VOLUME 37 | No 4 WINTER 2009 WWW.WABA.ORG
A PUBLICATION OF THE WASHINGTON AREA BICYCLIST ASSOCIATION
UNION STATION BIKE STATION OPENS! WINTER RIDING Check out the WABA Store AT ITS BEST and give the gift of WABA! 15TH STREET – FIRST PROTECTED BIKEWAY
First Bike Station on the East Coast:
Union Station Bike Station
« ON « « «
President Barbara Klieforth
The Union Station Bike Station, the first such facility on the East Coast, officially opened for business in October. Located just outside of the multi-modal hub of Union Station, the beautiful glass and metal facility has overnight storage for 150 bikes, lockers and changing rooms, as well as a small retail operation. The station will be managed on a day-to-day basis by Bike and Roll, a company famous for their bicycle rentals and guided bike tours in the DC area. The official opening ceremony was well-attended by local dignitaries including DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, Councilmember Tommy Wells, DC Department of Transportation Director Gabe Klein and Director of the Office of Planning Harriet Tregoning. Andréa White-Kjoss, president and CEO of the Bike Station Coalition, which will handle much of the back end membership processing for the station, was on hand to help cut the ribbon officially opening the station for business.
Vice President Martin Moulton
Treasurer Paul d’Eustachio
Secretary Randall Myers
Board Members Casey Anderson Matthew Bieschke David Bono Kendall Dorman Susan Orlins Elissa Parker Jim Titus Dana Wolfe Bruce Wright
Union Station BIKE STATION Opens for Business
Executive Director Eric Gilliland
Safety Education Program Director
Planning for the bike station was started years ago by DC Bicycle Program Manager Jim Sebastian, who helped secure federal transportation dollars for the facility construction. Ultimately, the architecture firm KGP Design Studio was selected to design the facility. Using the I.M. Pei glass pyramids outside the Louvre in Paris as their inspiration, KGP designed a modern structure to complement the neo-classical architecture of Union Station. There are a variety of ways cyclists can take advantage of the new facility. One day parking runs only $2 and monthly
passes can be purchased for $12. Cyclists who buy these types of passes will have access to the station from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Annual memberships that allow for 24 hour access may be purchased for $96. WABA is currently working with the Bike Station Coalition on a discount for association members. Anyone interested in buying parking passes for the center may visit www.bikestation.com.
Eric Gilliland, WABA ED, Mayor Adrian Fenty, and WABA board members Martin Moulton and David Bono celebrate the opening of the Bike Station. Photo by Vikrum Aiyer, Executive Office of the Mayor
Safety Education Program Coordinator Glen Harrison
Membership & Development Manager Eve DeCoursey
Membership & Development Coordinator Jenn Bress
Events Managers Chantal Buchser Henry Mesias
Office Volunteers Josh Bennett Bruce Dwyer Jon Fleming Allison Horton Harvey Ollis John Telesco
» RIDE ON RIDEON is published quarterly by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, 1803 Connecticut Ave, NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20009 phone :: (202) 518-0524 fax :: (202) 518-0936 email :: firstname.lastname@example.org website :: www.waba.org Send requests, changes of address or general messages to the WABA office. Address submissions to RIDEON, or email: email@example.com. ©2006 Washington Area Bicyclist Association.
WABA is a nonprofit advocacy group representing the metropolitan Washington area bicycling community. Coverage of an event not sponsored by WABA does not constitute an endorsement. Reproduction of information in RIDEON for non-profit use is encouraged. Please use with attribution.
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DC Opens Its First Protected Bikeway The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) recently completed construction of a new counterflow, protected bikeway on 15th Street NW. This innovative project was the result of years of advocacy from local cyclists who were looking for new facilities, and traffic calming on the highspeed northbound road out of downtown DC. The new layout of 15th Street from Massachusetts Avenue in the south to U Street in the north eliminated one travel lane, moved parking on the west side of the street over one lane, and created a new protected bikeway for southbound cyclists against the curb. Flexible bollards were installed between the parking lane and the bike lane. While a formal bike lane was not stripped for northbound cyclists, shared lane markings were installed along with signs indicating to drivers that cyclists had the full use of the lane.
for separated bike lanes, or cycle tracks, along the proposed K Street Transitway in downtown, DC, and is hoping for more separated facilities throughout downtown in advance of any expansion in DC’s bike sharing program. The new design is considered a year pilot project and DDOT is taking comments from cyclists on the design. While WABA is pleased overall with the design, the association has already made recommendations on how the project might be improved: • Extending the counterflow bike way north to W Street to meet up with existing bike lanes on W and V Streets, and future bike lanes on New Hampshire Ave; • Building a hard curb to replace the flexible post barrier; • Adding bike specific signal heads at the intersections; • Add colored bike lanes at road crossings.
