Yay Valet!

Pedal Instead? Nay! Yay Valet!

But a taste of what's to come: many elements of our new bike valets were on display at Columbus' Bike to Work Day celebration.

But a taste of what's to come: many elements of our new bike valets were on display at Columbus' Bike to Work Day celebration.

At about this time last year we were announcing our grant from the Ohio EPA's Environmental Education Fund—awarded so that we could make our bicycle corrals more focused on educating "bike curious" event attendees about bicycling for transportation. The goals of this grant were threefold:

  1. To expand awareness of the Pedal Instead service, encouraging more people to ride to events
  2. To increase the extent to which Pedal Instead provides actionable information to event attendees regarding transportation bicycling
  3. To link event attendees to the on-road educational experiences available through Yay Bikes!, to increase their cycling knowledge and confidence

Now, after several months of working with a team of dedicated volunteers, and several more months working with a design team to implement their ideas, we are finally to the point of launching all our fancy new features. They include:


One of the problems Yay Bikes! had, marketing-wise, was an abundance of brands that lacked connection to the broader work of the organization. So "Pedal Instead" was often mistaken for a separate nonprofit, and people did not realize that we had a lot more to offer them than simply bike parking. Another problem also emerged since the 2007 launch of Pedal Instead—"bike corral" became a confusing phrase, because it's what the on-street bike parking that replaces a car parking space is called. To resolve both problems at once, Pedal Instead is now "Yay Valet!", and will be calling our service a "bicycle valet" going forward. (Note the updated Yay Bikes! logo, as well!)


The top part of our claim tag now will stay with the bicycle when it's returned to the cyclist, inviting them to visit our website for opportunities to engage and learn. 


Each cyclist who parks with us will now receive an "I rode today" sticker, a badge of honor and conversation starter akin to the popular voting stickers. We're hoping that cyclists will testify to their friends about riding to the event and parking with Yay Valet!, making it seem possible and preferable to the experience of driving and parking a car. Next time, maybe they can all ride to the event together!


Our volunteers now have uniforms! The bike expert volunteers among us will wear blue shirts saying "Bike curious? I can help." to invite people into conversations about bicycling. Other volunteers will wear red shirts that read "Wanna ride? yaybikes.com for deets", to invite them to explore our website for opportunities to ride with us. 


Our fancy new cargo bike display pulls a trailer with interchangeable signs (e.g., "How far away did you park?", "Follow me to free bike parking", "Bike curious information here"), and will be a point of interest inviting people to approach the valet. It also features space for informational materials and can be ridden around an event to generate buzz and encourage people to "pedal instead" the next time.


People throughout an event will be able to see us from a distance with our new "lollipop" signs that tower above the valet with mode shift and bike love messages, free bike parking notices and more. 


Behind the scenes we'll be working to better engage the people who interact with us at the valet. Whether they park with us or simply approach with questions, we will craft follow-ups that respond to requests for information and invite them into further participation with Yay Bikes!. And we'll be keeping track of our impact with improved data collection and analysis as well (our fave!). 


Every element of our updated bike valet was designed to draw people into conversation and invite them to ride with us. Because we believe it is education within the context of a meaningful relationship—however brief—that helps people adopt a bicycling lifestyle, and that means a brochure alone won't cut it. Changing transportation behavior is ultimately an investment in people and invest in people we have, with help from the Ohio EPA.


See all this in action at an upcoming event—ride, volunteer, stop by to chat! And if you're interested in volunteering specifically to engage people in bike conversations, we are looking for you! Contact Meredith to learn more.

Pedal Instead receives Ohio EPA grant to upgrade corral

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) awards grants targeting environmental issues in Ohio around which there is a significant need for more education and awareness. In 2015, the Ohio EPA determined, due to significant environmental impacts in our state, an immediate need for education to reduce air emissions. So the OEEF sought to fund innovative projects that would provide citizens the skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions in this area, foremost by promoting alternative modes of transportation.

