WABA x JUMP Community Ride

Register Cost Location

Worried that falling temperatures might put a damper on your ride? Learn the ins and outs of cold weather biking and gear up for plenty of riding this winter with WABA and JUMP! We’ll discuss the importance of layers, riding in inclement weather and how to get the most out of your cold weather ride. And don’t worry, if you get too cold, you can always lock up your JUMP bike and hop on the Metro. We’ll be exploring helpful ways to get from the trail to the Metro and back again so you can keep riding all winter long.

Our community education ride series is a fun, social and inclusive space for riders of varying experience and confidence. You will always have a great time on our rides, but they’re also a safe space to ask questions and practice to make this summer’s riding a breeze.

  • Ride start and end – Four Mile Run Park Plaza
  • Start time -12:00 PM
  • End time – 2:00 PM
  • Distance – About 14 miles

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.
  • Appropriate outerwear, 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.
  • Bicycles and helmets will be provided for free!

What does it cost?

This class is free thanks to the generous support of JUMP! Bicycles and helmets will be provided!

Class Location

Four Mile Run Park Plaza

4121 Mt. Vernon Avenue

Register

WABA x JUMP 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. We’ll spend some time on a few e-bike specific handling skills, then go for a ride and talk about strategies for riding in different road, bike lane, and trail situations. Bring questions! By the time you head home, you’ll feel more confident, comfortable, and happy on an e-bike. Plus it’s a blast.

Something for everyone

Whether you’ve just learned to ride or you’ve been bike commuting for years, we’ve got new things to share with you. Our experienced League Certified Instructors will make sure that you’re working on skills that match your level of comfort and experience on your bike.

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.

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.
  • Appropriate outerwear, 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?

This class is free thanks to the generous support of JUMP! Bicycles and helmets will be provided!

Class Location

Anacostia Skate Pavilion Parking Lot

1500 Anacostia Dr, Washington, DC 20020

Parking: There is parking available at this location.

Public Transportation: This location is a 15 minute walk from the Pennsylvania Ave L’Enfant SE Bus Station.

Register

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

This is going to be fun!

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

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!

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

Something for everyone

Whether you’ve just learned to ride or you’ve been bike commuting for years, we’ve got new things to share with you. Our experienced League Certified Instructors will make sure that you’re working on skills that match your level of comfort and experience on your bike.

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.

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!

Drop-ins are free! But space is limited, so we recommend you register below ahead of time to hold your spot! Otherwise, walk up to any class at least 15 minutes before we start so we can have you fill out a little bit of paperwork.

Are you a WABA or Capital Bikeshare member? Then the class is free. Email or call 202-518-0524 x221 for a coupon.

Class Location

Anacostia Skate Pavilion Parking Lot

1500 Anacostia Dr, Washington, DC 20020

Parking: There is parking available at this location.

Public Transportation: This location is a 15 minute walk from the Pennsylvania Ave L’Enfant SE Bus Station.

Register

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

This is going to be fun!

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

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!

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

Something for everyone

Whether you’ve just learned to ride or you’ve been bike commuting for years, we’ve got new things to share with you. Our experienced League Certified Instructors will make sure that you’re working on skills that match your level of comfort and experience on your bike.

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.

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!

Drop-ins are free! But space is limited, so we recommend you register below ahead of time to hold your spot! Otherwise, walk up to any class at least 15 minutes before we start so we can have you fill out a little bit of paperwork.

Are you a WABA or Capital Bikeshare member? Then the class is free. Email or call 202-518-0524 x221 for a coupon.

Class Location

Anacostia Skate Pavilion Parking Lot

1500 Anacostia Dr, Washington, DC 20020

Parking: There is parking available at this location.

Public Transportation: This location is a 15 minute walk from the Pennsylvania Ave L’Enfant SE Bus Station.

Register

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

This is going to be fun!

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

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!

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

Something for everyone

Whether you’ve just learned to ride or you’ve been bike commuting for years, we’ve got new things to share with you. Our experienced League Certified Instructors will make sure that you’re working on skills that match your level of comfort and experience on your bike.

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.

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!

Drop-ins are free! But space is limited, so we recommend you register below ahead of time to hold your spot! Otherwise, walk up to any class at least 15 minutes before we start so we can have you fill out a little bit of paperwork.

Are you a WABA or Capital Bikeshare member? Then the class is free. Email or call 202-518-0524 x221 for a coupon.

Class Location

Anacostia Skate Pavilion Parking Lot

1500 Anacostia Dr, Washington, DC 20020

Parking: There is parking available at this location.

