Press Release: Bike Census and Repair Training Cultivate Community Bike Educators in Cully
Bike Census and Repair Training Cultivate Community Bike Educators in Cully
Residents from Hacienda CDC promote bicycling in partnership
with the Community Cycling Center
March 19, 2012 – Portland, Ore. – Andando en Bicicletas en Cully (ABC) – which translates to “Riding Bikes in Cully” – is a group of residents from Hacienda CDC, an affordable housing nonprofit, who are interested in promoting bicycling for the health of their children and their community. In March, ABC organized a bike census – a survey about bicycles in Hacienda housing – to demonstrate the need for bike storage in their neighborhood. Additionally, they are bringing bicycle maintenance and repair training to Cully through a partnership with the Community Cycling Center.
Of the 120 households at Hacienda that were surveyed in the bike census, ABC and the Community Cycling Center reported a total of 183 bikes –112 kids bikes and 49 adult bikes – which is an average of 1.5 bikes per household. Survey results also indicated that over the past 2 years, 85 bikes have been stolen from the respondents, an average of nearly 1 bike per household.
“Bike storage is an issue for most families living in affordable housing, where the units are small and there is less space for bulky items, like bikes,” noted Laura Koch, Program Director at the Community Cycling Center. “When their project is completed, it will be a great model, not only for Hacienda but for other housing developers to demonstrate the kinds of amenities that are needed to support bicycle riding, which is a family-friendly, healthy activity.”
Community Cycling Center staff helped to compile the data and an initial draft was presented by ABC at Portland’s Transportation Safety Summit on March 13 at Jefferson High School. ABC will use the census as well as photos from their PhotoVoice project – a 2011 photography project documenting barriers to healthy activity at Hacienda housing – to raise support and funding for a bike storage project.
In addition to the bike census, twelve members of ABC are being trained as Community Bike Educators this spring. With funding from Metro and the Central Northeast Neighbors, the group is participating in six trainings taught in Spanish, including helmet fitting, tool and bike part identification, flat tire repair, cleaning and lubing, bike fitting, all weather riding, map reading, and route planning.
For many, the trainings are their first experience working with bicycles. One participant commented, “I have never tried to take a wheel off or fix a flat tire before, but now I know and can go home and fix my kids’ bikes.”
After completing the course, the Community Bike Educators will receive stipends to teach up to three workshops in their community. From their bike census they discovered that over 82% of respondents were interested in learning more about bicycle repair and safety, so the Community Bike Educators will be able to put their new skills to immediate use.
Tanya Wolfersperger, Youth and Family Services Director at Hacienda CDC, expressed the positive outcomes of building relationships with their resident community. “The structure that we’ve developed for the ABC group and the Community Bike Educators has created a genuine sense of ownership and empowerment within the community that I believe will result in lasting health outcomes and skills that can be sustained and expanded.”
About the Community Cycling Center
The Community Cycling Center, founded in 1994, broadens access to bicycling and its benefits. Our vision is to build a vibrant community where people of all backgrounds use bicycles to stay healthy and connected. As one of the oldest bicycling nonprofits in the United States, we build healthy communities by helping thousands of people ride safely. For more information, visit www.CommunityCyclingCenter.org.
About Hacienda CDC
Hacienda develops affordable housing and builds thriving communities in support of working Latino families and others in Oregon by promoting healthy living and economic advancement. For more information, visit www.haciendacdc.org.
A bike census infographic can be downloaded here.
Photos from the Community Bike Educator trainings may be viewed and used (with proper photo credits) on our Flickr page.