“We are extremely excited about the project,” said Eric Gilliland, WABA’s executive director. “It really shows that the city is going to great lengths to improve conditions for cyclists.” Indeed, WABA hopes that such innovative designs become more common on DC streets. WABA is advocating
W&OD Bike Trail Detours in Store for Coming Months Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) trail users need to be aware when crossing under the Dulles Toll Road in Reston — the Dulles Rail line is coming through. For the next nine months, there will be periodic shifts in the trail caused by construction of a bridge between the east and westbound lanes of the toll road, between Sunset Hills Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. All users of the trail should watch for warning signs highlighting shifts in the trail, as well as equipment and materials in the adjacent slopes of the median. In addition, the trail will close temporarily some nights in late Spring 2010 for the installation of steel girders over the trail. Brief periodic closures will be necessary throughout construction when equipment is moved into place. For other information, visit the project website at www.dullesmetro.com
If you have comments on the 15th Street project, please send them to DC’s bicycle program manager, Jim Sebastian, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear WABA Members, In keeping with our motto of "Getting There by Bike since 1972," WABA is renewing our Commuter Mentor Program. A commuter mentor is an experienced cyclist and WABA member who is willing to assist new commuters and first time riders with commuting to work by bike in the Washington area. What does it take to be a mentor? As a mentor, you will use everything you have learned from riding in your neighborhood and commuting to work to help guide other cyclists from point A to point B, including your in-depth knowledge of trails, bike routes, bike facilities, low-traffic streets, etc. How do you become a WABA commuter mentor? Send an email to email@example.com with “I want to be a commuter mentor” in the subject line. Include your name, neighborhood (city/state), and email address. We’ll send you a confirmation email that you have been added to the commuter mentor website and will send you some helpful links to maps, trails, and guides that will make mentoring easier. Cyclists looking for help will be able to find a mentor in their area and contact them directly for help.
THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS! Adams Morgan Day Bike for the Heart Valet Crafty Bastards Valet Feet in the Street 50 States & 13 Colonies
Jeremy Abbott Anant Agrawal Michael Allard Dwight Barbour Margaret Beddall Zeke Bergeron Steven Cain Blaine Clark Jason Clock Caryn Cohen Bonnie Corbin Paulo Couto Scott Dempsey Sarah Dotson Elizabeth Falk Steve Goldstein Keith Hagg Jessica Hall Yvette Hess Tara Holeman Spencer Iscove Sherrie Joyner Jackie Keller Tish King William Ley Phil Lyon Tom Martin Darin McAnelly
Iolore McFadden Susan McFadden Michael Messner Stephen Miller David Moynihan Allen Muchnick Keith Oberg Fritz Ohrenschall Miguel Ortega Mira Panek Lee Pera Jon Pinkus Hari Ram David Ramos Melissa Rothstein Kendra Saad Michael Sams Marti Scheel Rachel Schowalter Leanne Sedowski Daniel Shapiro Barry Skidmore Matthew Steil Ryan Strom Yvonne Thayer Leslie Tierstein Photine Tsoukalas Len Weinman
WABA VOLUNTEERS are the muscle behind the machine!!
» FROM MY SADDLE I’ll never forget the first bike I bought with my own (babysitting) money, a purple glitter monster from Hecht Company in Silver Spring. In a family with 7 kids, it finally meant I had my own means of mobility! Since then I’ve owned lots of wheels, but my most recent buy has been quite the revelation and got me thinking about how far we’ve come in many ways. Probably like you, I have at times felt immense frustration at the slow pace of progress for cyclists. Putting things in context shows how much more mainstream biking is than it’s been these past four decades. No matter if I’m going to work or in some exotic locale I’ve always been happiest on two wheels, but have had to endure less than ideal conditions and the derision (Fox news once profiled me as a “kooky commuter”!) and concern of many on the way, especially as a woman (I’ll get back to that). The visible signs of evolution may not be perfect but are there, e.g., more riders everywhere, our own ‘monument’ to cycling – the Bike Station, paving of a key section of the MetBranch Trail (incredible but true!), more bike parking (most notably the inaugural valet service!). More behind-thescenes advances (have you been to waba.org lately?) are simply too numerous to detail here. I am so proud to have such a dynamic board of directors and incredibly dedicated staff of one of the biggest bike advocacy organizations in the country. We’ve had yet another wonderful year and Eric, our omnipresent Executive Director, is marking his 10th year with WABA! He was first hired part-time to work on Bike DC, and a smart board of directors promoted him to executive director in 2004, seemingly a position he was born for. Dorcas and Glen are the dynamic duo that run the BikePed Safety Education Program. Elegant Eve, who came to WABA with a solid history of bicycling advocacy and racing, now oversees Membership and Development with Jenn’s expert assistance. Events are co-directed by energetic Chantal and Henry, who has singl-handedly invented the bike valet system we use. And of course our hardest-working volunteers Jon, Bruce, John, Harvey and Allison are indispensible. Our board members bring remarkably complementery talents to the table. Martin (who has never even wanted a driver’s license!) seems to be connected to everyone who “matters” in DC. Paul is ubiquitous in the greater Washington area, so much so that he was named an “Extraordinary Cyclist” by Phoenix Bikes. Randall has a deep understanding of the DC Government’s byzantine workings. Casey is a knowledgeable, thoughtful and prolific motivator on so many issues. Matt is our resident transportation finance whiz. Kendall and his wife, JT, can often be found yukking it up while cycling at a local
WABA VOLUNTEER CALL Volunteer nights are a great way to meet other members of the local cycling community and maybe even run into some old friends. Volunteer nights typically occur on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month. Some volunteer nights are filled with admin tasks while others are trainings and meetings for future events. Check the volunteer calendar at www.waba.org/volunteer/ for accurate times and dates. WABA will provide food and beverages, and if you attend three volunteer nights in one year, you will receive a one-year WABA membership, or membership renewal!
