Category Archives: Yay Bikes! news


Grandview Civic Welfare Club…

heard a mouthful of Yay Bikes! at their January meeting. Ken Cohen, founding board member and active volunteer, presented what improves the welfare of cyclists and motorists alike. Our four programs were shared with an audience of about 25 participants.  The presentation went into overtime as members asked questions and shared opinions about communities going through mode share.

December 2014 Year of Yay! Crafty Cyclists

Rahel Babb organized the December ride on the theme of "Craft"
Rahel Babb organized the December ride on the theme of “Craft”
It was a beautiful day to ride
It was a beautiful day to ride


Next Stop - Luck Brother's Coffee
Next Stop – Luck Brother’s Coffee
54 riders after shopping at Wild Goose Creative
54 riders after shopping at Wild Goose Creative
Next Stop - Luck Brother's Coffee
Next Stop – Luck Brother’s Coffee10:00 a.m., at Whole Foods

10:00 a.m. on a chilly Saturday morning, 54 eager riders were called to attention to hear Rahel Babb talk about the morning’s tour, highlighting the craft locations we would be experiencing.  Executive director, Catherine Girves (in her new, cycling-specific jacket) updated the crowd on the latest Yay Bikes! news.  Shortly after 10, we were enroute to the Ohio Craft Museum. Meandering through central Upper Arlington towards Grandview, we arrived at our destination.  There was ample parking, and as always several cyclists remained near our steads to assure they were there when we returned from this stop. The museum was filled with affordable goodies at a perfect time for last minute Christmas acquisitions.  It wasn’t long before riders were stashing their booty.  Riders without carrying capacity were invited to stow their purchases with those who rode with bags and panniers for th duration of the tour.   The morning’s chill was going to be stayed by a promising warming up at Luck Bros coffee. Steaming specialty coffees and hot cocoa for all. It’s amazing how pleasurable enjoying such water solubles can be in company of cycling friends.  Onward through the neighborhoods of lower Grandview Heights, through Harrison West, around the circles adjacent to Battelle, and past the OSU Campus area to our friends at Wild Goose Creative where another group of local craft people were showing/selling their wares via their Crafts Gone Wild Craft Fair.  Parking our bikes on the roof of the building was a uniquely elevating experience.

Our final stop was back at Whole Foods.  We cruised across High Street through the Buckeye Village family housing neighborhood, past the Jesse Owens Memorial stadium, Bill Davis stadium, and both sections of Chadwick Arboretum.  Whole Foods had invited riders to leave coats and hats in the main café, grab a cup of hot cocoa and get a personally escorted store tour (free samples galore).  We were shown a number of hand-crafted items available at the store, including locally made soap, baskets, cheese, bakery items, and sausage.

A large numbers of riders stayed on for food, drink and camaraderie.  We talked of our ride, our plans and the enjoyment cycling has brought to our lives.  Another successful tour of place was offered and had by all.


Metro Park trails usage up double digits

“Mild weather, increased trail use and the growing popularity of several parks are credited with putting Metro Parks on track to set an attendance record this year.”  Increase and attendance at the parks has risen significantly, Heritage trail saw an increase of 51%.

“Catherine Girves, executive director of the advocacy group Yay Bikes, said that as the trails are finished and become more interconnected, people will use them more for getting from place to place, not just for recreation.

“Trails are a huge step (for) transitioning from cars to bikes,” Girves said.

“She said Metro Parks did a good job plowing the trails this past winter, giving cold-weather riders a clear path.”     Read the full article here.

Did you Pedal Instead in 2014?

The bike corral at ComFest
When you support Yay Bikes!  >>  Pedal Instead happens!
19 events
138 volunteers
4,520 gallons of fuel unused

 7,698 bicycles parked
8,412 free Chipotle burrito coupons distributed
47,513 miles biked-not-driven

We had another fine year in the bike corral, courtesy our army of volunteers who parked bikes in all weather at events April thru November, sharing their professionalism, bike expertise and kindness with the world. [Thank you, a million times!] Meanwhile, we’ve provided input on Mayor Coleman’s Green Memo III to make dedicated bike parking available at all City of Columbus events within the next 5 years. And we’ve been scheming to provide fun upgrades to the Pedal Instead user experience in 2015. How do you improve upon free Chipotle burritos, you ask? Well for starters, you make Pedal Instead a mobile community bike info hub, duh! So please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through Pedal Instead and other programming next year. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.   

~ From all of us at Yay Bikes! ~

Cyclist education in 2014

Teaching Gladden House youth how we roll!
When you support Yay Bikes!  >> cyclist education happens!
10 Earn a Bike youth
15 League Cycling Instructors
27 Pelotonia riders
35 Art Ride cyclists

Through some exciting new partnerships this year, Yay Bikes! taught people of all ages to safely ride city streets. We piloted a training program with Pelotonia, rode with Gladden House youth on an Earn a Bike program, supported several Columbus Public Health art rides and trained City of Columbus and State of Ohio employees to be League Cycling Instructors. Plus, Akron’s How We Roll program enrolled dozens of community members in its downtown-area rides. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through cyclist education and other programming next year. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.   

