Once again, Bike Fort Collins was excited to engage with the Larimer County Department of Health and the Built Environment this summer to build upon the programs it began in 2021, which back then enabled the continuation of similar Active Living programs that BFC initiated under a grant in 2016.
This year, in addition to continuing the 2021 and 2022 programming, BFC was asked to develop two videos. The first one summarizes the programs it administered (see list below) over these last couple of years to improve access to and engagement that enables “biking for all,” especially within historically underrepresented communities. The second tries to capture the “power” that bicycling has and the impact the programs have had on community members. It specifically includes testimonials from participants in the Las Chicas en Bicicletas bike riding group. As an outgrowth of the educational programming that was part of the 2022 scope of work, Las Chicas en Bicicletas is a group of women who we helped convene no fewer than six (6) times to go on bike rides, and build community, camaraderie, and confidence to ride their bikes. One of the members interviewed put it best, “I was afraid to ride a bicycle here and in the city, but I have learned a lot with these courses and I feel encouraged to go out there.”
“I was afraid to ride a bicycle here and in the city, but I have learned a lot with these courses and I feel encouraged to go out there.”
BIKING FOR ALL
POWER OF WHEELS
Here are the programs that were introduced in 2021 and that BFC has managed over the last three years:
spanish bicycle resource webpage
In 2021, BFC developed and over the years, has evolved a Spanish Bicycle Resource web page that serves as a gateway to initiatives, programs and resources for “all things bicycling” for Fort Collins residents. These tools empower safety and education by covering topics ranging from where to find bikes, how to buy a bike, how to put on a helmet and get ready to ride, to safe routes to school. The spirit and goal of the page is to create a strong and informed biking community.
“Let’s Ride” Video Series
A series of videos shot from the bicyclist’s or student’s point-of-view (POV) highlighting safe routes to school from area neighborhoods and narrated in Spanish. The intention of these videos is to break down barriers and inhibitions among students and parents in these neighborhoods to ride their bikes (or walk) to school by showcasing routes using the lowest stress bicycle facilities available from in and around their communities.
In a few of the featured neighborhoods, the safest route was not the most obvious route (that students are more apt to take), or there really wasn’t a “low stress” route available. This prompted us to create videos intended for elected officials and City and County planners, to showcase and emphasize the need for improved bicycle infrastructure in those areas.
BIKE REPAIR SESSIONS
Beginning in 2021, BFC began conducting Bike Repair Session for the North Fort Collins and other Larimer County communities in various locations such as mobile home park communities, community parks, and even a few title 1 elementary schools. In each instance, community members were invited to drop off their bikes so BFC’s bike mechanic could perform a bike check and in most instances tune-ups and minor repairs. Often the bikes arrived inoperable and we would get them back up and working. Over the past two years, BFC hosted a dozen such sessions and repaired no fewer than 165 bikes.
NORTH FORT COLLINS COMMUNITY BIKE SHARE
In 2021 Larimer County (LCDHBE) purchased a small fleet of nine community bikes. Three bikes were provided to the Poudre Valley Mobile Home Park, three to Hickory Village Mobile Home Park, and three to the Cloverleaf Mobile Home Park. A resident/Community Champion in each mobile home park is in charge of checking the bikes in-and-out to other residents for use. BFC’s role has been to maintain the fleet of bikes. Over the last two years, a BFC mechanic has coordinated with the Community Champions in each community on a monthly basis to perform routine health checks, or tune-ups and maintenance on the fleet. All bikes have remained in a ready-for-use condition and the mechanic has also been available on an as needed/ “on-call” basis for the Community Champions outside regular health checks if they have needed assistance, or bikes have become in need of repair, or deemed inoperable for any reason.
BIKE DONATION PROGRAM
Building on the program that was started during the pandemic by two of our SRTS Instructors (Lisa Evans and Sandy Charles), BFC has sought to provide bikes and helmets to individuals in low income or historically marginalized communities who need a bike as transportation. BFC collects and houses bikes there while being repaired and as a place to keep them for the time between being donated and matched with a recipient. Over the past two years, BFC has taken in more than 120 donated bikes and been able to match them with nearly 100 worthy recipients (92).