Go Intermodal this Bike to Work Day

Now that you’ve signed up for Bike to Work Day, it’s time to plan your route! (Click here to sign up if you haven’t already.) For some commuters,a bike ride to work isn’t a pragmatic option. That’s why we recommend  incorporating other forms of transportation into your bike routine. Intermodal bike trips make your work commute a little shorter, your ride home a little faster, or your rainy day a lot less soggy. Plus, it’s good to have backup transportation options. We’re fortunate to have so many transportation choices in our toolkit (and our region), and it’s all about finding the right tools for the right job. Park and ride: Bike the last leg of your trip! Pack your bike in your trunk, drive, and leave your car parked at a nearby Metro station or a friend’s house. Bike car Metro: Thanks to a WABA victory, you can take bikes on Metro during non-rush hours, at no additional charge. Metro’s rush hours are from 7-10 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. I became a folding bicyclist because thanks to another WABA victory, folded bikes are allowed on Metro cars during all hours of service, and don’t need to be stored in a bag. Some things to keep in mind: You must use the station elevators, never the escalators. If the train is full, wait for the next. Always give priority to passengers in wheelchairs. Bikes aren’t allowed at the center doors of a train, so find a spot at the front or rear of the Metro train, where you can hold onto the railing and your bike. If you don’t want to take your bike on the Metro, check to see if your area’s station has bike lockers. Most stations have lockers you can rent for $200 a year. Check out WMATA’s bike page for more information on riding the rails. Bike Metro Buses: Buses are a simple option for multi-modal bike commutes throughout the region. Bring your folding bike inside the bus, or store your non-folding bike on the bus’ front bike rack. The process of loading up your bike on the bus rack can be intimidating at first, but all it takes is some practice. Click here for the bestvideo tutorial on bus bike racks. Bike Bus Trains: For those who regularly use commuter trains like Amtrak, MARC, or VRE, folding bikes are allowed on all trains in lieu of luggage. On Amtrak and VRE, non-folding bikes can be taken on board if the train has walk-on bicycle service (in certain instances there’s a nominal fee). Be sure to check your chosen rail line’s website before planning your trip for details. Bicycle on Train Combining bikes with other forms of transportation certainly isn’t difficult—and it isn’t cheating! It’s a way to fully maximize your time. The choice to make your commute more easy, affordable, and enjoyable is a good choice, and that’s, in part, what biking is about: celebrating good choices.  

US Census: Biking up 60% National, up 255% in Washington, DC

us-census-biking-to-work-2014 Biking to work has increased 60 percent over the last decade according to a press release from the US Census. Locally, Washington, DC has experienced a 310 255 percent increase of people biking to work in the same time frame. The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of bike commuters of any large city on the East Coast. The US Census compiled data from their 2000 Census and annual American Community Survey (2008-2012). Launching today is a new interactive online map Census Explore with data on all commuting information. Data on transportation mode, travel times, telecommuting and other information is available nationwide. The US Census is releasing a report today which is their first in-depth analysis of biking and walking to work. The report titled Modes Less Traveled — Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008-2012 is available for download in PDF. The District of Columbia over the last decade has launched Capital Bikeshare, constructed three protected bikes lanes, painted over 60 miles of bike lanes, installed hundreds of bike parking rack and built new trails. The results are clear that people want to ride their bikes.

Introducing Qualia Coffee, a WABA Business Member

We’ve recently introduced you to our business membership programWe debuted the program in 2012 and are steadily signing up new business members in 2014. As part of the program, we’d like to introduce you to some of our business members. Today, meet Qualia Coffee Qualia Coffee is a full-service coffee shop that also serves as the home of Fresh Off the Roast, a small-batch coffee roasting company dedicated to sourcing recently harvested beans from around the world. They are proud WABA Business Members, for the second year, and are located at 3917 Georgia Avenue, NW in Petworth, and enthusiastically encourage you to bike to their shop (most of their employees do). Qualia strives to provide as much information as possible about where their beans come from and what you can expect them to taste like. Qualia hosts twice-monthly coffee tasting from coffees all over the world.
Photo Courtesy of Qualia Coffee

Photo Courtesy of Qualia Coffee

We are happy to count the Qualia Coffee as one of WABA’s business members. Do you own, work for, or patronize a business that is a good candidate for our business membership? For just $300 per year, you can show your support for a bike-friendly region and WABA’s advocacy. In return you’ll receive:
  • Listing on WABA’s business membership webpage with link to your business’s website
  • Promotion upon joining through our social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and our blog (we have 5,500 Twitter followers  and 6,700 Facebook friends)
  • Use of WABA’s bike-friendly business window cling and/or digital logo
  • Discounted WABA memberships ($10 off) for all employees
  • Support in applying for Bicycle Friendly Business recognition from the League of American Bicyclists

