2014 Year of Yay!

2014 Year of Yay!

i Jan 14th No Comments by

Year of Yay! is our signature monthly ride, designed to highlight local businesses and promote Yay Bikes! membership. Each ride is a casual (~12mph) 15–25 miles, with several stops at local businesses or organizations that express the theme of the month. All members ride free and all riders receive an exclusive, limited edition button designed by a local artist – collect all 12!

New for 2014 - All rides will start and end at Whole Foods on Lane Ave. beginning at 10 AM, on the second Saturday of each month.

2014 Year of Yay! Dates


2013 summer youth programming

i Aug 1st No Comments by

The bike club at Driving Park Recreation Center (Kids Cycle Columbus)
Through our How We Roll program, Yay Bikes! trained 120 kids 12 different locations  to ride safely on the roads this summer. Instructors conveyed key areas of bicycle safety before during and after the tour, and taught students how to avoid common crashes by following traffic law and being visible and predictable. Students learned their place within traffic including their rights and responsibilities and specific traffic laws that apply to bicyclists.

Here is some of the feedback shard by those participants:

“Things about the bike thing is that I love it and it is cool and better for me and cars.” – Charmane

“Before I wasn’t aware of the rules and safety positions for bikes. I learned how to ride with traffic and how to strategize routes. In one class I got to lead and it was great!” – Randi

“Something I would tell a friend if they wanted to take a bike class, is that it is a cool experience. I would also tell them to always signal when stopping, turning or getting in a different lane. Also, I would tell them when they are riding in the dark or rain they should turn on their lights.” – Kayla

Youth bike clubs were coordinated at 8 different sites by the Center For Active Living  http://publichealth.columbus.gov/institute-for-active-living.aspx and funded by Medical Mutual. The sites included five City of Columbus Recreation Centers – Dodge, Far East, Driving Park, Tuttle, Barack, and 3 community centers – Godman Guild, Grange Audubon Center, and First English Lutheran Church. Rails to Trails http://www.railstotrails.org/ourwork/wherewework/midwest/projects/oh-columbus-centralohiogreenway.html funded three sites on the west side The Ohio State University’s Office of Outreach and Engagement funded a group from the University District Freedom School.


How We Roll – CoGo Bike Share

i Aug 1st No Comments by


Yay Bikes! has teamed up with Columbus’s bike share program CoGo to provide 20 free How We Roll – CoGo classes.

After learning how great the How We Roll experience is I’m sure you want to take a class, (or refer someone). You are in luck! CoGo has hired Yay Bikes! to provide ten weeks of lunch hour classes to help bicyclists learn how to confidently and legally navigate the roads of downtown Columbus. You know it is quicker to get to that meeting by bike than it is to: 1) walk to your car, 2) drive it to the closest lot or meter, then 3)walk to the meeting. This high-touch, slow-paced ride/class will leave participants with the knowledge of how to be predicable and visible to motorists. And yes, you are finally going to learn how to appropriately share the road with COTA bus drivers.

Classes are offered Wednesday and Friday from noon-1p beginning August 7th and continuing through October 11th. Register on line at howeroll.us At registration you will be asked a few brief questions (we are research nerds). We will also provide a loaner helmet to participants who indicate a need. Each rider will also receive a drawstring backpack bag with information covered during the ride and goodies such as a free CoGo day pass, MORPCs great bike map, a How We Roll button and sticker, and other useful information for city bicyclists. What are you waiting for? Sign up now!


HOW WE ROLL – What is it?

i Aug 1st No Comments by

How We Roll is innovative cyclist education that forsakes the classroom for a fun, informative, on-road experience. This unique cyclist education program designed to teach people how to ride bicycles confidently in traffic, foster a positive bike culture, and reduce the incidence of bike/car crashes.

This award winning program of Yay Bikes! was featured in the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America Guide 2012 and received the WTS Columbus Chapter’s Innovative Transportation Solutions Award.

How We Roll seeks to change the behaviors that most often lead to crashes through on road bicycle education. We have worked with several groups to provide this service to hundreds of cyclists on a contract basis, including: The Ohio State University, Womens Transportation Seminar, University of Akron, AIA Columbus/Center for Architecture and Design, Central Ohio Freedom Schools, City of Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks and Department of Public Service, and CoGo Bike Share.

Two instructors lead a group of 4-8 students riding at a breezy pace. The route is designed to feature various traffic scenarios, with an increasing degree of difficulty. Groups make 5-6 stops where instructors discuss the section of road just traveled, present new information, answer questions, and critique student riding habits. Instructors convey information regarding road riding skills, traffic principles, and bicycle related traffic law. At the last stop students complete a short evaluation. Participants learn to ride confidently, legally, and comfortably on city streets.

