Enhance Your Cycling Skills: MCDOT and WABA to Offer Adult Bike, E-Scooter Classes This Spring

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) are joining forces to provide low-cost adult bike and e-scooter classes this spring.

The classes, which are set for April, May, and June, will cover Learn to Ride and Basic Skills, with MCDOT offering four free walk-up electric scooter classes following selected bike classes.

Participation in the bicycle classes requires advance registration. The cost is $10 for Montgomery County residents, with no charge for WABA or Capital Bikeshare For All members, although registration is still mandatory. Bicycles and helmets will be provided at no cost for participants in the adult Learn to Ride class, with the option to rent from WABA for Basic Skills class attendees. E-scooter classes are free of charge.

“More people are riding bikes for recreation, exercise, or as a form of transportation,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a press release. “Biking is a lot of fun, a great family activity and good for the environment as an alternative to using a motor vehicle. However, it is important to learn how to bike safely and responsibly. I encourage residents to take advantage of these low-cost bike classes and appreciate MCDOT’s efforts to offer them.”

Registration for April classes is open online on the WABA website, with May and June class registration opening on specific dates. The adult Learn to Ride Bike classes feature various locations and dates, while the Adult Basic Skills Bike classes have designated schedules. Rain dates are scheduled for a week after the original class, except for the April 6 class.

Free two-hour adult e-scooter classes are available on select days following the bike classes, with no pre-registration required. E-scooters are provided, and individuals 18 and over with a valid driver’s license or ID can join.

The Adult Learn to Ride Bike class schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at White Oak Recreation Center, located at 1700 April Lane, Silver Spring.
  • Sunday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Upper County Recreation Center, 8201 Emory Grove Rd., Gaithersburg. A free e-scooter class will follow.
  • Saturday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-Op, 201 Ethan Allen Ave., Takoma Park.
  • Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Montgomery College (parking lot 13), 850 Hungerford Dr., Rockville. A free e-scooter class will follow.
  • Sunday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Davis Construction at the Twinbrook Metro Center I, 12530 Parklawn Dr., Rockville.
  • Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at GEICO Chevy Chase Building, 5260 Western Ave., Chevy Chase.

The Adult Basic Skills Bike Class schedule includes:

  • Sunday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to noon at Westfield Montgomery Mall (former Sears parking lot), 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. A free scooter class will follow.
  • Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bethesda Rescue Squad parking lot, 5020 Battery Ln., Bethesda.
  • Sunday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to noon at Wheaton Ice Arena (back parking lot), 11711 Orebaugh Dr., Wheaton. A free scooter class will follow.

MCDOT has observed a rising demand for adult bike classes, expanding to new locations. Efforts are underway to enhance bike infrastructure, with ongoing projects to improve access to public transportation and key destinations.

“We have seen a great demand for adult bike classes,” said Chris Conklin, director of MCDOT. “Over the past year, we have added four additional bike classes at two new locations. Since 2021, more than 680 residents have registered for these trainings. We expect this interest to continue to grow. We are actively expanding our protected bike lanes in Bethesda and Downtown Silver Spring that seamlessly connect these two locations. We are also working to expand the separated bike lane network in North Bethesda, with projects that will improve access to Metro and other destinations.”

To register for bike classes, visit waba.org/classes. For more information and potential weather cancellations, visit MCDOT’s website or call (240) 777-8380.

Additionally, WABA has recently introduced a new Crash Tracker and Reporting Tool, enabling residents in the region to report near-miss incidents, traffic crashes, cars parked in bike lanes, and hazardous street locations.

Through this tool, individuals can choose to send their reports directly to local elected officials and the local department of transportation.

“Our tool will not only allow us to monitor where traffic crashes are taking place in the region but it will also serve as an advocacy tool to tell our local governments that there are traffic incidents taking place in our communities,” said WABA advocacy director Jeremiah Lowery.

To access the Crash Tracker and Reporting Tool, visit WABA’s website.

Photo: © Xalanx – stock.adobe.com

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