Ride With a Convoy this Bike to Work Day

This Friday you can choose from 18 commuter convoys to ride in for Bike to Work Day. Convoys are like community group bikes rides for people of all experience levels.

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Click here to view the list of convoys and see if one traveling by your area and to your pit stop. There are designated pick up points along the way, so you can also just join the group as they pedal by. And, of course,  you may leave the convoy anywhere along the route at your convenience.

Ride in from Laurel, Falls Church, Greenbelt, or ride in from Dupont with the DC Bike Party!

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Those are just a few of your options, here’s a map of all this year’s 18 convoys!


View 2014 Bike to Work Day Commuter Convoys in a larger map

Become a WABA Member this Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day is a great day for bicycling. It shows how many people enjoy and support a better bicycling network (and  how many of them like free t-shirts) and why having an organization like WABA is essential to our region. If you haven’t already registered for Bike to Work Day, you can do so here.

One of the big perks of Bike to Work Day is that you can become a member of for the reduced rate of $25 (normally $35). Becoming a WABA member is the best way to support our advocacy efforts, and contribute to the growth of the region’s safe bicycling networks. By showing our strength in numbers we can show our cities, governments, and business that biking is growing and safe bicycling infrastructure is in demand. If you joined on Bike to Work Day last year, your membership is about to expire, so now is a perfect time to renew it!

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We got over 300 new members last Bike to Work Day. With your help we can get even more this year! Photo By: MrM

Still on the fence? Take a look at some of our victories from the past year:

–          Protected bike lanes on M St NW and First St NE.

–          Expanding Capital Bikeshare to over 200 stations in DC, Virginia, and Maryland, including Alexandria & Montgomery Co.

–          Pushing for the completion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail from Brookland to Downtown Silver Spring.

–          Passage of the 3 Foot Passing law in Virginia in 2014.

–          Passage of the Bicycle Safety Amendment in 2013 & the Access to Justice for Bicyclist Act of 2012 in DC

More members means we can amplify our voice and impact region-wide.. That’s why we need you to become a member today. Already a member? Refer a friend!

On Bike to Work Day members of our staff, board, Bike Ambassador team, and volunteer crew will spread out across the region to cover as many pit stops as possible. Currently, we plan to be at: Rosslyn, Freedom Plaza, Downtown Bethesda, Old Town Alexandria, Ballston, Crystal City, Adams Morgan, National Geographic, NoMa, Eastern Market, Vienna, Georgetown, Columbia Heights (in the afternoon), Golden Triangle at Farragut Square, Silver Spring Discovery Place, Mt Vernon Triangle, Falls Church, and Capitol Riverfront.

Stop by and say “Hi” to WABA on Bike to Work Day and become a member!

You can also become a member right now by visiting our website!

 

Take a Trail this Bike to Work Day

Dandies ride by Gravelly Point

Photo by Flickr user joeflood

So you’ve heard that Bike to Work Day is coming up on May 16.  Maybe you heard that it is the one thrilling day that our region celebrates biking as an everyday form of transportation.  Maybe you heard that there are 79 pit stops with BTWD shirts, snacks, raffles, and giveaways.  Perhaps that is all the convincing you need.  Be sure to register.

But if you do not already bike to work regularly, then all the pit stop goodies and the support of thousands of other people biking along with you might not be enough.  You still have to find your way to work, and at first glance there may be a lot of busy streets between where you live and where you’re headed.

The DC area is fortunate to have an extensive network of trails that allow a near seamless off-street ride for much of your trip.  For the first time bike commuter, trails alleviate many concerns of riding with car traffic and can simplify finding a route through the web of streets.  For the regular commuter, trails are the highways of bike infrastructure offering direct routes that pass over and around busy intersections from as far as Vienna, Alexandria, Bethesda, Silver Spring and College Park.  Where these trails end, they often connect to streets with bike infrastructure like bike lanes and even cycletracks which form a network of bike friendly routes.  If you are an infrequent rider, these too will make getting to work a little less stressful.  Consult Google Maps bicycling layer to find a route or join one the BTWD Commuter Convoys that follow trails.

