Did you know that WABA offers classes to teach adults how to ride a bike? The classes are only 3 hours long and are offered almost every weekend in the spring and fall, in different locations throughout the region. You can view the schedule of remaining classes by here.
Nervous about signing up for a class? Each class is taught by instructors that have been certified by the League of American Bicyclists. In addition, each instructor has gone through additional training in our nationally acclaimed approach to Learn to Ride classes. Here’s recent success story:
Who knew I would get a PhD before learning to ride a bike? There was always an excuse… I grew up on a hill in the country without access to a bike… I was traveling… I saw too many people get hit by cars to want to ride a bike. And then I felt too old, every time a man asked me on a date to go bike riding I would make up an excuse. Finally, at 33, on a beautiful Sunday I joined WABA for an adult bike riding class. We all trickled in nervously, as if not knowing how to ride a bike was shameful and a secret we’ve carried for years. The instructors were kind and enthusiastic and people started talking and making jokes. I decided there and then this was the day I was going to learn! My new friend Greg and I posted up at the end of the line, under the excellent instruction of Jeff, a kind older man who reminded me of my magnificent hippie parents. He taught us how to glide, we laughed through the awkwardness. We gradually got pedals for practice, and then got a taste for speed. By the end of the three hours I was weaving through the obstacle course, wanted to buy a bike, take new classes and become part of the club. Two new friends from class and I walked to brunch and talked about how excited we were. It felt like the first day of camp (in a great way). While I am still afraid of hills and cars I am excited for the next step. Thank you WABA – I encourage everyone to go out and give it a whirl!
So far this year we’ve taught more than 500 adults how to ride a bike. You can already ride a bike? Can your friend or neighbor or colleague? Wouldn’t it be great to go ride bikes together on the weekend? Send them to WABA—one of the ways we work to make bicycling better in the region is by putting more people on bikes in the first place!
When I moved to DC in 2006 to start a new career, I chose a location close to the free shuttle bus to Georgetown University. For years I would walk to the bus stop and would arrive on campus a short time later. One day in 2008, the bus turned a different way, the long way. Come to find out, the Advisory Neighborhood Commission had voted to prevent any private busses from running through the neighborhood for fear that the old row houses were being shaken to the ground. Needless to say, I was not happy about the extra time it was taking to go to the same location. The very next day I rushed to the local bike shop—I walked through the door just before closing. I selected a bike and when going to pay for it, noticed WABA membership flyers behind the register. I inquired and noticed that a benefit of being a member of WABA was a discount at local bike shops. The opportunity to save money immediately is how I entered the DC bicycling community. Before moving to DC, I had a bike which collected dust in my garage where I left it for the new owner. I started to get emails. I learned about the City Cycling classes WABA offered in the community. Having never biked in a city before, I decided to sign up for a class. At the time, there were 2 distinct classes. One class focused on the fundamentals of riding a bike while the other offered bicyclists an opportunity to learn and hone hazard avoidance maneuvers. I took both. In the second class, the lead instructor, Glen, mentioned that WABA was looking for instructors to help teach classes—there were hundreds of adults requesting lessons. Who knew? What a great way to help more people feel safe on their bikes! After all, one way of achieving better bicycling is by having more bicyclists on the road.
In December 2010 I completed the League Certified Instructor (LCI) seminar and became a nationally recognized cycling instructor with the League of American Bicyclists. Since that time I have been helping WABA teach people how to ride and those that knew, how to ride better and become a “driver” of their wheeled vehicle. After all, we share the roads with cars and should be just as predictable and respected for the safety of everyone. After teaching classes with WABA for several years, I was asked to become a Lead Instructor. Lead Instructors are in charge of the classes and work closely with the education staff to ensure quality and consistency. Leads allow WABA to teach classes simultaneously instead of only one class being held on each day. I appreciate the opportunity I have to teach with WABA and feel honored to be a Lead instructor.Do you want to help make a difference in the region’s bicycling community? Are you ready to make bicycling better in the region by helping more bicyclists get out on the road? Come and teach with WABA!
- Finding a Bike that feels good
- Bike Law, traffic law and bike etiquette
- How to be safe & confident on the road
- Tips on preparation for commuting
- Tips on having fun while riding in