Meet Jonathan Kincade, Our New Communications Coordinator

Hi all! My name is Jonathan Kincade and I’m excited to be the new Communications Coordinator here at WABA.

I’m fairly new to the DC area and love its diversity of transit options. I grew up riding a mountain bike around spread-out Georgia neighborhoods and didn’t hop on my first road bike until well into adulthood. That exploration was followed by an intermittent relationship with biking and it had been a few years before I started riding again. Now I ride both to commute and just for fun. Riding a trail on a sunny day, stopping for a picnic at some point, is a fantastic way to spend a Saturday. It brings back the intrepid feelings I experienced as a kid.

As Communications Coordinator I get to link my passion for creativity with my love for doing things outside. I’m happy to be part of a team whose work often involves keeping city biking fun. I’m excited to interact with you and hear your stories too—about biking or anything else! I’m always happy to chat and can be reached at jonathan.kincade@waba.org.

Meet James Brady, Our New 20 X 20 Campaign Organizer

Hi!  My name is James Brady and I’m excited to be taking on the role of 20 X 20 Campaign Organizer with WABA.

My fascination with bicycles started  when, as a twelve year old, I saw the movie Breaking Away in 1979.  Soon after my friends and I had all managed to acquire 10-speeds with which we terrorized the city because there were no protected bike lanes and none of us understood weird concepts like “right of way.” Despite the danger of street riding without a helmet (which, to be fair, no one wore at that time) I survived to move to DC in 1992 where I have lived and worked ever since.  My background is in environmental activism so I’m happy to be able to continue combining bikes, outreach, and action like the time I organized a bicycle blockade to shut down Olympic events in Beijing. Just kidding. I mean, I did do that but that’s not what I’ll be doing here at WABA.

I’m excited to work on the 20 X 20 campaign because it’s an opportunity to support not only street safety but issues of access, opportunity, and equity in DC and the surrounding area.  As the parent of a thirteen year old who regularly bikes all over the city, I’m happy to be a part of ensuring that he and his friends have safe and protected places to ride and are as safety minded as is possible considering that they are a bunch of unsupervised thirteen year olds who believe that they are invincible.  I’m equally happy to be engaged in looking for ways to improve all forms of access in the city for all of our residents whether that means safer streets for drivers and cyclists, better walkability for pedestrians and families, or any of the many other transportation issues that DC needs to address on the regular.Our goal is to have 20 more miles of protected bike lanes in DC by the end of the year so if that seems like a campaign you’re interested in feel free to contact me at James.brady@waba.org.

Meet Anna McCormally, our new Events Coordinator

I remember my first time riding my bike in the city. It was 2013, my first year in DC. I got off the Metro at McPherson Square Metro and rode north on 14th Street to Columbia Heights.  It was a little scary, but I felt powerful and free, alert to my surroundings, present in my body…and completely hooked on bicycles! Since then, whether I’m exploring the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail with a friend, training for a race on Beach Drive, or just enjoying the sun on my morning commute, my bike has gotten me wherever I need to go. 

My first experience with WABA was as a participant in the 2014 50 States Ride. Group rides are a great way to  build community, explore the city, and grow your confidence on a bicycle, and I can’t wait to share the 50 States Rides and WABA’s other signature rides with you in my role as events coordinator. We’ll buckle our helmets, hop in the saddle, and celebrate the work that WABA’s advocates, members, and supporters are doing to make the DC area safe, fun, and accessible to bicyclists.

Want more details about one of WABA’s signature rides?  Interested in volunteering to create an awesome experience for your friends and neighbors? Feeling unsure which of our rides is right for your level of bicycling?  I’d love to talk about that and anything else related to WABA events. Drop me a line at anna.mccormally@waba.org. I can’t wait to go on a bike ride with you.

Meet Sydney Sotelo, our Adult Education Coordinator

Hello! My name is Sydney Sotelo, and I am very excited to be joining WABA as the new Adult Education Coordinator.

A true lover of all things outside, in my free time you can usually find me biking, hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, camping and playing outside with my dog, Waffle. For the past six years, I have worked as an Outdoor Recreation educator, helping people to get outside, learn new skills and invest in the natural world around them. I believe that public lands, parks, trails and paths can teach us so much about ourselves, and I am passionate about using the outdoors as a catalyst for personal growth and change.

I come to WABA with an eagerness to inspire others to try a new skill. I believe that with a supportive, encouraging environment, effective teaching and a whole lot of stoke, anyone can learn to do anything. I value hands on teaching as an opportunity to engage with others and create meaningful, transformative experiences. So, try something new! You might learn a little bit more about yourself along the way.

If you would like to get to know me better, learn more about my teaching philosophy, or just need to get over the fear of taking that first step to getting on a bike, feel free to reach out to me by email. I am happy to sit down for a chat and brainstorm new ways to learn! Check out all of our Adult Education classes online and feel free to reach me at sydney.sotelo@waba.org.

