A meaningful bicycle experience

JAMIE CHEN / AGGIE

Donations needed for The Bike Campaign

The Bike Campaign, a nonprofit organization in Davis, aims to provide people with the opportunity to use biking as a means of transportation. The organization seeks out bike donations throughout the year but particularly during the fall when people are settling into their new places and may not need their bicycles anymore.

Maria Contreras Tebbutt, the director and founder of The Bike Campaign, explained why she created the nonprofit.

“There are schools in our county where there are very few kids who ride their bikes to school in Woodland,” Tebbutt said. “As Davis prides itself as a bike friendly community, I would like to share that wonderfulness with all our neighbors. There was a hideous amount of traffic around schools, and I knew that the economic picture of families who attend these schools is pretty dire.”

Tebbutt indicated that the organization accepts bicycle donations year-round, but it is looking for donations at this time especially because many students leave their bicycles on campus after they stop using them.

“We are always looking for bikes for donation, especially in certain times of the year like when students are thinking about moving in August,” Tebbutt said. “They don’t have a bike rack, so what are they supposed to do with a bike? Often times, bikes get abandoned, and we’d like to offer a much better alternative. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you donated your bike and, next semester, a student who cannot afford a bike is presented with a free bike? On top of that, they can get all the education and encouragement and support they need to have a great riding experience.”

Marlene Andrade, a third-year linguistics major transfer student at UC Davis, first came to Davis without knowing much about bicycling. She got the help she needed from The Bike Campaign.

“I came to UC Davis during Summer Session II,” Andrade said. “I was in a class called Healthful Living (PHE 44), and in this class [Tebbutt] came to present to us about safety. Since we’re more about healthy living — psychological and mental — that day, it was more about physical fitness. Maria came over from the bike campaign to talk about biking. I got to know her a little more as well as the organization.”

The Bike Campaign also has a bike buddy program so that people like Andrade can recieve bike education. After joining the organization, Andrade was given a bike buddy, Sarah Davis, a volunteer at The Bike Campaign.

“It’s been awesome so far, and I’m new at [being a bike buddy],” Davis said. “It’s been fun to share a little bit of knowledge about bicycling with people who don’t have that much experience. I’m really impressed with people who come to Davis who take that on because it could be quite daunting.”

Andrade elaborated on her decision to join and get assistance from a bike buddy.

“I wanted to join, and the reason why is because I came from a city where people mostly commuted,” Andrade said. “I didn’t have knowledge and experience about biking. I usually bike for fun, but I wanted to know a little more. There are so many intersections around the city, and I knew that I needed a bike buddy.”

Tebbutt noted the importance of bicycling and promoting bicycling education.

“Sometimes people don’t equate the fact that we are feeding vehicles thousands of dollars to the point that we do not have money to feed ourselves,” Tebbutt said. “I wanted to help alleviate that kind of situation.”

Tebbutt also stressed the importance of tangible experiences when it comes to learning about how to use a bicycle properly.

“Just because you know how to ride a bike does not mean that you are comfortable with riding a bike in traffic,” Tebbutt said. “We have 10 events scheduled where we work directly face-to-face with UC Davis students. You may be a good driver but you may be terrified of riding a bike in traffic. This is something that has to be learned and practiced. An important ingredient is that the experience needs to be shared.”

 

Written by: Stella Tran – city@theaggie.org