Enter our bicycle corrals, aka "Pedal Instead". As you likely know, Pedal Instead provides free, secure bicycle parking for cyclists at festivals and other events. And while the program obviously serves cyclists, it is unique within the bicycle community in that it also interfaces with thousands of diverse non-bicycling members of the general public, who might not enter a bike shop or go on a ride but will request information from volunteers as they pass a corral. Yay Bikes! therefore requested that OEEF help us maximize Pedal Instead's educational potential by making our corrals more visible, attractive and engaging to cyclists, "bike curious" members of the general public and others attending community events and festivals in Central Ohio. We are thrilled to announce that Yay Bikes! has received an OEEF grant to:

  1. Expand awareness of the Pedal Instead service, encouraging more people to ride to events
  2. Increase the extent to which Pedal Instead provides actionable information to event attendees regarding transportation bicycling
  3. Link event attendees to the on-road educational experiences available through Yay Bikes!, to increase their cycling knowledge and confidence

With OEEF's support, we can now turn our bicycle corrals into mobile community education spaces actively helping people integrate transportation bicycling into their everyday lives. What an incredible opportunity! We are grateful.

Big love to 2014's Pedal Instead volunteers!

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 10.34.59 AM And, for an old-skool list of names:

Deanne Krillow, Wiley Jackson, Duane McCoy, Maggie Fehling, Will Hughen, Jeff Gove, Bryan Wolfe, Meghan Wolfe, Rahel Babb, Rod Hutton, Elena Mary Costello, Nik Olah, Aimee Knight, Cory Knight, Doug Fisher, Aliceanne Innskeep, Bambo Sanusi, Jill Davis, Rob Hendricks, Gloria Hendricks, Trace Hendricks, Talon Hendricks, Ashley Riekofski, Matt Locke, Brian Meyers, Cartik Kothari, April, Andrew Hulvey, Craig Clark, David Docktor, David Curran, Katie Ervin, Shillelagh O'Knuckles, Craig Kullik, Pamela Gutter, Maria Cantelmo, Matthew Wolf, Mike Kositzke, Ken Cohen, Bharati Jayanthi, Joe George, Mary Rathke, Tim Brown, Jane Boyer,Kyle McCalla, Michel Coconis, Jeremy Collins, Gianna Collins, John McDermott, Anne Bishop, Nate Bishop, Melissa Sjostrom, Michael Coakley, Daniel Desantis, Lee Marxen, John Bannon, Letitia Cetina, William Adams, Janelle Henderson, Mark Carol, John Cresencia, Greg Fisher, Alyssa Shaw, Jillian Manning, Evalyn Cresencia, Will Smelser, Kevin Ralston, Robin Ralston, Danny Peterson, William Whitehead, Cherie Snyder, Brian Jackson, Dave Beckman, Sarah Obergefell, Bill Withers, John Obergefell, Brian Rinehart, Barb Berger, Sarah Butler, Meghan Davis, Joshua Fouasnon, Eric Rush, Sylvia Collard, Stephen Nordlund, Laurie Ashline, Julie Walcoff, Larry Stuckey, Alex Anderson, Matt Raufer, Bill Adams, Adam Porr, William Finley, Julie Mickley, Marie Jarden, Jared Finchum, Yalande Jeffries, Rachel Miller, Sarah Montague, Jodi Whytenberger, Michele Reinhart, Jenelle Henderson, Melissa Tewart-Darwin, Mark Carol, Danny Lemon, Ray George, Phillip Skotich, Phil Weckesser, Eric T, Michelle Rucker, Curt Phoel, Nancy Neimuth, Tola Sanusi, Alex Smith, Kris Anderson, Heidi Anderson, Ra'Sheeda Donaldson, Collin Allen, Kaitlyn Hill, Becky Curran, Rich Salloum, Ben Ko, Joel S, Sarah Mellino, Joe J, Keith Lugs Mayton, Jim Williams, Maya Girves, Peter W, Mairead Reddy, Ric Noland

If we haven't said it enough, well here ya go: THANK YOU!!!

Did you Pedal Instead in 2014?


