Learn to Pilot a Tandem Bike with WABA!

WABA and MWABA!

The DC Bike Ambassadors have been teaming up with the Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes (MWABA) all summer to grow our community of bicycling friends by partnering our pilots (the person up front who steers the bike) with MWABA’s stokers (the person in the back who provides extra pedaling) for great tandem riding!

We had our first Tandem Pilot Training Session in May. Since then, we’ve participated in many more rides and training sessions with MWABA. If you would like to join in on the fun, our next tandem training session will be Friday August 25th from 5-7pm at the Eastern Market metro station. Helmets will be required and tandem bikes will be available to try out. No tandem experience (in either position) is necessary but patience and willingness to make mistakes and learn are highly encouraged.

Quick Tandem Tips

For those excited to try tandem riding for the first time, a few things are key to a successful outing:

  1. Communication — You should already be communicating regularly with those around you in everyday bicycling life; signally when turning, alerting those behind you verbally and with your hands so that they know that you are about to slow down or come to complete stop. When it comes to riding in tandem with a partner, you should also communicate when you are going down a hill and want to start coasting, when there is an upcoming bump or pothole in the road.
  2. Flexibility — As a pilot, it is much easier to adapt to your stoker’s riding style than the other way around.
  3. Perseverance — Do not worry if you can’t get it on the first try. Even very experienced pilots need time to adjust to a new stoker to make a well-oiled tandem team machine.

We hope to see you there!

Sign up here

If you would like to learn more about the DC Bike Ambassador Program please join our Facebook page for all the latest updates.

Reaching Out to Restaurant and Hotel Employees

Last fall, the DC Bike Ambassadors began a new, targeted outreach campaign focused on restaurant and hotel workers. We wanted to provide bike lights (as well as information about bike laws and safe bicycling) to these folks, who are often late-night or early-morning bike commuters.

Since then, we have travelled throughout all eight wards in the city making connections with employees and managers. One thing we heard over and over is that changes to bus and train schedules have a large impact on many of these people’s ability to work. We believe that bicycling can help provide reliable safe, effective transportation for employees in these fields (and others!), so we’ll continue reaching out and connecting with the foodservice and hospitality industries. This work is really just beginning!

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, or recommend a business for our program, please email Jon at jon.gonzalez@waba.org

You Make Our Hearts Go “Peddle”-Patter!

What’s the best part about the day after Valentine’s Day? The discounted chocolate, of course. But what’s the second best part? Basking in the glow of some bike-love! The DC Bike Ambassadors spent the holiday distributing handmade Valentines and candy yesterday during #bikedc’s morning commute. The cards were made by our volunteers at our craft night a few weeks ago. The crafting and delivering went so well, that we’re hoping to do something similar in March!

We handed out the Valentines at 15th & R NW, near one of the city’s busiest bike facilities.

And the Valentines were warmly received by all!

If you would like to join the DC Bike Ambassador program we are having our next outreach brainstorming session on Tuesday February 21 from 6 pm to 7:30 pm at our offices at 2599 Ontario Rd. All are welcome!

RSVP here

You can also sign up here to join our email list and be notified about future events.

Hope to see you soon!

Fixing bikes, making friends at the Anacostia Public Library

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For the past three years the Anacostia Public Library has hosted bicycle maintenance clinics throughout the summer. On a Saturday in June, the library held its first clinic of the season. We’re pleased to report our friends at Velocity Co-Op, Gearing Up Bicycles, and The Bike House fixed about 30 bicycles and got them back on the road.

More important than just getting the bikes road ready, the energetic group taught the bike owners how to perform some of the work on their own. By the end of the day, kids were putting air in their own tires, adults were putting new tires on their bikes and a master mechanic taught one adventurous child how to execute a proper “bunny-hop.”

A special thanks goes out to Chrome Industries, Velocity Co-Op, Gearing Up Bicycles, and The Bike House for all their support and repair expertise. WABA is committed to making bicycling more accessible for residents of Ward 7 & Ward 8, and WABA is delighted that DC Public Library is a community partner once again this summer.

If you would like to volunteer with the DC Bike Ambassadors please join WABA’s next outreach brainstorming session at the WABA offices on July 13th at 6 pm. Pizza and drinks will be provided courtesy of the DC Bike Ambassador program. If you would like to help with bicycle programming in Ward 7 & Ward 8 please contact Jon Gonzalez at jon.gonzalez@waba.org.