Public Transportation: This location is a 15 minute walk from the Pennsylvania Ave L’Enfant SE Bus Station.

Register

Meet Jonathan Oliver, our new Education Coordinator

Hello! I’m Jonathan Oliver, WABA’s new Education Coordinator responsible for running our adult education programs serving adults in the DC/MD/VA metropolitan region. I’m excited to join WABA’s mission to improve bicycling in our area. My primary goal is to help both new and current adult riders achieve their riding goals while having fun and being safe.

About me: Riding BMX bikes as a kid with my neighborhood friends was when I first understood the sense of community, freedom, fun, and health benefits that bicycling can provide. I’ve always been interested in learning, helping people, and solving problems so it seemed natural to share knowledge through bicycle and fitness-related organizations and activities. Before coming to WABA, I worked in research & development engineering and program management. My focus was always learning and doing new things that might help people. For several years I’ve been an active volunteer with bike organizations, including WABA, doing rider and Ride Marshal training, working with newer riders to achieve their goals, developing and executing ride events, and pretty much anything bike-related. You’ll find me on everything from casual social rides and bike commuting to faster-paced long distance rides.

Looking ahead: Imagine if everyone that wanted to ride could ride? If every rider had the comfort and skill level that they needed to safely ride on streets and trails? If every driver was safe and friendly to bicycles and always shared the roads? To help achieve these visions, I’m working with WABA’s excellent team of instructors to help adults learn to ride bikes and all riders to ride safely and comfortably on city streets, suburban and rural roads, trails, and while bike commuting to and from work. My efforts include planning, coordinating, and implementing several key WABA programs such as our Adult Learn to Ride classes, City Cycling classes, Community rides, Everyday Biking seminars, Bicycle Friendly Driver seminars, and other great offerings. I’m also working to bring bicycle education to areas not already served, identifying areas of need, and helping to implement effective programs to meet those needs.

There’s a lot of work to do and a lot of biking fun to be had. If you or someone you know wants to learn how to ride, improve riding skills, and generally have fun on two wheels in a safe and supportive environment, please contact us at education@waba.org. Hope to see you on two wheels!

I’d Like to Bike, But…

People have their reasons for not biking. We’re here to change some perspectives!

Since becoming the Outreach Coordinator at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), I have attended a lot of expos, wellness events and festivals. I love meeting new people and talking with them about what we do at WABA. I also like hearing from people about why they do or don’t bike in the city.

So I decided to create two boards to take with me to my events. One of the boards says, “I bike because…” and the other says, “ I’d like to bike but…”. Although I love reading the responses about why people bike, I am even more intrigued by why people don’t. I read each one as people write them and use those responses as a way to jump-start a conversation about what we do and how we can help them. Here are the top reasons I see and hear about why people don’t bike and how WABA can make you a little less apprehensive to biking.

#1 – “I don’t know how to ride a bike.”

I learned to ride as an adult (as did one of my co-workers), so I completely understand how that hinders someone from riding a bike. And as you get older, you realize that you are further from the ground so falling off a bike becomes pretty scary. If you or someone you know is in this situation, we can help.

WABA offers adult Learn to Ride classes throughout the year. We have certified instructors who will spend time with each student getting them comfortable on a bicycle and learning to ride in under 3 hours. And you are never to old to learn. Last season, we had a 76 year old woman learn to ride so you have no excuse! You can learn more about our Adult Learn to Ride Classes here.

#2 – “I’m scared of being hit by cars.”

I must admit, I always find this answer funny. These are drivers who are afraid to bike because of…drivers? But I also get it because I was in their shoes. After I learned to ride, I always rode on trails. I was terrified of being hit by a car, or more specifically, by a taxi cab.

I overcame that by taking a City Cycling class with WABA! I learned to not ride in the gutter, how to signal for turns and how to confidently take the lane when biking to make sure I’m seen by cars. Amazingly, these and other simple steps really do make you feel so much more confident on the road. You can learn how to ride confidently in the city too by taking our City Cycling class.

#3 – “I live too far away.”

This is a legitimate reason to not bike the entire way to work. However, you may be able to do multi-modal riding. For example, maybe you can take the Metro part of the way and take bikeshare the rest of the way. Or perhaps you bike rather than drive to the store or to run errands near where you live. Thinking of biking in these small ways can help build your confidence and get you biking more often.

#4 – “I’m out of shape.”

