Org update

Getting to Know Mr Deo

Deo Martinez, Yay Bikes! Program Manager

Deo Martinez, Yay Bikes! Program Manager

Recently, Yay Bikes! hired a new Program Manager—one Mr Deo Martinez. This is the guy you'll be volunteering with to support all the awesome Yay Bikes! programming, so we thought you'd wanna know a bit about him. Here goes:


Saginaw, Michigan

College & major

Columbus College of Art & Design, Illustration

Former jobs & employers

Slinging food here and there

What's your everyday ride? 

Fuji Track 2016:

When and why did you start riding your bicycle for transportation?

I've been into bikes for a long time, I rode my BMX bike for transportation  and recreation for years. I ended up getting injured doing it and decided to give it up. I sold my BMX and bought Road bike, thus a real bike commuter was born.

What was your most spectacular crash?

I once fell over it front of a sorority party, because my feet were stuck in foot retention.

Fave ride fuel (aka food)?

Anything Seafood! Shrimp, Squid, scallops, mussels! Pass it all my way.

What's the biggest reason you're excited to work for Yay Bikes!?

I'm happy to be part of something that's much bigger than I am. I'm lucky to be in a position to help move this city forward with bicycle commuting and safer transportation.

What most stellar qualities / skills / attitudes / superpowers do you bring to your work with Yay Bikes!?

I believe that I bring a bit to the table in terms of skill and qualities; a different perspective towards bike culture, tallness, art. My attitude is calm, kind and determined. Working under pressure doesn't bother me at all. As for super powers, there might be a rumor out there that I can dance, but who knows?

Why will people definitely want to volunteer this year with Yay Bikes!?

Psh, because I'll be there! I want to know all about your lives while wemake our community a better place forCyclists. Come have fun with me!

Anything else fun we should know?

I have 2 dogs named Alice and Vivan.

I'm a Nerd.

I like to Dance.

I enjoy cooking.

Yay Bikes! is excited to welcome Deo into the fold. So far, so good! We're pretty sure you'll wanna know this guy! ;)

We're hiring!

Kathleen says: "We're alright!  Join us!  " Photo credit: Ben Ko

Kathleen says: "We're alright! Join us! " Photo credit: Ben Ko

Yay Bikes! is pleased to announce that we are hiring for the position of Program Coordinator! Here's how to apply:

  1. Review the job description and email Kathleen with a cover letter and resume by Friday, October 21.  
  2. Yay Bikes! will invite qualified applicants to interview during the week of Oct 31.
  3. A hiring decision will be made in November; the position begins January 2017.

Contact Catherine with any questions about this position or the hiring process. 

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.

So about those blank envelopes....

Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 1.04.37 PMFunny story.

{Time machine music}

The year is 2012. The season is winter holidays. Our anti-hero, Meredith Joy — YB's founder and former Executive Director — is deep in the woods as the organization's sole full-time volunteer-ish staff person. Yet she desires above all else to write an annual report for members detailing all the progress they'd made possible that year. She buys envelopes and postage and sparkly star stickers and a red holiday stamp so that it's an experience to receive the report in the mail. An honor! She preps the envelopes with care (well actually her trusty sidekick Ken Cohen does)... but then! Our poor Meredith is stricken with the dread writer's block and can't finish the report in time to mail it, so she emails it instead. And the stamped, addressed envelopes languish in the office for 2 lonely years.

{Time machine music}

The year is 2014. It's a new day at Yay Bikes!, with a new Director (yay Catherine Girves!) and an actual administrative staff member (yay Kathleen Watkins!)!  And they are lean, mean cost-cutting machines. They take a look at those envelopes and say to one another "hey, so uh, I think we can trade these in at the post office and get money back for the unused stamps". And thus they do. And thus the geniuses at the post office refund them for the stamps but somehow 3 weeks thereafter become confused and mail them all out anyway, empty and unsealed, right at the precise time that Kathleen had mailed awesome letters to our current members with free Chipotle burrito cards. Which, of course, confused the hell out of everyone.

And thus Meredith summoned all that was in her to write this here blog post to shout to the world that "dammit, that $83.79 was totally worth it.... right?!", in the hopes that YB! will somehow, some way triumph over this desperate crisis. And the day was (probably? hopefully?) saved.

{And scene}