How neighbors help sustain bike ridership
By Melinda Musser, Communications & Marketing Manager
“I especially enjoyed meeting Neda. She’s from Iraq,” remarked Doug, a We All Can Ride member. “I think it’s marvelous that we can have all of this diversity here. It’s one of the great wonders and joys of living in New Columbia.”
Last Friday, four members of We All Can Ride joined 17 Create a Commuter participants at a five hour workshop in the heart of New Columbia. We have learned that clustering our programs around our core partner communities helps spark connections among people. But why is this important?
Providing access to bicycles and safety education is the first step to creating new riders. However, there are other barriers to bicycling that can prevent a person from continuing to ride in the future, like not having people to ride with or access to affordable repairs. By introducing Create a Commuter members to their neighbors—the We All Can Ride bike committee—there is an even greater chance of sustaining ridership in the future.
Graduates of this Create a Commuter workshop will have immediate access to repair resources at the Bike Repair Hub. They will have the opportunity to participate in bike clinics this fall, like a bucket pannier-building workshop. And most importantly, they have established new relationships with We All Can Ride, a team of trained bike ride leaders who can help them safely navigate and explore Portland together.
“I enjoyed meeting new people, learning together, and being a community,” announced Michelle, fellow We All Can Ride member, at the end of the workshop. “Hopefully we can all get together.”
In a couple of weeks, We All Can Ride is organizing a community potluck and 14 of the new Create a Commuter participants plan to attend to learn about ways in which they can be further involved. In the future, some of these folks may go on to become committee members themselves.
Check out more photos from the workshop on our Flickr page.