Thank you for coming on this ride.

As 2021 nears its end, we at WABA are reflecting on what the year brought for us. 

We saw incredible victories for safer streets, better bicycling, and a more sustainable, equitable region this year. But the progress we’ve made came alongside challenges and heartbreak.

This year, traffic fatalities increased yet again. We saw the worsening realities of climate change. We navigated the socioeconomic divides the pandemic is deepening. And across our region, historic and ongoing inequities in investment from planners, officials, and advocates means some neighborhoods remain unwalkable, unbikeable, and unwelcoming to people who aren’t in cars.

In the face of these daunting challenges, one thing kept us going: our community. Our members, supporters, and partners inspired all of us at WABA to keep fighting.   

We know progress sometimes feels slow, but it’s steady and it’s powerful— and that’s thanks to the support of those who raise their voices for more bike lanes, more car-free spaces, more bold change that puts people first. 

So here’s to our members and supporters. There’s more work to do—we’re glad you’re along for the ride.

Thank you. Yes, you!

There aren’t many things in this world that are just plain good, but gratitude is one of them—and community is another.

Everyone in this bicycling community supports each other in so many ways, and we here at WABA are grateful for all of you: advocates, riders, volunteers, neighbors, and friends.

Here are a few other things we’re feeling thankful for this year:

  • The organizations on the frontline of this pandemic who are providing essential services and support to people in need— and the essential workers who keep our region running.
  • Bikes, and safe places to ride them: trails, protected bike lanes, and parkways closed to traffic to make more room for people to pedal and scoot and walk and play. 
  • This beautiful region, home of the Anacostans (Nacotchtank) and Piscataway peoples . Today we’re celebrating gratitude and community, but as we do so it’s important to think about the colonialist myth that surrounds this holiday, and the centuries of violence against indigenous peoples that it obscures.  If you haven’t already, will you join us in learning about the history of this land and critiquing the Thanksgiving story? This essay, this interview, and this article are good places to start. 

Since it’s harder to gather in person, your holiday season probably looks different this year. I hope you find a chance to get outside this weekend and ride your bike, scoot your scooter, take a walk, or sit and breathe in some fresh air.  

Thanks again.