Get Ready for SafeTrack

safetrack homepage no dots LOL

A year of Metro shutdowns and singletracking. A year of extra cars on the road and longer commutes. A year of doom and gloom.

But it doesn’t have to be that way!

During the year of SafeTrack “surges,” WABA wants you to try your commute by bike instead.

To help you out, we’ve put together our SafeTrack biking resource page, designed to keep you in the know about what the region’s bike community has up its sleeve for each surge. You can find it at waba.org/safetrack.

Here you’ll find all the info you’ll need to bike your commute, join a bike train convoy, find or become a bike buddy, and more.

If you’re already a bike commuter or you just want to help your fellow Metro riders, we’re looking for volunteers for a whole host of opportunities: ride leaders, station captains, sign hangers, flier distributors, etc.

Volunteer with us

We’re Hiring Bike Camp! Counselors for the Summer

Bike Camp! is coming this summer!

Bike Camp! is looking for a few great Counselors, apply today!

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks 3 Camp Counselors and 1 Lead Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare.

Positions Overview

WABA’s Bike Camp! is two two-week sessions for kids to ride, explore, build, and have fun! Our Bike Camp! Counselor team will keep things running smoothly, help the campers ride and work together as a team, build rapport and community, and make this summer one to remember.

During training, Counselors will be taken through an intensive ride-safety course to learn the ins-and-outs of leading and supporting youths on bikes. They’ll be certified in first-aid and CPR by the American Red Cross. Further training will include: security and safety procedures, emergency planning and management, behavior management, food and health safety, team training, and more.

The Counselor team will be the primary staff responsible for the day-to-day operations of Bike Camp! and will report to our Camp Director, Jeff Wetzel, who will be on-site at camp 20 hours/week.

These are temporary seasonal full-time positions. The dates for these positions are:

Staff Training: Wednesday, June 22nd – Friday, July 1st

Bike Camp!
Weekdays, July 5th – 29th (4 weeks), from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Hourly rate:
Camp Counselors – $15 per hour
Lead Counselor – $17 per hour

Responsibilities

Camp Counselors:

  • Ensure the safety, well-being and health of Bike Campers (ages 10-14).
  • Lead and/or support bike rides ranging from 1 mile to 15 miles in length in summer weather.
  • Organize group activities and team-building exercises.
  • Provide engagement, humor, and positive spirits as a role model for the Campers.
  • Evaluate and provide feedback on Bike Camp! after Session 1 and Session 2.

Lead Counselor:

  • All of the above, plus:
  • With the Camp Director, plan safe routes for bike rides and adapt to changing on-road conditions.
  • Provide detailed daily reports of Camp Activities with input from the Camp Counselors, including incident/injury reports.
  • Act as the primary point of contact on-site for activity/program partners.

Qualifications

Camp Counselors:

  • 1-2 years experience working with youth, preferably in a summer camp environment or similar.
  • Must be able to provide a working bike and helmet.
  • Must be able to ride a bike with competence and confidence enough to pay attention to other riders.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate safe biking practices.
  • Some bicycle maintenance knowledge preferred.
  • Must be able to pass a background check.
  • High school diploma or equivalent strongly preferred.
  • Must be CPR and First Aid certified, or willing to obtain a certification prior to camp.

Lead Counselor:

  • All of the above, plus:
  • Group bike riding and/or ride leader experience preferred.
  • Staff supervision experience preferred.

How to Apply

Please submit a one-page résumé and a one-page letter describing:

  • How you meet the qualifications listed above
  • What makes you a great Bike Camp! Counselor
  • A positive experience you had while working with youth

Send both documents as attachments to jobs@waba.org

This Is Going To Be A Happy Place

Hi! You probably saw Nelle’s email yesterday announcing our Alexandria Bike Campus plan. I wanted to share my own experience. My name is Daniel Hoagland. For most of the last four years, I’ve run WABA’s incredible education programs, including our adult and youth classes, rides, and rodeos.

Help the bike movement reach new heights at the Alexandria Bike Campus!

dan talks to kids

Like many, I started biking on city streets the hard way. I didn’t know I could track down teachers or classes. I didn’t know which laws to follow. I didn’t know what would keep me safe. I didn’t know what would make me confident. I didn’t know anything, but I biked anyway and trust me, I had plenty of bad experiences – I’m sure you can relate. There were daily moments of confusion, frustration, and absolute terror.