• Connect with local riders. • Learn about local events. Get to know us.
Holiday Party th
December 17 5:00pm-9:00pm Join WABA staff, board and volunteers as we celebrate the holiday season with food, drinks and holiday cheer! 2599 Ontario Road - Adams Morgan Come celebrate the new WABA office with us! (Suggested donation of $5 at the door)
biking event. Susan, the hostess with the mostest, has biked more places around the world than many of us put together. New Dad David is already plotting how to take the baby on rides. Jim’s 2-year old Kimmy is already a back seat (trailer) driver and says "Daddy get back on the road" whenever he takes a sidepath. Elissa, our dogged environmental lawyer, is recovering successfully after a nasty car-bike encounter in her commitment to bike commuting due to a careless motorist but still has never owned a car. Dana once bike messengered with Eric. Busy Bruce is also chairman of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling (FABB, the best acronym around!). Despite our best efforts, we know there is still a long way to go. Biking as transportation is still only around 2%, much more is needed to truly make the DC area more cosmopolitan, and diminish congestion and environmental impacts. While it’s nothing new to us, a recent Scientific American article, “How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road” asserts that, to boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want. Or as David Byrne puts it, "when more women begin riding, that will signal a big change in attitude, which will prompt further changes in the direction of safety and elegance.” Men and women do not live in separate societies - making a town more bikeable boosts livability and benefits everyone. It feels like a corollary that only recently have bike manufacturers (where things are measured in millimeters!) finally recognized the value of making a more ergonomic fit more readily available for half the population. My new bike is the only road bike I’ve had that was fully designed for women – despite all the bikes I’ve had I am truly amazed at how well this one rides! I encourage everyone, especially men (considering WABA membership is majority male), to facilitate ridership of the women in your lives, speak up often with the “B” word, sit up tall in the saddle and be counted! —Barbara Klieforth
WABA’s 2010 Gala and Benefit Auction
This year’s event will be held at the stunning Austrian Embassy in Van Ness located near the Van Ness-UDC Metro. An annual favorite, this event is WABA’s largest annual fundraiser and features unique and collectible items up for bid in the silent and live auctions. WABA is seeking sponsors, donors and underwriters for the Gala. If you are interested in marketing your business to our engaged and diverse audience, please contact Chantal at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
myspace.com/wabadc • Check out photos of current events.
• Share your photos in the WABA Event Photos pool Join the WABA group on facebook.com • Connect with local riders.
• Have fun!
Congratulations to Bikes@Vienna! BIKES @ VIENNA WINS THE SAM BRAXTON BIKE SHOP AWARD The Braxton Bike Shop Award is named in honor of the inaugural winner, the Braxton Bike Shop. This award honors bike shops throughout the nation that go out of their way to provide unique services to bicycle travelers. A long-standing commitment to providing touring equipment & gear, skilled mechanics, and great services are hallmarks of the winning bicycle shop.
The 2009 Sam Braxton Bicycle Shop Award goes to Bikes@Vienna in Vienna, Virginia, recognizing their passion for sharing the local area with cyclists and the amazing services that they offer cyclists of all abilities traveling in the Washington D.C. area. As fierce proponents of full access, they offer cycling gear for all levels of rider and persons with physical disabilities. The owner, John Brunow, works hard to promote cycling, and to create positive change in his community by being an engaged, local leader.
H WABA Receives Transportation Enhancements Grant WABA was recently awarded a Transportation Enhancement (TE) grant by DC’s Department of Transportation (DDOT) to provide a variety of bicyclerelated services in DC. TE activities are federally funded projects designed to improve transportation options for local communities and to enhance the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure. The WABA grant application was focused on four project areas:
BIKE PARKING: WABA will purchase and install 300 bike racks in DC. The hope is that by taking on bike parking installations, staff at DDOT, which normally manages bike rack installations, will be freed to perform much-needed bike lane and trail design. BIKE VALET SERVICES: Every year, WABA struggles to identify funding for bike valet services at events on the National Mall. Through the TE grant WABA will be able to offer bike valet services during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, the 4th of July Celebrations, and Screen on the Green.
are an efficient use of the public right-of-way. The poster will show a DC street that is first filled with automobiles. The second frame will show the drivers of those cars on the road sitting in chairs without the vehicles present. The third frame will show the same number of people on a bus. The fourth frame will show the same number of people on the sidewalk. The last frame will show the same number of people on bicycles. Posters will be widely distributed publicly, to DC government agencies, and to the Washington Metropolitan Transit Agency.
