How We Roll

Yay Bikes! returns to OSU!

OSU First Year Peer Leaders get a taste of How We Roll on their orientation ride in June
OSU First Year Peer Leaders get a taste of How We Roll on their orientation ride in June

We are excited to announce that this fall, in conjunction with the launch of bike share on campus, Yay Bikes! will once again provide bicycle safety education to members of the OSU community. We will be delivering information sessions on bicycle commuting, an educational poster and our traditional How We Roll rides to both the academic and the medical center's students, faculty and staff. The academic audience will be introduced to riding the streets from campus to downtown, taking in the sites of the city, while those affiliated with the medical center will be taught to use bike share for rides between the various medical buildings.

This summer, we began delivering our part of the program with an info session and 8 How We Roll rides for 34 OSU First Year Peer students. When we asked them to evaluate their experience, this is what we heard:

What was your favorite part of the ride? Responses to this question overwhelmingly referenced the beauty of Columbus and how much students enjoyed getting to go downtown. In their own words:

Seeing how close the city is

Seeing all of Columbus in a different way

Stopping in downtown, so beautiful!

Exploring the city of Columbus w/friends

Getting to go downtown

I liked going downtown and seeing all the cool stuff to do

Was there anything different than what you expected? Responses to this question mostly referenced the fact that participants found riding on the street from campus to downtown easier and more pleasant than expected. In their own words:

It was easier than I thought

Traffic/drivers friendly, didn’t expect that

I thought I would be more tired

It was a lot easier than expected

Cars aren’t as mean as I expected

Less scary than I thought

It wasn’t as hard/nerve racking as I thought it’d be

Biking on the road is way easier than I expected.

What did you learn? Responses to this question overwhelmingly had to do with learning how to ride safely on the roads, with some participants sharing an expanded sense of how bikeable Columbus is. In their own words:

Bikes are just like cars

I learned that bicycling can be a safe, fun alternative to driving

How to properly have my place on the road

I learned turn signals, bike laws and not to ride on sidewalks

To be okay with riding in the middle and bike safety

How many places downtown are bike accessible

A lot about safety and which lane to ride in

To not stay in the door zone

Bikes follow the same laws as cars

Meanwhile, fully 26.5% of participants said they'd be "Very Likely" to repeat this journey on their own, and/or attempt others that are similar (with another 56% saying they were "Somewhat Likely" to do so!).

So kudos to OSU for including this essential educational component in their bike share roll out plans! Clearly we should all be watching out for more and better bicycling from the OSU area come this fall, from these First Year Peer ambassadors and everyone they touch, plus all the others we reach with our message and our unique How We Roll experience.

To participate! Rides and information sessions will be offered at least through fall semester, according to demand. If you are a member of the OSU community and would like to schedule a learning experience for your group, contact Meredith.

Earn a Bike 3.0 @ Great Western Academy

DSC04064 (1)
DSC04064 (1)


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. 

Week 1: Bicycle Mechanics

The mechanical portion of the program was designed to empower students to maintain their own bicycles and handle basic fixes, and to help them effectively communicate more complicated issues to bike mechanics as necessary. On the program’s first day, students learned how wheels and tires work, and the appropriate vocabulary for each component. They also had hands-on experience changing both a front and rear tire and patching an inner tube. The second day featured a discussion and demonstration of a bicycle’s braking system, with hands-on experience adjusting brakes. On the third day, the group learned about a bicycle’s drivetrain and components, then evaluated and cleaned chains and adjusted derailleurs. On the final day, students did a thorough safety check of their own new bicycle.

Week 2: Cycling Safety

The safety education portion of the program was designed to empower students to access key local destinations using trails and roads by riding their bicycles responsibly, in visible and predictable fashion. The first two days were spent fitting the kids for helmets (and letting them decorate them with stickers — a huge success), riding low-traffic neighborhood roads to let the kids show off where they lived and reinforcing appropriate bicycling and group riding behavior. A spill by one of the kids even allowed for a teachable moment about the importance of wearing a helmet! As their confidence levels increased and behavior stabilized, instructors led the kids to nearby destinations of interest — including COSI, the Audubon Center and Whittier Peninsula, Dodge Park, Bicentennial Park, Franklinton Community Gardens and Franklinton Library — where they experienced guided tours, summer fun and service opportunities. Each kid had the opportunity to lead the group, with an instructor’s support. By the end of the week, kids were consistently maintaining a straight line, signaling to turn and checking behind them to merge.

Grand Finale: Bike Olympics

The service component of the program was designed to provide students an outlet for sharing what they learned with peers and giving back to the community in a bicycle-specific way. For their service day, students hosted a “Bike Olympics” for fellow neighborhood kids at Avondale Middle School. They recruited kids to come; set up activities, including several races and relays; and manned a bike repair stand. Everyone had a great time!

Cyclist education in 2014


When you support Yay Bikes!  >> cyclist education happens!
10 Earn a Bike youth
15 League Cycling Instructors
27 Pelotonia riders
35 Art Ride cyclists

Through some exciting new partnerships this year, Yay Bikes! taught people of all ages to safely ride city streets. We piloted a training program with Pelotonia, rode with Gladden House youth on an Earn a Bike program, supported several Columbus Public Health art rides and trained City of Columbus and State of Ohio employees to be League Cycling Instructors. Plus, Akron's How We Roll program enrolled dozens of community members in its downtown-area rides. Please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through cyclist education and other programming next year. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.   

~ From all of us at Yay Bikes! ~

How We Roll gets more shout outs in Akron

share-the-road"If they were gangs they would be the Fearsome Fours vs. the Terrible Twos and their battleground is the streets of Akron and Summit County where the fight takes place every single day. "Cars may rule the roads, but bicycles are an increasingly common sight on the streets. Both clans seem to want the other to get out of their respective way, while Akron officials would like for everyone to just get along."  Read the full story at the Akron Beacon Journal.

How We Roll in Akron Beacon Journal

Yay Bikes! on road bike safety program, How We Roll, was introduced at University of Akron last fall under the leadership of our dear friend, Andy Davis. We are delighted to work with Andy and the other wonderful folks at University of Akron to help implement this program around the state. Bicyclist pedal through downtown Akron to see city and learn on-street pedaling - July 7, 2014 front page Akron Beacon Journal

Bicycle tour offers guided ride through Akron - July 10, 2014, Akron Leader Publications

Bicyclists, motorists in  Akron area still learning to share the road - July 14, 2014, Akron Beacon Journal