Celebrating the life of Eve DeCoursey

With a dignity and grace all her own, Eve DeCoursey passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 24, 2010 with family and friends by her side.  Eve first began working with WABA in 2006 when she responded to a job announcement for the Education program.  Dorcas Adkins read her application and called her immediately, persuading her to consider instead a different position that combined Development Manager with her beloved Pace Car program, new to WABA for the coming year’s Safe Routes program in DC. She took this on and more, becoming WABA’s resident graphic artist and feng shui specialist as well. Our office on Conn. Ave. was already outgrown and she helped us put up with its cramped spaces by artfully rearranging them many times. Under her nurturing care, WABA’s newsletter Ride On was given the beautiful layout we see now. She helped dozens of bike advocates find places to stay in DC through coordinating the home stays for the National Bike Summit, was a League Certified Cycling Instructor, and taught dozens safe cycling through helping teach WABA’s Confident City Cycling classes. Before her time at WABA, she had a lengthy and extremely impressive athletic and professional resume. Bicycling for her was not an obsession but an extension of her physical being.  She was passionate about restoring sanity to our streets.  Eve was a top triathlete in Hawaii and the 1985 State Champion before turning her attention to the advocacy side of cycling where she became Hawaii Bicycling League’s (HBL) first Executive Director. Over the course of 15 years she built the organization from one cardboard box to an organization with 10 employees. She has box full of trophies from past races, and an award from the Mayor of Honolulu for establishing “Red Sneaker Week” getting kids to walk to school. The Hawaii Bike-ed program is the most comprehensive in the country – every elementary school kid participates with real on-road trainers.  She was a professional typesetter and composed and typeset all of the newsletters for the Hawaii Bicycling League for 15 years as well as serving as its Executive Director.  She could type close to 200 words/minute! She established the Oahu Island circumference ride and this year’s Honolulu Century Ride was dedicated to Eve by her friends at HBL. She organized the Honolulu Wheelchair Marathon – an adjunct to the huge annual marathon; recruiting and training the several dozen bicycle marshals who rode along with the wheelchair racers.  She had a warm spot in her heart for adults who wanted to learn to ride and had infinite patience as a teacher. She worked as a transportation planner for the City of Honolulu.   She was a much loved icon in Honolulu – hard to walk the streets without her yelling, Hi! to someone. She started her tri-athletic career in the early 80’s while living in Pikesville MD and working for University of Maryland Baltimore County as a typesetter.  Eve trained tri-athletes with Brian Clark, nationally recognized author and expert on running technique – Island Tri-Training.  She trekked the 3-day hike down Maui’s Haleakala Crater 35 times in her life and lived in the Hawaiian rainforest for 6 months living only on locally available wild fruits and vegetables.  She was trained as a classical concert pianist and took in foreign students and coached their English. We’ve been missing Eve’s presence in the office for many months already, since the day last Spring when she regretfully resigned her position. Much that she has done for WABA will stay with us, in the form of the layout she bestowed on our new office in Adams Morgan last winter. Her legendary passion for bicycling has become a part of WABA- she has never turned down a call from a prospective cyclist in need of lessons or from a local homeowner requesting a Pace Car sticker. Thanks to Eve, WABA’s gratitude is shown to its volunteers as never before. All of these things have been incorporated into the WABA culture because of her. Despite her proper sounding speech mannerisms with a tinge of Canada mixed in, she was an uncomplicated and trusting soul who couldn’t comprehend mean-spiritedness or dishonesty.  Aloha, Eve.

WABA Holiday Party!

WABA Holiday Party!

Thursday, December 9 , 6-9pm

Location: Dodge City Bar, 917 U St. NW Washington DC, 20001

Join WABA as we celebrate the holiday season with drinks and merriment at Dodge City. This members-only holiday party is your chance to meet other WABA members, catch up with your riding buddies, and celebrate WABA’s achievements in 2010! Dodge City has a delicious variety of microbrews on tap for your selection. Dodge City does not serve food, so please feel free to bring your favorite holiday treat to share! WABA’s Holiday Party is for current WABA members only (please bring your card ready to present at the door). WABA memberships will be sold at the door making it the perfect holiday gift for your cycling friends. There will be a $5 suggested donation.

Conquered! WABA’s 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride

Together with over 500 of our members and friends, WABA hosted the annual 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride on Saturday, September 25. With beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures to start the day off, a record-breaking 512 cyclists took to DC’s 50 state avenues and spent the day crisscrossing the District through all eight Wards. The 50 States ride is uniquely DC and offers riders the chance to see parts of the city they’ve never experienced on bike before. From Alabama Ave. to Wyoming Ave., this ride has it all! The Grill from Ipanema served as this year’s post-ride happy hour where riders could swap stories of their ride and commiserate over the hills they’d conquered that day. Some comments we happened to overhear included ‘I had no idea DC had so many hills!’, ‘What were these guys thinking?’. It has also been nice to hear from folks who have participated in the ride year after year and are still experiencing new things along the route. With 50 streets to hit and 212 cues to follow, there is definitely a feeling of accomplishment upon finishing! This ride would not have been possible without the generous support of this year’s sponsors including REI College Park, Giant Foods, Big Chair Coffee, BicycleSPACE, Revolution Cycles, City Bikes, the American University Cycling Team, Drink More Water, and the Grill from Ipanema. And also a big THANK YOU to all of the volunteers who helped WABA out at the registration area and rest stops along the way! Thanks to everyone who came out and participated in the ride. It’s great to see so many people out in DC biking and enjoying the tour. We enjoyed putting the ride on and look forward to doing it all again next year!

The Full Moon Makes for a Great Ride!

Thursday night, September 23,  the full harvest moon shined its beautiful light across DC’s night skies.  To celebrate the full moon and the cooler fall temperatures WABA organized the Moonlight Ride at the newly opened Yards Park along the Anacostia River. With generous support from the Capitol Riverfront BID and Forest City, WABA built upon the momentum from our 2009 ride to make this year’s event bigger and better. “But why limit the fun to just a bike ride?” we thought. So a few WABA staff and members started the evening off by watching the Washington Nationals defeat the Houston Astros at Nationals Park before joining the fun a few blocks away at Yards Park (4th and M St SE).  Smokin’ Somethin’ BBQ was on-site to provide delicious sandwiches and side dishes to riders, while Capital Bikeshare and Capitol Hill Bikes were also on hand to meet and greet with our riders. WABA, with the assistance of Capitol Hill Bikes, ensured that every rider was well-lit and visible before heading off by providing the option to purchase Knog light sets along with ride registration. Two hundred cyclists congregated at Yards Park to take part in the ride, heading west along P St. to Water Street SW before crossing the Case Bridge to Hains Point and Ohio Drive. The moon’s reflection on the Potomac River was a gorgeous sight as riders rode along Ohio Drive towards the stunningly lit Lincoln Memorial. After stopping at the Lincoln Memorial to cheer and howl at the moon, riders headed back east along the National Mall and back to the Yards Park. The Moonlight Ride has quickly become a WABA-members favorite offering a nice change of pace to enjoy the full moon instead of typical rides starting in the early morning. WABA would like to thank the Capitol Riverfront BID and Forest City Washington for sponsoring this year’s ride and, of course thanks to everyone who came out to join us!