May 4, 2017

Bike Repair (June 2017)

Organized by Newark Parks Foundation in partnership with Safe Routes To School, BikeMobile, and Bike East Bay, this was a successful bike repair event hosted for the benefit of Schilling Elementary School students and the greater Newark community.

Even before the school bell rang, parents began adding their kids' bikes to the repair queue. Adults had bikes of their own in need of tuning. BikeMobile mechanics were hard at work, servicing over 23 bikes. In total, about 100 visitors "rolled" through. By the end, we had ZERO inventory: no bikes, no bike locks, and no helmets. We were cleaned out!

Thanks to donated used bikes from the community and financial support from Cargill, Newark Parks Foundation spent the Fall and Spring refurbishing bikes just in time for the event's bike giveaway. Most bikes for Schilling students were pre-reserved. Though we didn't view kids as numbers, the bike inventory tags came in handy.

And, a good thing that bike giveaway process went well because initially the helmet giveaway felt more like a helmet grab (lol), providing us much needed feedback for the next event. In the end, all kids were properly fitted with helmets and so their teachers will be thrilled to know that their brains will be in tact after a fun summer of bike riding.

A few disappointed kids didn't pre-reserve bikes and the standby inventory didn't match their stature; but, luckily all kids were matched with a bike within three days of the event. Even those that already owned bikes went home with bike locks donated by Safe Routes To Schools.

Bike East Bay's rodeo was a huge success, reaching 32 kids: the kids never put down the loaner bikes for a break! Schilling's unusually large campus made for a fun and safe event. The spacious campus enabled kids to bike freely on the school grounds unimpeded by fellow bikers or by kids playing on the play structures while their bikes were being fixed.

So much gratitude. So many smiles. So many happy screams. One of the many highlights of the event was inspiring a few families to hit the trail (Coyote Hills) and watching two kids learn how to ride a bike for the first time.

Here's the final tally:

  • Visitors - 100+
  • Helmets - 50
  • Bike Repairs - 23
  • Bike Locks - 35
  • Bikes - 25

Huge thank you to Damian, Stephen, Christine, Ana, and all the other volunteers that helped get Schilling's youth active for the summer. And, thank you to  Newark-owned Margarita Man (www.bayareamargaritaman.com) for the loaner "slushie" machine. Enjoy biking this summer, kids!