kit, even if your physical package hasn’t arrived yet.

If you have purchased a Ride Kit and have not received the digital items, or if you’d like to check on the status of your Ride Kit, check your spam folder and then email events@waba.org.

Can I upgrade my Ride Kit?

Sure thing— email Anna at events@waba.org, and she’ll make it happen.

Where does the ride take place?

All of the ride routes included with Sweet Ride Kits begin and end at The Grounds in Crystal City (1102 S Eads St, Arlington, VA 22202)

Do I have to be a WABA member to purchase a Sweet Ride Kit?

Nope! But we hope you’ll consider becoming one at waba.org/join.

Is it ok to go for a bike ride during COVID-19?

So far throughout the COVID-19 crisis, bicycling has been  included in lists of allowable recreation in Maryland, DC, and Virginia.  

WABA will make reasonable efforts to communicate changes under COVID-19 restrictions, but may not provide an update to registrants with every change to local government policies and recommendations.

If you have symptoms or believe you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, please stay inside. 

If you go for a ride, please be vigilant about observing social distancing guidelines. When biking, leave a lot of room for passing, stop 6 ft behind others at intersections, and plan to ride more slowly than you usually might. See our blog post about Biking during COVID-19 for more details.

What is your refund/transfer policy?

Because this is a fundraiser there will be no refunds, exchanges or transfers for this event. 

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 latest projects on our blog, and follow along on Twitter @WABADC.

Is there a youth rate for this ride?

No.

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes. WABA’s insurance requires that everyone riding a bicycle on a WABA ride wears a helmet while riding. This is standard for organized rides across the country. Learn how to properly fit your helmet here

Is this ride supported? 

No. When you purchase a Sweet Ride Kit, you receive several different ride routes you can do solo or with members of your household.

There is no set date or time for this ride; you do it on your own time, any time after you purchase your Sweet Ride Kit. 

There are no ride marshals, pit stops, or emergency support staff to assist with this activity. 

This means:

  • In case of an emergency, call 911.
  • There are no bathrooms or venues involved in this ride.
  • There is no food provided on this ride; please bring your own snacks and water. (Some of our ride packages do include vouchers for food items at businesses near the ride route start/end point!)

This ride is meant for individuals or people from the same household. Please follow developing CDC recommendations and guidelines from local jurisdictions, and do not gather in groups in private or public space.

Where can I find information about the routes?

You will receive PDF cue sheets, route maps, route files, and Ride Prep Guide in an email after you purchase your Sweet Ride Kit. Some Kits also include paper cue sheets and maps, which will be mailed to you.

If you are curious about where the routes go and would like to get an idea before you purchase a Ride Kit, you can check out last year’s Sweet Ride routes here.

The Sweet Ride Kit routes won’t be identical to the 2019 Sweet Ride Routes, but there will be similar options in terms of distance and difficulty.

Is the route marked with signs or arrows?

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 (if your package comes with one) on the cue sheet you received from WABA in your Ride Kit.

Do I have to follow traffic laws?

Yes. We can’t control what you do on the roads, but, we ask you to ride safely, respectfully, and lawfully to maximize safety for all trail and road users. When you are on this ride, you are a representative of WABA. We ask you to:

  • 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.

Will you feed me?

No. You should bring snacks and water to keep yourself fueled on your ride. Some of our ride packages do include vouchers for food items at businesses near the ride route start/end point!). Keep in mind that many businesses (and bathrooms) might be closed or operating through curbside pickup. 

Will there be marshals?

No. There are no ride marshals, pit stops, or emergency support staff to assist with this activity. 

In case of an emergency on the ride, please call 911.

Should I bring a lock?

Yes. Even if you don’t plan to stop during the ride, it’s good to have a lock with you in case of an unanticipated or emergency stop.

Don’t know the best ways to lock up? Check out this handy guide on preventing bicycle theft.

I have a question that you haven’t answered here.We are happy to help! Email your question to events@waba.org.