MOBILE BIKE SHOP: Wards 7 and 8 suffer from a lack of both bike facilities and bike services. As increased effort is being made to construct bike and pedestrian facilities in these areas, more effort is also needed to reach out and encourage potential riders. Working with the Renaissance Bike Shop in Maryland, WABA will bring a mobile bike shop to the Anacostia area to offer free repair services to local residents of all ages. In addition, the mobile bike shop will provide maps and safety tips, helmet fittings, as well as information on the construction of the Anacostia Riverwalk and Trail, Oxon Run Trail, and South Capitol Street Trail which will all serve the area.
“ROOM TO BREATHE” POSTER: Based on similar posters produced in Copenhagen, Portland and New York City, WABA’s “Room to Breathe” public service poster will illustrate how cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders
WABA would like to thank the District Department of Transportation for the grant award and we look forward to starting work on all aspects of the grant in early 2010.
H WABA Advocates Cycle Tracks on K Street Transitway As DC debates the redesign of K Street in the heart of downtown, which will include the first dedicated transitway in the region, WABA is advocating strongly for better accommodations for cyclists. The K Street Transitway project offers DC a unique opportunity to transform a critical street in the Central Business District from a vehicle dominated environment into a truly multi-modal corridor. It’s also an opportunity to employ innovative design solutions in a way that further demonstrates the city’s commitment to a more bike and pedestrian friendly transportation network. While a variety of options for K Street are under consideration, the overall goal for the project should be to design a street that is attractive to the widest variety of users.
facilities for cyclists. While WABA is pleased that consideration was given to cyclists in this option, and that the bike facilities extend for the entire length of the project, WABA believes that a more innovative bikeway design solution is needed. Cycle tracks, a type of bike facility that is increasingly being used in the US, separate the bikeway from both the sidewalk and parking or travel lanes by means of a barrier, usually a low curb. WABA believes that this would be an ideal solution for K Street and should be considered in the Environmental Assessment no matter what transitway and travel lane configurations move forward. Decisions on the K Street Transitway will be made soon we’ll be sure to keep you informed.
Of the three alternatives presented in the Environmental Assessment, only Option Three included any dedicated
H Fairfax County Board Supports Bicycle Master Plan The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors went on record in support of a bicycle master plan for Fairfax County at their October 5 board meeting. Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay presented the motion to the Board and it passed unanimously. This is a major first step toward development of a bicycle master plan for the county, the number one goal of Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling. Thanks to Supervisor McKay and the Board for their support for the plan.
RAISE AWARENESS EVERY TIME YOU MAKE A PURCHASE WITH OUR “SHARE THE ROAD” CARD! Signal Financial Federal Credit Union has partnered with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association to offer the “Share the Road” Visa® card program, a tool we can use together to promote advocacy for safer streets in our community. For each transaction performed using the card, Signal Financial will contribute two cents towards advocacy for safer streets. Also, a portion of interest earned on the card will be contributed towards advocacy of safer streets.
ADVOCACY CALENDAR Find out what’s going on in your area, and share your concerns! Mark your calendars for the following recurring bicycle advocacy meetings throughout 2009.
H Arlington County Bicycle Advisory Committee First Monday of even-numbered months, 7:30 pm. Arlington County Govt. Center (#1 Courthouse Plaza), 2100 Clarendon Blvd. (Courthouse Metro), Azalea Conference Room. For more info: David Goodman, Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, at (703) 228-3709 or email@example.com.
H Coalition of the Capital Crescent Trail Board Meeting Second Monday of each month, 7-9 pm. Normally at the Bethesda Library, 7400 Arlington Road. Second Monday of June in Elm Street Park, Bethesda. No meetings in August or December. See http://www.cctrail.org/CCT_News_ and_Events.htm
H D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council First Wednesday of odd-numbered months, 6-8 pm. For more info: DC Bicycle Coordinator, Jim Sebastian at (202) 671-2331 or jim.Sebastian@dc.gov.
H Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling Third Wednesday of each month, 7:30 pm, at the Vienna Community Center at 120 Cherry St. SE, Vienna, VA 22180 For more info: Bruce Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
H Metropolitan Branch Trail Coalition Second Thursday of each month, 6:30-8:30 pm. For more info: Paul Meijer at 202-726-7364 or email@example.com.
H Montgomery County Bicycle Action Group (MCBAG) Third Thursday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm, 100 Edison Park Drive, 4th Floor, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
H Prince Georges County Bicycle & Trails Advisory Group (BTAG)
Fairfax County does not have a bicycle master plan. The Trails Plan is merely lines on a map and it hasn’t been updated in 5 years. While it does include some on-road bike routes, it does not include most of the routes identified on the 2008 county Bike Map. A true bicycle master plan should include a comprehensive assessment of current bicycling conditions in the county, and the development of a prioritized list of on-road and off-road bicycle projects, with specific goals for the future. The plan should also include recommendations for development of other bicycle infrastructure such as parking, shower and changing facilities, and the possibility of implementing bike sharing and bike stations. The next step will be to find funding for developing the plan. FABB is looking at various options.
Peter M. Baskin ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR AT LAW 2300 CLARENDON BLVD, SUITE 700 ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22201 TEL: (703) 528-8000 • (703) 276-6800 FAX: (703 ) 522-4570
A CREDIT CARD THAT IS BUILT WITH A CAUSE, EXCEPTIONAL BALANCE TRANSFER RATE, AND NO ANNUAL CHARGES THAT CAN SLASH YOUR OTHER CREDIT CARD DEBTS!
