Women & Bicycles: Bicycles & Book Chat

As a part of WABA’s Women and Bicycles program, this event is only open to anyone who identifies as women/trans/femme. Not you? Lots of other WABA events at waba.org/fun. Know someone who should come? Please share this event with them! 

Books and bikes! Join folks from Women & Bicycles for a ride down Sligo Creek Trail to the Hyattsville location of Vigilante. We’ll explore the trail and then enjoy sitting inside and talking about Ride the Revolution (nonfiction) edited by Suze Clemitson.

Additional Details:

We’re riding for about 45 minutes from Silver Spring to Hyattsville. This is designed as a one-way ride but we will have maps and Metro suggestions for getting you back to wherever you wish to go! 

Please bring a bike lock for Vigilante and money is you wish to purchase coffee or food. Helmets are required by our insurance for all WABA rides. (Don’t have one? Email us for a loaner.) Please bring water and enough layers to keep you warm for the ride. 

Getting there: Silver Spring Metro is a Metro stop! It is also close to the Metropolitan Branch Trail – exact routing is dependent on Purple Line construction. Want to join us directly at Vigilante? We’ll be rolling in about 11am!

Do you have knowledge, including lived experience, that would be valuable to include in organizing or hosting this event? Please email me at ursula.sandstrom@waba.org – I would love to have a few folks helping to host this!  

This event is taking place on unceded Nachotchtank land. (Learn more here).

Want to take Capital Bikeshare? We are happy to reimburse your fees.

Having trouble registering? Try this link.

Adult Learn to Ride and Scooter Training

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Our Learn to Ride class is fun, intuitive, and very successful! This class is for adults who have never ridden a bike before or have tried to learn and have not been successful. Our League certified instructors take students through a progressive curriculum, with the goal of riding with two pedals by the end of the session.

Our approach is fun and intuitive, but it also requires hard work. You will be riding for nearly three hours. We take breaks every hour. This class is for you if:

  • You are at least 18 years old;
  • You have never tried to learn how to ride a bike; or
  • You have tried to learn and have not been successful.

A rental bike and helmet for the day are included with your registration. Be sure to provide your height in feet and inches so that we can provide you with a bicycle that fits you.

This event will also include a FREE scooter training thanks to the generous support of Lime and Bird. Test drive a scooter and learn how to use them safely, on street, on trails, wherever!

Please wear comfortable clothes, and bring the following: water, snacks, and weather-appropriate outerwear.

Only students who have reserved space in the class may attend. Unfortunately, walk-up students cannot be accommodated.

Register

Class Cost

This class is offered thanks to the generous support of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

All registrations include a bicycle and helmet rental:

$10 Montgomery County Subsidized Registration Fee: For Montgomery County residents only.

$25 Montgomery County Subsidized + Join WABA: For Montgomery County residents only. Includes class registration for one person ($85 value) and a one-year WABA Membership ($35 value). Learn more about the benefits of joining WABA here.

$85 Registration Fee: Includes class registration for one person and a helmet and bike rental.

$100 Registration Fee + Join WABA:  Includes class registration for one person ($85 value) and a one-year WABA Membership ($35 value). Learn more about the benefits of joining WABA here.

Please register and pay by credit card above. To pay by cash or check, please call (202) 518-0524 x221. The registration fee for this class is non-refundable.

Event Location

Montgomery College, Rockville

Meet at the parking lot on the corner of Manakee St and Hungerford Dr

Metro
The closest public transportation stop to the class location is the Manakee Street bus stop, servicing buses 46, 55, Q6 and Q2*. The Rockville Metro Station is a 20 minute walk (0.9 mi) along Hungerford Drive.

Metrobus- The first stop of the Q2 bus route is Silver Spring Station & Bus Bay 218 and the last stop is Montgomery Community College & W Campus Dr. Q2 (Direction: Montgomery College – Rockville) is operational during weekdays

The Cider Ride

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Crisp autumn air, picture-perfect foliage, and a day spent on the Prince George’s County trails. Plus: donuts. What more could you want out of a fall day?