Chip in to build a place to learn, teach, and discover a new level of biking confidence!

It wasn’t until I first my took class that I learned how much I didn’t know about biking. I was skeptical, but it was a truly eye-opening experience. No, I didn’t learn any special tricks or a new way of riding. Instead, I found a different perspective. I found answers to my questions. I found the community of friendly, helpful bike riding people just like me.

We need $20,000 to make the Alexandria Bike Campus a reality.

Draft Alexandria Bike Campus Design

WABA’s teaching method works well, aside from one problem – and a bike campus solves it. We need to help students better visualize and internalize scenarios they’ll encounter in the road before they’re out riding on the street. Cones can only convey so much. And after teaching thousands of adults and youth about biking, I’m convinced that we can drastically boost confidence levels if people get to practice biking in traffic before they’re actually in traffic.

The Alexandria Bike Campus will do just that! The painted streetscape will move people through real-life on-bike scenarios in a low-stress environment. They’ll get to practice the basics, like where to bike in a bike lane to the more advance, like how to make a box turn or exit a protected bike lane. Most importantly, I’ve learned that no matter who you are there are always ways to improve yourself, to learn new things, to teach others.

The Alexandria Bike Campus will create a safe place to practice biking for schools, boys and girls clubs, community groups, and friends and families.

 

We’re Hiring: Staff Education Instructor

DSC_0465_lowres

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks a part-time Staff Education Instructor for our bicycle education and outreach programming dedicated to serving adults and children in the Washington region.

WABA’s education and outreach programs are highly regarded and successful, helping adults throughout the DC region to learn to ride bikes, to ride safely and comfortably on city streets, and to use bicycles to commute to and from work. These programs create opportunities to engage with and educate adults no matter how they ride.

Reporting to the Education Coordinator, this position will implement several of WABA’s existing education programs for both adults and youth, WABA is a small but growing organization, and on occasion, all staff are asked to assist in general WABA duties and major events.

Responsibilities

The Staff Education Instructor will:

  1. Teach Adult Learn to Ride classes, City Cycling classes, Community rides, and Everyday Biking seminars.
  2. Supervise teams of 2-4 Instructors in preparing for and delivering these programs.
  3. Deliver high-quality bike education experiences for adults.
  4. Promote classes, rides and programs online and through fliers, in-person outreach, and coordination with partner organizations.
  5. During the month of July, assist the Youth & Family Coordinator to deliver WABA’s Bike Camp! summer experience for youths aged 10-14.
  6. Work primarily on evenings and weekends, for 20 hours per week.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  1. Current League Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification or equivalent OR the willingness/ability to obtain certification in early March.
  2. 1-2 years of physical/experiential education experience OR 1-2 years of adult education experience.
  3. 1+ years of direct supervisory experience.
  4. The ability to pass DC Public Schools’ volunteering requirements: tuberculosis test and criminal background check.
  5. Excellent public speaking and teaching skills.
  6. The ability to organize time wisely and work independently away from the office.
  7. A current driver’s license and a clean driving record.
  8. The ability to lift 45 lbs.
  9. The ability to ride a bike comfortably and confidently in urban/suburban situations.
  10. The ability to carry/tow up to 75 lbs. by bike.
  11. A strong commitment to WABA’s mission.
  12. An exceptional understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  13. A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist.
  14. Marketing and social media skills a plus.

This position pays $15/hour and is part-time, 20 hours/week from mid-March until mid-November, 2016 subject to market demand.

Contact

Send a cover letter and a resume to jobs@waba.org.  No phone calls please.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Expected start date is March 21, 2016.

Bike Camp! Registration is Now Open

Bike Camp_0085 social bannerIf you’re a parent in the DC area, January snow and cold mean that it’s time to start thinking about summer camp.

And so it’s with great pleasure that WABA announces the second year of Bike Camp! Registration is now open for campers who want to ride bikes, explore the city, make new friends, ride bikes, give back to their community, learn about bike maintenance, and most importantly, ride bikes.