Come and Join us for the
Meets quarterly. Contact Fred Shaffer for details at Fred.Shaffer@ppd.mncppc.org.
H WABA Board Meeting Second Monday each month, 6:30-8:30 pm. Contact the WABA office for location and agenda at (202) 518-0524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prizes, gifts, and refreshments will be available, ǯ Ǩ
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For a bi-weekly update on advocacy activities, sign up for WABA’s e-bulletin “Quick Release” by sending a message to email@example.com.
H SAFETY EDUCATION & OUTREACH
International Walk to School Day for the DC Safe Routes to School Program
October is Walk to School Month and the first Wednesday is typically reserved as International Walk to School Day <www.walktoschool-usa.org>. This year at least 11 events were held in the District, organized by school administration, staff, parents, PTAs, community leaders and students at: E.L. Haynes PCS, John Eaton ES, Bright Beginnings Inc., Two Rivers PCS, Amidon-Bowen ES, Oyster-Adams Bi-Lingual ES (both campuses), Watkins ES, Payne ES, Bancroft ES and Whittier EC. These schools should be commended for their inspirational example – promoting healthy living, daily activity and environmental stewardship!
This event was attended not only by these students, but by others from nearby Bancroft ES, to be fed a healthy breakfast and entertained by temporary tattoos, highvisibility tote bags from Fedex, encouraging speeches from the podium by Fedex , Children’s Hospital, DDOT and a WABA safety skit by DDOT’s Jennifer Hefferan and Children’s Hospital’s “Dr. Bear”. Best of all was an award ceremony for the Neighborhood Pace Car Program. In this city-wide contest between thirteen schools in the DC Safe Routes to School program, awards are given for the greatest percentage of parental pledges to drive the posted speed limit on neighborhood streets. See <www.waba.org/pacecar> for more information or to order your own sticker. Parent representatives of Bancroft ES and EL Haynes PCS who placed first and third, respectively, proudly displayed the award plaques to the assembled kids. Suddenly, as if by pre-arranged signal, a few hundred children and their parents organized themselves into squads and set off for their schools: Bancroft kids and their parents on foot, EL Haynes kids and parents on bikes, to arrive at school as they do many other days of the year, as walking and biking to school become institutionalized in the fight against obesity and related diseases.
The pre-dawn darkness of October 7th was threatening rain as WABA staff joined event sponsors Safe Kids DC, Children’s Hospital, Federal Express and the District Department of Transportation along with various members of the DC Safe Routes to School Network to set up the District of Columbia’s flagship Walk to School Day event at Lamont Park in Mount Pleasant, NW DC. Busy hands put up tents, cut bagels and bananas, and set out juice cups for the neighborhood kids, who began to trickle in from surrounding blocks on foot and, amazingly, on bikes as the day began to dawn. This is one of the few parts of town where parents have organized a bike train so that they and their children can safely accompany each other from Mount Pleasant to EL Haynes PCS on Georgia Ave.
WABA has an outstanding track record for bringing better biking to the Washington Area. This is partly because of strong political support and partly because of our dedicated and energetic staff. One of our most visible programs is Adult Bicycle Safety Education. To promote safer and more civil interaction between bicyclists and all other modes of travel, WABA provides a Pocket Guide to DC Bike Law, the Safe Bicycling Guide to the Washington Area, gives out free bike lights at the end of Daylight Savings time, trains and equips Bicycle Ambassadors to spread safe bicycling messages, and teaches dozens of free classes each season in the District of Columbia, Arlington, and Alexandria VA. During the course of 2009, hundreds of bicyclists have taken advantage of these classes, sited in transit-accessible venues to encourage attendees to get to class car-free whenever possible. For an up-to-date schedule of upcoming classes, visit www.waba.org/events/education/php#ccc. WABA feels strongly that cyclists must follow the rules of the road in order to maintain safety and civility when sharing the road and trail with other users. We are all ambassadors for bicycling— whenever we break the law we encourage motorists, pedestrians, and other bicyclists to view us as “the problem” rather than the elegant solution that we truly represent.
Quick RULES OF CONDUCT for Bicyclists:
WORKSHOP October 6 in Baltimore for the MD Safe Routes to School program.
WABA held four “Got Lights?” events in Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights and on Capital Hill. The events were held when the time switched from Daylight Savings, and WABA staff and volunteers installed 600 sets of lights for cyclists riding in the dark without lights.
WABA’S BIKING EDUCATION FOR ADULTS
WABA administers a Safe Routes to School program in MD with the support of the MD State Highway Office. Three cargo trailers full of bikes and helmets are stored and delivered to participating schools in three areas of the state: one in Prince George’s and Montgomery County, one in Baltimore City, and a third in Central MD. By means of Train-the-Trainer workshops, WABA trains elementary and middle school teachers to use the provided Curriculum and the loaned equipment to teach Pedestrian and Bicycle safety lessons as one of the elements of the state Safe Routes to School program. Here, WABA-administered education is employed along with the other four “E’s”: engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation, to provide a comprehensive approach to changing the habits of a whole generation of children. On October 6th WABA staff delivered a very successful training in partnership with the Baltimore City Safe Routes to School Coordinator, who employed local contacts to reach out to Baltimore City Public Schools and identify teachers who are interested in using the program. Thirteen teachers attended this training and received certificates qualifying them to take advantage of the bike trailer and WABA’s assistance as they implement the classes at their schools.