Three route choices mean you can ride for 10, 30, or 55 miles, enjoying fall-themed treats at pit stops along the way. Then, join us in Brookland for a post-ride celebration.

Registration opens Wednesday, September 9th!

Want to make sure you don’t miss early bird pricing for the Cider Ride? Sign up to get a reminder as soon as registration opens!

Pricing

 Early BirdRegularLast Minute
DateSept 9 – 27Sept 28 –
Oct 25
Oct 26 –
Nov 6
Member Registration$40$50$55
Non-Member Registration$65$75$80
Youth (13 – 17)$30$30$30
Kids (12 and under)FreeFreeFree

Route Maps:

Curious about where you’ll be riding? Check out last year’s Cider Ride Routes routes! 

The 2020 ride routes will be posted the week of the event.

Details

As one of WABA’s Signature Rides, the Cider Ride helps further WABA’s mission and impact. The ride embodies the spirit of community and inclusion that is core to WABA’s mission of growing bicycling throughout the region. And, your registration fees support WABA’s advocacy, education, and outreach work that makes bicycling more safe, fun, and accessible around the region!

Read our FAQs below for more details!

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I registered for the Cider Ride?

All registrants receive a confirmation email after they complete registration online. If you personally registered but have not received a confirmation, please check your spam folder. Still not there? Email events@waba.org to confirm your registration.

Do I have to be a WABA member to register for the ride?

Nope! If you’re not a member, you can register for the ride at our non-member rate. Plus, non-member registration comes with an annual membership— welcome to the WABA community! 

What is your refund/transfer policy?

Because the Cider Ride is a fundraiser, there will be no refunds, exchanges or transfers for this event.  All proceeds from this event benefit WABA and the work that we do to make bicycling safer and more fun in the region. Don’t know much about our work? Read about our advocacy, education, and outreach work and keep up to date on our latest projects on our blog.

Does the refund/transfer policy change if it is raining on the day of the ride?

No. The Cider Ride will take place rain or shine. There will be no refunds, exchanges or transfers for this event, even in the event of inclement weather. 

Can I apply for a scholarship for this ride?

WABA provides free rides to community members who could otherwise not participate through our Free Ride Fund.This is one way that WABA is making sure that bicycling in the DC region is accessible to everyone. If you  would like to participate in this ride but find that the cost of registration is a barrier, contact Anna McCormally at events@waba.org for a scholarship code. 

Are children allowed on this ride?

Absolutely! Anyone aged 10 and under can ride for free as long as they are accompanied by an adult. The accompanying adult must register themselves and the child(ren), be present at check-in with their entire group, and check-in the youth riding with them. Children eleven and older must be registered independently. 

Do I have to wear a helmet?

Yes.  WABA’s insurance requires that everyone riding a bicycle in a WABA ride wears a helmet while riding.. This is standard for organized rides across the country. Learn how to properly fit your helmet here. (We can help at check-in, too.)

Is this ride supported? 

No.  The Cider Ride  is an unsupported ride. There is NOT a Support and Gear vehicle on the route. In the case of an emergency on the ride, call 911.

Where can I find information about the routes?

We will post the routes to this webpage as soon as they are finalized. Riders will receive access to online files of the route the week leading up to the event, and a paper cue sheet at check-in.

Is the route marked with signs or arrows?

No, but we do our best to make the route directions clear and comprehensive. If you get lost, you can check the map on your phone, or hang out for a few minutes and see if you can connect with a rider or marshal who is familiar with the area.

Do I have to stop at stop signs?

Yes. We can’t control what you do on the roads, but, through participating in a WABA ride, you are setting an example for other road users. We ask you to ride safely, respectfully, and lawfully to maximize safety for all the ride participants and other trail and road users. Stop at all red lights and stop signs. Always yield to pedestrians. Use hand signals when turning. Communicate verbally with other riders. Do not ride more than two abreast, and do not take up more than one lane of travel. When riding on sidewalks, trails, or paths, be cautious when passing other users and slow down.

How do I ride in the city?

