Cider Ride: Best. Day. Ever.

On Saturday, November 3rd, WABA hosted the Cider Ride! The rain stopped and sunny, blue skies opened up just in time for hundreds of riders join us in a celebration of fall! Riders chose one of three routes, all of them showcasing our region’s incredible multi-use trails, colorful fall foliage, and delicious cider and pie along the way.

Fall foliage on the trails makes us this happy, too.

Many riders took the chance to advocate for more trails; we worked with local businesses in Hyattsville to host a pop-up pit stop at a gap in the Hyattsville Trolley Trail. Along with sampling the offerings of several nearby businesses, riders wrote postcards to Maryland state officials to ask for quality trail design and accelerated construction of the trail extension, which would fill a critical gap in the regional trail network. Click here to sign up for future updates on the Trolley Trail.

Get updates on the Trolley Trail

Afterwards, participants celebrated the beautiful ride, ate more pie, and drank another cup of steaming cider at Dew Drop Inn. Biking, advocacy, treats, and friends—it can’t get any better!

Riders at Dew Drop Inn, enjoying donuts and the snazzy Cider Ride mugs!

To all the riders: thank you for supporting WABA! Like all signature rides, the proceeds from Cider Ride directly fund the hard work that WABA is doing to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better trails and more bike lanes. Thank you. If you want to get more involved with WABA, sign up for our advocacy alerts, join us for a City Cycling class, or volunteer at an event. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the Holiday Party in December. We’ve collected some photos from the ride below, but, first, a final shoutout to our sponsors:  

Celebration Sponsor:

And for additional support from:

Enjoy the photo gallery from this year’s Cider Ride!  

Top 5 Reasons to join us for the Cider Ride

The Cider Ride is one WABA ride that you absolutely don’t want to miss out on. With three routes (10-, 28-, and 55-miles) there is something fun for everyone. Get outside and enjoy all the good stuff happening on this ride:

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  1. The Ride: Nothing beats a cool, clear fall day on trails and calm roads. Explore the Anacostia Tributary Trail system, dive deep into Prince George’s County to see the agricultural and wildlife preserves, and enjoy the beautiful fall colors the way they were meant to be seen: from your bike!
  2. The Treats: Donuts, cider, pie, and hot chocolate are a delicious way to celebrate fall bicycling, and they’ll warm you right up when you’re feeling chilled from the ride. (If you aren’t into sweets, don’t worry; we’ll have fruit, water, and salty snacks around as well.)
  3. The Friends: 700 bicyclists from around the region come out to ride and support WABA. Cider Ride is a great place to see old friends and make new ones—you already have one thing in common: you love biking!
  4. The Progress: Every year, we see the region get better for biking. If you’ve done the ride before, note the progress we’ve made, like new trail connections near College Park. If you’re new, join us in pushing for more! By doing Cider Ride, you are directly supporting our advocacy work to move the needle.
  5. The Celebration: The Dew Drop Inn, voted DC’s bike friendliest business in earlier this year, is hosting the post-ride celebration. Stay and hang out for awhile: there will be live music, food, drinks, and lots of good cheer!

Register

See you there! If you have any questions, check out our FAQs or get in touch with us: events@waba.org or 202-518-0524 x218.

Of course, we want to say a huge thank you to our sponsors for supporting better bicycling in our region:

Celebration Sponsor:

And for additional support from:

Celebrating 15 Years of 50 States

On Saturday, September 8th, WABA hosted the 50 States Ride! Despite wet weather predictions, hundreds of riders joined us to pedal one of three routes and explore the District by bike! While the rain eventually did materialize, it did nothing to dampen spirits—riders made their way around the city, ticking off state-named avenues one by one on the 50 States, Route 66, and 13 Colonies routes. Afterward, participants celebrated the ride’s 15th year at Mellow Mushroom, collected a free drink and t-shirt, and basked in the glow of the day’s accomplishments—and plenty of hills. To all the riders: thank you for supporting WABA! Like all signature rides, the proceeds from the 50 States Ride directly fund the hard work that WABA is doing to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better trails and more bike lanes. Thank you. If you want to get more involved with WABA, sign up for our advocacy alerts, join us for a City Cycling class, or volunteer at an event. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the Cider Ride on November 3rd! We’ve collected some photos from the ride below, but, first, a final shoutout to our sponsors:

Enjoy these highlights from this year’s 50 States Ride!  

