[UPDATED] The staff at Day One have helped keep community members active during the pandemic by connecting people throughout LA County who have an extra bicycle with people who need one.
But that’s not all. With help from a number of local donors, the city of Pasadena, and other organizations, Day One has also been giving away bike helmets and lights at random intersections to keep bicyclists, pedestrians and others safe.
Talking about yet another bike program, Colin Bogart, active transportation director at Day One, said they started the bike repair program in May 2020 as “Project Wheelie.” They launched it in cooperation with Active San Gabriel Valley (ActiveSGV) and the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition.
“We received a mini-grant from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). That was instrumental in funding the project,” Bogart said. “The idea was that we’re in the middle of the pandemic, there are few opportunities to stay active, and there’s a lot of essential workers who rely on bikes for transportation and need to get their bikes repaired and maybe can’t afford to get it done. So we wanted to make that service available to them to help them out.”
Following the launch of their free bike repair program, Day One started Bike Match, a program in which anyone who might want to get rid of a serviceable bicycle can donate it to someone Day One.
“A lot more people, started riding bikes during the pandemic, and at the same time the demand made it very hard to get a bike at the time. It can still be challenging to get a bike,” Bogart continued. “So we launched the Bike Match program as a way to basically invite people to offer up a bike that they would be willing to donate and then we match them with someone who needs a bike.”
Those programs are still continuing for Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) families who have been hit hard by the pandemic. If a family member wants free bike repair service, all he or she has to do is visit the Bike Repair website, www.godayone.org/bikerepair, book an appointment, and take the bike to the designated repair site on the appointed date and time.
Bike Repair activities will be set up with appropriate disinfection and safe physical distancing. Appointment times are spaced out in 30-minute increments so that multiple community members won’t be arriving at the same time.
With Bike Match, Day One hopes to encourage more families to ride together by connecting people who need bikes with those who can give them away.
“We also have a page on our website where people can sign up and request a bike or offer to donate a bike. And that’s really key,” Bogart said. “As you may guess, we have a lot more requests for bikes than bikes to offer. So we’re always looking for more bikes to be donated by the public. Folks can go to our website, www.godayone.org/bikematch, and they can fill out a form if they want to offer us a bike, or, if they need a bike, and they’d want to be put on the list.”
Again, Bike Match sites are set up in such a way as to ensure safe physical distancing and appropriate disinfection.
Day One and the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition are partnering with LACountryBikeMatch, a project of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, to provide Pasadena with this service. The other partners are Pasadena Safe Routes, the PUSD, the city’s Department of Transportation, and Active SGV, Bogart said.
Beneficiaries of the Bike Repair and Bike Match programs are encouraged to take a picture of their bike and post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tag them @pasadenasaferoutes for a chance to win a prize.
Day One is also planning to offer basic bicycle repair classes to PUSD students, where a mechanic could come by several times a week and teach students how to fix their own bikes. They will soon be starting the classes at a bike repair space at Washington Middle School.
“We anticipate that those students will help to do tune-ups and repairs on bikes that get donated to us and then get given out to the public,” Bogart said. “And so, that also enables the students to be part of that program, as well as learning how to fix their own bikes. So we’re really excited about that too.”
Since last year, Day One and their partners have done repairs for about 90 bike owners and given away at least 35 bikes, Bogart said. The group has also given out close to 250 free sets of bicycle lights and about 88 bike helmets in another program they started in June.
“Essentially what we’re doing is we’re going out in the community and positioning ourselves at different intersections around town during the peak evening commute time. And we’re basically stopping bicyclists that we see and asking them if they need bike lights,” Bogart said. “If they do, we give them free bike lights. If we see they don’t have a helmet, we ask them if they would like to have a helmet. And if they want one, we give them a free helmet. These efforts will continue until the end of September.”
Day One also hopes to be able to restart some of the pre-pandemic Pasadena Safe Streets programs that were put on hold. One is the Walking School Bus program, in which a group of students walks to school together with at least one parent who’s supervising, and another is the Bike Train program, where a group of students rides to school together, again with a parent or adult riding with them to ensure safety.