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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Biking lifestyle surges in Davis community

The Bike Campaign provides services, education for those seeking to use bike transportation around Davis

The Bike Campaign is a group of people from all across Davis and Sacramento dedicated to reducing car trips to schools and workplaces while increasing biking enjoyment and safety. The organization was founded by Maria Contreras Tebbutt, who also founded The Bike Garage in 2011.

Tebbutt expressed the organization’s guiding mission to educate people about cycling and encourage others to ride their bicycles.

“People at UC Davis age have grown up used to using cars, and [may] not [be] familiar with a biking lifestyle,” Tebbutt said. “They may have used the bicycle for recreation, and maybe as a toy when they were young, and then stopped using it and started using vehicles. That’s what the bike campaign is about.”

First-year animal biology major Mary Yang commented on the organization.

“I think what they are doing is really helpful for UC Davis students,” Yang said. “Many people use their bikes to get around campus often enough that their bikes will wear down eventually. Most people don’t have the resources or knowledge to fix their bikes, and these services would remedy that.”

The Bike Campaign provides various services available to everyone in the Davis community. The organization’s main place of operation, The Bike Garage, has sold bicycles of all shapes and sizes at a more affordable price. The Bike Garage also provides repairs to bicycles as well as offers information sessions on how to repair bikes. Part of its dedication to the community is to ensure that everyone has access to its services. As such, according to the website, this is a “pay only what you can” service.

“We found that one of the challenges that most of the students have is that they may have a bicycle, but the bike is not operative,” Tebbutt said. “We want to be available to not only show them what to do, [but to] help them and get it done and teach them to do it themselves. That’s just one component of riding a bike. Brake pads wear out and need to be replaced. Chains get dry and need to be cleaned and lubed. Basic bike maintenance can make your whole biking experience so much more wonderful.”

As part of the organization’s commitment to promoting cycling, The Bike Campaign has provided students and community members with free bikes. In a series titled, “Why I Ride,” people provide their own personal insights on what biking means to them.

“Everybody loves a personal story,” Tebbutt said. “I wanted to show everyday average people — people who are part of our community — that have personal reasons for using bicycles. The biggest reason is that it’s more fun than owning a car. They are thrilled with the health benefits. These are happy people who enjoy themselves, even when it’s wet. When it’s raining, we don’t stop riding; we just have different gears. We’re picking a wide variety of people, and we would like to have more Davis students.”

The Bike Campaign also hosts a number of events centered around biking education, health and fitness and cycling safety. They hosted their most recent event, the Healthy Transport Options, at UC Davis on March 4. The program consisted of a presentation about the economic, health and happiness benefits of biking more and driving less.

“We were very excited to make a connection with the coaches that are responsible for the ‘healthy living classes’ on campus,” Tebbutt said. “This topic is so exciting because this is a tool that anybody can use immediately or for the rest of their lives. It shows the different ways to live your life without being car-dependent. It offers a resource of the bike campaign to answer any questions we’re not able to cover in a 50-minute class.”

First year biological sciences major Tiffany Chen expressed her gratitude toward the organization’s outreach and events.

“With UC Davis being primarily a bike-accessible campus, these resources and events being available to students would be beneficial to campus life,” Chen said. “Education on things like bike safety could help prevent numerous bike accidents that occur often on campus.”

Written by: John Regidor — city@theaggie.org


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