Bike Summer Break!

Summer is here! Make sure you and your child have everything you need to experience the joy of bicycling safely: WABA’s online youth bicycle education class will teach your child the basics of bicycling, including helmet fit, safety, and where and how to ride their bicycle.

Register Now

WABA has provided youth bicycle education at public and charter schools across the region for more than 10 years. To make sure no one misses out while most of us are stuck at home, we’ve created this free video series for at-home, self-paced learning.

What we’ll be learning

This fun online course is the same bicycle safety education that WABA provides at DC Public Charter Schools. During our online class we will cover:

  • Getting Started—helmet fit and basic safety check 
  • Starting and Stopping
  • Where to Ride
  • Hand signals
  • Shifting

Who is this for?

The structure and pacing of these videos is designed for youth in grades 2-8, but the content is useful for everyone.

Registration

If you are already using Google Classrooms as for learning at home, you can find this entire course in that format at using the class code: ep76454. How to set up Google Classrooms

Setting Up Google Classroom

First navigate to classroom.google.com
Click the plus button in the top right corner and click “join class”
Enter course code ep76454

You can also view the course directly on YouTube. Each video has a short quiz linked in the description.

Watch on youtube.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who’s teaching this class?

Jeff Wetzel, WABA’s Youth and Family Education Coordinator, is the instructor for this class. Jeff has over 10 years of youth development experience in three countries, including at DC Public Schools. Since 2016, Jeff has been responsible for WABA’s youth and family programs, including in-school education and after school bike clubs at DCPS and DC Public Charter Schools, youth learn to ride classes and parent and child classes across the Washington region, and our annual Bike Camp! He is a certified League Cycling Instructor. 

How long is the class?

All of the lessons are available at once on Google Classrooms. Parents and guardians can determine the pace of the classes alongside their child. They can zoom through all the modules in about half a day, or split it up into short 10-20 minute lessons per module. We recommend going outside to practice some of the skills taught in the class. Make sure you check our guide on how to safely bike during COVID-19

This is great – how do I share with my school?

We are also partnering with DC Schools to provide this course as part of their online programming. If you think your school would be interested, you or a school teacher or administrator can send us an email at youth@waba.org

How do I set up Google Classrooms?

If you are using a computer, go to classroom.google.com to sign in. Once you have set up a student account, you’ll need to join WABA’s class using the code ep76454. You can also use a tablet or phone by downloading the Google Classroom app from the Apple App Store or from the Google Play Store. If you are having issues, please read the Google Classroom pages on How to Sign In and How to Join the Class as a Student. You can also email us at youth@waba.org and we are happy to help out. 

What personal information will you need?

We will only ask for your child’s first name, grade, and the DC school they attend. You can set up Google Classrooms using your email or your child’s email. 

This is great – how much does it cost?

The class is free and brought to you thanks to the generous support of the DC Department of Transportation.

Family Confident City Cycling

Register Cost Location

More joy, less stress! Riding your bike doesn’t have to be stressful. Join us for a morning of skills, confidence, and community building.

Riding with kids can be a lot of fun, but it comes with some extra considerations. This February, join us for a City Cycling class that’s specifically focused on riding with kids!

We’ll spend some time on a few specific bike handling skills, then go for a short ride and talk about strategies for riding in different road, bike lane, and trail situations. Bring questions!

We’ll help you ride more comfortably and confidently without getting something sticky all over your brake levers. No matter your skill level, you’ll improve your abilities on two (or more) wheels!

This is going to be fun!

This two and a half hour class is specifically for adults that ride a bicycle with at least one child on their bike or pulled in a trailer or if you ride with a child riding their own bicycle.

We’ll explore the unique challenges of riding a bike in the region with a child on board, from choosing equipment to avoiding hazards.

The first part of the class will take place in a car free environment (an indoor gym), and after practicing some drills, we’ll go out on a ride on the local trail and roads. 

By the time you head home, you’ll feel more confident, comfortable, and happy on your bike. Plus it’s a blast.

Kids are of course welcome, but childcare will not be provided. In an effort to create an ideal learning environment, please maintain a 1:1 adult to child ratio for children on their own bikes, and 1:2 adult to child ratio for children riding on the same bike as their adult.

Is this class right for you?

  • Do you know how to ride a bicycle?
  • Are you comfortable riding a bike for at least 30 minutes?
  • Are you able to start and stop your bike in a controlled manner?

If you answered “no” to any of the above questions, then a Learn to Ride or a Basic Skills Clinic is best for you.

