Top Three Reasons to do WABA in the Wild

We’ve run four WABA in the Wild trips since we started to do the trip, back in 2016. Going into number five, we thought it may be a good time to reflect on what makes the trip awesome by talking to some of the people who would know best—the folks that were there!

After you do WABA in the Wild, you suddenly have 20 new bike friends that you spent an amazing weekend with! You can opt into an online group—WABA in the Wild Alumni—where you can keep in touch with them, plan rides or other get-togethers, and more. We asked this group: “Looking back at the experience of your trip, what were the best things about WABA in the Wild?”

Here’s what they said:

1. Getting to know the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath.

The C&O Canal is incredibly scenic.

“The C&O Canal is truly a marvel to ride along. There is so much natural beauty and fascinating engineering to take in every mile.”

WABA in the Wild is a three day, 184.5 mile ride from Cumberland to Georgetown on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath.

Construction of the C&O Canal began in 1828 and was completed in 1850 to transport coal from the Allegheny mountains to port cities. Now, as part of a National Historical Park, the towpath is an incredible chance to take in the transportation history of the early United States, with wildlife and greenery surrounding us on all sides.

2. Meals prepared campside by WABA staff and volunteers.

Can’t beat a good campfire meal!

“Food prepared by the staff—each meal was great.  I especially enjoyed the veggie chili the first night…along with the spaghetti and meatballs! I never knew I could eat so much!”

We know that 184.5 miles calls for calories. So from breakfast when you wake up in camp, to pit stops stocked with lunch and snacks, to dinner cooked campside, WABA will make sure you’re fueled up and ready to go. Who knows—there might even be s’mores by the campfire. 

3. All of it! 

2018 WABA in the Wild riders and staff at mile zero in Georgetown.

“Looking back on the experience…it was all of it that was the best. The people I rode with, the adventure, the WABA staff…I look back on the experience and I think, I did that. And I was able to support the work that WABA does. It really doesn’t get much better than that.” 

WABA in the Wild is a supported ride, which means staff and volunteers will be with you every step of the way. In the weeks leading up to the weekend, we’ll have a meeting and practice ride where you can get up to speed on details of the weekend and meet the other bicycling advocates who will be on WABA in the Wild. We’ll work with you to develop a fundraising plan and strategy so you can meet your $1000 fundraising goal. And we’ll transport you, your bike, and your gear to Cumberland, Maryland; set up pit stops as we pedal our way to Georgetown; and be available to cheer and support you all weekend. All you need to do is enjoy the ride.

Register for WABA in the Wild

WABA in the Wild is made possible by these generous supporters:

Bronze Sponsor:

Newsflash: WABA in the Wild is amazing!

Last week, we finished WABA in the Wild, a peer-to-peer fundraiser and supported bicycle tour of the C&O Canal towpath. Riders cheerfully wheeled through 184.5 muddy, dusty, gravel-y, and sweaty miles, from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, DC over three-and-a-half days. They marked the end of the trip with one rider’s toothy family tradition: a WABA in the Wild “power smile”.

All smiles at mile zero!

Donations are still coming in, but so far 11 riders have raised a whopping $15,197 for WABA. Their efforts are helping to make bicycling better for everyone in the region—we owe them a huge thank you!

Here is one rider’s take on their ride:

“I enjoy riding long distances, so riding the towpath was right up my alley and having WABA with me was the best idea ever. WABA has been educating me for several years on riding safely in the region, so I trusted them to guide me on this ride down the towpath. It was much harder than I imagined, but when I was tired and couldn’t go another step there was a staffer cheering me on that I could do this.

I would do the WABA in Wild ride again just to be out with nature, going through the Paw Paw Tunnel, seeing Great Falls and Harpers Ferry. But being with other like-minded riders and the WABA staff made this a truly memorable experience. I loved every minute of it!”

We’ll let the pictures below tell rest of the story of our trip, but, if you’re interested in joining us for WABA in the Wild, we are running the trip again in October! Put your name on the interest list for early access to registration.

NPS Announces Safety Improvements To Capital Crescent Entrance

Georgetown

Read below for a press release from the National Park Service concerning safety improvements on the Water Street entrance to the Capital Crescent Trail.

C&O Canal National Historical Park News Release
Release Date: June 18, 2013
For Immediate Release
John Noel, Public Information Officer, (301) 491-6422

Visitor Safety Improvements along Capital Crescent Trail

DC – Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) hikers and bicyclists should anticipate construction on June 20th, 2013, as the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park makes improvements to the Water Street entrance following increasing concerns for public and visitor safety.
An increasing number of cars are parking along the trail and landscaped area upstream of the Alexandria Aqueduct, leading to an increasing number of vehicles reported driving on the CCT in search of I-495 Beltway or Dulles Airport.

“In recent months we have become concerned for the safety of Capital Crescent Trail visitors at the end of the trail on Water Street in Georgetown as one serious injury and an increasing number of near-miss accidents between bicyclists and cars have been reported,” confirmed Park Superintendent Kevin Brandt, “Before another serious injury occurs we will take actions to minimize the risk posed to park visitors using the trail for recreation.”

Plans to enhance visitor safety and improve the aesthetics of this historic area include filling in all ruts and depressions in the drive-through arch of the Alexandria Aqueduct to create a smooth and level surface. Installation of a bicycle-friendly gate at the Georgetown side of the aqueduct will prevent vehicles from driving upstream and replace the single bollard located 200 feet upstream that had previously served this purpose but that was knocked over frequently by errant cars. Signage and striping to warn visitors as they approach the gate and direct them towards the 5 ½ feet-wide opening will be installed. Additional signs will be posted that alert visitors to the fact that they are leaving a non-motorized trail and entering a public road.

The grassy landscape that used to exist in this area will be restored upon project completion. Two weeks ago DC Water turned on the odor control scrubbers which will remove the smell emanating from the eight-foot-diameter Dulles Interceptor sewer line that is buried a few feet below the area where cars park upstream of the Alexandria Aqueduct, making this area much more conducive to visitor enjoyment of the Potomac River waterfront.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is interested in your ideas and suggestions for improvements to the Capital Crescent Trail and in particular the Water Street entrance. To submit suggestions or report problems or other maintenance requirements please email John Adams, Safety Officer & Acting Chief of Maintenance, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park at john_adams@nps.gov.

Photo by Flickr user Daquella manera