Click here to explore the area's bike facilities

Dark green lines are trails. Light green lines are on street bike lanes.

Regardless of your experience, Bike to Work Day is the perfect time to try out a trail near you.  With pit stops on or near many trails, you’ll find plenty of company and ample opportunities to exchange congratulatory high fives when you pick up your BTWD shirt.  Below are a some of the most popular trails with pit stops nearby.

Anacostia Riverwalk Trail: South Capitol St to Benning Rd on both sides of the Anacostia

  • Anacostia at Martin Luther King Jr Ave & Good Hope Rd SE
  • Canal Park at M St & 2nd St SE

Capital Crescent Trail: Bethesda to Georgetown

  • Downtown Bethesda at Reed St.
  • Georgetown Waterfront Park at K St. & Wisconsin Ave NW

Custis Trail: I-66 to Rosslyn

  • Roslyn at the Rosslyn Gateway Park

Metropolitan Branch Trail: Ft Totten to Union Station

  • Edgewood at Rhode Island Ave NE
  • NoMa at First St & Pierce St NE

Mount Vernon Trail: Mt Vernon to Rosslyn

  • Old Town Alexandria at Fairfax Dr & King St
  • Crystal City Water Park

Washington & Old Dominion Trail: Purcellville to Shirlington Village

  • Merrifield at Sandburg St
  • Fall Church at Grove Ave
  • Falls Church at East Falls Church Metro

Click here to register for Bike to Work Day and find a full list of pit stop locations.

Go Intermodal this Bike to Work Day

Now that you’ve signed up for Bike to Work Day, it’s time to plan your route! (Click here to sign up if you haven’t already.)

For some commuters,a bike ride to work isn’t a pragmatic option. That’s why we recommend  incorporating other forms of transportation into your bike routine. Intermodal bike trips make your work commute a little shorter, your ride home a little faster, or your rainy day a lot less soggy.

Plus, it’s good to have backup transportation options. We’re fortunate to have so many transportation choices in our toolkit (and our region), and it’s all about finding the right tools for the right job.

Park and ride: Bike the last leg of your trip! Pack your bike in your trunk, drive, and leave your car parked at a nearby Metro station or a friend’s house.

Bike car

Metro: Thanks to a WABA victory, you can take bikes on Metro during non-rush hours, at no additional charge. Metro’s rush hours are from 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. I became a folding bicyclist because thanks to another WABA victory, folded bikes are allowed on Metro cars during all hours of service, and don’t need to be stored in a bag.

Some things to keep in mind: You must use the station elevators, never the escalators. If the train is full, wait for the next. Always give priority to passengers in wheelchairs. Bikes aren’t allowed at the center doors of a train, so find a spot at the front or rear of the Metro train, where you can hold onto the railing and your bike.

If you don’t want to take your bike on the Metro, check to see if your area’s station has bike lockers. Most stations have lockers you can rent for $200 a year. Check out WMATA’s bike page for more information on riding the rails.

Bike Metro

Buses: Buses are a simple option for multi-modal bike commutes throughout the region. Bring your folding bike inside the bus, or store your non-folding bike on the bus’ front bike rack. The process of loading up your bike on the bus rack can be intimidating at first, but all it takes is some practice. Click here for the bestvideo tutorial on bus bike racks.

Bike Bus

Trains: For those who regularly use commuter trains like Amtrak, MARC, or VRE, folding bikes are allowed on all trains in lieu of luggage. On Amtrak and VRE, non-folding bikes can be taken on board if the train has walk-on bicycle service (in certain instances there’s a nominal fee). Be sure to check your chosen rail line’s website before planning your trip for details.

Bicycle on Train

Combining bikes with other forms of transportation certainly isn’t difficult—and it isn’t cheating! It’s a way to fully maximize your time. The choice to make your commute more easy, affordable, and enjoyable is a good choice, and that’s, in part, what biking is about: celebrating good choices.

 

Help grow bicycling by volunteering on May 16

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Volunteer with WABA on Bike to Work Day!