Lights, Coffee, ACTION!

This week’s weather theme has been GO RIDE YOUR BIKE! Today’s 80 degree weather is no different. Since Daylight Savings Time ending caught many of our friends off guard, we decided to catch up with them while they’re out riding! DC Bike Ambassadors set up friendly bicycle light sting operations around town to equip lightless bicycle riders with their very own pair of bicycle lights.

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DC Bike Ambassadors set up in front of the Columbia Heights Metro on 14th Street NW…AT NIGHT!

 

DC Bike Ambassadors stop bicyclists on the 15th street cycletrack

DC Bike Ambassadors stop bicyclists on the 15th street cycletrack at P Street NW…AT NIGHT!

It gets dark so early these days, that 6 pm looks like midnight…AT NIGHT! Check out these handy tips about riding at night…AT NIGHT!

Aside from handing out bike lights, Ambassadors love giving out free coffee, bike maps, and law guides to our unsuspecting friends! Your smiling faces brings us joy that lasts all day long! Be on the lookout for our bicycling experts who ride around the city in bright red Ambassador shirts spreading the love of bicycling to all.

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DC Bike Ambassadors give a bicyclist a cup of coffee and a new copy of the DC Bike Law Guide

 

Want to become a DC Bike Ambassador? Email jon.gonzalez@waba.org for upcoming trainings.

 

November 1st: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!

With the Daylight Savings turning the clock back an hour this weekend, your trip home from work, or school will be a lot darker than normal on Monday. WABA has collected a few tips and tricks you can use to maximize visibility when out on the road!

Front White Light For Your Handlebars: These bicycle lights let oncoming road users aware of your presence and are required by law in DC, MD. and VA. Putting the lights in blinking/pulsating mode saves battery, and makes your bicycle distinguishable from other road users. 

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Front White Light For Your Helmet: This light shines where you are looking, which can be very helpful in areas without much street lighting and helps you spot potholes or debris in your way.
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Rear Red Light For Your Helmet: Many helmets have have vents or straps where a bicycle light can easily hook on to and is an easy way to increase your visibility.

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Rear Red Light For Your Bicycle: Although not required by law to have a rear light (rear reflector is the minimum), having a red blinking, or pulsating light will increase your visibility. Hand signals are also a great way to communicate with other road users what your intentions are!

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Reflective Clothing: For even more visibility, reflective clothing provides multiple options from jackets, pants, scarves, shoes with reflective strips attached to them that brightly light up when hit with lights from vehicles, or other light sources. Backpacks, ankle straps, and helmet stickers are also other useful accessories that can be incredibly reflective.

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If you would like to learn more about bicycling, visit our Education Calendar for a list of upcoming classes.

Happy riding!

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Recap: Summer Bike Clinics at the Anacostia Public Library

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Teaching and wrenching at the Anacostia Library

Three years going strong!  Thank you so much to our partners at District Public Libraries, The Bike House, and Capitol Hill Bikes! During clinics, patrons get paired up with a volunteer mechanic and gain wisdom from the “each one teach one” method. Families, couples, little kids, and regulars all come out and learn how to work on their own bike and get it ready to go! WABA helps out as host and we provide bike tips, tricks and trivia, and get people engaged in the bike advocacy process.

This summer,volunteer mechanics fixed more than 150 bicycles! Pedal wrenches, third hand tools, and hex keys were moving around throughout the library plaza as bicycle mechanics worked the bike stands to fix everything from flat tires to worn out brake cables. It’s quite the site!

The first few clinics of the summer were a challenge because the demand for bike maintenance overwhelmed the few volunteer mechanics on hand. By July though, community members took skills they learned from previous clinics and started teaching others how to fix their own bikes.

By the end of the clinic, there were more mechanics than bicycles that needed a fixing! Hopefully, next year’s clinic will be an even bigger success!

Proper tire pressure can be a workout.

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Tuning up some brakes.

Special thanks to our friends at the Bike House and DCPL for making our third clinic series a success!

Be our Part-Time DC Bike Ambassador!

