The Strong Women Ride Makes an Impact

Who’s ready to ride DC? This group.

In February, our Women & Bicycles program led the Strong Women Ride. This city is full of women who shaped history–and who were law-breaking, sanctuary-providing, kidnapping scalawags at the same time. We figured folks would jump at the chance to shake off the winter cobwebs and learn something new at the same time. Turns out we were right. So right, in fact, that we had to scramble to schedule a second ride in March! Both rides were big successes, with great weather, great company, and great education all at once.

Group in front of Belmont-Paul Womens Equality Monument

  So who were these strong women? Our three main historical women were the Rev. Paulie A. Murray, Dr. Carla Hayden, and Marion Pritchard. But along the way, we also stopped at the Lady Fortitude statue at Howard U, Anna J. Cooper circle (near her preserved home), the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality Monument and House, the Eleanor Roosevelt statue at the FDR memorial, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

Rev. Paulie A. Murray

In the 1940s, Paulie refused to sit in the broken seats of the colored section of a bus. Her subsequent arrest inspired her law career. She would later become one of the first women Episcopal priests, serving in Washington, DC and focusing on reconciliation.

Dr. Carla Hayden

Carla Hayden is the current Librarian of Congress, and both the first woman and the first person of color to hold that post.  During the Baltimore riots in the days after the death of Freddie Gray, as other businesses closed their doors, she insisted on keeping the libraries open so people had a place to go.

Marion Pritchard

Marion Pritchard was a Dutch resister during World War II. Special thanks to Marion’s granddaughters Abigail Pritchard and Grace Pritchard Burson, who shared stories of Marion’s resistance work with our riders. Our favorite story was one from near the end of the war. Marion was riding on rims, her bike tires long gone. With everyone starving, she traveled across a river to finagle some extra food beyond the meagre rations. On her way back, she was captured by a Nazi patrol. When questioned, she reportedly let them have it–she told them exactly what she thought of them, their regime, and their leader. The next morning, the soldiers drove her across the bridge where they had captured her. They returned her bike, and the extra food, and sent her on her way. After that night of darkness, she saw some glimmers of hope and humanity. After hearing these stories, the ride offered an option to show our own strength, with a ride to Meridian Hill Park that included the 15th street climb. Every rider who attempted the hill achieved the top… and a trip to cupcakes as a reward!

Climbing Meridian Hill like a girl. On a Brompton.

 

Seeking a Part-Time Women & Bicycles Program Coordinator

april events WB The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is looking for a part-time coordinator for the Women & Bicycles program, an innovative grassroots approach inspiring more women to bike, teach, advocate, and lead the bike movement. The Women & Bicycles program was created in 2012 to increase bike commuting modeshare among women (26% in D.C., 21% in MD, and 26% in VA), by creating a close-knit community for women who already bike and inspiring this community to facilitate mentorship with the women in their own lives who don’t already bike. The 3,200+ community is energetic, welcoming, diverse, respectful, eager to learn, eager to share, and is thriving both online and offline. The program consists of monthly workshops, monthly rides, monthly social events, an online forum and facilitating mentorship. The heart of the program is peer-to-peer mentorship through volunteer Roll Models. Roll Models are women who already bike and commit to recruiting 5-10 biking protégés from their personal networks. The protégés are invited to a dinner party with their mentor and use conversation and our comprehensive biking guide to work through all their personal questions, concerns, and unknowns when it comes to biking. The Women & Bicycles Coordinator is responsible for all aspects of the Women & Bicycles program, including Roll Model recruitment, training and coordination, event coordination,  online forum support, and developing strategies to grow the program in a way that is successful, sustainable, and equitable. The position will report to WABA’s Outreach Coordinator. Responsibilities  The Women & Bicycles Coordinator will:
  1. Develop and implement Women & Bicycles events, including: partner coordination, content development, scheduling, planning, promotion, volunteer coordination, packing and unpacking, staffing events, and recap.
  2. Recruit, train, coordinate, engage, the Women & Bicycles Roll Models and track their success.
  3. Work to create new partner relationships with non-traditional cycling groups to build the reach and resources of Women & Bicycles across diverse networks throughout the region.
  4. Facilitate the Women & Bicycle forum and its guidelines to maintain its culture of respect, information-sharing, and joy.
Preferred Qualifications  The ideal candidate will have:
  1. A strong commitment to WABA’s mission and be a skillful and committed bicyclist with a solid understanding of the principles of bicycling safety and traffic law.
  2. Experience in: project management, events planning/management, marketing and/or volunteer coordination.
  3. Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills.
  4. A flexible schedule and willingness to work evenings and weekends as needed.
  5. Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Facebook and Twitter.
  6. The ability to organize time wisely and multi-task in a relaxed, fun environment, and independently.
This position is part-time, 20 hours/week and compensation is $14 per hour.  About the Washington Area Bicyclist Association Making bicycling better through advocacy and education, WABA promotes biking as a healthy, low-cost, and environmentally-friendly form of transportation and recreation. With 5,000 members region-wide, WABA serves bicyclists throughout the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, including the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland and Virginia. Contact Send a cover letter with a resume to jobs@waba.org.  No phone calls please. Position available immediately. Applications accepted until the position is filled. WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex or age.
  Women & Bicycles is proudly supported by The Potomac Pedalers Touring Club; hosts of the region’s most robust all-level group ride calendar and bike tailgates, Chipotle our delicious dinner party sponsors, and  we’re supported by all our friends who donated through the Hains Point 100 ride. Chipotle logopptc-logo           waba_women_logo_commuter

Whoa! Our First Oversized Check!

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis is part of our Women & Bicycles blog series,  part of WABA’s initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes.  These posts aren’t exclusive to women, but they’re produced with and through the Women & Bicycles’ programming. Click here to learn more and get involved.   Last week Team Sticky Fingers presented our Women & Bicycles program with an oversized check for $3,000. Yes, $3,000! We were shocked. Sticky Fingers two Team Sticky Fingers is a fun-loving group of gals who train like crazy, race like crazy, and consume delicious vegan treats like – any normal person would devour baked goods. The team is committed to inspiring more women to race bikes. They raised the funds through their sold-out screening of Half the Road, a documentary on the struggles women face in pro racing circuits. Team Sticky Fingers, thank you for supporting WABA’s work through event collaboration and oversized brightly-colored checks. Your contributions to the community help us get more women biking, no matter if it’s on a bikeshare, hybrid, or pro-grade hand-crafted tapered cold-worked titanium cyclocross bike!  

So much bike love,

WABA

       

Women & Bicycles Tip: Go Intermodal

e6MXyK7ObZyMVaWZ7KTNlYi1U8M0BlyNV1r6XhihuwIThis entry is part of our Women & Bicycles Bi-Weekly Tips series. Women & Bicycles is WABA’s outreach and encouragement initiative to build a stronger women’s bike community and get more women on bikes. Click here to learn more and get involved.     This Wednesday, I’m presenting on overview on how you can incorporate 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, 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.