All of the details, including how to register, are on the Bike Camp! page.
city explorrers

Session I | City Explorers Camp | July 5 – July 15 | Ages 10 – 14 | $700/child

  • City Explorers Camp will focus on route creation, group riding, and longer rides.
  • Campers will ride every day (weather dependent), and as much as 20 miles per day!
  • Campers will bike to different field trips and volunteer opportunities across the city.
  • This camp will include at least one session of basic bike maintenance with Gearin’ Up Bicycles.
  • This is a great camp for campers who want to see the city, visit new places, and help the community.

bike build camp

Session II | Bike Build Camp | July 18 – July 29 | Ages 10 – 14 | $800/child

  • Bike Build Camp will focus on mechanics training and mastery of bike parts.
  • Campers will build a bike from the frame up under the guidance of Gearin’ Up Bicycles.
  • Campers will have the opportunity to go on multiple shorter rides during the session.
  • This camp will include at least one hands-on visit to a local bike shop maintenance department.
  • This is a great camp for campers who want to work with their hands, make a bike that they can keep, and explore a little too.

Hours: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Friday
(*Note for Session I there is no camp on Monday, July 4)

Location: KIPP DC Shaw Campus, 421 P St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Click here for even more information and instructions on how to register for Bike Camp! 2016.

 

We’re Hiring: Youth & Family Coordinator

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks a full-time Coordinator for our bicycle education and outreach programming dedicated to serving youth and families in the District of Columbia and the surrounding jurisdictions.

WABA’s education and outreach programs are highly regarded and successful, helping youth and families throughout the DC region to learn to ride bikes, to ride safely and comfortably on city streets, and to use bicycles to commute to and from work. Our youth education program provides bicycle and pedestrian education in DC public schools, public charter schools, and recreation centers, as well as private extracurricular bike education outside the school system.

Reporting to Program Director, this position will coordinate several of WABA’s existing programs, as well as working with development staff to design, fund, and implement new ideas. WABA is a small but growing office, and on occasion, all staff are asked to assist in general WABA duties and major events.

Responsibilities

The Youth & Family Coordinator will:

  • Plan, coordinate, and implement several key WABA programs in the District, as laid out in WABA’s existing contract with DDOT, including: in-school education, afterschool bike clubs, youth learn to ride classes, and parent/child classes. The Coordinator will be responsible for:
    • Delivering high-quality bicycling experiences to youth and families throughout the District.
    • Scheduling upwards of 20 events per year across these programs.
    • Marketing and promoting programs and conducting outreach activities.
    • Leading and teaching classes and rides.
    • Designing and modifying events, topics, ride routes, and curricula as needed.
    • Recruiting, training, and coordinating volunteers.
    • Collecting student, teacher and administration feedback and incorporating it into programming.
    • General administration, including blog posts, data entry, organization/inventory, clerical work, etc.
  • Maintain a small fleet of bikes, including: cleaning, replacing parts, and minor tune-ups.
  • Be responsible for the usage and service of the WABA van.
  • Manage all aspects of WABA’s Bike Camp! as Camp Director, including:
    • Creating a safe program with a thorough risk management plan.
    • Creation and implementation of a marketing and promotion plan.
    • Oversight of registration and operations of camp.
    • Designing curricula.
    • Hiring and training a team of Camp Counselors.
    • Engaging community partners.
    • Running the day-to-day operations of a 6-week day camp.
    • Evaluating performance and writing a final report.
  • Collaborate with the Programs team in resource sharing, skills development, and cross-program integration of ideas.
  • With the Programs team, commit to achieving the goals laid out in the 2015 WABA Strategic Plan.
  • With the Development team, work to identify new programmatic areas of need, design programs to meet those needs, and implement them.
  • With the Programs, Development, and Advocacy teams, determine if and how to export the programs in the DDOT contract to the surrounding jurisdictions.
  • Perform a variety of tasks related to the operations of WABA including office tasks, event assistance, and clerical work.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • 1-3 years physical education/athletics/outdoor education with youth ages 5-18.
  • 1-3 years summer camp management/counselor experience.
  • 1-3 years supervisory experience.
  • Previous youth development training and experience strongly preferred.
  • Current League Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification or equivalent OR the willingness/ability to obtain certification within first 6-8 weeks of employment.
  • Current First Aid/CPR certification for children OR the willingness/ability to obtain certification within first 6-8 weeks of employment.
  • The ability to pass DC Public Schools’ volunteering requirements: negative tuberculosis test and criminal background check.
  • Excellent writing, presentation, and public speaking skills.
  • A flexible schedule, specifically a willingness to work evenings, early mornings, and weekends.
  • The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  • A current driver’s license, a clean driving record, and the ability to drive a large van in city traffic.
  • The ability to lift 45 lbs.
  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission.
  • A solid understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  • A commitment to being a safe and exemplary bicyclist.
  • Spanish proficiency or ASL proficiency a strong plus

Benefits include flex time, vacation, sick and personal leave, and WABA’s retirement and health insurance programs. Expected salary range: $35,000-$40,000. This position is full-time.

