News

MORPC and Yay Bikes! Announce Downtown Bike Training Program
June 17, 2015

MORPC and Yay Bikes!, a local bicycle education and training non-profit, recently launched the pilot “Ride Buddy” – a commute by bike training program. MORPC and YayBikes! established the pilot program to educate Downtown Columbus employees and residents on the many benefits of commuting by bicycle.

Hopefully, Ride Buddy will increase the number of people who bicycle to work, or bicycle during the day to meetings or lunch. The free program lasts through the month of June and is open to anyone who works or lives in the Downtown area.

“This is an opportunity for Downtown employees and residents to safely try shifting their work commutes from car to bike to be more active, improve vehicle congestion on our roadways and contribute to cleaner air in Central Ohio,” said MORPC Director of Transportation Systems & Funding Thea J. Walsh.

The program uses educational bike rides that include free use of CoGo Bike Share bicycles and one-on-one coaching and shadowing with a Yay Bikes! Ride Buddy. Yay Bikes! also offers free informational presentations that provide specific information for riding on urban streets.

“We want to break down as many barriers as possible for new riders, and to make this a positive and fun experience,” said Yay Bikes! Executive Director Catherine Girves.

Several free trainings are available. Bicyclists can sign up for one or all of them:

  • Work commutes: A Yay Bikes! Ride Buddy will ride with employees on their first bicycle commute, either directly from/to their homes or from/to a predetermined Park & Pedal location.

    Park & Pedal is a new program sponsored by MORPC and the City of Columbus. It is specifically designed for commuters who drive five or more miles to work, so they can enjoy the last few miles of their commute by bike, parking their cars at designated locations in local parks. Park & Pedal currently has two pilot locations: Academy Park, at 250 S. Nelson Road on the near east side and Dodge Park, at 667 Sullivant Avenue on the near west side.
  • CoGo rides: During lunch hour rides, a Yay Bikes! Ride Buddy will familiarize employees with the CoGo Bike Share system and escort them to destinations Downtown, like their favorite lunch spots or frequent meeting locations.
  • Social / teambuilding rides: During after work rides, a Yay Bikes! Ride Buddy will offer unique educational experiences to groups of employees who want to explore Downtown destinations and/or a particular theme by bike (such as touring the facilities offered by several bike friendly businesses).

The Ride Buddy pilot is funded by MORPC’s RideSolutions program that promotes alternatives to driving alone to work. For more information, contact Mary Ann Frantz, MORPC Alternative Transportation Manager, by calling 614-233-4156 or e-mailing mafrantz@morpc.org.

Additional details on the specifics of the program can be obtained by contacting Yay Bikes! at (614) 470-4220 or info@yaybikes.com.

*Photo taken by Chet Ridenour