Why NOT to register for Bike To Work Day

1.  I ride my bike to work every day anyway.  It’s just like any other day.

2.  I definitely do NOT need another t-shirt, water bottle, other free goodies OR the possibility of winning a bike.

3.  I am sure the Transportation Departments already know how many people are commuting to work via bikes these days.

4.  I’d much rather ride by myself and go to work the same way I always do.  I know everybody who rides my route.

Okay, yeah, you got us.  We put the wrong list up.  Take all of those things above and switch them to the opposite. WE WANT YOU TO REGISTER FOR BIKE TO WORK DAY! In all seriousness, we do need you to register. Even if you ride every day, even if you don’t want that special BTWD 2014 commemorative t-shirt. We need numbers.  We need to show the growth every year. At some point, maybe we won’t be able to have Bike To Work Day because it will have become so huge that even 79 Pit Stops can’t hold us.  Bike To Work day will be everyday. Biking to work will be such an easy, convenient and safe occurrence that no one will even remember that we ever celebrated Bike To Work Day.  But until we get to that point, we really need your help. So register for Bike To Work Day and help us show strong numbers that convince area decision makers that we need safe trails, and lanes and other infrastructure in order for us to continue growing bicycling in the DC area.


Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 16th: What to Expect

BTWD banner jpg (800x400) Bike to Work Day is the one day 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. You get to be counted as a bicyclist. You get to be part of the tremendous growth in bicycling ridership in our region. The event is organized by MWCOG, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, in partnership with WABA. Check out COG’s Commuter Connections Bike to Work Day website for helpful resources, like finding a buddy to ride with. Bike to Work Day is meant to promote bicycling as a healthy alternative to driving along to work. This year, the event is going to be huge. Last year there were 14,500 registrants. This year 79 pit stops are spread across DC, Maryland and Virginia. The backbone of Bike to Work Day, these pit stops help create a more concrete and visual bicycling community. So here’s what you need to do in the next few weeks before May 16th: 1. Register. Seriously, it’s SO important that you register so you can be counted as a person who bikes in the region. These numbers will help show growth in ridership and will help further and direct WABA’s advocacy in the future. You can register here. (And did we mention, BTWD is a FREE event!) If you need to figure out which pit stop is on your way to work, check out this handy map. 2. Ready that bicycle. If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, there’s still a few weeks left for you to take it out of the garage and dust it off, give your ride some TLC (lube that chain and tighten the brakes), or take your stead to a local bike shop for a quick tune up (WABA members get discounts at many local shops). If you don’t have a bike, borrow one from a friend. Bicyclists are very friendly. 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’re one of those over achiever types 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.
A shot from the Bike to Work Day crows at the Freedom Plaza pit stop. Even in the rain, people had a great time!

You may notice the abundance of bright yellows, greens and oranges. Allow not required as cycling apparel, we’ll let you in on a little hint: Hi-vis is very fashionable right now. Hi-vis is in!

  Have a happy Bike to Work Day!