To get familiar with riding in the city, take a WABA City Cycling class (free for WABA members)! You can also find video tutorials on city cycling on the League of American Bicyclists’ website.

I’m not sure my bike is ready for this.

We’ll have bike mechanics at check-in who can help you get air in your tires and make any necessary adjustments. Or, you can bring your bike to a participating shop and use your WABA coupon for a tune-up! Email membership@waba.org for details.

Will you feed me?

Riders receive snacks and water at pit stops. If you want additional snacks or meals, please plan to pack or buy them along the route. Food and drink options at local businesses along the route will be plentiful—feel free to make your own pit stops! Please note: we do not provide bottled water. You must bring your own water bottles. Restrooms are available at each pit stop.

Can I change which route I signed up for?

Yes! Just show up at the correct start time for the route you’d like to ride. You can decide to ride any of our available routes!

Will there be marshals?

There will be ride marshals. They will be wearing vests with numbers on them. Marshals are WABA volunteers that are the first line of response in incidents that involve ride participants and be an avenue of communication between ride participants and WABA staff members. The numbers on their vests allow you to identify them: if you see a great marshal, be sure to tell us in the post-ride survey!

Should I bring a lock?

Yes. You may want to stop for more food along the ride, or spend time lounging, so you should plan to lock your bike up. (You can leave your lock with us when you check in, too, if you don’t want to ride with it, and have it at the post-ride celebration.) Don’t know the best ways to lock up? Check out this handy guide on preventing bicycle theft.

Do you need accommodations to make this ride accessible to you? Contact Anna McCormally at events@waba.org.

Action Alert: Authorize HAWK Signals in Maryland

A ghost bike memorializes Frank Towers at the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and the Matthew Henson Trail.

In the span of just six months, two bicyclists were hit and killed attempting to cross five lanes of fast-moving traffic on Veirs Mill Rd at the Matthew Henson Trail in Montgomery County. Following the death of Frank Towers, state highway engineers designed and installed a set of flashing lights to warn drivers to slow down when a bicyclist or pedestrian wanted to cross. But warning lights do not require a driver to stop, so most don’t. The driver who hit and killed Oscar Osario six months later did not stop either. In order to install actual stop lights at intersections like this, we need to make a technical change to Maryland law.

Take Action

HAWK signals (also called pedestrian hybrid beacons) use a red light to require drivers to stop, and are used in states states all over the country, including Virginia and DC. Studies show that HAWKs reduce pedestrian crashes by 69% and total crashes by 29% compared to unsignalized, painted crosswalks. They make it significantly safer to cross busy streets. HAWK signals save lives, but are not approved for use in Maryland. A bill before the Maryland General Assembly would change that.

House Bill 578 would explicitly allow the use of HAWK signals in Maryland. The bill has passed the House of Delegates and will be taken up by the Senate soon. Please ask your Senator to support this much-needed legislation to make biking and walking safer and more appealing in Maryland.

Take Action

Still not sure what a HAWK signal is? Watch this quick video for a rundown of how they work.

Summer Advocacy Roundup

Exploring a missing trail connection along Route 1 in Hyattsville

Exploring a missing trail connection along Route 1 in Hyattsville

 

Low-Stress Bike Network

Prince George’s County Trails Master Plan

Brief Explanation: The county’s Trails Master Plan (still in draft form), identifies how Prince George’s County intends to build and manage nearly 400 miles of new trails. The plan takes the mileage of primary trails (trails that are mostly paved, with high-quality design features, a park-like experience, and used for both recreation and transportation) from 65 to 293 miles, and secondary trails (connectors, along roads, or within neighborhoods) from 110 to nearly 400 miles.

Current Status: The public comment period for the draft plan has closed, but we will provide further opportunities for engagement as the process moves forward.

Campaign Launch— Finish the Trolley Trail

Brief Explanation: A half mile separates the Rhode Island Trolley Trail in Hyattsville from the rest of the Anacostia Tributary Trail network. It’s a half mile that stands in the way of a regional trail system connecting Beltsville and Bladensburg, College Park and Capitol Hill, Silver Spring and Southeast Washington. It’s a half mile that isolates communities and makes getting around by bike or foot more difficult and dangerous. It’s a half mile blocking economic development and opportunity.