~ From all of us at Yay Bikes! ~

Bike the Cbus 2014 report

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 9.23.50 AM
When you support Yay Bikes!  >>  Bike the Cbus happens!

1 new beer garden
4 major sponsors
8 rest stops
21 neighborhoods
69 volunteers
86 raffle prizes (from 30 businesses)
544 riders
$1,000 for cyclist education
$1,000 for other Near East Side nonprofits

Yay Bikes! acquired Bike the Cbus from the Long Street Businessman’s Association in 2014, and we couldn’t be more excited to steward this gem of a ride. Now in its 7th year, Bike the Cbus is Columbus’ premier annual neighborhood ride and a must-have experience, dear to us for all it creates in the world: vibrancy in struggling neighborhoods… funding for cyclist safety education on the Near East side… support for small local businesses… experiences of joyfulness and adventure… and the advancement of our mission to increase trips by bike. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through Bike the Cbus and other programming next year. 

Online donation system by ClickandPledge 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.   

~ From all of us at Yay Bikes! ~

So about those blank envelopes….

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 1.04.37 PM
Funny story.

{Time machine music}

The year is 2012. The season is winter holidays. Our anti-hero, Meredith Joy — YB’s founder and former Executive Director — is deep in the woods as the organization’s sole full-time volunteer-ish staff person. Yet she desires above all else to write an annual report for members detailing all the progress they’d made possible that year. She buys envelopes and postage and sparkly star stickers and a red holiday stamp so that it’s an experience to receive the report in the mail. An honor! She preps the envelopes with care (well actually her trusty sidekick Ken Cohen does)… but then! Our poor Meredith is stricken with the dread writer’s block and can’t finish the report in time to mail it, so she emails it instead. And the stamped, addressed envelopes languish in the office for 2 lonely years.

{Time machine music} Continue reading

A Very Merry 2014 Year of Yay!

Cyclists rock the handlebars at ReStore, a stop on July’s ride.
When you support Yay Bikes!  >>  Year of Yay! happens!
12 months, 12 rides
31 cash bombs
35 volunteers
56 stops
213 unique riders
538 total riders

Throughout 2014, Yay Bikes! continued to offer Central Ohio’s premier backstage pass with our monthly themed Year of Yay! rides. These urban adventure rides provide a low-stakes way for inexperienced cyclists to gain confidence riding city streets, and give all riders new mental maps of workable routes for their everyday trips. They also support local organizations and businesses with ‘cash bombs’ from our riders, helping create a vibrant community full of cool places to ride! And the rides, which have been created and supported by a dedicated crew of volunteers, are one of the key ways we are developing leaders within the bicycle community who manifest our core values of kindness, integrity and excellence. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through Year of Yay! and other programming next year. 

Online donation system by ClickandPledge

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
~ From all of us at Yay Bikes! ~

This Saturday we’ll be shopping local crafts for the holidays. 

Learn more about the ride and register now!


Year of Yay - Yay Bikes!
Learn more about Year of Yay! rides with this video from über-intern Brian Ferenchik

Winning at safer streets, and at life: Our 2014 Advocacy in Review

Our new street plan evaluation rides transformed the designs for 4th & 3rd/Summit.
When you support Yay Bikes!  >>>  Advocacy happens!
1 law passed
5 transportation committees served
2 street plan evaluation rides
31 local advocates engaged
29 news stories
11 speaking engagements

Yay Bikes! has a long history of bicycle advocacy, but in 2014 we upped our game by shepherding a 3′ Passing Law in the City of Columbus and partnering with the Department of Public Service to help its engineers design better bicycle infrastructure. Our new street plan evaluation rides have transformed plans for 4th and 3rd/Summit Streets and provided a solid template for similar rides going forward. This month we’ll be providing commentary regarding OSU’s bicycle accommodations plan and we’re in conversations about training engineers in other municipalities statewide. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through advocacy initiatives and other programming next year. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.   

~ From all of us at Yay Bikes! ~

Lookie here…who just became a League of American Bicyclists Instructor.

Our own Catherine Girves took the time and made the commitment to become and League Cycling Instructor.  Having  just completed a three-day training seminar in Princeton, New Jersey, she has Catherinebecome Columbus’s Newest LCI.  She is pictured here with others who took the seminar.

The League writes: “League Cycling Instructors (LCIs) are certified by the League of American Bicyclists to teach the Smart Cycling classes…Their goal is to help people feel more secure about getting on a bike, to create a mindset that bikes are treated as a vehicle, and to ensure that people on bikes know how to ride safely and legally.”  This is onecongrats instructor who will remain active within the cycling community. Congratulations to Catherine on this latest accomplishment.