At Yay Bikes!, our days are spent working to influence the conditions that help people safely and comfortably ride bicycles for transportation. That work takes many forms, some of which you likely recognize—parking bicycles with Yay Valet! at festivals to help people feel confident riding their bikes there; leading monthly Year of Yay! rides that help people acclimate to traffic; supporting people on How We Roll and Ride Buddy rides that teach them how to ride roads; offering annual Bike the Cbus and Ride of Silence events that bring our bicycle community together; riding with professionals throughout Ohio on Professional Development Rides that demonstrate how they can improve conditions for people who ride for transportation in their communities. Other work happens at the many meetings and other events we attend each month. Still more work occurs to develop communications, plan events, run an office and etc., etc., etc. And because our organizational values and theory of change demand a deep commitment to excellence and a meaningful investment in people, our work takes work.
We have a tiny staff. We could hardly be more “lean”. Staff doesn’t have the capacity to do all we’ve taken on.
There is a vast, often unseen, machinery at work to help us accomplish all of the above. And that machinery is the literally hundreds of YOUs out there who support our programming every year. You park bikes, set up bicycle valets, make Year of Yay! buttons, lead rides, sweep rides, tie Ride of Silence arm bands, place signs, design routes, table at events, take and post photos, pour beverages, support registration, prepare mailings, raise funds, promote events, invite friends. You sacrifice your free time to attend ride leader trainings, your rides to support those who are new or struggling, your beer guzzling festival time to park bikes. You are an army of the givingest folks I have ever experienced, and our bicycle community is achieving the gains it is today directly as a result. We, together, are enacting change on a major scale throughout Central Ohio and beyond; we, together, are powerful.
Time and again what people say about Yay Bikes! and riding bikes in general, is that it’s the community that has made bicycling such a magical force in their lives. It’s true. And I invite all of you who share our values to come experience our community for yourself. Whether you ride or not, there is a place for you here, and we couldn’t be more grateful for your unique contribution to this hard, fun, life changing, excellent work.
Thank you. A million, trillion times, thank you.