Biking is great exercise and helps to get you in shape. I often suggest just biking a mile or around the block. Or join one of our community rides so you can be social and ride with others. Often people don’t even realize they have biked 10 miles when they bike in a social ride. And it’s a great way to build up your endurance!

And #5? – “Hills!”

Hills are no joke. I grew up in Anacostia and it is HILLY. It can definitely prevent people from wanting to ride. But there are a couple of ways to conquer hills. One way is to bike down the hill and take Metro or the bus up the hilly part. The other way is to buy or rent an e-bike. These incredible bikes make hills seem flat by giving you the boost you need to roll up any hill with ease.

Now you know the most common objections I hear about why people aren’t biking. But we all have to start somewhere – consider this a step in the bike direction!

She won a free bike, will you?

You may not know Celeste, but she was a WABA bike education student last year. By attending a bicycle education class in 2017, Celeste was automatically entered to win the sweet bicycle you see above. Celeste signed up for a WABA Learn to Ride class because the time was finally right. She had lived long enough without being able to ride a bike. She was proud of her great life surrounded by friends, working as a professor and staying active within her community. What she didn’t have was the experience of enjoying life on two wheels.

This is where WABA came in.

In the span of three hours, Celeste was introduced to wearing a helmet properly, how to make sure her bike was properly fitted for her, and finally all about how to balance. After meticulous practice pushing with her feet, Flintstones-style, Celeste was ready for pedals. After a few wobbles and shakes (from nerves and still being new at the whole balance thing), Celeste was pedaling a bicycle all by herself for the first time in her life! She walked away from the class with a new found skill and the feeling of success. Little did she know that she was also walking away with a brand new bicycle.

Due to the generous support of a WABA member, the Adult Education team received a bicycle to raffle off during the Fall 2017 season. Anyone that learned to ride for the first time in a learn to ride class, brushed up on their riding skills in a city cycling class; or discovered the greater bicycling community in a community ride was eligible to win the bike.

By participating in a class you’re guaranteed to win (just not guaranteed to win a bike). You will win the feeling of being connected to an awesome community–the incredible local biking community! You will win new skills and tricks to find more joy and comfort while riding a bicycle. And, maybe, just maybe, you could win a bike.

So, what’s stopping you? Come and win in a class this spring. Check this space in the next couple of weeks to view the schedule. Or, enter your email address here and be notified when the schedule goes live.

Happy riding!

“I could never do that!”

Photo: Ryan Lovin

The best thing about my job is that I get to ride a bicycle, obviously.

But the next best thing about my job is that I get to talk with people about bicycling. I get to share my own experience incorporating bicycling into my life, and I get to talk about the experiences of the hundreds of people that I teach and work with throughout the year.

People ask me a lot of questions.

Here is the second most frequent question* I hear:

“Drivers are crazy! Aren’t you scared riding your bike in traffic?”

My answer to this question is simple: yes, sometimes. Most of the time I’m on my bike, I am enjoying myself, but sometimes I encounter situations that terrify me.

In both cases—when I’m just cruising along, and when something unexpected and dangerous happens—I know that I can rely on my training and experience to get me through. And that’s one of the most rewarding aspects about what I get do do at WABA: our Everyday Biking classes and rides can give you the same training and experience that helps me feel safe, and we can even make it fun!

Here are some of things we can help you do to feel confident on your bike:

Plan a route that’s comfortable, or even fun

Why choose roads that make you uncomfortable? One of the best things about biking is that there’s almost always a better way to go. Choose trails over roads, and choose roads with bike lanes over roads without. Choose shady roads in summer and sunny roads in winter. Choose roads that go by your favorite coffee shop, scenic views, or your grocery store. Choose flat roads when you’re tired and hilly roads when you’re looking for a challenge or some exercise.

Be predictable, be alert, and be lawful while riding (#BEaPAL)

I’m a rolling billboard for Bike Arlington’s PAL Ambassador program. Predictable riding helps me keep my space on the road I’m sharing with drivers and pedestrians. Staying alert means I’m constantly scanning my surroundings for the next hazard and trying to anticipate what’s coming. It also means riding at a slow enough speed where you can assess what’s happening around you. Riding in a lawful way means stopping at stop signs and red lights, yielding to pedestrians crossing the street, and riding in the same direction as traffic. Following the law helps bicyclists stay visible and prevents some driver mistakes.

