Best of WABA Events: 2016

Looking back at 2016, the WABA Events Team wanted to share with you our favorite moments from our signature events of the last year:

February 2016: The Bicyclist Choice Awards and Annual Members Meeting

DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo accepts The WABA Vision Zero award.

WABA staff.

The Awards event is our opportunity to be fancy and to recognize and thank those people who really and truly make a positive difference for bicycling in the region. It was really special this year to have the Director of the District Department of Transportation in attendance to accept an award we gave him. -Michelle

March 2016: The Congressional Ride 

Photo Credit: The League of American Bicyclists

The Congressional Ride is a really unique ride event that WABA organizes as part of the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit each year. It’s special because we get to meet bike advocates and bicyclists from all over the country, talk to them about the work WABA is doing in our Nation’s Capital and around the region, and show off some of DC’s best bicycle infastrucutre. Everyone is always so impressed with the bike lanes and protected infrastructure, and they love hearing about our programs, events, and the impact we have on the region. -Michelle

The Vasa Ride

Vasa Ride 2016

The weather machine cooperated and the cloudy skies held their rain for this year’s Vasa Ride. Flowers were in bloom. The breeze was almost warm. The highlight is always the grumbling and tight muscles in the morning as sleepy-eyed riders stretch out their riding legs for the first time all winter, and then the joy, smiles, hugs, and happy conversations had over warm blueberry soup at the end of the ride inside the absolutely gorgeous House of Sweden. -Michelle 

May 2016: Bike to Work Day

Photo Credit: John Pickett

What’s not to love about Bike to Work Day? The ENTIRE WABA staff and board unite to go spread the bike love. This year, WABA had a presence at a record number of pit stops for us: 26 different pit stops! We mobilized 31 WABA captains and 112 volunteers to get out there super early on a Friday morning and talk to people about better bicycling. So much sunshine. So much coffee. So many bagels. And so many bicycle-induced smiles and high fives. -Michelle

Tour de Fat

DC celebrity spotting! Local bicycle advice columnist Gear Prudence for City Paper came out to support WABA.

Just look at those lines!

I was a bit terrified when Tour de Fat rolled around this year because there was rain in the forecast — LOTS of rain. But, to my delight, people still came out to celebrate and drink beer and ride bikes in the rain! I couldn’t believe it and I am SO grateful that the #bikedc community is so supportive of the work we do. -Michelle 

June 2016: Bike to Work AGAIN Day

Bike to Work Again Day + beer!

We loved Bike to Work Day so much this year that we decided to celebrate it again a month later! With three “pit stops” at local bars and restaurants in Arlington, Bethesda, and the District, we hung out with bike commuters on their way home and talked about our favorite subject: bikes! -Nick

July 2016: Bike to the Pools Ride

Cooling off at a splash park right off the Marvin Gaye Trail!

The Washington area gets pretty hot in July, so we decided that we’d combine two things we all love to do: biking and swimming! (And a bit of splashing.) We rode our bikes from the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens along the Marvin Gaye Trail, stopped at a splash park, hopped on our bikes again, and finished the ride at the Deanwood Pool. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon! -Nick

August 2016: Open Streets Community Organizing

Petworth residents, ANC commissioners, and community leaders came together to help guide us in planning a community wide event in their neighborhood that will have a positive lasting impact, promote community building, and bring neighbors together.

This entire year we have been working to bring an open street event to DC, where a roadway is temporary closed to vehicles so it can be opened up to the people to walk, bike, dance, and play in the middle of the street. We are lucky to have the support of the DC Office of Planning in this effort and received a substantial grant for this project from the agency. It’s a big undertaking, and we still have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited for the connections and relationships we’ve begun to build with Petworth and city officials, and can’t wait to continue work in 2017 to bring DC its first open streets program. -Michelle

September 2016: The 50 States & 13 Colonies Ride

Photo credit: Chuck Cage

Years of tinkering with WABA’s weather machine to let up on the rain finally paid off, but someone forgot to adjust the temperature… it was HOT! Despite the heat, we welcomed our biggest crowd yet—700 registrants—to a fun and challenging ride throughout DC’s 8 Wards. This year, we hosted riders from California, Alabama, Texas, Ohio, and many other far-flung places! -Nick

October 2016: WABA in the Wild Overnight C&O Tour

In a matter of days, the 11 strangers who came together for WABA in the Wild became fast friends.

Everyone celebrated in the warm autumn sunshine at mile marker 0 in Georgetown at the end of the ride.