WABA is a regional organization with thousands of members in Maryland, Virginia, and the District. Bike to Work Day on May 16th is an amazing opportunity for us to help grow bicycling by being at pit stops across the region and talking to people about the advocacy work that WABA does to build biking infrastructure and culture throughout the region. We are the voice of the region’s cyclists, pushing for improvements.

That’s why we need your help on May 16th. Spend a few hours with us at a pit stop talking to people about WABA, telling your bicycling story, and helping us bring in new WABA members to the bike community!

If you can volunteer, please sign up here.

Note: If you live, work, or can travel to the following pit stops, we really need volunteers at these stops:  Rosslyn, Bethesda, Crystal City, Alexandria Old Town, Silver Spring Discovery Place, Mt Vernon Triangle, Golden Triangle L Street, Capitol Riverfront at Canal Park, Edgewood, and College Park City Hall.

 

Why NOT to register for Bike To Work Day

1.  I ride my bike to work every day anyway.  It’s just like any other day.

2.  I definitely do NOT need another t-shirt, water bottle, other free goodies OR the possibility of winning a bike.

3.  I am sure the Transportation Departments already know how many people are commuting to work via bikes these days.

4.  I’d much rather ride by myself and go to work the same way I always do.  I know everybody who rides my route.

Okay, yeah, you got us.  We put the wrong list up.  Take all of those things above and switch them to the opposite. WE WANT YOU TO REGISTER FOR BIKE TO WORK DAY!

In all seriousness, we do need you to register. Even if you ride every day, even if you don’t want that special BTWD 2014 commemorative t-shirt.

We need numbers.  We need to show the growth every year. At some point, maybe we won’t be able to have Bike To Work Day because it will have become so huge that even 79 Pit Stops can’t hold us.  Bike To Work day will be everyday. Biking to work will be such an easy, convenient and safe occurrence that no one will even remember that we ever celebrated Bike To Work Day.  But until we get to that point, we really need your help. So register for Bike To Work Day and help us show strong numbers that convince area decision makers that we need safe trails, and lanes and other infrastructure in order for us to continue growing bicycling in the DC area.

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Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 16th: What to Expect

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Bike to Work Day is the one day our region celebrates what you love to do: ride your bike! And WABA wants to make sure you register and participate in the big day!

You get to wake up a little earlier (maybe even catch a beautiful sunrise), get on a bicycle, and smile. You’ll stop by a pit stop on your way to work, enjoy a free breakfast, grab that sought after free t-shirt, and then ride your bike to work. You get to be counted as a bicyclist. You get to be part of the tremendous growth in bicycling ridership in our region.

The event is organized by MWCOG, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, in partnership with WABA. Check out COG’s Commuter Connections Bike to Work Day website for helpful resources, like finding a buddy to ride with. Bike to Work Day is meant to promote bicycling as a healthy alternative to driving along to work.

This year, the event is going to be huge. Last year there were 14,500 registrants. This year 79 pit stops are spread across DC, Maryland and Virginia. The backbone of Bike to Work Day, these pit stops help create a more concrete and visual bicycling community.

So here’s what you need to do in the next few weeks before May 16th:

1. Register. Seriously, it’s SO important that you register so you can be counted as a person who bikes in the region. These numbers will help show growth in ridership and will help further and direct WABA’s advocacy in the future. You can register here. (And did we mention, BTWD is a FREE event!) If you need to figure out which pit stop is on your way to work, check out this handy map.

2. Ready that bicycle. If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, there’s still a few weeks left for you to take it out of the garage and dust it off, give your ride some TLC (lube that chain and tighten the brakes), or take your stead to a local bike shop for a quick tune up (WABA members get discounts at many local shops). If you don’t have a bike, borrow one from a friend. Bicyclists are very friendly. Or rent one from somewhere like Bike and Roll.

3. Invite a friend or coworker to ride along. Riding your bike (and drinking free coffee) is always more fun with a friend. So shoot out some texts, Gchat your office buddies, or make a few phone calls. And make sure they register too! Then make plans to meet up that morning and ride to your pit stop together.