Center yourself (in shared travel lanes)

One of the biggest mental shifts I had to make when I first started riding on streets was minding where in the lane I was riding. The best place for me to be is in the middle of lane By doing that, I stay out of the door zone and out of all of the sand, gravel, branches, animals (gross but true) and trash that collect on the right-hand side of the lane. Riding in the middle of the lane also generally affords me at least three feet of space when drivers pass me. If the driver is going to have to cross the double-yellow line to pass, then they usually move even farther over to give me more space. Finally, riding in the middle of the lane provides me with the time and space I need to react to something happening in front of me.

Get familiar with your bike

Get to know how your bike looks, sounds, and feels when it’s working right, so that you’ll know when something seems off. Before I set out, I check my bike using the ABC Quick Check method: check that your tires have air, your brakes are working and not too worn down, and that your chain is clean, oiled, and moving smoothly. I also double check to make sure my phone and lights are charged, just in case. Finally, I inspect my helmet and grab my lock.

So there you have it, the easy steps I take to feel more confident riding in traffic! Choosing a great route, riding as a PAL, maintaining my space on the road and making sure my bike is in working order help make my commute the best part of my day.

But sometimes I’ll find myself in a situation I don’t like. When this happens, I take a deep breath, stay calm and rely on my skills and experience to manage through. If you’d like to refine some of your skills and feel more confident on the road, join me at a City Cycling class or one of our Community Rides. Our instructors will teach and reinforce some of these skills so you can find your biking bliss and ride happier during your commute.


* Stay tuned for my answer to the first most frequent question: “Why don’t bicyclists stop at stop signs?”

Everyday Bicycling Program Year in Review

The Everyday Bicycling program rode with a lot of bicyclists in 2017. Since the weather is supposed to turn colder this time of year the adult education team doesn’t offer many classes. Instead, we take a brief pause to scan behind and discover what worked in 2017, then set our sights on 2018 and beyond. Below are some highlights from the year.

A few hundred new bicyclists

This year our team of instructors led 30 adult Learn to Ride classes across DC, Arlington, and (for the first time!) Prince George’s County, and the City of Falls Church.

  • More than 400 folks attended a class and 80% of them were riding by the end of the morning!
  • That means 320 new riders are enjoying the trails and roads on two-wheels today!

Our season has wrapped up for the year, but if you know someone that still wants to learn how to ride, consider sharing the joy of life on two wheels by setting up a private class—many of WABA’s instructors enjoy teaching one-on-one.

Students learning to ride in Arlington

Riding confidently

More than 200 people (mostly grown ups, but also kids) attended a City Cycling class in 2017. In 3 hours time participants learned some skills and tips to enjoy the great trails and also how to make the commute with traffic less stressful and more fun. In addition to the confidence learned, community building was gained.

  • WABA ran 25 City Cycling classes in Montgomery County, DC, Alexandria and Arlington in Virginia.
  • WABA ran two family biking classes in DC – one discussing the challenges of riding with youth attached to the bike, while the other focused on the joys of riding with youth on their own bike in the city.
  • WABA ran a youth bike rodeo in Montgomery County.
  • WABA trained National Park Service Rangers that work along the Anacostia River Trail.

Want to bring a City Cycling class to your office for your employees? Email us: education@waba.org.

Building community

Navigating the streets in the region on a bicycle can be tricky, which is why WABA offers slow, no-drop community rides.

  • To date, WABA led 220 community members through the neighborhoods discussing ways to avoid the door zone and how to deal with tricky intersections.
  • We shared thousands of fun facts and trivia questions.
  • For the first time, WABA led a Community Ride in Fairfax County.
  • We’ve got one ride left on the calendar for 2017 – come and ride with us!

Bringing biking to work

The Everyday Bicycling team worked off of the bike too.

  • WABA shared the key components to start commuting by bike with more than 300 people in Everyday Biking Seminars at workplaces across the region. The point of this seminar is to encourage people to try a regular trip by bike instead of car.
  • WABA met with and had honest conversations with the supervisors and safety trainers of DC Circulator buses about using the road with pedestrians and bicyclists, through the creation and launch of WABA’s Bicycle Friendly Driver program.

Training the trainers

WABA welcomed 14 new certified bicycling teachers. The League of American Bicyclists certifies cycling instructors across the country, but about once a year, we run a special certification course to help us ensure that we have a varied and exciting team of instructors that are connected to the communities in which we teach. 

Planning for 2018

WABA is excited for all the work the team did in 2017 to make bicycling better for everyone in the region. By taking advantage of the best practices of this year and working from some new ideas to improve the program in 2018 – the Everyday Bicycling Program can’t wait for the weather to turn warmer. Hopefully, we’ll see you (or a friend) in a class or on a ride next year!