Bikes for the World

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

No Bike No Planet

Courtesy Ciudad Mujer
By sending bikes into remote areas and even crowded city streets around the world, we solve one problem of transportation but create yet another challenge. Many areas where our donated bikes end up lack the infrastructure to support wide bike use.

Many of our donors and supporters recognize the immediate need for helmets to keep riders safe, but often overlook the need for safety and maintenance classes for new bicycle owners.

Not only does our Salvadoran partner CESTA appreciate the value of training new bike owners, encouraging them to ride safer and keep their bikes in perfect working order, but they see the bigger picture too. CESTA also knows the value of bringing safer streets to the neighborhoods where these bikers live.

This spring CESTA launched a national campaign called No Bike No Planet which aims to raise awareness and sensitize the population about the importance of cycling as a means of transportation in the country. CESTA is an environmentally based organization that is focused on protecting the Earth and empowering people to live greener lifestyles. A bicycle is an important tool to their mission.

The No Bike No Planet campaign leaves no stone unturned. CESTA, working within the community, is hosting forums unveiling the impacts of climate change and stressing the importance of the bicycle to counteract global warming. Their message: 'a bike is a valuable transportation solution that helps reduce environmental pollution.' The campaign is committed to reducing air pollution in the capital of San Salvador where the health of residents is impacted. CESTA is bringing this conversation to several communities and forcing it into the media where it will reach an even greater number of people. 

CESTA signed an agreement with the Ministry of Public Works to work together to bring affordable, eco-friendly transportation to the country. In order to promote this means of transportation, both sides realize an effort to keep cyclists safe on the roads is in order. They are working to bring more cycle lanes to busy, crowded roads, more respect among drivers, and incorporating bike use in driver education.

For cyclists, CESTA is working within the school system to introduce bike use to students. They are hosting many workshops around the country that will focus on bicycle repair in hopes that some graduates will take this new skill to create repair shops in their communities. In addition to promoting cycling, this model would also generate employment in mechanics and business.

CESTA brings their message to students at grade schools and universities. With an education platform, bike use is pushed as a sustainable solution to keeping our planet clean and healthy. CESTA trained mechanics show students how to change a flat tire, grease a chain, or do minor bike repairs. In some schools, CESTA has also hosted large group rides to help spread the bike word.


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