We’re proud to match people who need a bike, with those who can donate bikes. Will you support our #BikeMatch NOLA program to help us keep making matches?
What is #BikeMatch?
#BikeMatch is a mutual-aid effort that launched across the country in response to COVID-19. Using resources made available by other bicycle advocacy organizations around the country, Bike Easy began to run our program in late April of 2020. The response to the program has shown just how necessary #BikeMatch is during this trying time in New Orleans.
Bike Easy knows the importance of reliable transportation, and when COVID-19 hit our region it became clear that our community desperately needed self-sufficient transportation. Public transportation started operating in limited capacities, the local bike share service was permanently suspended, and rideshare became less feasible with the realities of the pandemic. Owning a bicycle became the best transportation option for some, and a necessity for many.
With local and global bike booms, we saw the need for bikes play out in our bike shops. Bikes quickly became a hot commodity and the market made it even harder for individuals to find an affordable bike. When you consider the closure of so many New Orleans businesses, gig workers, artists, service, and hospitality workers all found themselves struggling to get by, let alone buy a bike.
Our community was in need, and we’re honored to have provided this #BikeMatch service.
So far, we’ve made 17 matches! For each match, we witnessed the joy and relief that comes with owning a bike and the newfound access to freely biking around our city. Our matches tell us how much their new bike helps with job prospects as well as an opportunity to improve their mental and physical health, especially for our front line workers.
We also need cash donations to offset the costs of repairs to donate bikes in need of TLC as well as general operations for the program. Click here to chip in today and support our #BikeMatch program.
How it Works
#BikeMatch is a mutual aid effort that connects people in need of a bicycle with others looking to donate their bike. Donors or recipients fill out an online form to provide details about the bicycle and their location. Bike Easy staff then matches anyone with appropriately sized bikes and within the same area. After being matched, the parties are sent an email with details of the bike/request and guidelines to arrange a safe and secure handoff. Participants are encouraged to take a picture at the exchange so we can share their inspiring stories, and the smiles you see even behind a mask.
Bike Easy has worked with a couple of organizations and individuals to date that wanted to donate bikes that were in need of some work before they were functioning. Though it’s ideal to get working bikes donated online, the demand for bikes was larger than the intake of working bikes. Bike Easy worked to collect the bikes in need of repair and arranged a volunteer build day where individuals with bicycle mechanic experience volunteered for a few hours to get the donated bikes in riding condition.
We have since expanded our offering on the #BikeMatch platform to accept bikes in need of minor repairs. In addition to donating a bicycle, individuals can now support the #BikeMatch program by donating money to offset the cost of repairs and general operating costs. Click here to donate today.
Celebrating #BikeMatch 100!
After developing materials first offered nationally from New Yorks’ Transportation Alternatives, Bike Easy joined the Bike Match Network online platform developed by Safe Lanes. This network streamlined the communications between Bike Easy, the donor, and the person receiving the bicycle. Earlier this month, the national network was approaching 100 successful matches and Bike Easy made a dash to reach #BikeMatch 100 through social media, calling on our followers to donate their bike to help us reach the milestone. Ultimately, we were able to log #BikeMatch number 99 and 100!
Riot was the recipient of #BikeMatch 100 on the national platform!
The best way to support #BikeMatch is to donate a working bike through our intake form. You won’t forget the feeling you get connecting your neighbor with a means of transportation during this hard time or seeing a smile shine through a mask and light up your old bicycle! If you have a bicycle that’s in need of some TLC you can still donate through the platform and indicate what repairs the bicycle needs.
You can also now support #BikeMatch by donating directly to the program. These donations will offset expenses for repairs, such as buying new parts, and general operations of the program. Will you chip in today?
In addition, Bike Easy intends to hold monthly volunteer repair events. The bicycles tend to come with a variety of adjustments needed so if you’re an experienced bicycle mechanic that would like to help us out please email firstname.lastname@example.org.