WABA in the Wild was the highlight of my year for sure. It was a feat of an event to pull off: the first time WABA has ever done an original peer-to-peer fundraising event, the first time we’ve ever done a multi-day bike tour, the first time we’ve ever organized a group camping trip. But we pulled it off and it was a tremendous success. We bicycled through rain and mud with smile on our faces. We saw beauty in the trees along the canal and the shimmering sunshine on the Potomac. There was whiskey, laughter, games, camaraderie, and so. many. snacks. And we can’t wait to do it again with more people in 2017! -Michelle

November 2016: The Cider Ride

Photo credit: Mr.TinDC

This year’s Cider Ride was the biggest ever, with over 700 people riding their bikes along the beautiful trails and farm roads of Prince George’s county, the Patuxent Research Refuge, and the new (and old) sections of the Anacostia River Trail. Riders also helped to advance our campaign to finish the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail in Hyattsville — we collected over 300 signatures at an advocacy pit stop along the course! -Nick

December 2016: The Holiday Party

Many, many bikes outside Boundary Stone for the WABA Holiday Party. Photo credit: Jeremiah Lowery

One of our ‘accomplishments scrapboards’ from the party

We hosted our year-end Holiday Party at Boundary Stone and had an awesome time chatting with members about all the things we accomplished together in 2016 and what we’re looking forward to working on in 2017. It was great to hang out with so many of our members and enjoy some holiday cheer! -Nick

We hope you enjoyed being part of the bike community as much as we did this year. Happy New Year and here’s to more awesome WABA events — and a few awesome event surprises — in 2017!


WABA Events Team

The 2013 Vasa Ride, In Photos


Riders checking in for Vasa 2013. Photo by district photo bomb on Flickr.

The weather never made good on its threat of rain last Sunday, but  riders of the 2013 Vasa still braved cool temperatures and gray skies to come out for WABA’s sold-out first ride of the year.

Our Vasa ride is modeled on the Swedish Vasaloppet, the longest, oldest, and largest cross-country ski race in the world that’s held on the first Sunday of March; that Vasaloppet was first held in 1922 and was modeled on a route taken by King Gustav I in 1520. WABA’s own Vasa lets participants choose from 15-, 30-, and 60-mile routes that run through the District and Montgomery County.

Kind Snacks sponsored the event, and brand representatives were on hand to offer riders granola and bars. Bike ambassadors greeted riders at a surprise pit stop halfway through the route at Potomac Villages. And the House of Sweden provided a beautiful space for the ritualistic post-ride consumption of blueberry soup—or blåbärssoppa. Many thanks to Kind and House of Sweden for their support of our event, and to our crew of ride marshals for keeping riders safe.

2013 Vasa Ride

We kept up with Vasa riders throughout the day on social media. Click here to see tweets and photos sent during the ride. For more recaps, check out the accounts of some local bike bloggers. PortajohnChasing Mailboxes, and A Few Spokes Shy of a Wheel all attended, and had very kind things to say about the blåbärssoppa. Several attendees also took some great photos.

Were you unable to participate in Vasa 2013? We hope to see you next year! Remember, WABA members get early access to registration for our events, so join today if you haven’t already. Your membership supports great events and great bike advocacy.

See photos from the Vasa Ride below the jump. More photos are on Flickr. Did you take any photos during the ride? Add them to our Flickr group!

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Women & Bicycles Launches—Finally!

Women & Bicycles Launch-0140

Following a successful match-grant fundraiser and a generous grant from the League of American Bicyclists, WABA’s Women & Bicycles program officially launched on Sun., March 3 at Busboys & Poets. The party followed a group ride hosted by Black Women Bike and preceded the League’s Women’s Cycling Forum, a kickoff to its yearly National Bike Summit.

Over 150 people filled Busboys’ Langston Room: Women who ride bikes in the D.C. area had the chance to hang out with attendees of the National Bike Summit and talk about what other communities are doing to get more ladies on bikes.

WABA’s Women & Bicycles program has been in the making for several years. A December 2011 Women’s Forum hosted by WABA clarified a number of issues that have kept some area women from cycling as much as they might like to; from there, Women & Bicycles began to take shape.

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThe program will run from April to October and is based on the involvement of 10 “Roll Models.” Those role models, who we’ll introduce here soon, have been asked to pull from their personal networks women who are hesitant to bike in D.C. and its suburbs. Through a series of private small-group events and public rides and workshops, the Roll Models and Women & Bicycles coordinator Nelle Pierson will teach the basic skills needed for cycling from point A to point B.

At Sunday’s kickoff, Portland, Ore.-based author and activist Elly Blue spoke of the importance of community and why it matters. Blue noted that when she first attended the National Bike Summit, its attendees were largely male; the increasing inclusion and presence of women at local and national levels indicates that their interests as cyclists are being taken seriously. Veronica Davis, of Black Women Bike, reiterated the necessity of inclusivity in bike advocacy.

We can’t wait to share with you the progression of Women & Bicycles. Its first event is on March 30. For more information, visit the Women & Bicycles page on our website and watch our blog for updates on how you can get involved. If you’d like to interact with other D.C.-area women who bike for fun and transportation, check out the Women & Bicycles Facebook page.

See photos of the ride and the party below the jump (there’s more on Flickr!). Did you take any photos of either event? Add them to our Flickr pool!

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