What’s new with 50 States?

This year marks the 15th anniversary of WABA’s legendary 50 States Ride. First started in 2003, the 50 States Ride holds many superlatives. It’s WABA’s longest-standing signature event. It’s WABA’s biggest and most popular ride. It’s a local institution, coming in at #1 in Andrea Sieger’s “111 Places in Washington That You Must Not Miss”. For anyone new to the ride, it’s best described as an “urban scavenger hunt, by bike”. The 50 States Ride is a well-loved tradition, but we think there’s room for some updates to keep things interesting. So, this year, we’ll be adding a few new features: Route 66: If you’ve already registered, you saw that we’ve added a third route option. Route 66 is a 35-mile route that tours the eight streets named for states that the original US Route 66 passed through. You’ll ride these states in geographical order, east to west, without riding on any other state streets in the District. Route 66 is a middle distance option between the two classic routes, 50 States and 13 Colonies. But, don’t worry, there are still plenty of hills. Welcome to the new American road trip! We hope you enjoy it. “State Style” Costume Contest: With Tour de Fat not coming to DC this year, there’s a vacuum where silliness on bikes is concerned. We want to recapture some of that silliness, so we’re running a contest: dress up in a costume, show off your style, or highlight your wacky or unique bike. The theme is *states*, so you can choose to show off your home state, or you can interpret the theme more broadly: state of mind, stately, etc. Full costumes may or may not be your thing—full costumes, team tutus, helmet decorations, or a simple state-themed jersey are all welcome*. Rules: To enter the contest, just post a picture of yourself, all costumed up, during the ride to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, with #statestyle #50statesride by 6pm on the day of the ride. We’ll decide on the best costume, and the winner will get a free one-year membership, a 50 States VIP cycling cap, and a social media shoutout that will bring them everlasting fame and fortune. *Please don’t dress up as anything offensive. This contest is for fun, and we’d really hate for you to bring the mood down for other people. Scavenger Hunt: The 50 States route has always been a bit of a scavenger hunt. You explore the city, get lost, and find your way again, seeing new places in the city along the way. But unless you have the world’s greatest sense of direction, you don’t always really know where you are, or anything about the place. We want to give you the chance to know the District even better and add another level of fun—through an actual scavenger hunt! The hunt will be included in your cue sheet booklet. It’s totally optional, but it will be a fun way to connect with the neighborhoods you’re riding through. Here’s to the next 15 years of riding 50 States!

Newsflash: WABA in the Wild is amazing!

Last week, we finished WABA in the Wild, a peer-to-peer fundraiser and supported bicycle tour of the C&O Canal towpath. Riders cheerfully wheeled through 184.5 muddy, dusty, gravel-y, and sweaty miles, from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, DC over three-and-a-half days. They marked the end of the trip with one rider’s toothy family tradition: a WABA in the Wild “power smile”.

All smiles at mile zero!

Donations are still coming in, but so far 11 riders have raised a whopping $15,197 for WABA. Their efforts are helping to make bicycling better for everyone in the region—we owe them a huge thank you! Here is one rider’s take on their ride: “I enjoy riding long distances, so riding the towpath was right up my alley and having WABA with me was the best idea ever. WABA has been educating me for several years on riding safely in the region, so I trusted them to guide me on this ride down the towpath. It was much harder than I imagined, but when I was tired and couldn’t go another step there was a staffer cheering me on that I could do this. I would do the WABA in Wild ride again just to be out with nature, going through the Paw Paw Tunnel, seeing Great Falls and Harpers Ferry. But being with other like-minded riders and the WABA staff made this a truly memorable experience. I loved every minute of it!” We’ll let the pictures below tell rest of the story of our trip, but, if you’re interested in joining us for WABA in the Wild, we are running the trip again in October! Put your name on the interest list for early access to registration.