CCT Closed from Fletcher’s to Water Street due to Combined Sewer Spill

Unfortunately, as many commuters have discovered, the rainfall this week led to combined sewage spill near the Potomac that has closed the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) from Fletcher’s Cove to Water Street. From C&O Canal Historic Park (NPS) Superintendent Kevin Brandt:
As you probably know this week’s storms created a huge sewage spill along the CCT.  As the areas largest organization that uses the trail I thought it might be helpful for you to hear directly from the NPS…. As we get more information from DCWater we will share it.  We apologize  for this situation and hope that DCWater mobilizes quickly to begin the cleanup and make the area safe for visitor use.
  • The break caused an estimated 5 million gallons of Combined Sewage Outflow (combined storm water and raw sewage) to flow over land, across the CCT, and into the Potomac River.
  • We are still working to understand the scope of impacts and damages to park resources and facilities
  • The CCT from Fletchers Cove to Water Street in Georgetown is closed for the foreseeable future while repairs and clean-up are underway
  • Respect the closures as they are in place for public health and safety reasons
  • CCT users are being detoured onto the Canal towpath
  • The NPS is working closely with DDOE, DOH and DC Water to be able to open this popular bicycle trail and crucial and commuter route as soon as it is safe to do so
  • We expect to receive a clean-up plan from DC Water Friday or Saturday
  • The NPS discourages public fishing and river use in the Potomac River south of and including Fletcher’s Cove at least until Monday May 5th at noon.  The NPS further recommends that users who may have contacted contaminated surfaces or the river sanitize equipment, clothing and skin.
  • Untreated sewage may contain many pathogens causing a variety of illnesses ranging from e-coli to hepatitis. If people come into contact with the untreated flow they risk getting sick and bringing these pathogens into their homes.
Thanks, Kevin Brandt   Superintendent
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park
A Quick Primer for Those Who Don’t Generally Pay Attention to Water Infrastructure A combined sewer line is a pipe that carries a combination of sewage from buildings and stormwater runoff from catchbasins to water treatment facilities. When rain falls in a sufficient amount that the pipes can’t handle the volume, those pipes are designed to overflow a mixture of sewage and stormwater into our water bodies, such as the Potomac.  Mechanically, this overflow from the pipes happens when an inflatable dam that holds back the water is deflated to release the water and pressure.  In this case, it appears that the inflatable dam did not deflate, so the mixture was forced to exit elsewhere and it did so through various other openings near the CCT. DC water has provided physical barricades, signage, and contractors indicating the trail’s closure and has a team working to clean the trail and nearby vegetation. Please respect the closure so that the cleanup team can get this work done as quickly as possible, as a spill of this sort raises human and environmental health concerns that must be addressed before the trail can be reopened.  

Celebrate Bike Month: Volunteer with WABA

Happy Bike Month! Did you know WABA is a member supported non-profit organization that advocates for YOU as a bicyclist. Now, we need your help to make this year’s Bike Month spectacular. Can you volunteer to help WABA? Tour de Fat Blitz2014_Tour_de_Fat_8.5_x_11_Web_Poster_-_Washington_DC How you can help:  We need your help to spread the word and tell DC, MD and VA to come to Tour de Fat. The more people we get to the Tour de Fat, the more money we raise to make the region a better place to ride a bike. Stop by our office anytime on May 5th to grab a few posters and fliers to take back to your neck of the woods. PLUS! You can win a Tour de Fat VIP pass! We’ll raffle off two VIP passes to two volunteers who help out. Sign up here. When: May 5th, Stop by anytime between 11am and 7pm Where: WABA Office at 2599 Ontario Rd. NW in Adams Morgan   Volunteer on Bike to Work Day BTWDposter How you can help: Bike to Work Day is the highlight of Bike Month in May. It’s the one day of the year that the entire region celebrates what you love to do: Ride your bicycle! It’s also a very important day for WABA to get out and talk to people about bicycling and introduce our work to a broader audience. Sign up here to volunteer with WABA at a pit stop and help spread the bicycling love. As a bonus: The top three volunteers who sell the most WABA memberships on Bike to Work Day each win a free entry to a WABA ride of their choice! When: May 16th, Before you go to work (pit stops are usually open from about 6:30am-8:30am) Where: A pit stop near you! (Find a map of pit stops here)     Tour de Fat: the most FUN volunteering you will ever have! TDF banner How you can help: Trust us, this is the MOST FUN volunteer experience you will ever have. Volunteer to pour beer, help set up the festival, or lead a bike ride and get two free beers and a snazzy New Belgium t-shirt in return. Tell your friends! Sign up to volunteer now. When: Saturday, May 31st, Various shift times (We also need volunteers on Friday, May 30th) Where: Yards Park, 355 Water St SE in DC, next to the Nationals Baseball Stadium   P.S. Volunteer sign ups for Bikefest on June 13th are also now open!

Happy Bike Month: Do something to celebrate!

Happy Bike Month from WABA staffers.

Happy Bike Month from WABA staff!