Meet Trey Robinson, our DC Bike Ambassador Coordinator

I am Trey Robinson and I am the new DC Bike Ambassador Coordinator at WABA!

I began riding bikes in college to get to and from classes and now use biking for transportation, fitness and fun. As a Maryland native, I first started biking in DC as a Trail Ranger with WABA. I did not know my way around the city but soon learned how to navigate by using various trails and bike lanes. I now bike through the city with confidence while using the resources that keep people on bikes safe. I can now lead friends on bike rides throughout DC, showing them all the resources that make cycling a fun time.

In my free time, I ride bikes with kids in the neighborhood and help fix small bike repairs to keep people riding.  I’m always sharing information about the various bike rides and trails in DC because riding bikes in DC is so fun! I’ve formed some great relationships with many people because of our common joy of cycling.

WABA has showed me that riding bikes is more than an occasional ride on the weekend. Cycling is a great form of transportation, exercise, and fun way to enjoy the outdoors. DC has the best places to ride and you also get to pass some historical places with beautiful scenery on your route. Biking in DC is a rewarding experience when you realize how much more efficient it is than driving.

As a DC Bike Ambassador, I’m eager to interact with people and share the benefits of riding bikes. I’ll be reaching out to pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists to encourage shared road use. I’ll also continue to do my best to model good behavior and respectful, safe road use for everyone. I hope my encouragement helps get more people bicycling in their daily lives. The DC Bike Ambassadors will help educate more people about some of the ways to make biking easier, fun, and safer.

I’m looking forward to speaking with more people to help them learn more about biking in DC. If you have questions or would like to become a DC Bike Ambassador, you can reach me at trey.robinson@waba.org.

Meet Tessla Wilson, our new Business Partnerships Coordinator

I am Tessla Wilson and I am the new Business Partnerships Coordinator at WABA!

I was raised by an industrious and extremely hardworking single mother of two. Being that my mother’s time and resources were extremely limited, teaching me to ride a bike was at the very bottom of her list—and in the absence of an older sibling, I was left to my own devices to learn. I spent many years being envious of the freedom that the neighborhood kids enjoyed riding bikes. They were able to explore beyond our street and build friendships that I was unable to join in on due to my lack of mobility on two wheels.  

It wasn’t until thirteen that I turned to the younger kids to teach me to ride. Being that none of them were WABA instructors, I lost a lot of skin (and pride) that day, but eventually succeeded. As my little family grew older, riding bikes became a cherished family past time that allowed us to explore our city together.

My college and early career was shaped by my desire to be an advocate for those who were not afforded the same privilege that I grew to have. It became my mission to not only be a voice for the marginalized but also to take an active part in shaping the future to one of equity and access for all. That same desire brought me to WABA, and I am so excited to work towards WABA’s vision of a healthier region (for both our environment and our bodies) with our local and national business partners! If you own or work for a company that is looking for partnership or sponsorship opportunities, I would love to chat or meet up for coffee. You can reach me at tessla.wilson@waba.org.

Meet Jonathan Oliver, our new Education Coordinator

Hello! I’m Jonathan Oliver, WABA’s new Education Coordinator responsible for running our adult education programs serving adults in the DC/MD/VA metropolitan region. I’m excited to join WABA’s mission to improve bicycling in our area. My primary goal is to help both new and current adult riders achieve their riding goals while having fun and being safe.

About me: Riding BMX bikes as a kid with my neighborhood friends was when I first understood the sense of community, freedom, fun, and health benefits that bicycling can provide. I’ve always been interested in learning, helping people, and solving problems so it seemed natural to share knowledge through bicycle and fitness-related organizations and activities. Before coming to WABA, I worked in research & development engineering and program management. My focus was always learning and doing new things that might help people. For several years I’ve been an active volunteer with bike organizations, including WABA, doing rider and Ride Marshal training, working with newer riders to achieve their goals, developing and executing ride events, and pretty much anything bike-related. You’ll find me on everything from casual social rides and bike commuting to faster-paced long distance rides.

Looking ahead: Imagine if everyone that wanted to ride could ride? If every rider had the comfort and skill level that they needed to safely ride on streets and trails? If every driver was safe and friendly to bicycles and always shared the roads? To help achieve these visions, I’m working with WABA’s excellent team of instructors to help adults learn to ride bikes and all riders to ride safely and comfortably on city streets, suburban and rural roads, trails, and while bike commuting to and from work. My efforts include planning, coordinating, and implementing several key WABA programs such as our Adult Learn to Ride classes, City Cycling classes, Community rides, Everyday Biking seminars, Bicycle Friendly Driver seminars, and other great offerings. I’m also working to bring bicycle education to areas not already served, identifying areas of need, and helping to implement effective programs to meet those needs.

There’s a lot of work to do and a lot of biking fun to be had. If you or someone you know wants to learn how to ride, improve riding skills, and generally have fun on two wheels in a safe and supportive environment, please contact us at education@waba.org. Hope to see you on two wheels!

Meet James Ploeser, our new DC Bike Ambassador!