Contact

Send a cover letter and a resume to jobs@waba.org.  No phone calls please.

Applications will be accepted until February 12th. Expected start date is March 1st, 2016.

We’re Hiring: Education Coordinator

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks a full-time Education Coordinator for our bicycle education and outreach programming dedicated to serving adults in DC region.

WABA’s education and outreach programs are highly regarded and successful, helping adults throughout the DC region to learn to ride bikes, to ride safely and comfortably on city streets, and to use bicycles to commute to and from work. These programs create opportunities to engage with and educate adults no matter how they ride.

Reporting to the Program Director, this position will coordinate several of WABA’s existing programs, as well as working with development staff to design, fund, and implement new ideas. WABA is a small but growing office, and on occasion, all staff are asked to assist in general WABA duties and major events.

 

Responsibilities

The Education Coordinator will:

  • Plan, coordinate, and implement several key WABA programs, including Adult Learn to Ride classes, City Cycling classes, Community rides, and Everyday Biking seminars. This includes:

    • Delivering high-quality bicycling experiences to adults throughout WABA’s service area.
    • Scheduling a total of 70+ classes, rides, and seminars per year across these programs.
    • Designing and modifying events, topics, ride routes, and curricula as needed.
    • Marketing and promoting programs and conducting outreach activities.
    • General administration, including program evaluation, blog posts, data entry, organization/inventory, clerical work, etc.
  • Recruit, train, and coordinate WABA’s corps of 40+ contracted instructors to deliver programs effectively.
  • Hire, train, and supervise a part-time seasonal Senior Instructor position.
  • Collaborate with the Programs team in resource sharing, skills development, and cross-program integration of ideas.
  • With the Programs team, commit to achieving the goals laid out in the 2015 WABA Strategic Plan.
  • With the Development team, revamp the Adult Learn to Ride program to meet the growing demand with a sustainable business growth plan.
  • Identify new programmatic areas of need, design programs to meet those needs, work with the Development team to obtain funding, and implement them.
  • Perform a variety of tasks related to the operations of WABA including office tasks, event assistance, and clerical work.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Current League Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification or equivalent OR the willingness/ability to obtain certification within first 2-3 months of employment.
  • 1-2 years of outdoor/active/experiential education experience OR 1-2 years of adult education classroom experience.
  • 1+ year(s) of direct supervisory experience.
  • The ability to pass DC Public Schools’ volunteering requirements: tuberculosis test and criminal background check.
  • Excellent public speaking, presentation, and writing skills.
  • A flexible schedule, specifically working weekends and/or evenings during busy periods of the year. Expect to work 4 hours every weekend day during the April-June and September-November periods.
  • The ability to organize time wisely, specifically structuring a 40-hour schedule around out-of-office work, weekends, and evenings.
  • The ability to lift 45 lbs.
  • The ability to ride a bike comfortably and confidently in urban/suburban situations.
  • The ability to ride a bike for moderate distances (approx. 10-15 miles/day)
  • The ability to carry/tow up to 50 lbs. by bike.
  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission.
  • A solid understanding of and commitment to the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  • Marketing and social media skills (technical expertise in Adobe Creative Suite strongly preferred)

Benefits include flex time, vacation, sick and personal leave, and WABA’s retirement and health insurance programs. Expected salary range: $35,000-$40,000. This position is full-time.

Contact

Send a cover letter and a resume to jobs@waba.org.  No phone calls please.

Applications will be accepted until November 6th. Expected start date is December 1st, 2015.

Haulin’ Our Way to Crystal City on WABA’s First Arlington Community Ride

Our spring Community Ride series is in full swing, and last Wednesday we made our debut in Arlington with Haulin’—a community ride about moving and grooving with everything you need to carry on a bike.

