WATSONVILLE—Watsonville-based Community Bike Collective was set to host an official public launch sometime this spring as it looked to bring bicycle programs to people of all ages across the county.
With a shelter-in-place order prompted by the novel coronavirus, however, that fete has been delayed.
But organizers of the newly formed group have not let that setback stop their mission. They are still hoping to bring small-scale biking excursions to the public, and provide bicycles to people who need them, while promoting the organization from behind the scenes.
They also hope to recruit volunteers to help them.
Formerly known as Trips for Kids, Community Bike Collective broke away from that national group when organizers wanted to offer biking programs to adults as well.
Group President Kymberly Lacrosse said that bikes can provide access to work, nature and fun.
“They also create the opportunity for connection with friends, family, organizations and the greater biking community,” she said. “Bikes are good for the health of ourselves and our community. Most importantly, we wanted to form CBC to broaden our reach and diversify our activities to impact more people and create more connections.”
One recent recipient was Ruthie Gonzalez, who along with her fiancée received a free bike to allow them easier passage their work as house cleaners.
That was made possible with the help of Bike Santa Cruz County and the County Department of Public Health, Lacrosse said.
“We wanted them to be able to move forward in their lives,” she said. “We may not be able to do a lot of things, but we can still help the community. We can do more than we were able to before.”
Gonzalez said she received her new bike, along with a lock, helmet and a light.
“I feel deeply blessed that there are people like this in the community that are helping people,” she said. “It gave us a huge push.”
The organization also gave bikes to four children during the Christmas holidays.
Lacrosse said that Community Bike Collective is looking for volunteers to help with rides and work days, and to serve as board members. The organization also needs bicycles in working order. For information, visit www.communitybikecollective.org.