NOTE: If you’re a regular bike commuter, and you are as excited as we are about making sure all the folks trying it out for the first time have a great experience, consider volunteering!ALSO: Alas, rain is not a particularly good way to wash your bike.
It’s almost here!Bike to Work Day is tomorrow! It is the one day each year that 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. The event is organized by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), in partnership with WABA. Check out COG’s Bike to Work Day website for helpful resources, like finding a buddy to ride with, joining a commuter convoy, and information for employers. Bike to Work Day is meant to promote bicycling as a healthy alternative to driving to work. Each year, Bike to Work Day grows more massive. Last year, more than 17,500 people registered to bike to work and each of them stopped off at one of the many pit stops along their commute. This year, there are 86(!) pit stops across DC, Maryland, and Virginia, proving just how huge BTWD really is!
So, here’s what you should do in the next few days before May 19th:1. Register. For real. It is SUPER important that you register so you can be counted as a person who bikes in the region. These numbers help show growth in ridership and will help further and direct WABA’s advocacy in the future. You can register here. If you need to figure out which pit stop is on your way to work, check out this handy map. 2. Get your bike ready. If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, there’s still time to take it out of the garage and dust it off, give your ride some TLC (lube that chain and tighten those brakes), or take your best buddy to a local bike shop for a quick tune up (hint hint: WABA members get discounts at many local shops and coops). If you don’t have a bike, borrow one from a friend. You can also try Bikeshare 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 really want to show your colors, 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. Don’t forget to sign up, especially if you bike every day. The continued growth of this event is one of the ways we demonstrate the need for more and better bike infrastructure. Event: Bike to Work Day Date: Friday, May 19th, 2017 Location: Find your pit stop here. There are 86 pit stops across the region. Time: Various times, but most pit stops are open from about 6:30am to 9:30am. Some are afternoon stops. Cost: FREE! Don’t forget to register. More Info: waba.org/aboutbiketoworkday
Here are five reasons why you’ve got to sign up for DC Bike Ride:
- Car-free, stress-free, wide open roads to ride your bike.
- Music. Fun. Entertainment. DJ BIZ MARKIE! Batalá! Dupont Brass Band!
- A good reason to tune your bike (or test out your new ride) before your big BTWD commute.
- Don’t miss out: all your friends and fellow bike commuters will be there having the time of their lives.
- It raises funds to support our important Vision Zero advocacy work.
Check out a few of our favorite photos from the inaugural DC Bike Ride last May below:
WABA is a DC Bike Ride Founding Partner. DCBR organizers are making a substantial grant to support WABA’s advocacy work and community organizing for Vision Zero. So, while we are not directly involved in the operation of the event, we’re thrilled it’s taking place and invested in its success. We really, really hope you will sign up for DC Bike Ride and join us for this spectacular event. And don’t forget to sign up for Bike to Work Day: especially if you bike every day. This is the one day of the year to be counted (literally). Have a great Bike to Work Day.
Regardless of your experience biking to work, 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 some of the most popular trails with pit stops nearby.
Anacostia River Trail: South Capitol St to Benning Rd on both sides of the Anacostia River, and continuing north to Cottage City, MD
- 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
- Rosslyn 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
- Falls Church at Grove Ave
- Falls Church at East Falls Church Metro
The Capital Trails CoalitionIn October 2016, WABA, along with REI, the National Park Service, and many other regional partners announced the launch of a new a collaboration of public and private organizations, agencies, and citizen volunteers working to advance completion of an interconnected network of multi-use trails for metropolitan Washington, DC. Read our blog post about the launch event here, and more info here. The Trails Coalition has a powerful vision: The Capital Trails Coalition seeks to create a world-class network of multi-use trails that are equitably distributed throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan region. The regional trails network will transform public life by providing healthy, low-stress access to open space and reliable transportation for people of all ages and abilities. Check out the Coalition’s homepage for more info and updates on the new Capital Trails Coalition. Don’t forget to sign up for Bike to Work Day: especially if you bike every day. This is the one day of the year to be counted (literally). Have a great Bike to Work Day. Event: Bike to Work Day Date: Friday, May 19th, 2017 Location: Find your pit stop here. There are 86 pit stops across the region. Time: Various times, but most pit stops are open from about 6:30am to 9:30am. Some are afternoon stops. Cost: FREE! Don’t forget to register. More Info: waba.org/aboutbiketoworkday
- Know your elected officials and other decision makers – Use our handy legislator look-up tool and be familiar with your representatives.
- Ask them now if they are planning to attend Bike to Work Day – Send them a message and inquire if they are attending Bike to Work Day. Include in your message an invitation for them to attend a local pit stop.
- Plan what you want to say – Practice your elevator speech. You’re only going to get 30 seconds to talk to them about biking. Introduce yourself, including where you live, and ask them to support a project or for their help in addressing an issue. Ask how to follow-up. Thank them for their support.
- Introduce yourself at the pit stop – Identify the official and introduce yourself. Be respectful of others speaking with them and wait your turn to speak.
- Thank them for attending and for their support of biking – Show your appreciation for their attendance of Bike to Work Day and general support of bicycling. It goes a long way to thank and appreciate people first. If they have recently supported a specific initiative, mention it and give credit where due.
- Have an “ask” – What do you want them to do? Have a one sentence “ask.” Good examples include “could you send a letter of support to DOT about this bike trail?” or “please ask the state DOT to address the issue of biking on this road.”
- Be respectful of their time (be quick!!) – You might only get 30 seconds or less. Officials and their staff have busy schedules and multiple appointments in a single day. Be respectful of their time at an event.
- Follow-up that day – Make sure to ask how you can follow-up with them. Should you email them or is there a staffer who you should reach out to directly? Send a follow-up email that day!
Fun things to do in May:Here’s a list of our favorite things happening during Bike Month in May. We hope that you check a few of them out, have a happy bike month, and enjoy the ride:
here. It only costs $10 to reserve your spot, but WABA Members and Bikeshare members are FREE!
Share our Learn to Ride classes and encourage someone in your life to give bicycling a try.
Check out our City Cycling classes and sign up for one today! (They are free for Bikeshare members and WABA Members!)
Action Committees empower residents with the tools, training and support needed to win campaigns for better biking infrastructure, policies, and programs. With Action Committees in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Arlington County moving forward with campaigns, now is a great time to join in.
Register today. Proceeds from DCBR will benefit WABA in our efforts to deliver meaningful street safety programs in support of DC’s Vision Zero Campaign. WABA is a DC Bike Ride founding partner.
Register early for a pit stop near your home or work to show your support for bicycling and reserve a free Bike to Work Day t-shirt.
Sign up to learn skills and techniques to build your confidence and capability to enjoy your life on two wheels.
It’s going to be a jam-packed May filled with lots of bike rides, smiles, challenging yourself, and making new bike friends. We can’t wait to see and celebrate with you.
Three reasons why you should participate:1. FREE t-shirts, bagels, coffee, and smiles. 2. It’s super fun to be a part of something big: 19,500+ people biking to work. 3. You could WIN A BRAND NEW BICYCLE!
Three reasons you should register online:1. It shows your support for bicycling. 2. You want to make bicycling better (and showing your support bolsters WABA’s advocacy efforts to make biking better). 3. It helps elected officials, city governments, and local transportation departments recognize biking is important and normal. here or check out the regional Bike to Work Day event website here.
We hope you enjoyed being part of the bike community as much as we did this year. Happy New Year and here’s to more awesome WABA events — and a few awesome event surprises — in 2017! Cheers, WABA Events Team