Current Status: The Maryland-National Capital Parks Planning Commission has a design for a trail connection that would bridge this gap. Right now, it’s just that—a plan on paper, waiting in a desk drawer for someone to take it out and make it real. A united community demanding action can make this happen.

Action to Take: The Prince George’s Acton Committee meets the second Tuesday of the month at the Hyattsville Municipal Building (4310 Gallatin St. Hyattsville) at 7:30 pm. Click here for more information and to sign the petition.

Beach Drive Rehabilitation

Brief Explanation: National Park Service (NPS) recently announced that construction on the much-anticipated rehabilitation of Beach Drive and the adjacent trail will begin after Labor Day of this year. The construction project will happen in four stages, beginning in the south and working north. While Beach Drive will be closed to car traffic in both directions for the segment under construction, bicyclists and pedestrians will still be able to travel through the corridor. While the road is being reconstructed, the trail will remain open, and when the road is completed but not yet open to car traffic, and the trail is being reconstructed, then bicyclists and pedestrians will have access to the road.

Current Status:  The funding is allocated, the engineering designs are complete, and the contract has been awarded. You can see a project map on our April 2015 update, and find more information on the NPS project website.

Action to Take: National Park Service is hosting a public information meeting on August 18 at the Petworth Neighborhood Library at 6:30 pm. Join us and learn more about this exciting project!

Monroe Street Bridge and MBT

Brief Explanation: The Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) will eventually connect Union Station to Silver Spring Maryland. For years, advocates were told that the time for routing the trail under the Monroe Street Bridge through a tunnel behind the west abutment would come when the bridge was ready to be rehabilitated.

Current Status: The time for bridge rehabilitation has come. But the tunnel for the trail is off the table.  The scope of the bridge rehabilitation does include the installation of a traffic signal at 8th and Monroe Streets. In its current condition, this intersection is unsafe for trail users because of low visibility for cars coming eastbound over the bridge and lack of crosswalk alignment with the trail.

Action to Take: We are still waiting for the intersection designs, but we want to hear from you. What would it take for you to feel completely safe at the intersection of 8th and Monroe Streets NE? What have you seen work in other places? Take this quick survey and share your ideas with us.

New York Avenue Trail

Brief Explanation: The District’s 2005 Bicycle Master Plan includes plans for a trail along New York Avenue that would connect NoMa to the National Arboretum, serving all the neighborhoods in between. New development along the corridor, specifically in NoMa and Ivy City, is renewing interest in the trail concept.

Current Status: WABA will work closely with DDOT, Rails To Trails Conservancy, and other stakeholders to move the trail development process forward. But there’s a significant possibility that this could get complicated. Virginia Railway Express (VRE), a commuter rail service linking DC and Northern Virginia, has plans to relocate its railcar storage in light of the expansion of Union Station. Their chosen location is from 4th Street NE to 16th Street NE- right below New York Avenue, right where the concept plan routes the trail.

Action to Take: Scroll to the bottom of this blog post to sign up for updates.

Updates to Trail Rules in Maryland

Brief Explanation: The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is updating its Park Rules and Regulations. Good changes have been proposed, including when trails close, speed limits for bicycles on trails, who has to yield the right of way at trail crossings, and whether e-assist bikes are allowed. You can read the whole discussion draft, and a set of policy alternatives, on the M-NCPPC website.

Current Status: WABA supporters submitted a strong showing of public comments on the proposed rules during the comment period.  Additional public meetings will likely be scheduled in the fall.

Action to Take: Click here to send an email to M-NCPPC to make sure that trails stay open when people need them, that parents can haul their kids to school on them, and that no one gets ticketed for riding their bicycle at a reasonable speed.

Veirs Mill + Matthew Henson Trail Crossing— Still Not Safe.

