Why I Ride – Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer GordonI had a great Valentine’s Day this year, thanks to The Bike Garage. My bicycle, Petals, had been stolen and I wanted to get another not-fancy, tooling-around-town bicycle. (I don’t own a car.) A friend of mine connected me with Maria Contreras Tebbutt, founder of The Bike Garage, a nonprofit based in Woodland with activities throughout Yolo.

When I first arrived at The Bike Garage, my impression was that of a thriving beehive. Volunteers were helping customers with repairs, restoring old bicycles to soundness and safety, and supporting one another with generosity and grace. As I listened to the staff educate customers, their dedication to safety impressed me. I watched people of all ages, shapes, and sizes stop by to ask questions, talk about the rides they’ve been on, or get help with a pedal that wasn’t working.

Maria was there to greet me. She had thoughtfully chosen two bikes she thought might be perfect for me. I took them for test rides. Within a half-hour, I had a “new” Vintage 3-speed made in Austria. It fits me perfectly and rides like a dream. (I’m still deciding on a name—Lulu? Ella? Ruby? Louie? Hmm.) I also came away with a quality lock for my bike for far less than I’d pay retail. And Maria gave me tips and tricks for locking my bicycle up, too.

Hearty and homegrown, TheBike Garage was a happy, hospitable, generous experience from beginning to end…love-in-action, even—love for the environment … love for community … love for Yolo …love for healthy living … and love for cycling.

Ahh, love and bicycles … the perfect combination! Yolo County is fortunate to have The Bike Garage. I heartily recommend supporting it by donating and shopping there.

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