4. If you’re one of those over achiever types then consider joining WABA today (or renewing your membership!) or volunteer with us.  Sign up here to volunteer with WABA at your local pit stop on Bike to Work Day to help spread the bicycling love.

A shot from the Bike to Work Day crows at the Freedom Plaza pit stop. Even in the rain, people had a great time!

You may notice the abundance of bright yellows, greens and oranges. Allow not required as cycling apparel, we’ll let you in on a little hint: Hi-vis is very fashionable right now. Hi-vis is in!

 

Have a happy Bike to Work Day!

Happy Bike Month: Do something to celebrate!

Happy Bike Month from WABA staffers.

Happy Bike Month from WABA staff!

Happy National Bike Month to you!

May was established as National Bike Month back in 1956. That means our nation has been celebrating bicycling for 58 years this month!

Together we have accomplished some major wins for people who bike in the last year so we have a lot to celebrate. WABA’s recent victories and current priorities include:

  • Protected bile lanes on M St NW and First St NE.
  • Expanding Capital Bikeshare to over 200 stations in DC, VA and MD, including Alexandria and Montgomery counties.
  • Securing funding for snow removal on Arlington bike trails.
  • Passage of the 3 Foot Passing Law in VA
  • Passage of the Bicycle Safety Amendment in DC

To read more about these advocacy wins and WABA’s current priorities check out our blog.

Bike Month is also a great time to join WABA or get a head start and renew. And if you join or renew and also register for BTWD, we’ll give you $10 off your membership this  month!

To celebrate and show YOUR love for bicycling, join us at one of WABA’s many Bike Month happenings in May:

  • May 3: ABCs of Family Biking – Join WABA, DC Safe Routes to School and Kidical Mass DC, 11am-2pm for a free and fun event about biking with kids. We’ll even have a special bike course for the little ones.
  • May 7: Bike to School Day – If you have little ones, or can borrow some for the day, take them on a bike ride to school. WABA will be joining along with some of the day’s bike trains to schools. Our Bike Ambassadors will also have a helmet decorating station at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill in the morning.
  • May 9: Free Coffee on the Met Branch Trail – Join our Trail Rangers for free coffee on your morning commute, 7:30-9am on the MBT at 4th and S St NE.
  • May 10-11: City Cycling – Bike like a pro. The weekend before BTWD, take a City Cycling class with WABA to learn more about riding confidently in traffic.
  • May 12: Bike to Work Diva Happy Hour– If you’re a lady, you should grab a beer with our Women and Bicycles group to prep for BTWD. At the happy hour: you can meet a friend to bike with if it’s your first BTWD, or if you’re a BTWD pro then you can help guide a newbie.
  • May 12: Everyday Bicycling Seminar – Attend our FREE seminar at the MLK Library to learn more about urban biking and how to become a pro at your bike commute.
  • May 16: Bike to Work Day – Join more than 14,000 area cyclists and register today to reserve your free t-shirt.
  • May 31: Tour de Fat – THE best way to end your Bike Month. Come out for a bicycle festival with New Belgium Brewing (so yes, there’s great beer!) where proceeds benefit WABA.
Logo image courtesy of The League of American Bicyclists. For more info on Bike Month go here: http://bikeleague.org/bikemonth

Logo courtesy of The League of American Bicyclists. Check out their site for more info on Bike Month.

Have a very happy Bike Month this May and enjoy the ride!

Register for Bike to Work Day 2014

The region’s largest celebration of getting to work on two wheels, Bike to Work Day, is Fri., May 16. Registration is now open.

The first 12,000 registrations will get the much sought-after Bike to Work Day T-shirt. But registrations also help provide a count of who’s commuting by bike. Even if you’re unable to ride to work on Bike to Work Day, we encourage you to register regardless. The more people we can count biking to work, the more we can demonstrate the need for better, safer infrastructure for cycling in the D.C. region.

Over 14,000 people registered for Bike to Work Day this year—a record-shattering count. Let’s make Bike to Work Day history again this year.