Category Archives: Yay Bikes! news

Earn a Bike 3.0 @ Great Western Academy

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Gladden House youth touring the West Side in 2014’s Earn a Bike Program

With generous funding from the Coca Cola Foundation through the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Ohio regional office, this spring we’re partnering with Imagine Schools Great Western Academy to deliver our third round of our Earn a Bike programming to 20 youth. During the program, kids will participate in 8 hours of mechanical education and 8 hours of safe cycling education, plus complete a bicycle-related community service project. If they complete the program, they’ll take home a new bike, plus a helmet, lock and other accessories.

Final report from 2014:

Yay Bikes! and Franklinton Cycle Works partnered with Gladden Community House on the city’s West Side to offer their youth a 2-week Earn a Bike program. During the program’s first week, participants learned basic bicycle mechanics and maintenance over 8 hours at Franklinton Cycle Works; in the second week they rode for 8 hours with Yay Bikes! to learn trail and road safety. On the final day of the program they shared what they’d learned with their peers by staffing a bike rodeo at Avondale Middle School. Ten children aged 8–14 began the program and 9 (3 girls and 6 boys) completed it to earn their bicycles and accessories.  Continue reading

Out & About with Yay Bikes! : February 2015

Selfies Snapshots with Catherine”, Michelle May (Safety Program Manager, ODOT), Jolene Molitoris (Former Director, ODOT) and Joy Lanham (President, WTS Columbus) edition

Welcome to the monthly feature in which we round up all our events, earned media, meetings and speaking engagements for the month. Behold, February:

Feb 2 = Columbus Underground article: “Protected Bike Lane on Summit Just the Beginning, Says City & Cycling Advocacy”

Feb 2 = Columbus Dispatch article: “Transportation Insider: New markings to guide 4th Street cyclists”

Feb 3 & 25 = Yay Bikes! Member Champions Night (link to March’s event)

Feb 5 = Annual Meeting of WTS Columbus (Women’s Transportation Seminar)

Feb 12 = Regular meeting of Mayor Coleman’s Green Team, on which Catherine serves

Feb 12 = Meeting of the CoGo Planning Team, on which Catherine serves, to strategize with the new Motivate CEO, Jay Walder

Feb 12 = Buckeye News Now video: “Bike lanes to be added off campus” (story @ 5:31–7:29)

Feb 13 = Meeting with Julie Walcoff of ODOT to plan for the National Safe Routes to School Conference in 2016 and other potential partnerships

Feb 16 = Meeting with Stuart Hunter, founder of roll:, to discuss Business Membership

Feb 18 = Regular board meeting of Downtown Residents Association of Columbus, at which Catherine was elected to the Board of Directors

Feb 20 = Meeting of City of Columbus engineers and project consultants to discuss proposed changes to 3rd/Summit & 4th Street designs

Feb 22 = Inaugural planning meeting for 2015’s Ride of Silence

Feb 25 = Inaugural meeting of the Bike to Work Day Planning Group, on which Catherine & Meredith serve

Feb 25 = Regular meeting of the Bicycle Subcommittee of the Transportation & Pedestrian Commission, on which Catherine serves

Feb 26 = Meeting with Abby Rhodebeck, Outdoor Programs and Outreach Market Coordinator for REI to discuss Bike the Cbus sponsorship

Feb 27 = People for Bikes blog post: “Boston, Columbus, Detroit, Indy, Minneapolis, Houston, Denver & Seattle all Unveil Protected Lanes”

Membership Champions unite!

Be a superhero. Invite your friends to join our movement.

Our ambitious goal is to achieve 1,000 members this year (up from 662 as of today, Feb 4). Why? Because we know that the number of members in a bicycle advocacy organization correlates to improved advocacy outcomes. High membership rates increase an organization’s political clout and create a reliable funding source with which we can hire staff, expand programming and more.

We all know people who should be Yay Bikes! members—They’re cyclists! They want our streets to be safer! They love us! But maybe they’re not yet. Maybe because we haven’t asked. Yay Bikes! is now making it easier — and fun! — to ask.

At our new Member Champion nights, you and a bunch of your Yay Bikes! buddies will get scripts, emotional support and FOOD to help you invite friends into the organization. Our next Member Champion Night will be Wednesday, February 25, 5–8pm at the Yay Bikes! office (within Summit on 16th UMC at 82 E 16th Ave, Columbus 43201). Join us!




Educating practitioners statewide on youth bicycle safety

The Ohio American Academy of Pediatrics Foundation’s annual Bicycle Helmet Safety Awareness Week, offered in partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation, is on the calendar for May 2–10, 2015. More information about how to participate, educational materials and the application for free youth helmets to give away, are now available.

The educators, health professionals, community activists and others statewide who receive free helmets will travel to Columbus in April to pick them up. At that time, for the first time in the campaign’s history, training provided by yours truly will help them address the most critical points of bicycle safety for young riders. The lessons they learn that day are expected to reduce youth bike injuries throughout Ohio! We thank the Ohio AAP Foundation and ODOT for prioritizing a rigorous educational experience for these practitioners.

Out & About with Yay Bikes! : January 2015

“Selfies with Catherine”, Shannon Hardin (Columbus City Council) edition

Welcome to our new monthly feature, in which we round up all our events, earned media, meetings and speaking engagements for the month. Behold, January:

Jan 5 = Meeting with Transit Columbus’s Elissa Schneider, re: Open Streets and other potential partnerships

Jan 5 = Meeting of MORPC’s Community Advisory Committee, on which Catherine serves

Jan 6 = Meeting with Columbus City Council’s new Public Service Chair Shannon Hardin, re: introducing him to our work

Jan 7 = Columbus Food League’s Yay Bikes! fundraiser @ Grass Skirt Tiki Room

Jan 7 = Meeting with Greater Columbus Art Council’s Ruby Harper, re: integrating art and bicycling

Jan 13 = Meeting with ODOT’s Julie Walcoff and the Ohio AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) Foundation’s Hayley Southworth, re: providing trainings for the 2015 “Put a Lid On It” campaign

Jan 14 = Presentation at Grandview Civic Welfare Club, re: Yay Bikes! programming

Jan 15 = Meeting with Bexley’s Mayor Ben Kessler, Council Member Deneese Owen and Service Department Director Bill Dorman, re: serving Bexley’s cyclists

Jan 27 = Meeting with City of Columbus Deparment of Public Service Director Tracie Davies & Deputy Director Jennifer Gallagher, re: Multimodal Thoroughfare Plan update and other city bike business

Jan 28 = Meeting of the Bicycle Subcommittee of the Transportation & Pedestrian Commission, on which Catherine serves

Jan 30 = Columbus Dispatch article: “University District to get first protected bike lane in Columbus”


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! ~