For this specific Family Confident City Cycling class, we will be focused on people that do one or more of the following

  • You power a bicycle that is carrying or pulling a child.
  • You power a bicycle while a youth (age 6 and older) is powering their own bicycle (i.e. no tag-alongs, trailers, etc.).
  • You want to speak to other parents about their experiences and want to share some of your own.

What to bring:

  • Questions! We love them! Do you have a particular bike situation you’ve always wondered about? That’s what we’re here for.
  • A bike, helmet, water and a snack.
  • Flat pedals. Toe clips, clipless pedals, or other gizmos that attach your feet to your pedals aren’t recommended. If you don’t know what this means, your pedals will work fine.

What does it cost?

Ten bucks! What a deal!

But space is limited, so we recommend you register below ahead of time to hold your spot!

Are you a WABA or Capital Bikeshare member? Then the class is free. Email or call 202-518-0524 x222 for a coupon.

Class Location

Rita Bright Family and Youth Center

2500 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Please meet inside in the gym.

Getting There
Street parking in the area is limited and there is no off-street parking available.

The 52 and 54 buses serve 14th St in front of Rita Bright.

Rita Bright is about 6 blocks from both the Columbia Heights and U St-Cardozo metro stations on the Green and Yellow line.

Register

Youth Learn to Ride

Register Cost Location

Our Youth Learn to Ride class is fun, intuitive, and very successful! This class is for children aged 6-12* who have never ridden a bike before or have tried to learn and have not been successful. Our League certified instructors take students through a progressive curriculum, with the goal of riding with two pedals by the end of the session.

All students are responsible for bringing their own bicycle and helmet. All students are required to wear a helmet for the duration of the class. 

*If your child falls outside of the 6-12 age range, or you don’t have your own bike or helmet, please give us a call at 202-518-0524 ext. 222 or email us at youth@waba.org.

Our approach is fun and intuitive, but it also requires hard work. Your child will be riding for nearly three hours. We take breaks every hour. This class is for your child if:

  • They are between the ages of 6 and 12 years old 
  • Your child has never tried to learn how to ride a bike; or
  • They have tried to learn and have not been successful.

All students are responsible for bringing their own bicycle and helmet. All students are required to wear a helmet for the duration of the class.  

Please ensure that your child comes to class wearing comfortable clothes and close-toed shoes. Please bring the following: water and snacks. This class will be indoors.

Only students who have reserved space in the class may attend. Unfortunately, walk-up students cannot be accommodated.

Register

Class is from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Before and after care is not available for this class.

Class Cost

This class is offered thanks to the generous support of the DC Department of Transportation.

$10! This class costs $10 and is available for WABA Members and Non-Members alike.

If you are a WABA Member, this class is free! Email us at youth@waba.org for a coupon code.

$65 Family Membership– Sign up for a WABA Family Membership and children under 18 are included at no additional cost! Learn more about the benefits of joining WABA here.

Location

Rita Bright Family and Youth Center

2500 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

Please meet inside in the gym.

Getting There
Street parking in the area is limited and there is no off-street parking available.

The 52 and 54 buses serve 14th St in front of Rita Bright.

Rita Bright is about 6 blocks from both the Columbia Heights and U St-Cardozo metro stations on the Green and Yellow line.

We’re Hiring! Bike Camp! 2019

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks a Camp Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare for our 2019 summer Bike Camp!

Position Overview

WABA’s Bike Camp! consists of six one-week sessions for kids to ride, explore, build, and have fun! Our Bike Camp! Counselor 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, the Counselor will be taken through a thorough ride-safety course to learn the ins-and-outs of leading and supporting youths on bikes. Further training will include: security and safety procedures, emergency 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.

This is a temporary, seasonal, full-time position (38 hours/week). The season runs from Wednesday, June 13th to Friday, August 9th. There will be no camp on the 4th of July.

Hourly rate: $15.50 per hour

Responsibilities

The Camp Counselor will:

  • Ensure the safety, well-being and health of Bike Campers (ages 8-14).
  • Lead and/or support bike rides ranging from 3 to 20 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! afterwords.

Qualifications

  • 0-2 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 in city traffic with competence and confidence enough to pay attention to the actions and well-being of other riders.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate safe biking practices.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred.

About WABA

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is working to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.

WABA’s programs, from youth education to grassroots community organizing, engage residents in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC. Six thousand dues-paying members and thousands more generous supporters have helped WABA transform bicycling in the region again and again over its 46 year history.