Brief Explanation: On Sunday July 17th, Oscar Mauricio Gutierrez Osorio, 31 of Silver Spring, was killed crossing Viers Mill Road in Silver Spring where the Matthew Henson Trail crosses a high speed Maryland State Highway. The exact details of the deadly crash involving Mr. Osorio are not public, but the trail crossing is a known safety hazard. This is the same location where Frank Towers, 19 was killed in December 2016,  just days after receiving a new bike for Christmas.

Current Status: WABA reached out to local and state elected representatives, and transportation officials requesting action, as we did after Frank Tower’s death. On Thursday, July 21st, the entire Montgomery County Council sent a letter to Maryland Governor Hogan, Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn and Maryland State Highway Administrator Greg Johnson requesting immediate prioritization of trail crossing improvements. The letter calls out the current dangerous conditions and the need for immediate action. On July 29th, the delegation from Maryland’s 19th District sent a letter to Maryland State Highway Administrator Greg Johnson requesting immediate corrective action at the Matthew Henson Trail crossing of Veirs Mill Road.

Action to Take: Maryland residents: write or call Governor Hogan, Transportation Secretary Rahn, and MD State Highway Administrator Johnson, as well as your state delegates and county representatives. Tell them that the status quo is not working and demand effective solutions.

Bike Routes for Commuting Around Red Line Safetrack Closures

Brief Explanation: WABA and Montgomery County Department Of Transportation hosted two events to help new commuters learn safe routes to avoid red line disruptions.

Current Status: Resources for biking around upcoming safetrack surges are here.

Action to take: Avoid hassle and delays by biking!

Crosstown Study

Brief Explanation: Getting from Columbia Heights to Brookland is a frustrating experience on a bike. It’s not a whole lot better on a bus, and really not great in a car either. DDOT is conducting a study aimed at improving travel through this corridor for all modes.

Current Status: At present DDOT has two concepts for this project. You can read more about them here.

Action to Take: The comment period for the current concept plans has closed, but another community meeting will be scheduled in September. Project updates and timelines will be posted here.

Street Calming and Bike Lanes for Maryland Ave NE

Brief Explanation: More than six years ago, the D.C. Council gave DDOT money to make a long stretch of Maryland Avenue, NE safer for pedestrians and cyclists.  DDOT used that money to establish a new initiative that it called the “Maryland Avenue Pedestrian Safety Project.”  That initiative included implementing a road diet along Maryland Avenue and installing bike lanes, wider medians, and curb bump-outs. Mayor Bowser, DDOT Director Dormsjo, and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen have made Maryland Avenue a priority, and they have been pushing to get the project done. You can read more about the history of the Maryland Avenue Project here.

Current Status: A recent community meeting held to explore DDOT’s 30% design plans for the project turned acrimonious. While meant to be a chance for residents and neighbors to get a detailed look at the design for the street and offer constructive feedback to improve the project, the packed library meeting rooms were instead filled with heated concerns about parking. We’ve seen this movie before.

Action to Take:  The DDOT employees responsible for this project are George Branyan and Ali Shakeri (george.branyan@dc.govali.shakeri@dc.gov). If you live, work, or bike around the project area, please send them an email letting them know you support this project and want to see it move forward.

Bike Laws

Contributory Negligence

Brief Explanation: The D.C. Council voted unanimously to approve the Motor Vehicle Collision Recovery Act of 2015  as part of the consent agenda. This vote is a huge step towards final passage of the bill, and is the result of years of organizing efforts. In spite of roadblocks, delay, and concerted opposition from AAA and the insurance lobby, we’re the closest we’ve ever been to changing the unfair doctrine of contributory negligence for vulnerable road users.

Current Status: The bill has now cleared a major obstacle to passage. The Council will vote on the bill a second time in late September / early October, after which it will require a signature by Mayor Bowser, (who sent a congratulatory tweet to Councilmember Cheh after the successful first vote) and will undergo a 30 day Congressional review.

Action to Take: We aren’t taking anything for granted. We will stay vigilant through the final stages of the process to ensure there are no surprises, and keep you updated along the way.

The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act Passed!

