Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Your donations keep us up and running. This holiday season, consider contributing to Bikes del Pueblo, as a gift to your community and your local grassroots bike kitchen. The following is a statement from Ken Eby-Gomez, a past core member of Bikes del Pueblo. Please take the time to read and consider how you can contribute to our organization! Pay Pal is available here.
In a time when so much seems uncertain, let me tell you why a donation to support Bikes Del Pueblo this holiday season would be a worthwhile gift. I’ll keep it quick.

Founded in 2007, Bikes Del Pueblo has been a mainstay at the City Heights Farmers Market since 2008. Every Saturday morning a team of volunteers helps patch tubes, fix brakes, and handle any bike repairs the neighborhood brings their way. The mission of the organization is “to empower local communities through bicycle education for mechanical and transportation self-sufficiency”. The values informing their work are “inclusivity and accessibility, recycling and do-it-yourself/do-it-together ethics”.

These weekly repair clinics, earn-a-bike programs, and more are maintained by a determined core of volunteers. Significant contributions also come from engaged youth who came for a single repair and found they didn’t want to stop fixing bikes. And it goes without saying that BDP wouldn’t be around without the love of regular visitors, partnerships in the community, and longtime supporters.

I myself came to BDP first as a visitor. Nineteen years old and biking to work, I realized I would need to learn some basic repairs. I went to the farmers market and met Hernan, a founding member of BDP now working at Solidarity Farm in Pauma Valley, and he showed me the ways of the wrench. Other past patrons and volunteers have learned to walk and talk there, graduated high school and college, gone on to start farms, and play professional soccer.

BDP believes that bikes can be a viable, healthy means of getting through the city. In the time BDP has been operating the project has donated hundreds of refurbished bikes to local residents in need of mobility, assisted hundreds of youth and local families through repairs adding up to thousands of dollars of mobility brought back into our neighborhood. BDP’s latest venture is hosting a bike valet in partnership with the El Cajon Boulevard BIA, and a new more public, consistent location on the Popup 15 lot.

We can confidently say by helping residents get biking we reduce traffic congestion, we reduce harmful pollution that negatively affects neighbors’ health, and we save them money. A discounted or free tube and lesson doesn’t only save our patrons $15 one time. Our goal is that visitors won’t be stopped by a flat tube ever. Individually and together, we can handle any problem. It’s like that old saying. Give someone a tube change, and they’re biking for a day. Teach someone to change a tube, and they’re biking forever and now you’re friends.

Today we are faced with many serious issues. The cost of living, including transportation, continues to rise faster than incomes. The health of our neighborhoods needs to be protected. And the challenges of climate change will only grow in the future. Even a small donation can keep the neighborhood moving.

-Ken Eby-Gomez

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