Hi. I’m James and I’m new here.

Prior to joining WABA as a part-time Bike Ambassador, I’ve been a lot of things. I’ve been a barista, a community organizer, and a truck driver. Recreationally, I’ve been a gardener, natural builder, and a musician. At present, I’m a yoga teacher, a religious educator working with high school students, and a seminarian training to become a Unitarian Universalist minister.

And all that time, I’ve always been a bike-rider.

I feel very fortunate to have grown up in Madison, WI, one of the best and safest cities for cycling in the country. Its downtown lies between two lakes, so shoreline nature trails are many people’s paths to work. That, plus an extensive network of protected bike lanes made it relatively easy to become comfortable biking most anywhere.

For the last 11 years, DC has been my home. Through prioritizing being a good neighbor in my immediate surroundings in NW, I’ve also been lucky to explore most parts of the city rather extensively- and not only by bike. In addition to cycling, here I’ve spent nearly equal time as a driver and a train- or bus-rider. Coincidentally, a recent part-time job had me driving a vegetable truck for a local food access organization, and my route took me along one of my favorite cycling destinations beyond the beltway, adjacent to the Custis and W&OD trails, into the horse and wine country of Loudoun County, VA.

I see cycling as not only healthy, sustainable and affordable (though it is all those things!), but as a means of empowerment and social change. Learning that you can take yourself great distances on just two wheels, and with just your own two legs, offers an embodied experience that we are more free and more capable than we often think. In 2010, a friend and I rode to the UN Climate Talks in Cancun. Along the way we not only promoted sustainable transportation but also highlighted local efforts to transition to a people-powered global economy.

That and other such experiences are why it’s important for me that safe, enjoyable cycling be available to everyone in the D.C. region. My belief in inclusion aligns with WABA’s vision for the region. In fact, it’s partly why I’ve been invited to join the team. I’m a fluent Spanish speaker, having spent time not only in Latin America where I studied and volunteered with social movement organizations, but also working as an organizer in Spanish-speaking communities back in the midwest and here in the DMV.

If you are also interested in expanding the accessibility of WABA’s program offerings to Spanish-speaking communities, and have the language skills to assist, email me at james.ploeser@waba.org to let me know.

So that’s me. I hope to meet many of you before and during upcoming activities, and that we’ll continue welcoming more new folks into the lovely and growing WABAverse. 🙂

Meet Hannah Anderson-Dana, our new Membership and Development Coordinator.

I’m Hannah Anderson-Dana, the new Membership and Development Coordinator at WABA. I’m so excited to be part of the Development team and get to know our great members!

Growing up in the very bike friendly Portland, OR and attending college in the equally bikeable Twin Cities meant that biking was my main form of transportation, from getting to school to riding around the lakes on a nice day. After I moved to DC, I joined WABA as a member on Bike to Work Day in 2015 and I’ve had the best time learning about the bike community in the region and exploring different neighborhoods on rides. Exploring DC by bike made the city really feel like home!

I most recently worked at a civics non-profit, where I was always trying to convince my coworkers to bike to work or on the weekends. Needless to say, that’s taken care of at WABA!

I hope to enhance and expand WABA’s already amazing membership program and to continue making connections in our community through biking. If you have thoughts or feedback about our membership program and how we can grow it, please reach out to me at hannah.anderson-dana@waba.org. I can’t wait to meet you!

Meet Robert Gardner, our new Advocacy Director

Hello!

I’m Robert Gardner, the new Advocacy Director here at WABA. I feel so privileged to be able to be back home here in the DMV and work with WABA to make the region a fun, safe and exciting place to bike for everyone!

I’ve spent the past 10 years working on national and international advocacy campaigns based in DC and in Brooklyn, NY. It was during my time doing environmental advocacy, that I was lucky enough to live and work for a time in Amsterdam — it is was there that I really caught the bicycling bug. The culture of biking for everyone really blew me away. Having braved the Georgia Avenue commute between Takoma Park and Gallery Place for years, I always felt like I was competing for space — racing cars to try and stay safe. I’m so happy to have had that education and to see the importance of urban planning in changing the way that people use public space.

I hope to continue the progress WABA has made over the past 46 years, and I’ll work hard with our incredible advocacy team to make our region the safest, most enjoyable place to ride in the country.

As Advocacy Director, I am thrilled to work with our community organizers on the Vision Zero campaign, with the Capital Trails Coalition, our action committees and in partnership with advocates across the region. Looking forward to the road ahead!

Bike trivia about me:

My ideal commute: A leisurely pace on protected bike lanes!

My style of riding: I commute to work, grocery shop, and run errands on my bike, so I am generally in an urban setting. I take safety very seriously, so you’ll always find me stopped at red lights.

That one bike do I wish I still owned: I had a mid-70s Schwinn Le Tour that was canary yellow that I commuted on for a year — someone must have “borrowed” it from a Metro stop because I haven’t seen it in a few years.

I look forward to meeting many of you at Bike to Work Day!