I'm biking from San Francisco to Santa Cruz to raise money for Cycles of Change!

A question I have found myself asking recently is how can I act to encourage more people to bicycle? One of the most powerful tools I have found is the giving away of bikes to children and working class adults. These programs are available in many cities across the country and couple the gift of a bicycle with education about maintenance, safety and security while riding a bike. I had the privilege of participating in the "50 bikes for 50 kids" program for the North Natomas Transportation Management Agency( @NNTMA NNTMA.org ). Abbey Harding coordinated the event and showed an excellent understanding of the nuances of organizing a unique event that included parents, volunteers, staff and kids!

I was able to help Santi and Sarah assemble their bikes, get fitted for a helmet and talk with them about bike safety and other topics related to their new bikes.

I realized that Bike Builds are arguably the most effective way to encourage people, especially youth, to cycle on an everyday basis. Taking the time to explain how a bicycle is assembled creates a conversation about biking and allows me as a student and cyclist to share my knowledge and experience in a positive way.

To further this end I am raising funds for the "Cycles of Change" ( @cyclesofchange cyclesofchange.org ) organization's annual Bike-Go-Round program in Oakland California. The program gave 200 bikes to Oakland residents in 2012 and needs $15,000 for this years event. You can donate any amount for this worthwhile cause here:

http://www.razoo.com/story/Mark-Van-Fundraising-For-Bike-Down-Benefit-Ride

Thanks so much for your support! Together we can imagine a better future!

Here's What Robynn Katayama says about her

reasons for suporting Cycles of Change:

200 Reasons why I'm riding 100 miles for Cycles of Change

Over the past ten years, Cycles of Change has given away thousands of bicycles to youth and adults in the East Bay. What started as a dream and a pile of discarded bikes in a garage near Lake Merritt has evolved into an organization that is a model for creating healthy, strong communities connected to each other and the natural world.

In 2012 alone, just ONE Cycles of Change Program - the Bike Go Round - gave away 200 bicycles to low-income adults in the East Bay. That's 200 people who now have access to jobs away from major transit lines, 200 ways to exercise without paying a gym membership fee, 200 parents, immigrants, caregivers, workers, refugees, and Oakland natives who have discovered (or re-discovered) the freedom that comes from traveling by bike.


** Despite the high demand for the Bike Go Round, the program is in danger of getting cut, and we need to raise $15,000 by March 1st to save it. **


I've committed to raising $1,500 to help save the Bike Go Round. Can you help? A donation of $5, $10, or $20 will go a long way towards my goal.

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