What’s on the horizon for WABA in 2021

WABA’s network of volunteers, advocates, neighbors, friends, and family made bicycling better—and kept WABA strong and steady!— in 2020.

Now, as we brace ourselves for 2021, we know that community is more important than ever. We made progress over the past year, and we’re celebrating it. But there’s still work to do building a region where you and your neighbors can safely explore, learn, and unlock the superpowers that come with riding a bike— and we’re counting on your support to do it.

Here’s what’s on the horizon for 2021 as WABA keeps working to make your ride— and our region— better:

  • More bike lanes. In 2020 we pushed harder than ever, and completely changed the game—setting the stage for even more progress in the coming year.
  • A connected multi-use trail network. More than 10 miles of trails are under construction right now, and with your support, we’ll reprioritize federal transportation funding from highway projects (that won’t even diminish traffic!) to trail projects.
  • Culture shift. Our work is at the intersection of so many critical issues: racial justice, climate crises, affordable housing, transportation equity, and more. In the coming year, WABA is committed to contextualizing our vision of a just and sustainable transportation system within work for a region that’s just and sustainable as a whole. 
  • Power building. With training and support from WABA, community advocates like you will put more pressure on elected officials to transform streets at the block-by-block level. 
  • More everyday WABA goodness. Online and on the ground —  from fix-a-flat webinars to safe group events, 2021 will bring more classes, trainings, and rides to keep us together. 

These are just a few of the ways WABA will empower people to ride bikes, build connections, and transform places in 2021.

Want to learn more about what your support made possible in 2020 and  how we’re continuing to pivot for 2021? Join WABA for a digital town hall with WABA’s executive director and development director on December 3rd. Click here to register and get the Zoom link. 

Bicycling made 2020 a little better.

I hope bicycling has made this year a little bit better for you. For me, a sunny afternoon on a busy trail was a welcome moment of levity, freedom, and connection to this wonderful community.

During the pandemic, this community brought the joy of bicycling to more people than ever before— and made our region a better place to bike in a time when we really needed it.

The thing is: the new bike lanes, new trails, and policies that make your ride better?

They add up to so much more than a great afternoon.

They’re the backbone of a safer, more sustainable transportation system that we can rely on through a climate crisis and a pandemic.

There’s no way around it: 2020 was hard. But your support for WABA made a big difference to our region and community.

Together, we:

  • Won car free spaces on Beach Drive and other park roads in Maryland and DC—not just on weekends but every day, reserving more space for people to play;
  • Expanded DC’s protected bike lane network by 45%, with even more construction planned for 2021;
  • Cleared a wonky bureaucratic hurdle that opens up federal funding for hundreds of miles of new trails in the region;
  • Celebrated major progress on car-free bridges: the Long Bridge is one year closer to reality and the arches are up on the Frederick Douglass Bridge—and both will connect to new trails;
  • Celebrated ground breaking on a wider and safer Washington & Old Dominion Trail in Arlington, our first major trail to create wide separate spaces for people biking and people walking; and
  • Pushed a robust set of policy changes through the DC Council that will result in safer intersections, slower speed limits, faster changes to dangerous roads, and prioritized investment in communities with fewer transportation options.

We did all this, together, despite all the uncertainty 2020 brought. I’m proud to be part of the Washington area bicycling community.

More Joy, Less Stress: 2019 Adult Education Season Wrap Up

Just like that, another year is nearly over and the 2019 Adult Education class season has come to an end. The WABA Education team is hard at work reflecting upon the past year and making resolutions for the next. This year, over 600 participants joined a WABA class to try something new, build confidence and experience more joy and less stress! 

They took the first step towards achieving their goals, why shouldn’t you?  Whether you’re looking for a more sustainable commute, exercise that is fun and outside or to finally knock something off your bucket list, learning to ride safely and confidently is the key to biking happy.

Check out some of the highlights from the 2019 season below and mark your calendars! The 2020 Adult Education season will be back with even more classes next spring.

Welcoming new bicyclists 

This year, our team of staff and LCI Instructors led 20 Learn to Ride classes in DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria. 

  • Over 320 participants attended Learn to Ride classes and 80% of them were riding successfully by the end of the three hour class. 
  • WABA hosted three Youth Learn to Ride classes in Alexandria and 23 youth learned to ride their bike without training wheels!
  • In June, WABA hosted a Spanish language Learn to Ride class in partnership with Casa Chirilagua, a Latino community and education organization in the Arlandria neighborhood of Alexandria.
  • In August, WABA partnered with PSI Family Services to offer a week-long Learn to Ride camp for adults with developmental disabilities. 
  • In total, over 235 new bicyclists are enjoying our region’s trails, paths and bike lanes. Great job everyone!

If you or someone you know would like to take the first step to learning to ride a bike, sign up to receive emails about our upcoming classes! We’ll be sure to let you know when the 2020 schedule is out. WABA Learn to Rides classes are fun and intuitive—you, too, could be riding confidently by the end of class!

Building confidence

This year, 120 participants made #betterbicycling their goal by signing up for a Confident City Cycling class! Whether riding in traffic or on a trail, proper etiquette and bike handling skills make for a safe and enjoyable ride.

  • WABA hosted 19 Confident City Cycle classes in DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria. 
  • On August 6th, WABA held a bike rodeo at the National Night Out celebration at Lincoln Park! Kids and adults alike rode the obstacle course, which featured hazards, twisty turns, and even a stop sign!
  • Booz Allen Hamilton hosted a Commuting 101 ride that encouraged their employees to incorporate bicycling into the daily commute. The group explored routes between the three Booz Allen offices in DC. 
  • WABA partnered with JUMP Bikes to host a Confident City Cycle class on e-bikes. Participants learned about the difference in speed and reaction time between regular bicycles and those with electronic assist and tried their hand at a number of different drills.