Stop at all signs and signals. At four-way stops, if vehicles arrive at the same time, the vehicle to the right of the other has the right of way. There is hardly a better way to impress a motorist with your sincerity than to stop and allow him to go first at a four-way stop or signal. It’s worth the lost momentum.
Always wear your helmet when riding. This is not a legal requirement for those over 16, but it sends a message to others that you are serious about your own safety and can result in others treating you with more care.
Be visible: ride where you can be seen by motorists and always use lights at night. The law requires a white front light and a rear red reflector. Go further than the law and add a red light to the back of your bike. When overtaking another cyclist or a pedestrian from behind, always make an audible signal. When changing course laterally on street or trail, always scan behind before you make your move to insure that another vehicle (motorized or bicycle) is not overtaking you.
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WINTER RIDING AT ITS BEST! Winter has descended on the Washington region and many area cyclists have packed away their bikes until spring. Despite the colder, wetter weather and less daylight in the evening, commuting by bike can be just as rewarding as during the fair weather days of summer. Here are a few tips to get you through the season.
Dress for Success! As with any outdoor winter activity, wearing the proper clothing is essential to staying warm and dry. Using a 3 layer approach for winter dressing usually works best, particularly for the mostly mild winters in our area. The first layer should be a base layer of silk, wool or synthetic material, because these materials wick away moisture from your skin whereas cotton often leaves you feeling cold and clammy as you begin to sweat. The second layer should be an insulating layer. A sweatshirt, fleece or light down vest tends to work best. The final layer of a windbreaker or rain shell will protect you from moisture in the air and will also serve to block the wind from your torso. A similar approach can be taken for the lower half of your body. The advantage of layering in this way is that it allows for much more flexibility in adjusting for temperature changes either in the air or as your body heats up while you pedal! For your hands, mittens or ‘lobster’ gloves are generally warmer, but may limit your dexterity and potentially affect your ability to shift or brake easily. A layering approach to gloves can also be effective, with a thin liner glove on mild days and heavier gloves on really cold ones.
For your feet, nothing beats thick wool socks for keeping your toes toasty. Using a neoprene sock or booty to keep your feet dry is essential when the roads are wet. In a pinch, plastic newspaper bags also work quite well! While it is tempting to want to skip wearing your helmet in exchange for a thicker, warmer hat, winter weather often offers less visibility for motorists and less than favorable road conditions. Visit your local bike shop to find a hat or face mask that works comfortably for you and your helmet.
Get Lit! Making you and your bike more visible is crucial during cloudy, dark days with fewer hours of sunlight in the evening. Wearing a screaming yellow jacket or reflective vest may not help you become America’s Next Top Model, but it will allow drivers to see you better on the road. Adding lights to your bike for riding after dark is not only smart, but it is also the law. A red LED light attached to the rear of your bike or your bag is an easy and important way to allow approaching drivers see you from several blocks away. LED lights with a blinking mode are not only more visible, but also save battery life! Front lights can be divided into two categories, lights to be seen by and lights to see by. When riding on well-lit streets it is possible to get by with only a small white LED front light. This allows you to be seen by approaching automobiles and helps cross traffic to see you. Again, a blinking mode adds to your visibility. For bike paths or roads without street lights, a light that allows you to see the road will not only help your visibility,
but will illuminate potholes and other road hazards in time for you to react. Adding reflective tape to your cranks or wearing reflective leg bands are easy ways to improve your visibility while also showing pedal motion, which identifies you as a cyclist to approaching drivers.
Winterize your Bike Preparing your bike for the winter months will also make riding through the wet, cold season more enjoyable. Adding fenders will help keep water and road grime from reaching your bike, components and more importantly, from reaching you! Invest in some biodegradable degreaser and use your old toothbrush and an old Bike to Work Day t-shirt as a rag to keep your bike clean. Regularly removing the gunk from your bike’s rims, chain, gears and frame will allow your bike to shift and brake much more efficiently, as well as extend the life of these parts. With more debris on the road in winter months, adding tire liners will help prevent flats. If you normally prefer to patch your tubes, try carrying along a new spare with you during the winter. Nothing is more disheartening than a patch that won’t stick while you are stranded in the cold and rain.
» WABA’S BIKE COMMUTERS SPEAK Name: Dorcas Adkins
Chantal Buchser, 26
Age: really? almost 63
Position: Ed Programs Director transitioning to Ed Programs Assistant
Soma Smoothie steel frame road bike commuting/racing bike, and a Gary Fisher G.E.D hardtail mountain bike
Bike: Jamis Coda Elite- a trusty and elegant freighter carrying racks and panniers, lights, water, lock, pump, tools, a carbon handlebar and a Brooks saddle. What do you like about riding, or what is your favorite ride, in DC, MD or VA?