WABA is building a region where, in 2020, we’ll see three times the number of people riding bikes. And, by 2035, every single person will live within one mile of a dedicated safe place to bike. We envision a region in which biking is joyful, safe, popular, and liberating; supported by the necessary infrastructure, laws, activities, and investments; and where bicycle ridership mirrors the incredible diversity of our communities.

Employment

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

How to Apply

Please submit a one-page resume and briefly answer the following questions:

  • 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 application materials to jobs@waba.org and include “Bike Camp Counselor” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

Biking to High School (and Beyond)

William Diaz-Perez on his commute to school

William Diaz-Perez, a senior at Woodrow Wilson HS, on his commute to school.

Bike to School Day may be over, but for students in the District, biking can be an excellent, year-round way to get to wherever they’re going. We caught up with William Diaz-Perez, a senior at Woodrow Wilson High School who regularly bikes to school. His commute takes him from his home in Mount Pleasant to school in Tenleytown, as well as to his after-school job and elsewhere in the city. Riding from Mount Pleasant to Wilson involves crossing Rock Creek Park, meaning a steep descent and a long climb back out. Diaz-Perez usually uses Tilden St. NW, which is known as a long steep climb in the city.  Nevertheless, he doesn’t mind the uphill. “It’s hard,” he noted, “but I like it because every time I do it my legs get stronger.” Diaz-Perez uses his student Metro pass to occasionally take transit, but his preference is always to ride. “It saves time [to bike], I don’t waste time waiting for the bus or Metro.” His ride also helps him do better at school. “I feel different at school when I don’t ride. I feel lazy when I take the bus, but feel more energetic, more awake when I ride my bike.” That energy helps him pay better attention and do better in class. So how does Diaz-Perez carry all the books and supplies he needs for school, not to mention clothes for work? He uses a waterproof backpack, which when paired with a jacket, lets him ride in the rain and keep his important stuff dry. He enjoys riding to Wilson; it has plenty of bike parking available for him to ride up, park, and roll into class on time.   The thing that Diaz-Perez would most like to change about his commute?  The amount of car traffic he has to face. Nevertheless, he doesn’t let it faze him, and with any luck, he’s even inspiring other students to give biking a try. With youth like Diaz-Perez who are growing up riding, the future looks to be one with at least one less car causing traffic. Want your child to learn the skills needed to bike to school and beyond from experts?  Send them to WABA’s Bike Camp! where they will spend a week learning how to safely navigate the city from WABA counselors whilst having fun and exploring the city by bike.

Learn more!

We’re Hiring: Bike Camp! 2018 Camp Counselors

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association seeks two Camp Counselors and one Lead Camp Counselor with a love of riding bikes, experience with youth, and exuberance to spare for our 2018 summer Bike Camp!

Positions Overview

WABA’s Bike Camp! consists of four one-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 a thorough ride-safety course to learn the ins-and-outs of leading and supporting youths on bikes. 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. These are temporary, seasonal, full-time positions (40 hours/week). The season runs from Wednesday, June 13th to Monday, July 16th. There will be no camp on the 4th of July. Hourly rate: $15 per hour for Camp Counselor positions, $17 per hour for the Lead Counselor position

Responsibilities

Camp Counselors:
  • Ensure the safety, well-being and health of Bike Campers (ages 8-14).
  • 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! afterwords.
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:
  • 0-2 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 in city traffic with competence and confidence enough to pay attention to the actions and well-being of other riders.
  • Understanding of and ability to communicate safe biking practices.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • High school diploma or equivalent strongly preferred.
Lead Counselor:
  • All of the above, plus:
  • Group bike riding and/or ride leader experience preferred.
  • Staff supervision experience preferred.
  • Must be CPR and First Aid certified, or willing to obtain a certification prior to camp.

About WABA

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is working to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling. WABA’s programs, from youth education to grassroots community organizing, engage residents in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC. Six thousand dues-paying members and thousands more generous supporters have helped WABA transform bicycling in the region again and again over its 46 year history. WABA is building a region where, in 2020, we’ll see three times the number of people riding bikes. And, by 2035, every single person will live within one mile of a dedicated safe place to bike. We envision a region in which biking is joyful, safe, popular, and liberating; supported by the necessary infrastructure, laws, activities, and investments; and where bicycle ridership mirrors the incredible diversity of our communities.

Employment

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

How to Apply

Please submit a one-page resume and briefly answer the following questions:
  • 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 application materials to jobs@waba.org and include “Bike Camp Counselor” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.