That’s a wrap for the Vasa Ride (plus photos!)

On Saturday, April 7th, WABA hosted the Last Vasa Ride! Riders joined us for a wonderful spring ride and celebrated the, ah, “wonderful spring weather” with blueberry soup and meatballs at REI afterwards. It was cold, but the cherry blossoms in full bloom, Swedish treats, and vibrant community brought warmth to the day. To all the riders that attended: thank you for supporting WABA! Like all signature rides, the proceeds from the ride directly fund the hard work that WABA is doing to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. Your support helps us advocate for better trails and more bike lanes. Thank you. If you want to get more involved with WABA, sign up for our advocacy alerts, join us for a City Cycling class, or volunteer at a spring event. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride in September! We’ve collected some photos from the ride below, but, first, a final shoutout to our sponsors:  

You’re invited: WABA Member Holiday Party!

  When: Wednesday, December 13th, 6-9pm Where: Bar Roubaix, 1400 Irving St NW, Washington, DC 20010 (former location of Acre 121) Who: WABA members (don’t worry, you can join at the door!) RSVP: Join the Holiday Party event on Facebook and invite your WABA friends All WABA members are invited to join the WABA Staff, Board of Directors, and your fellow WABA members on Wednesday, December 13th at Bar Roubaix in Columbia Heights for an evening of bicycle cheer. Come eat, drink, and be merry with us in celebration of this year’s successes and mingle with fellow WABA members. The party is free and there will be drink specials available for you to purchase at the bar. Bar Roubaix (a new, bicycle themed bar!) has generously agreed to match the first $1,000 you donate to WABA at the party! And, 20% of the proceeds from the night go to WABA, so come ready to support better bicycling and enjoy some drinks!

Want to volunteer to help sell WABA merchandise and keep the night running smoothly? Sign up here.

This party is for WABA members (don’t worry, you can join at the door). WABA is a member-supported nonprofit organization and your yearly membership dues and donations fund our ongoing advocacy, education, and outreach work. We can’t do this without your financial investment. If you have friends who are not WABA members, bring them and encourage them to join at the party! And, if you’re not sure if you’re a current dues-paying member, email membership@waba.org or check a recent email from WABA—there will be a note at the bottom. Questions? Email events@waba.org or call 202-518-0524 x218.

WABA Membership: An All Access Pass to Adventure

Maybe you ride because you want to spend more time exploring parts of the region beyond your usual pedaling grounds. Maybe you want to make new friends to bike with on the weekends, or share a ride with your family. Perhaps you have always wondered what a gravel trail feels like. WABA members get to enjoy all of this and more through WABA signature events! Our signature events gather bike communities from Maryland, Virginia, and DC several times a year to celebrate better bicycling for everyone in the region—and they’re a blast! If you like riding past the first flowers of spring, you want to try Vasa Ride. Perhaps scavenger hunts are more your scene? The 50 States Ride would make you happy. Whatever kind of riding you are into, we have a signature event for you to plug into the larger bike community and put miles under your wheels.

Our signature events are designed with you in mind, and are only open to WABA members!

Join

Last week, we finished up a very special signature event: our only multi-day ride, WABA in the Wild. WABA in the Wild explores one of the bicycling gems of our region, the C&O Canal Towpath, where riders pedal all 184.5 miles and camp along the way. WABA in the Wild also exemplifies the dedication of our members to WABA’s work in the region. By the end of the ride, participants raise a minimum of $1,000 to support WABA. This year’s twenty riders collectively raised a whopping $25,314.47… and the donations are still coming in!

Yes, those are custom WABA in the Wild jerseys.

WABA in the Wild is a bucket list ride for many folks, and we make easy for you to focus on pedaling by taking care of food, lodging, and getting vehicles to and from Cumberland and DC. But, you don’t have to commit to a three-day ride to support WABA. Since all of our signature events make a direct impact on WABA’s work, supporting better bicycling in the region can be as simple as buying a beer at Tour de Fat, making a donation at the Bicyclist Choice Awards, or registering for The Cider Ride, which is coming up on Saturday, November 4th! And, we’re working hard to make our events better and support more riders in the region. Since WABA works everywhere in the region, we’re looking to host an event in each jurisdiction with fewer barriers to entry. WABA is expanding our Sponsor-a-Rider program to all the rides in 2018, and hopes to provide bicycles and helmets to riders otherwise unable to participate. Wherever you are in the region, we want to make it easy and safe for you to ride your bicycle. Join WABA as a member, and then join us at a WABA signature event to meet new friends and enjoy a great ride. In fact, with beautiful fall weather just around the corner, why not make it to The Cider Ride?