My favorite DC riding is at night through quiet streets, especially in Autumn, when soft new-fallen leaves muffle the hiss of my tires on the wet pavement. In the dark it's more obvious when you have the road to yourself, and my pedals seem to turn more easily making my bike fly through the soft blackness. DC's compact layout and small size makes it very bike-accessible. What would you like to see in the future for DC area bicyclists?
Looking back at WABA's successes to date makes it realistic to imagine much more in the future. Special metro car space for bikes would help, as would bike cars on Amtrak and the Marc Trains. Completion of some of the trail links we lack such as sections of the Metropolitan Branch, Oxon Run, and Bethesda Trolly Trails will make more large off-road loops around the city a reality. And most of all, I look forward to a city where bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians share the streets with civility and safety in mind, and where education on these matters comes not only from WABA classes, but from the examples of others. Other interesting tidbits:
I plan to stay connected with WABA after transitioning from this phase of constant involvement. I'll be in and out of the office because I love the organization, the work, and my colleagues.
Jenni Bress, 30 Membership/Development Coordinator Vintage Nishiki Sport Road Bike, one mystery vintage cruiser, and an electra cruiser I like riding on the Rock Creek Park Trail or Capital Crescent Trail—a city girl needs a bit of nature every now and then. I'd like more bike lanes and drivers without middle fingers.
For road riding, nothing beats doing laps at Hains Point for me, but I still dearly miss having the Awakening statue there. I love riding around Poolesville MD for those beautiful long scenic country road rides. I’m also very appreciative of the fantastic trail network we have in this area. For mountain biking, I love going to Schaeffer Farms in Germantown, MD. You get a great mix of terrains and it’s still pretty close by. I would love to see continued trail expansions and more bike lanes to further encourage more people to try bicycling for work, errands, and recreation. I would also love to see more employers realize the value of bike commuting for their employees and encourage them to ride to work by providing incentives and proper facilities. I’ve really loved experiencing different kinds of bike riding—commuting to work by bike is relaxing and it’s fun to take in the sights and sounds of being outside before a day in the office. Triathlons have given me a chance to focus on improving my riding speed and technique. Mountain biking requires a different set of muscles and skills—just when you think your quads are in tip top shape, you start riding up a steep incline and are quickly humbled! I love having the chance to explore the woods while on my bike. All types of cycling are a great way to learn and appreciate your surroundings and stay healthy!
Eve DeCoursey, 57 Membership and Development Manager 1980 Raleigh Pro, Merckx 7-Eleven Road Bike, Jamis Coda I love how many cyclists there are, and how diverse our population is. I also appreciate how friendly a lot of cyclists are – I’ve had some great conversations on my commutes. I’ve been advocating for better bicycling for nearly three decades, and it’s made me a real stickler for both rights and responsibilities. I know that every time drivers see someone on a bike roll through a red light, or not play fair at a four-way stop, our combined cycling reputation goes down a notch. My wish for the future for DC area cyclists: all road users taking full responsibility for using the road legally (that includes driving within the posted speed limit) – we could greatly decrease the risk factor, and eliminate nearly all crashes!
I’ve commuted and ridden recreationally for 35 years, and “in my youth” trained and raced 300 miles/week— I’m looking forward to trying touring someday! In the meantime, it is a total honor to serve the cyclists of the DC metro area.
Eric Gilliland, 38 Executive Director 1 fixed-gear Independent Fabrication, 1 Club Racer Independent Fabrication with touring set-up I Like Anacostia trails tributary system and Europe. “More of it”
Glen Harrison, 40 Education Coordinator transitioning to Education Director Aluminum Scott S3 speedster whittled down to just under 19lbs., steel Trek 420 with front porter rack, Brooks saddle, xtracycle and bike blender, steel Miata Team with DA, rebuilding a DeRosa Giro starting with a Madonna del Ghisallo medallion and just for fun a Premium Products Team BMX. I love all of it! DC for it’s mix of downtown urban riding, small neighborhoods, federal monuments, VA for it’s long multi-use paths and western mountains and MD for it’s quiet rural roads and 80+ mile rides. I’d like to see more bicycling and all kinds of bicycles being ridden from bmx, racing, commuting, mountain, recumbent, special needs, just for fun, bike polo, tall bikes, tandems, unicycles, cargo bikes—especially connecting and in the city centers across the region, both road sharing and expanded bike-specific facilities. I served with the Air Force in the first Gulf War and served 3 years with the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan and Romania.
Henry Mesias, 27 Events Co-manager transitioning to Education Coordinator Surly Cross Check, Old KHS Flite 100 Fixed Gear I love taking the 8th St. NW bike route from DC to Silver Spring, MD and back. I would like to see bicycle facilities (bike lanes, cycle tracks, etc.) on all the major arterial roads running through DC. Having a cycle track on Florida Ave. stretching from NE to NW, DC would sure make life a lot easier.
