The Bay Area’s newest BikeMobile is on the move, out to fix bicycles in five different counties during the first week of August alone. From a farm in Sonoma County to libraries in Contra Costa and Solano counties, a park in Santa Clara County and a Boys & Girls Club in San Francisco, the repair shop on wheels is tuning up bikes free of charge for trips to school, to work and around the neighborhood.
“We have a full schedule of activities,” said Tommy Bensko of Local Motion, the company implementing the Bay Area BikeMobile program through June 2015. “Our goal is to get people riding again and more confident about how to do repairs and get experience.”
You can’t miss the new Bay Area BikeMobile as it passes by, wrapped with colorful murals of people interacting with their bikes. The BikeMobile is a traveling repair shop with a territory that extends throughout eight of the nine Bay Area counties (Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano and Sonoma). In addition to school locales, the BikeMobile hosts bike fix-a-thons at community centers, parks and community events across the region. And the service goes way beyond fixing a flat—they help youths repair their bikes and keep them in good repair, teach mechanics (such as how to pour oil on chains and turn screwdrivers) and how to ride safely, and provide free refurbished bicycles and accessories when available.
The second BikeMobile program launched in March 2014 with the help of a $480,000 grant from the Spare the Air Youth program, funded by MTC in partnership with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The free resource focuses on families from low-income communities that often don’t have access to professional bike repair.
The new vehicle joins the original BikeMobile, which launched in 2012 in Alameda County with the help of a $500,000 Climate Initiatives grant from MTC. The Alameda County Transportation Commission partners with Cycles of Change to run the program. During the program’s first two years, crews repaired an estimated 5,350 bikes.
The fix-it crew, driving a BikeMobile that’s also decked out in bright murals, worked their magic at Pedalfest at Jack London Square in Oakland on July 26 and will be at Fremont’s Festival of the Arts August 2.
Staff members are also gearing up for the fall season, when crews will be on hand at schools and community events where requested, ready to supply parts and expertise to help keep bikes repaired and mobile.
“BikeMobile is valuable because no matter what community we’re in, people from all walks of life always express their need and gratitude for our repair and education services,” said San Saephan, BikeMobile assistant coordinator.
To see where the BikeMobiles will be in coming months and/or to schedule a visit, go to:
— Georgia Lambert