Hot cider and donuts included.

Last chance to support a WABA in the Wild rider!

On Friday, twenty-two WABA in the Wild riders will depart for their 184.5 mile trip down the C&O Canal towpath. In the leadup to this trip, they’ve collectively raised $24,449.47 for WABA and better bicycling in our region. Each rider has a minimum fundraising goal of $1,000, and some are still working on theirs! For many riders, WABA in the Wild is their first time fundraising this much and/or riding this far — an incredible personal challenge. All of us at WABA feel deeply privileged to be a part of this experience and the beneficiary of their hard work, and can’t wait to celebrate with them on the trail. Riders come to this event for a patchwork of reasons, but what unites them all is their commitment to WABA. They believe in WABA’s ability to effectively and efficiently work towards better bicycling in the DC region and they are putting in the hard work of raising money and awareness so that we can build on our success. This year, WABA has already doubled the number of adults we taught to ride a bike, opened the region’s first protected intersection in Silver Spring, and helped bring Capital Bikeshare to Prince George’s County. These riders are making it possible for WABA to push even further in the next year, and we are so grateful for their support. This is your last chance to build on their momentum! The WABA in the Wild riders are hoping to exceed their collective fundraising goal of $25,000 by the end of the ride on Monday. Help them get there by donating to a rider below!

What in the world is WABA in the Wild?

WABA in the Wild is the newest addition to our signature ride series and a prime example of how the pieces of WABA’s mission fit together. This peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for WABA culminates in a fully supported, three-day tour of the C&O Canal Towpath, from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, DC. Generations of riders have been humbled and inspired by the trail’s unique combination of wilderness and engineering, and WABA is thrilled to bring that joy to 25 riders. Riders must not only prepare for the unpaved, 184.5-mile trip along the towpath, but they also raise a minimum of $1,000 for WABA. Both challenges are a first for many of the riders. Along the way, riders dive deep into bicycle advocacy, develop strong community connections, and prove to themselves that they can rise to the challenge. But why take the challenge in the first place? Everyone has a different story. Here are a few from this year’s cohort: “For almost my whole life, I’ve felt just a little freer while riding a bicycle. Like many of us, one of my earliest memories is the exhilarating moment I realized I could ride a bike without training wheels. But unlike many of us, I also know what it’s like to have that feeling abruptly taken away. Just before my 30th birthday–after several years of increasing commitment to, and reliance on, bicycling as transportation, as exercise, and as a social outlet—I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that suddenly rendered me barely able to walk, let alone ride a bike. Nearly three years later, I’m back to being someone very like my old self, only more appreciative of my restored health and ability to participate in activities that make me happy. To once again be a little freer.” (Adam Gould) “I’m not one for quoting quotes or tacking inspirational words to my wall or tattooing lofty mantras on my lower back. I don’t even do erudite email signature sayings. Another thing I am not — a risk taker. I’m afraid of heights. I don’t do extreme sports. I return carts at the grocery store. I don’t swim after eating. As I get older and wiser (and humbler!), I realize I don’t have many second chances. And, life is short. Sometimes I do regret not taking a chance. Sometimes I wish I made time for a long ride. And, sometimes I regret not doing more to support the organizations that do good work and that improve the infrastructure and policies that directly impact me and my daily commute. I signed up for WABA in the Wild because I don’t want to regret not supporting WABA and having some fun on the trails!” (Julie Lawhorn) We are so proud to introduce the WABA in the Wild 2017 riders. Click through each name to read their stories, and consider chipping in to one or more of their campaigns to make bicycling in our region better! Want to join us next year? Sign up for our interest list!