2022 WABA Member Meeting

Join WABA for our (virtual) annual member meeting! 

WABA members will meet and ratify the incoming Board of Directors, hear from WABA’s new Executive Director, Ludwig Gaines, and learn how you can be part of our 50th Anniversary Year! This once-a-year meeting is an opportunity for you to learn more about our work, your impact as a member, and ask questions of the Board. 

This meeting will be held over Zoom. You will receive the Zoom joining information in your confirmation email after you register.


Register

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Reminder: WABA membership is pay-what-you-can. A personally meaningful contribution of any amount makes you a dues-paying member for one year. That means if you’ve made a gift in the last year, you’re a member and we’d love for you to attend! If you’re not sure, the registration page will check automatically for you.


Agenda:

Call to order

Recognition of outgoing board members

Introduction to new board members and vote from WABA members on the 2022 Board of Directors

Remarks from Ludwig Gaines, Executive Director

Breakout rooms — pick one, or popcorn through

  • Membership 101: New to WABA, and want to learn a little more about what your membership means? Learn more here!
  • Q&A/Meet Ludwig: We won’t have a chance to cover all the questions in the Chat, so this will be an open forum and a space to get to know our new executive director.
  • 50th Anniversary Celebration: WABA is turning 50 this year! Join this space to learn more about how you can plug into the celebration, which will culminate at an October event.

The meeting will be recorded. If you’re not able to attend and would like to see the presentation, email membership@waba.org.

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?