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The Washington Area Bicyclist Association is looking for an outgoing, energetic, and motivated person to help run the D.C. Bike Ambassador program. The program’s goal is to establish WABA’s presence city-wide, to foster a positive impression of bicycling and bicyclists and to educate residents and local organizations about bike laws, roadway safety, and potential benefits of bicycling to individuals, families, workplaces, and communities.

The part-time D.C. Bike Ambassador will promote WABA’s programs and the Bike Ambassadors’ core messaging, as well as coordinate Bike Ambassador outreach events, and help recruit local residents to become Ambassadors and attend WABA classes, programs, and events.

This position is part-time, 20 hours per week and compensation is $14 per hour.

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and implement Bike Ambassador outreach, education, encouragement, and community organizing efforts for WABA city-wide.
  • Recruit and energize our team of volunteer D.C. Bike Ambassadors.
  • Lead one hour-long presentation on bicycling per month with a WABA community partner.
  • Distribute print resources to community members, such as D.C. bike maps, Quick Start Guides, D.C. Pocket Law Guides, Capital Bikeshare information, and WABA education and promotional materials.
  • Pull the WABA Bike Ambassador billboard trailer.
  • Complete weekly administrative and reporting requirements.
  • Report to, communicate and coordinate regularly and effectively with supervisor about goals, planning and logistics, reporting, challenges and issues.

Preferred Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A strong commitment to WABA’s mission
  • Willingness and excitement to learn bicycling safety, traffic law, skills, and WABA’s bike encouragement philosophy.
  • Experience planning events and coordinating volunteers
  • Excellent presentation and public speaking skills.
  • A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings, and/or weekends.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Facebook and Twitter.
  • The ability to pull a bicycle trailer weighing 10 lbs. for 1-3 hours.
  • The ability to lift at least 50 lbs.
  • Organized, good time management skills and ability to multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment.
  • Conversational fluency in Spanish strongly preferred.
  • League of American Cycling Instructor (LCI) certification a plus.

About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association
Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 5,500 members region-wide, WABA serves the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and communities in Maryland and Virginia.

To Apply
Send a cover letter and resume to jobs@waba.org by COB Friday, September 11th. No phone calls please. Position available immediately.
WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex or age.

The DC Bike Ambassadors Are Back! And they brought backup!

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Early this morning DC Bike Ambassadors and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau teamed up to promote bicycle safety along the 14th St. NW corridor. The Bike Ambassador program was created by WABA & DDOT to encourage bicycling as an alternative form of transportation and recreation for DC residents.  Do not be alarmed if an Ambassador offers you a high five for riding your bike to work, or hands you a free bike light when you’re riding at night in the dark. It’s all a part of the plan to make DC the greatest bike town in the country.

If you would like to join this team of awesome and happy people, you’re in luck! The DC Bike Ambassadors are currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers. We’re hosting an orientation on Tuesday July 7th, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the WABA headquarters (2599 Ontario Rd. NW). You can RSVP here. Food and drinks will be provided.

Why become an Ambassador?
1) To advocate for better bicycling in your neighborhood.
2) To share your bicycling experience with people who feel uncomfortable with the idea of riding a bicycle in the city.
3) To make bike friends who like bicycling almost as much as you do.

See you July 7th?

Last Week Tonight with the Bike Ambassadors

On November 1st, a shipment of 750 bicycle lights arrived at the WABA Office. By November 20th, our team of Bike Ambassadors distributed all of them to DC area bicyclists in need. Thanks to a heroic volunteer effort, WABA was able to quickly fill a need in the DC bicycling community. Along with our standard outreach near heavily traveled bike corridors, Ambassadors went to local restaurants in search of service industry employees who bike to and from work. More often than not these workers end their shifts well past midnight, so reaching them with the “Got Lights?” campaign was a top priority. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get everyone in DC a bicycle light, but it was a good start in the right place.

Phill helps to bicyclists riding at night without lights.

Bike Ambassador Phill helps two bicyclists riding at night without lights.

If you would like to join our efforts to make DC the friendliest bike town in all the land, consider becoming a DC Bike Ambassador. Our next orientation is on December 9th 2014 from 6 pm-7:30pm. You can register here. It will be held at the WABA headquarter in Adams Morgan. There will be plenty of bicycle parking and metro accessible. Light refreshments will be served.