Previous tour participants report extremely high levels of satisfaction with the How We Roll experience and increased levels of confidence.

“This tour showed me a lot and it was really fun being respected by cars on a bike as a vehicle because in the small city I am from, bikes are not used like they are in Columbus and no one rides on the roads. I am glad I went on the tour because I know the street laws now and it encouraged me to start riding a bike more places now that I am comfortable with the laws” -  OSU Graduate Student

This summer, How We Roll is being implemented in three ways – for kids aged 4-17, in partnership with CoGo bike share, and as a component of the City of Columbus’s Share the Road campaign. Read on for the details!


Here are some great ways to volunteer with Yay Bikes!

i Jun 26th No Comments by

Pedal Instead Bike Corral
Not sure what the Bike Corral is? Think of it as “coat check for bikes.” People drop off their bicycle, we give them a claim ticket, and we keep their bike in our secure corral for the duration of their stay at an event. We collect mileage data in order to determine environmental data such as pounds of carbon saved, gallons of fuel saved, and number of calories burned. Cyclists earn a Buy One, Get One burrito coupon from our sponsor Chipotle just for parking their bike in our corral, (at all events except ComFest and OSU football games).

Volunteers working 4 hours in the bike corral earn a FREE burrito coupon from Chipotle (except at Comfest). Work up an appetite in the corral and then enjoy a hearty, free burrito!

Check out the full list of events needing volunteers at http://pedalinstead.org/events/ We’ll be at the Mayor’s Twilight Ride on Friday July 12th, and the Paddle and Pedal event on Saturday July 13th.  Keep checking the site regularly for new events, or send a quick email to april@yaybikes.com to be added to the special Pedal Instead Volunteer email list.

Here are two ways to volunteer AND have fun doing it:

Safety or Clean Up and Recycling late night shifts (10pm and later):

  • Comfest offers an opportunity for volunteers to contribute real dollars to an organization of their choice when they work the late night Safety or Clean Up and Recycling shifts on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • First step – register online at http://www.comfest.com/volunteering.php and enter Yay Bikes as the “organization name.”
  • Second step – when you arrive for your shift, be sure to complete the donation sheet, writing in Yay Bikes as the organization.
  • Bonus – for your hard work, not only will you help Yay Bikes!, you’ll also get a cool Clean Up and Recycling Comfest volunteer t-shirt AND special volunteer tokens to use for food and beverage (including beer) at the festival.

Pedal Instead Bike Corral:
Last year, we parked nearly 2500 bikes in the Pedal Instead bike corral at the corner of Dennison and Buttles. We are sure to break that record this year! Get your work out in by joining us for late night bike parking shifts and/or Sunday evening bike corral breakdown. You’ll earn tokens AND get a special t-shirt! Register at http://www.comfest.com/volunteering.php

Participating in a Parade
A great way to show your support for alternative transportation in Columbus. Yay Bikes! regularly participates in the Doo Dah Parade each year. Join us on July 4th in Goodale Park at noon. For more information click here https://www.facebook.com/events/144821129041407/?fref=ts

Yay Bikes! Table at Community Events
At various events around town throughout the year, Yay Bikes! sets up a table to create interest and provide education around alternative transportation and transportation policy in Ohio. We need volunteers to staff the tables, pass out literature, and encourage people to join Yay Bikes! in our efforts to increase cycling in the Central Ohio region. Share your cycling stories!

Assisting with a Ride
The Year of Yay series of monthly rides around Columbus is a great opportunity to join a ride and encourage others to do the same. For each ride, we need volunteers to assist on the ride – someone who guides others on the ride, encourages newbies, fixes flats, and flanks the pack. We also need volunteers to help with the registration process and volunteers to greet people and keep up the conversation while we prepare to get on the road. With the rapid growth of our group (last month we had 70+ riders!), registration can take some time. Call (614) 371-8232 or e-mail catherine@yaybikes.com  to help out on a Year of Yay ride.

Helping the Organization Run like a Well-Oiled Machine
Even though we’ve added a couple of staff members, there are tons of things that need to get done on a regular basis in order to keep Yay Bikes! running like a well-oiled machine and growing constantly. Do you have web skills? Are you social media savvy? Do you like writing about your cycling experiences? Are you especially productive with tasks like button making? Do you love snapping photos and sharing them with friends? These are all things we desperately need!! We are in urgent need of people or a person with mad web skills to update our Yay Bikes! and Pedal Instead sites so please shoot an email to catherine@yaybikes.com if you have this special skill OR if you’d like to volunteer in any other way.