H EVENTS 50 States and 13 Colonies Ride 2009 This year’s 50 States and 13 Colonies Ride was the biggest yet with more than 400 participants! This classic WABA membership ride never fails to challenge even the most experienced cyclist while offering something to the novice cyclist. The unique route through the city of Washington cyclists traverses all eight wards, and the neighborhoods that are visited along the way make the 50 States and 13 Colonies a cult classic of bike rides. It’s not often that cyclists will submit themselves to riding up and down so many hills, and sure, there is probably an easier route, but what’s the fun in that? Since this was an official WABA ride, the weather, as usual, threatened to be less than agreeable. Although
SEPT 22: WORLD CAR FREE DAY International Car Free Day was celebrated in DC again this year and in a big way! As a way to encourage local residents to be truly “car free” for this day, Commuter Connections hosted a website where people could pledge to be car free and include information on how they normally would be commuting to work that day. By the day of the event, over 6,000 people pledged online to be car free on September 22, 2009 showing a 14% increase from 2008’s pledges. This combined effort was responsible for taking nearly 2,200 Single Occupancy Vehicles (SOV) off the road, translating into a whopping 575,000 miles driven avoided by people being car free on the 22nd. Local jurisdictions across the metro DC area showed their support of the event this year by hosting a variety of events and services to area residents. WABA and DDOT teamed up for the DC Street celebration again this year showing the public how different a street can look without cars on it for a day. Two blocks of F Street in Chinatown were closed to vehicular traffic for the day allowing for a transformation from downtown street to street festival. The hundreds of people who came out to the street celebration had tons of activities to choose from including hula hoop lessons from Surprise! Hoops, a yoga session from District Yoga, workshops on green living, composting, and bike repair, ballroom and tango demonstrations, and much more.
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the forecast called for early morning rain, the coming storm held off for the majority of the ride and many participants found themselves finishing the 50 States Ride just in time to get out of the rain and ride over to Bourbon, the post-ride happy hour location in Adams Morgan. After 2pm Bourbon began to fill up as cyclists who had victoriously touched every single state-named street in Washington, DC came to take advantage of the ride discounts and top off their epic journey with a beer. The 50 States and 13 Colonies Ride was once again a huge success and WABA would like to thank all the volunteers who manned the aid stations, and our gracious sponsors without whom this ride would not have been possible. WABA thanks our top sponsor,
Signal Financial, our lead sponsor REI, and our major sponsors, the American University Cycling Team, and Bourbon. See you all next year!
WABA is very proud to announce our new office location at the corner of Columbia and Ontario Roads. After several years of seven staff members being crammed into a small third-floor office, we have moved to a little bit more spacious ground floor office in Adams Morgan. Moving day was Sunday, Nov 22, and except for desks and filing cabinets, everything was moved by bike trailer! The weather, contrary to WABA’s usual weather karma, was stunningly warm and bright, and our 40+ volunteers were awesome. Come and check out our new digs at the Holiday Party on Dec 17th! (Please note, the Connecticut street address will remain WABA's official address until postal final approval of the new address, 2599 Ontario Road.)
Thanks to o ur Voluntee r
Cullen Arm et David Bon o Cynthia Clu ck Ryan Coop er Spencer C ooper Bonnie Co rbin Dave Cran or Scott Dem psey Elizabeth Falk Max Fox Megan Gra ff Anne Gray Haynes Geoffrey H atchard Yvette Hes s Bernard H inton Dawn Hus s Bruce Hust on Pedro Kan of Pablo Lag oy Ken Matth ews Mike McM illion
Art Miess Rebecca M ills Allen Muc hnick Leo Muraro Bettina M yers Carl Newm an Jeffrey Pa i John Patte rson David Patt on Phil Pepan to Carlos Ron dan Charmaine Ruppolt April Saue rwine Charles Sc hneider Aaron Sch reiberStainthorp Claire Sne ed Randy Sw art Kristen Va n Metter Janice Wa gner Douglas Zu niga-Luchn er
Nov 22, 2009 - I just wanted to shoot you a quick note and thank you for letting me take part in the big move today. I had a great time and I think the visual impact of seeing all those trailers moving stuff had a real positive impact on the community. Since I moved from TN to MD a few months ago I've really struggled trying to connect with the bike community around where I live. From what I saw of WABA and its members today it looks like the kind of thing I'd like to get more involved with. Thanks for all your hard work and everything you do to make biking better around the greater DC area. I look forward to future WABA events. Good luck with the unpacking! —Ryan Cooper
WABA Holiday Store
WABA Getting people there by bike since 1972
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WABA T-SHIRTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10 Black in S, M, L, XL
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PUT YOUR OLD BIKE TO GOOD USE!
Yes! I want to support bicycling by:
For a complete collection schedule, visit www.bikesfortheworld.org or call Bikes for the World at 703-525-0931.
Donate it to Bikes For the World! Bikes for the World collects repairable bicycles in the United States, and donates them to charities overseas for productive use by those in need of affordable transport. Bikes for the World is a sponsored project of WABA, a 501(c)3 non-profit charity. Bikes for the World also accepts bike parts & accessories, operating portable sewing machines, and cell phones. Collections take place rain or shine.
Get your WABA/Signal Financial credit card – see page 3 for details!