We explored the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods, saw a wide variety of bike facilities including the Four Mile Run trail and the new protected bikeways on South Hayes Street.

At the end of the ride, we learned about the Fixit Station—a great new innovation put in place by the Crystal City BID. At the access point to the Mount Vernon Trail on Crystal Drive, you can pump up your tires, use tools for minor adjustments, fill your water bottle, and even buy spare parts from a bike vending machine!

After the ride was over, the whole group headed to the San Antonio Grill for delicious tacos.

Education Coordinator Daniel Hoagland introduces the group to bike sharing.

Education Coordinator Daniel Hoagland introduces the group to bike sharing.

Thank you to Bike Arlington, the Crystal City BID, and the San Antonio Grill for helping make our Haulin’ Ride a big success!

Join us for more Community Rides in May and June!

TONIGHT: Volunteers Needed for Flier and Poster Night!

Join us TONIGHT for a Volunteer Night of putting up fliers and posters around town.

Spring is in full swing, and WABA needs to get the word out about Bike to Work Day, Tour de Fat, new Women & Bicycles events, and all sorts of other fun stuff!

So help us out. We’ll be putting up fliers and posters for our programs at multiple spots in DC, Maryland and Virginia, so there’s almost certainly a location near your home or workplace.

We’ll meet at 6pm, pair up and spread out around the area with our posters for an hour or two, then meet back up for a bite to eat and a tasty beverage! Feel free to invite a friend or meet some new bike-loving friends here. Each location is being run by a WABA staff member.

You can sign up to help out right here.

 

What is a Quick Release Anyway?

In bike news this week, Trek Bicycles has recalled nearly a million of their bicycles due to problems with their quick release levers.

First of all, if you have a Trek bicycle, go here to learn more about the recall.

Second, we’ve had a number of folks ask us the question above, what is a quick release anyway?

Well, the short answer is that a quick release lever makes it easy to install or remove something on your bike. Usually–such as in the case of the Trek bikes being recalled–this means a wheel, but it can mean other parts too. Most often, you’ll encounter a quick release lever while doing one of three things:

  1. Adjusting your seat height, like on a Capital Bikeshare bike
  2. Taking your wheel(s) off to fit your bike in a car or other small space
  3. Changing a flat tire

It’s important to know both where your bike has quick release levers and how to recognize when they’re correctly fastened. It’s not too difficult and once you learn, you won’t forget.

This is just one of the great pieces of bike knowledge you can get from our City Cycling classes, by the way. Check out our calendar for the next class near you. They’re just $10 to sign up in advance, or you can show up the day of class for FREE.

Now, let’s look at a quick release.

Go ahead and take a look at the center of your bike’s front wheel. It should look something like this:

 

Quick release lever in the “CLOSE” position. this is how you want yours to look. Image via www.crodog.org

 

Notice that you can read the word “CLOSE” printed on the lever itself. If your quick releases are properly secured, you should be able to read the word “CLOSE” on them.

If they’re not secured correctly, you’ll see the word “OPEN” like on this lever:

 

Quick release lever in the “OPEN” position. This is definitely not what you want to see on your bike. Image via www.jimlangley.net

 

Alright, so you’ve found your quick releases and checked to make sure that they’re closed. If they are, fantastic! You’re all set. Have a great ride.

But what if they’re open? You don’t want to ride with a quick release open, but you also want to make sure you close it correctly. First, don’t simply spin it down until it’s tight like a wingnut. That might keep your wheel secure, but it might also put the lever into your spokes. Try this instead:

  1. Hold the lever open with one hand and slowly tighten the nut on the other side of the wheel with the other.
  2. Every half turn or so, try closing the lever.
  3. If it swings closed with no resistance, tighten the nut and try again.
  4. You want the lever to meet resistance about halfway closed (perpendicular to the plane of the wheel)
  5. Then push the lever closed. It might be a little hard, but it shouldn’t be so hard that it hurts your hand.

Here’s a diagram:

 

Diagram of a quick release lever. Image via www.montaguebikes.com

 

Remember to check your quick releases before you ride. In fact, you can use the handy phrase “ABC Quick Check” to remember all of the things you should take a look at before you get going. “Quick” stands for quick release, but to get the rest, you really should come to one of our City Cycling classes, happening all around the Washington region this spring!

You can see the full calendar here, and if you have any questions, you can email education@waba.org.