How would you describe Yay Bikes!?

i Oct 28th No Comments by

Yay Bikes! sent out a survey to our members earlier this year and one of the questions was “What 3 words would you use to describe the Yay Bikes! brand?” Here’s a word cloud of how people answered:


2012 ‘How We Roll’ program update

i Jul 30th No Comments by

How We Roll Program Update

Our How We Roll campaign, which was featured in the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly America Guide 2012 (pdf) and received the WTS Columbus Chapter’s Innovative Transportation Solutions Award, increased the cycling confidence of 215 OSU students last fall. Given the success of How We Roll at OSU, we are expanding the program in lots of exciting ways. Read more below !


All the details you could ever want about the 2011 OSU pilot — no really, all the details — are available in this final report (pdf). Curl up by the pool with a refreshing glass of sun tea and enjoy!


Returning to OSU

We’re returning for Round 2 of the campaign at OSU this fall! This year we hope to double the number of students who take the tour by working with RAs and other student leaders to create special tours for their groups. If you’re a member of the OSU community, contact Nathan to schedule a tour for your group of 6–12!

Expanding to the University of Akron

ODOT has officially funded the replication of How We Roll at the University of Akron! This is the first of what we hope will be many additional sites for How We Roll throughout Ohio. UofA will spend the next two years establishing the organization infrastructure for bicycle mode shift and safety initiatives, then launch HWR officially for fall semester 2013. Yay Bikes! will be hired as the consultant to help implement the campaign.

Taking on new forms

The great thing about educational bicycle tours is that you can do them in all sorts of contexts for all sorts of people! We’ve conducted and supported rides for the University District Freedom School’s teen scholars, for WTS Central Ohio and for the AIA Columbus/Center for Architecture and Design’s design:ROLLS tour. Contact Meredith to have Yay Bikes! lead or support your specialty bicycle tour!


We are currently seeking the support of businesses in the Campus, Short North and Downtown areas for OSU tours this fall. By providing free samples and other discounts to our cyclists, sponsors get OSU students delivered directly to their door and receive:

—2–3 minutes per tour to speak to participants about your business

—The opportunity to include promotional material within participants’ swag bags

—Featured spots on our tour map, website and final campaign report

—At least 2 social media mentions during the semester

Contact Nathan to sponsor the tour for OSU students this fall! Contact Meredith to sponsor How We Roll on other campuses.


OSU parking privatization worse than you possibly could have imagined

i Apr 18th 11 Comments by

I have been naive about the proposal to privatize parking at OSU. Until today I was thinking, “OK, well that probably sucks for all sorts of reasons, but at least it will raise parking rates and that could make people less inclined to drive to campus.” Indeed, parking fees under the plan would be raised at least 7.5% each year for the next 10 years—which is good for people like me who would prefer that the cost of driving is high enough to discourage it. But then I talked to an OSU employee who told me a choice tidbit from the contract currently being developed. And yes, it is worse than you possibly could have imagined for efforts to promote active transportation on campus.


New Conversations: Transportation From a Faith Perspective

i Feb 2nd 1 Comment by

Many conversations in the world of cycling are, frankly, just about played out: “We need bike lanes!” vs “Bike lanes are for pussies!” … “Cyclists never follow the rules!” vs “Yeah, but motorists are trying to kill us!” … “Bike sharing is a UN conspiracy!” vs “Um, no, we’re really just riding bikes here!” … “Spandex is a the fabric of my dreams!” vs “Spandex makes my butt look big!” And so on. It can get pretty boring, arguing the same damn thing all the time to the same people. Let alone trying to lecture people about why biking is great for you: “Saves money!” … “Improves health!” … “Great for the environment!” These entrenched conversations make it far too easy for people who don’t care about bicycling to tune it out altogether. Something must be done to interrupt the scripts and get at this topic from new angles; it’s time for new, surprising conversations about bicycling and the role of transportation in our everyday lives.


The TRB Annual Meeting & My Fantasy Research Project

i Jan 31st 3 Comments by

Last week, alongside 11,000+ transportation professionals from around the world, I attended the 91st Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. I went to learn what’s happening in the world of transportation research, what the gaps are and how Yay Bikes! might contribute to the conversation. The good news: there is *lots* of exciting bicycle research being done out there, much more than ever before! But for all the inquiry into bike infrastructure, bike sharing programs, cyclists’ behavior and preferences, however, I did notice that one topic continues to be overlooked—cyclist education. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there is a single research paper devoted to the subject!