AS AN expansion of their New Standard Cycles Bicycle Recycling Program, Bike Walk Savannah has been able to provide 61 bikes so far for those in need of essential transportation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization received more than 175 requests from people all over the Greater Savannah area over the past two months, and continues to work on fixing bikes to provide for individuals.
Throughout the year volunteers with the New Standard Cycles program collect donated bikes from the community, and work with area non-profits and service agencies to assist their clients in finding transportation. This decision to work directly with individuals was made to support a greater number of community members, as well as provide relief for our overtasked community agencies.
“Bicycles are essential transportation for many who need to get around,” said Caila Brown, executive director. “And while we traditionally work with service agencies directly, it was important to give them some relief in this overwhelming period of time. Many of our community associations have been focused on employment, housing, and food insecurity concerns — and rightfully so — so it was important for us to be able to provide this service and allow for members of our community to apply directly for transportation assistance.”
Bikes have been donated from all over Chatham County, including a sizable contribution from 100 Black Men of Savannah, Inc. Harold Oglesby helped facilitate the donation of more than 25 bikes to Bike Walk Savannah to support their COVID-19 bike request program.
“The 100 Black Men of Savannah, Inc. values our ability to partner with organizations that are genuinely making a difference in the Savannah community,” said Harold Oglesby. “It was, therefore, a pleasure to team with Bike Walk Savannah to get bikes in the hands of Savannahians who needed them.”
“The support of 100 Black Men of Savannah, Inc. has been essential to our program’s success,” said Brown. “We typically distribute 40-60 adult bikes each year, so we quickly ran out of completed bikes for individuals. Their contribution included many bikes that just needed a quick tuneup, and parts that could be repurposed on other bikes. This was especially helpful due to shipping and manufacturing delays that bike shops are seeing all around the country. We thank them for their support.”
Members of the community who have a bike that is in ready to ride condition that they would like to contribute to the program can email a photo of the bike and details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs like New Standard Cycles are only possible thanks to generous financial support from the community. Donations can be made at bikewalksavannah.org/donate.