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Back to School on Bikes

The end of summer is approaching, and it’s a busy time for The Bike Campaign and The Bike Garage. “Drive Less. Ride More.” is their motto, and they can help you get out of your car and onto a bike, so you can enjoy the autumn weather in Davis.

The mechanics at The Bike Garage have been busy tuning up bicycles and getting them ready for sale to those who need an affordable, quality used bike to get to and from school and around town. All the bikes have been fully checked and inspected by the Garage’s expert mechanics and are tuned up, detailed, and ready to ride.

The Bike Garage has a wide variety of bike styles, including mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and road bikes. All bikes are available for test rides to ensure proper fit and rider comfort.

Popular services the Garage offers include free inspections of bikes, helmets, and locks to help get students ready for back to school. Bike inspections include checking the chain, brakes, and gears, while helmets are examined for cracks and proper fitting. Locks are also inspected to ensure they work easily and are well lubricated.

The garage promotes free bicycle registration to help prevent bike theft and aid in recovery in case your bike is stolen. Using a U lock or a hardened steel chain lock to lock your bike to a rack makes it much harder for someone to steal your bike, and we suggest never leaving your bike outside overnight.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to tune up and repair bikes, The Bike Garage has intern positions open to learn those skills with our experienced mechanics. Both students and adults are welcome to become interns.

The Bike Garage in Davis is located at 1500 Cannery Avenue, behind the barn, and is open on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon until August 16. Starting August 23, the Wednesday hours change to 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Bike Garage in Woodland is located at 1st & Hays Streets at Douglas Middles School. Hours are Wednesdays 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon. Allow up to one hour for repair services or bike selection.

The proceeds from bike sales at the Garage go to support The Bike Campaign, which provides training, outreach, and education to the community. One aspect is the Bike Skills Training Program at Davis elementary schools. These sessions teach 2nd and 5th graders a variety of skills associated with cycling.

Maria Contreras Tebbutt, founder of the The Bike Campaign and The Bike Garage, trains and coordinates the volunteers, who are experienced cyclists, to teach the sessions. The Bike Campaign also participates in after school programs.

Schools and teachers are contacted to arrange the dates for the sessions. The Bike Campaign brings a fleet of bikes to the school, as well as helmets and safety vests, so students can learn about visibility and proper helmet fitting. In addition to basic cycling skills, students are also taught hand signals, rules of the road, and the ABCs: air, brakes, and chain.

Helmets are required by law for all cyclists under the age of 18, and a good idea for cyclists of all ages to help prevent serious head injuries in case of an accident. California law requires cyclists under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while riding, and there’s a $25 fine for those who don’t.

Cycling information for the Davis community is also provided by The Bike Campaign, and includes brochures on how to recognize the markings for bike lanes on the Davis streets and a detailed map of the Davis Bike Loop and the city.

Advocating for better visibility and safety is another form of outreach. This includes making people aware of things like high visibility vests and lights. Wearing a high visibility vest while cycling makes it easier for cars to see you when you’re out and about on your bike. Additionally, headlights and taillights supplement bike reflectors to make riders more noticeable to cars on the road during twilight hours and at night. According to the law, lights are required on bikes being ridden at night and during the 30 minutes after sunrise and before sunset.

The Bike Campaign, along with its counterpart, The Bike Garage, was founded in 2011 to help educate people about bicycling and encourage more people to ride their bikes. They are both 501.c.3 nonprofits, and work closely with city governments, county health departments, school districts, and community service groups.

Other activities The Bike Campaign offers are the new Ride of Passage, and private and group coaching available for ages 10-80 to get comfortable with riding your bike and selecting the best route to your school or workplace. Tebbutt is a nationally certified instructor and serves as the lead instructor for the Bike Skills Training offered to all Davis elementary schools.

This article was written by Pam Thompson, commissioned by The Bike Campaign. For more information about how to “Bike More. Drive Less.”, contact Maria Contreras Tebbutt at or www.the

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