Brief Explanation: On June 28, the D.C. Council voted unanimously for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Amendment Act of 2016 (B21-335). Mayor Bowser signed the bill in late July. The legislation is the culmination of the efforts of the Bicycle Pedestrian Working Group convened by Councilmember Cheh last summer, on which our Executive Director Greg Billing served.  It contains all kinds of good stuff, including open source crash data, bicycle and pedestrian priority areas, and codifying Complete Streets.

Current Status: The Act will become DC law at the end of August after 30 day period of Congressional review.

Advocacy 101 Training—Join us!

Brief Explanation: The training, hosted by WABA’s advocacy team, is for Prince George’s folks interested in making their community more bike-friendly. We’ll explore how decisions are made in the County, dive into some of the fundamental tools and approaches to influencing those decisions, and see how we, as individuals or groups, can push Prince George’s County to be more bike-friendly. (You don’t have to be a Prince George’s county resident to attend, but it will be Prince George’s focused.)

9am-1 pm Saturday August 27th
Hyattsville Municipal Building
4310 Gallatin St. Hyattsville, MD.

Action to Take: Register for the training!

 

Matthew Henson Trail Crossing at Viers Mill Road is Still Deadly

On Sunday July 17th, Oscar Mauricio Gutierrez Osorio, 31 of Silver Spring, was killed crossing Viers Mill Road in Silver Spring where the Matthew Henson Trail crosses a high speed Maryland State Highway, according to the Washington Post. The exact details of the deadly crash involving Mr. Osorio are not public, but the trail crossing is a known safety hazard. This is the same location where Frank Towers, 19 was killed in December 2016,  just days after receiving a new bike for Christmas.

Trail users must cross 7 lanes of traffic where drivers regularly exceed the 45 mph speed limit. For reference, a person walking or biking struck by a driver at 40 mph or greater has an 80 percent chance of dying. At this trail location, there is no traffic light requiring drivers to stop for people walking and biking across the road. Compounding the problem, the trail crosses Viers Mill Road at the bottom of a hill with poor sight lines.

After the death of Frank Towers, the Maryland State Highway Administration “improved” the trail crossing with overhead flashing yellow lights which must be activated by trail users. The crosswalk beg button provides visual and audio cues that the yellow lights are active which was a deficiency of the previous design. This was a flawed approach from the beginning, as yellow lights only require drivers to exercise caution, but not to stop. Any design that requires less than a full stop will continue to cause safety issues. WABA pleaded with engineers to design and constructed a traffic light or HAWK signal which would require drivers to come to a full stop. The request was denied, now with deadly consequences.

Montgomery County is committed to Vision Zero. This is the principle that we must design our streets so that no person (bicyclist, pedestrian or driver) will be killed while using them. This requires that policy makers and traffic engineers be ultimately accountable for design decisions made in our transportation system. People make mistakes when they use our streets, but streets should be designed to be so safe that those mistakes aren’t deadly.

Following Sunday’s crash, WABA reached out to local and state elected representatives, and transportation officials requesting action. On Thursday, July 21st, the entire Montgomery County Council sent a letter to Maryland Governor Hogan, Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn and Maryland State Highway Administrator Greg Johnson requesting immediate prioritization of trail crossing improvements. The letter calls out the current dangerous conditions and the need for immediate action.

Fixing the Matthew Henson Trail crossing at Viers Mill Road is just the beginning. This needs to happen now to prevent future injuries and death at this location. But there are dozens of other trail crossings in the Montgomery and Prince George’s County that need attention too. We need the leadership of the Maryland State Highway Administration to work with localities to protect vulnerable road users by focusing on critical street and trail crossings. This means prioritizing the life and safety of people walking and biking over the convenience of people driving.

No one should die walking or biking across the street.

July 29th, 2016 Update: The delegation from Maryland’s 19th District sent a letter to Maryland State Highway Administrator Greg Johnson requesting immediate corrective action at the Matthew Henson Trail crossing of Veirs Mill Road.  A special thank you Senator Manno (D-19th) for organizing this action on this important community safety issue.