Bike education doesn’t stop after you learn to ride. Want to make every day Bike to Work Day? Bring an Everyday Bicycling Seminar to your office and give your coworkers the gift of safer, less stressful riding.

Exploring our communities

Looking for a new route? Interested in learning how to get around the city by bike?  Community Education Rides depart from all over the region, exploring city streets, trails and everything in between.

  • In September, WABA hosted a family-friendly Community Ride with Casa Chirilagua entirely in Spanish! We rode up the Mount Vernon Trail for a picnic at Gravelly Point.
  • In October, WABA and Capital Bikeshare celebrated Women’s Bike Month with a tour of DC’s most iconic statues of women.
  • WABA and JUMP hosted a winter community ride where participants learned the importance of layering, seasonal road conditions and visibility.

WABA Adult Education classes are local (currently offered in DC, Montgomery County, Arlington and Alexandria), inexpensive and most importantly, they’re a fun time! Sign up for a class and take the first step to #betterbicycling.

We can’t wait to see you out there! 

Help us get more folks on bikes – will you make make a donation to WABA today? Your tax-deductible donation means more bike lanes, safer streets, healthier people, and connected communities.

Let’s Party For Better Bicycling

Tour de Fat is on Saturday! This beer + music + bike + lots of awesome people festival raises lots of money for WABA. Don’t miss it!

Get tickets

How does partying for better bicycling work?

WABA and four other rad bike non-profits in our region receive 100% of the proceeds from beer sales during the festival. And that really adds up. In 2015, the event raised more than $50,000.  You’re making a big difference in funding our advocacy and outreach work. WABA’s advocacy, community outreach and education efforts are all people-powered—it takes a lot of people’s time, expertise, and capacity to organize for new bike lanes, protected infrastructure, and better bike policies. Tour de Fat has the capacity to raise enough support for a full-time WABA staff person – that’s one more person tracking issues, devising campaigns, keeping you up-to-date, and implementing, implementing, implementing.

Who benefits from Tour de Fat?

In order to help spread the bike love, we’ve partnered with four other bicycle non-profit organizations in the region. Check out their cool work: WABA (that’s us!) works in the greater D.C. area to get more people on bikes, make bicycling safe, and expand and enhance bike infrastructure. We want to make getting to places by bike easier and a more viable transportation option. Black Women Bike DC is a rad group of women working to build community and support to inspire more black women to bike through education programs, advocacy, and rides. Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling works to make bicycling an integral part of the transportation network in Fairfax County, VA. They sponsor social rides throughout Fairfax and work on a laundry list of advocacy campaigns to make bicycling more accessible. Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts represents the area’s mountain biking community and works to maintain regional trails. MORE organizes hundreds of rides and events per year. Phoenix Bikes is local bicycle co-op that supports youth in the D.C. metro area, providing a safe, nurturing, and educational environment that reinforces teamwork, hard work, and entrepreneurship through bike maintenance and education programs.   So don’t forget to get your tickets to the show! When: Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 from 4-9pm Location:136 N St SE, Washington, DC (exciting new venue!)

Learn More Get tickets

More fun for your buck:

Bring some friends and get cheaper tickets on Groupon, enter to win free tickets from Yelp, or volunteer for a shift and get free admission for you and a friend.

Be safe: please don’t drink and bike.

We realize we are a bike organization and are asking you, presumably someone who will be biking, to come out to a beer and music festival, drink beer, and help us raise support for WABA. And the more you drink, the more support we raise. But most importantly, we want you to have fun and to be safe. Please drink and act and bike responsibly. Consider taking rideshare or public transportation. Tour de Fat is located next to the Nationals baseball stadium, so it is a three minute walk from the Navy Yard Metro Station. If you want to still bike, you should still bike! But if you enjoy a few craft brews, we encourage you to take the metro home. It will be off-peak hours, so you will be able to metro home with your bicycle.

Give the Gift of Better Bicycling

The air is getting chillier, the leaves have fallen, and the days are getting shorter.  You know what that means:  The holidays are upon us! In the season of giving, what better gift is there than beautiful trails, safe bike lanes, and better bicycling for everyone? Give the gift of Better Bicycling with cool WABA jerseys, t-shirts, and socks from the WABA Store!  We’ve even put together some gift bundles with a 1-year WABA Membership certificate to make it an easy one-stop shop. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Don’t forget that WABA members get 20% off all purchases at the WABA Store.  Contact membership@waba.org for the discount code.

Jerseys and Socks and T-Shirts, Oh My!

New WABA Merchandise has arrived!

Get some cool WABA gear courtesy of the good folks at Primal, WABA’s Official Merch Sponsor!   jersey Let the world know about your support for Better Bicycling in style with a high quality, moisture-wicking, full zip jersey by Primal!   waba socks Make sure your feet are sending the right message with a pair of WABA Better Bicycling socks by Primal!   tshirts Looking for something to wear on those rare occasions you’re not on your bike? Our stylish t-shirts help you show off all of the ways WABA makes bicycling better!   stickers Turn anything into a bike advocacy centerpiece with new WABA stickers! Available in English and Spanish.   Pick up your very own WABA gear and show your support today! Are you a WABA Member? Email membership@waba.org to get a discount code for 20% off your purchase!   Primal Logo