Bike Camp is back!

Bike Camp! is back and bigger than ever! We are excited to offer four sessions this year:

City Explorer’s Camp Sessions:

  • 8-11 year olds | June 18-22
  • 12-14 year olds | July 2-6 *No camp July 4
City Explorers Camp will focus on building bike comfort and skills, 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 basic bike maintenance, such as how to fix a flat tire. This is a great camp for campers who want to see the city, visit new places, and build community. While campers outside of the age ranges will not be turned away, the activities at each session will be geared to those ages.

Bike Build Camp Sessions:

  • 8-11 year olds | June 25-29
  • 12-14 year olds | July 9-13
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. – 4 p.m., Monday – Friday Location: KIPP DC Shaw Campus, 421 P St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001 Click here for all the details on Bike Camp!, including how to register. If you have any questions, please email bikecamp@waba.org or call 202-518-0524 x222

Thanks for your patience. Bike Camp! Details Are Coming Soon

We could not be happier at how excited you all are for Bike Camp! this summer. Judging by the number of emails we’ve received asking about Bike Camp!, 2018 it’s going to be our most popular year yet! We are as excited as you are, if not more so. We’re mapping out new places to visit and new adventures to be had. But we’re not quite ready to open registrations, due to an unexpected speed bump in securing a space for the camp on the dates we’d like. It should be resolved soon, but until it is, we’re not going to accept registrations. We understand that many families are already working diligently to plan their summers and had hoped to have registration open before now, and we know that some folks have had to already make the decision to forego Bike Camp! this year. We are sorry for the delay, and for any extra hassle it has caused. As soon as we can lock in dates, we will share those and open registration up.

Riding in The Cold

We’ve had a warm fall, but with winter the cold weather is coming. This doesn’t mean you have to put away your bike and stop riding, we were outside teaching at Bridges PCS this morning! However, the colder it gets, the more attention you have to give to what you and your children are wearing. We’ll cover some typical tips below, but the key is to find what make you feel comfortable riding and that your children stay warm enough.
Youth on bikes at Bridges PCS

Youth on bikes at Bridges PCS

If you are an experienced year-round rider, then you will know the secret to cold weather riding is layering. This is super helpful for days on the edges of winter, where your evening commute might be 20 degrees warmer than your morning. I’ll talk about three layers, base, warm, and outer. Base Layer This is the innermost layer you wear. Ideally, it will be a soft wool or a wicking fabric (often referred to as “tech fabric”) and not cotton. Cotton will not keep you warm if it gets wet from rain, snow, or sweat. I wear light leggings under my pants most days during winter. This layer is less important for your children if they are passengers and not pedaling. Warm Layer This is the layer(s) that (surprise!) will keep you warm by trapping air and your body heat. Again, wool is a top performer here, and wool sweaters come in a wide variety of thickness and warmth. Fleece is also a good option. (Budget tip: wool sweaters can be found for cheap at thrift shops, if only for commuting a hole won’t matter under your outer layer!) Passengers will need more warm layer than you, as you’ll be working to move the bike but they will just be sitting there in the cold breeze. Outer Layer The most important part for your outer layer is to block the wind, with a close second to be waterproof, to keep your warm layers dry. When you ride, you are in a constant breeze, and that can steal your heat fast. This is especially important for children as passengers. If they are in a seat on your handlebars, they will be catching the full force of the wind and need to be bundled up more than if they are on a rear seat riding behind you. Snow suits work as great outer layer for kids, and they are warm and waterproof, and can be easy to pull off when you arrive where you’re going. Another option for smaller children is to wrap them inside a blanket or use a stroller snuggle. A bungie cord can help keep these in place and out of your wheels and chain. Head, hands, and feet Don’t forget the rest of you! A balaclava is a great option for a child to wear over their head and neck, but under their helmet. A scarf can we wrapped around neck, face, and ears and held in place with the helmet straps. Waterproof (and therefore windproof) boots also work well with thick socks on inside of them, or even rain boots pulled on over the top of regular shoes. I use thicker hiking socks for winter riding. Windproof gloves are key, and as it gets colder or the rides get longer, than lobster gloves or mittens become more important to keep your hands warm. Make sure that your gloves are not so bulky that you can’t use your brakes!   If you are looking for a time to test your winter layering skills, the super fun Hains Point 100 is December 17th, and is a fundraiser for WABA’s Women and Bicycles Program.