Happy National Bike Month to you! May was established as National Bike Month back in 1956. That means our nation has been celebrating bicycling for 58 years this month! Together we have accomplished some major wins for people who bike in the last year so we have a lot to celebrate. WABA’s recent victories and current priorities include:
  • Protected bile lanes on M St NW and First St NE.
  • Expanding Capital Bikeshare to over 200 stations in DC, VA and MD, including Alexandria and Montgomery counties.
  • Securing funding for snow removal on Arlington bike trails.
  • Passage of the 3 Foot Passing Law in VA
  • Passage of the Bicycle Safety Amendment in DC
To read more about these advocacy wins and WABA’s current priorities check out our blog. Bike Month is also a great time to join WABA or get a head start and renew. And if you join or renew and also register for BTWD, we’ll give you $10 off your membership this  month! To celebrate and show YOUR love for bicycling, join us at one of WABA’s many Bike Month happenings in May:
  • May 3: ABCs of Family Biking – Join WABA, DC Safe Routes to School and Kidical Mass DC, 11am-2pm for a free and fun event about biking with kids. We’ll even have a special bike course for the little ones.
  • May 7: Bike to School Day – If you have little ones, or can borrow some for the day, take them on a bike ride to school. WABA will be joining along with some of the day’s bike trains to schools. Our Bike Ambassadors will also have a helmet decorating station at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill in the morning.
  • May 9: Free Coffee on the Met Branch Trail – Join our Trail Rangers for free coffee on your morning commute, 7:30-9am on the MBT at 4th and S St NE.
  • May 10-11: City Cycling – Bike like a pro. The weekend before BTWD, take a City Cycling class with WABA to learn more about riding confidently in traffic.
  • May 12: Bike to Work Diva Happy Hour– If you’re a lady, you should grab a beer with our Women and Bicycles group to prep for BTWD. At the happy hour: you can meet a friend to bike with if it’s your first BTWD, or if you’re a BTWD pro then you can help guide a newbie.
  • May 12: Everyday Bicycling Seminar – Attend our FREE seminar at the MLK Library to learn more about urban biking and how to become a pro at your bike commute.
  • May 16: Bike to Work Day – Join more than 14,000 area cyclists and register today to reserve your free t-shirt.
  • May 31: Tour de Fat – THE best way to end your Bike Month. Come out for a bicycle festival with New Belgium Brewing (so yes, there’s great beer!) where proceeds benefit WABA.
Logo image courtesy of The League of American Bicyclists. For more info on Bike Month go here: http://bikeleague.org/bikemonth

Logo courtesy of The League of American Bicyclists. Check out their site for more info on Bike Month.

Have a very happy Bike Month this May and enjoy the ride!

The ABC’s of Family Biking Returns on May 3rd

ABCsYou are invited to join the DC Safe Routes to School program, Kidical Mass DC, and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association on May 3rd from 11 am-2 pm for the 3rd annual ABC’s of Family Biking. This free, one day event helps you learn everything you need to know about biking with kids. The ABC’s of Family Biking runs from 11:00am until 2:00pm and will offer:
  • Open Forum, 11:00am-1:00pm: A chance to talk, ask questions, and share tips with area parents who bike with children of all ages
  • Bike & Gear Show, 11:00am-2:00pm: See and test out all the bikes and gear from local bike shops designed to help parents bike safely with their children
  • Free Youth Bike Course, 11:00am-12:30pm: WABA’s Youth Challenge Course teaches kids riding skills while having fun! Kids’ bikes & helmets will be available, or bring your own! Parents must sign a waiver in order for kids to participate.
  • Parents & Kids Riding Class, 1:00pm-2:00pm: Parents and kids will learn skills for biking together, either as a family or in a “bike train” group. All participants are encouraged to bring their own bikes & helmets. All participants will be required to sign a waiver.
  • “Swap or Sell” Meet, 11:00am-2:00pm: Bring your gently used family biking equipment to trade or sell.
The event is a great chance for families to practice their bicycling skills in advance of National Bike to School Day which is May, 7, 2014, more details are available here. Event Location: The parking lot behind Capitol Hill Montessori School at Logan, 215 G Street NE The location is easily accessible from the Union Station Metro and Capital Bikeshare stations. Metered parking is available on the street.

Ride Your Bike for Earth Day & Register for Bike to Work Day

photo (15)Happy Earth Day! The tie-in between Earth Day and bicycling is obvious. Biking, as a means of transportation, is better for the air (no emissions), the water (less polluted runoff), and natural resources (no petroleum) than driving.  Today, this seems obvious, but in the 1970’s our predecessors at WABA consistently fought to gain public recognition of the environmental importance of changing our transportation behavior. In 1980, WABA led an Earth Day Bike-In that received significant press coverage and sparked what would eventually evolve into Bike to Work Day–which is still, at its core, an event designed to improve the region’s air quality by getting new and longtime riders to travel by bike more frequently. This year, all of WABA’s programs are working together to push Bike to Work Day registration beyond 17,000 riders and continue to show that biking for transportation is a critical tool to for regional and urban sustainability. Help us continue growing bicycling and growing Bike to Work Day by registering for the event here.