When you support Yay Bikes!  >>  Pedal Instead happens!
19 events
138 volunteers
4,520 gallons of fuel unused

 7,698 bicycles parked 8,412 free Chipotle burrito coupons distributed 47,513 miles biked-not-driven

We had another fine year in the bike corral, courtesy our army of volunteers who parked bikes in all weather at events April thru November, sharing their professionalism, bike expertise and kindness with the world. [Thank you, a million times!] Meanwhile, we've provided input on Mayor Coleman's Green Memo III to make dedicated bike parking available at all City of Columbus events within the next 5 years. And we've been scheming to provide fun upgrades to the Pedal Instead user experience in 2015. How do you improve upon free Chipotle burritos, you ask? Well for starters, you make Pedal Instead a mobile community bike info hub, duh! So please consider an end-of-year gift to help Yay Bikes! expand our impact through Pedal Instead and other programming next year. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.   

~ From all of us at Yay Bikes! ~

2083 bikes parked at ComFest

140527ComFestCorralWow. Even with the rain and the early closing Saturday, Pedal Instead had another incredible year parking 2083 bikes at ComFest! For those of you wondering what the ComFest running total is since our first bike corral in 2006 <drumroll> 16,597 bikes! One Festival – LOTS of bikes.

This would not have been possible without the kick-ass team of volunteers that did the heavy lifting of creating and tearing down the corral, and storing and fetching bikes, and just generally being outstanding bike babysitters.


Thursday Set Up Team - Maria Cantelmo, David Curran, Catherine Girves, Pamela Gutter, Andrew Hulvey, Craig Kullik, Steve Puhl, Jr, Matthew Wolf. Friday Team – Bill Adams, John Bannon, Anne Bishop, Nate Bishop, Jane Boyer, Tim Brown, Mark Carol, Letitia Cetina, Michael Coakley, Giana Collins, Jeremy Collins, Michel Coconis, Ken Cohen, John Cresencia, Daniel Desantis, Joe George, Catherine Girves, Janelle Henderson, Bharati Jayanthi, Mike Kositzke, Lee Marxen, Kyle McCalla, Duane McCoy, John McDermott, Shillelagh O'Knuckles, Steve Puhl, Jr., Mary Rathke, Melissa Sjostrom. Saturday Team – Bill Adams, Alex Anderson, Laurie Ashline, John Bannon, Dave Beckman, Barb Berger, Sarah Butler, Mike Coakley, Sylvia Collard, Evalyn Cresencia, John Cresencia, Meghan Davis, William Finley, Greg Fisher, Joshua Fouasnon, Catherine Girves, Jeff Gove, Brian Jackson, Wiley Jackson, Jillian Manning, Duane McCoy, Brian Meyers, Julie Mickley, Stephen Nordlund, John Obergefell, Sarah Obergefell, Shillelagh O'Knuckles, Danny Peterson, Adam Porr, Steve Puhl, Jr, Kevin Ralston, Robin Ralston, Matt Raufer, Brian Rinehart, Eric Rush, Alyssa Shaw, Will Smelser, Cherie Snyder, Larry Stuckey, Julie Walcoff, William Whitehead, Bill Withers. Sunday Team – Mark Carol, Jared Finchum, Catherine Girves, Jeff Gove, Jenelle Henderson, Marie Jarden, Yalande Jeffries, Danny Lemmon, Rachel Miller, Sarah Montague, Shillelagh O'Knuckles, Steve Puhl, Jr., Michele Reinhart, Cartik Saravana, Larry Stuckey, Melissa Tewart-Darwin, Jodi Whytenberger.

140628CatherineComFestRainI am particularly thankful to Mike Coakley and Duane McCoy who first found Pedal Instead at ComFest. They are committed volunteers working to improve logistics annually. Thankful to Andrew Hulvey who kept an eye on us all weekend, and was ready to drop everything and be there when needed. Finally, much thanks to my heir, the new Queen of the Bike Corral, Steve Puhl, Jr. We functioned as a well oiled machine on our toughest weekend of the year under his leadership. Join me in pledging fealty to our new Queen. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen! Yay Bikes!