"In the long run [this bike] will make me stronger and healthier, and I envision that others will be encouraged by me and will want to follow suit."
-- Sondra of FairfaxVillage and recipant of a 2011 East of the River WABA commuter bike package.
Support WABA's East of the River Program Now!
Spring is here. That means many things at WABA, but the most important thing it means is a fresh opportunity to get more people bicycling. Last spring we launched our East of the Anacostia Campaign with little more than the recognition of a crucial need and the faith that the bicycling community would rally to support our efforts and meet that need. Our members supported our efforts, and we delivered.
Help us build on that success by contributing to the 2012 East of the Anacostia outreach campaign.
We created a program on a shoestring budget that has become one of the most successful new rider campaigns in WABA history. From the "Get on a Bike" contest to the Capital Bikeshare membership giveaway (50 new CaBi members!), from the Learn to Ride Classes (26 new adult cyclists!) to the family rides, from the weeks of outreach to the hundreds of repaired bikes--we delivered on every element that we asked you to support in 2011.
We couldn't have done it without you, and we are deeply thankful for your confidence in our ability to deliver a program to reach new cyclists in an area previously underserved by bicycle programming.
But that was just the beginning! Your contribution helps us take the program to the next level.
We are back for 2012 with plans for an ambitious outreach campaign that builds on last year's successes. But now we have some additional support to bolster our efforts. We have an entire network of community members who participated in the program last year and are excited to see our events, our mobile bike clinics, and our rides come back to their neighborhoods. Some of these are cyclists who learned to ride last year in our classes, or who got access to their bikes through our programs—and now they are helping us to spread the word to others.
We have community-based groups partnering with us, individuals approaching us to donate their time and energy, and entrepreneurial leaders looking to learn from our efforts and expand upon them to bring local biking services to these communities on a more permanent basis.
We once again need your support for this initiative. Last year we came to you with little more than a strong sense of purpose and a program design; today we come with a year of success, a plethora of partners, positive community energy, and strong prospects for additional funding from traditional sources for programming later in the season.
With the beautiful Spring weather upon us weeks earlier than usual, the excitement around biking has arrived and we are gearing up for bike month. Now is the time to get to work, to launch this program to capitalize on a few extra weeks of good weather to strategize, to plan, and to build on what we have to get more people on bikes.
So I come to you once again asking for your support for this program. We have already begun recruiting for a program manager to pull all the components of this project together and mobile bike shop mechanics. We are ready to take the leap, hire our 2012 East of the Anacostia Program Coordinator, and get to work on the community outreach to lay the groundwork for this year's classes, bike clinics, rides, and celebrations of biking.
With a few dedicated volunteers and WABA staff donating their time, we are providing a bike valet for the Lumen8 Anacostia event on April 14th. This valet gives us an opportunity not only to provide secure bike parking for what is expected to be one of the community's largest events in years-but also the opportunity to reach out to thousands of residents to promote biking and the bike programming that is coming this season. Though we don't have the money in hand, we just couldn't let this event pass by without our presence. We want every person there to leave knowing that WABA's programming is coming and how to take advantage of it to get on a bike in 2012.
Please Contribute to Support the 2012 East of the Anacostia Campaign
That means we need your support now so that we know by April 14 what programming we will be able to fund and deliver. If you are able to make a financial contribution, we greatly appreciate that support as it helps us to pay for the hours of staff time, the printing of flyers, the renting of bicycles and other expenses that come with promoting better bicycling in such a grassroots way across the region. If you are interested in helping in another way, such as by volunteering at the Lumen8Anacostia valet, helping to lead a ride, providing bikes or supplies for the mobile shop, or assisting in flyering to promote the activities, we welcome such donations of time and in-kind support as well.
We look forward to making this year's campaign even better than the last. We are incredibly grateful for your contribution to our success last year, and we hope that you will contribute again to this year's program.
Shane Farthing, Executive Director