Last week was my first as an intern at Bikes for Humanity, a nonprofit aimed to increase bike access and education to the community. I worked two days at their shop on Powell in SE Portland before heading out to East Portland that Saturday for my first event as part of the team--Rosewood Walkways.
The mission of the event was to create a comfortable pedestrian environment in a neighborhood with 5-lane busy streets passing through it, and to connect that community through a day of celebrating activities they made walkable. To make this event happen, the Rosewood Initiative and Oregon Walks partnered up. The Rosewood Initiative wants to make Rosewood a safer and happier place to be, and Oregon Walks works to create better walking conditions for Portlanders. So together, the Rosewood Walkways event was born.
Part of SE 162nd, a busy street next to the Rosewood Initiative, was closed off for the event, along with part of Main St. to create a pedestrian walkway to Parklane Park. Numerous tables were lined up along Stark, and more were stationed at Parklane. The organizations that came to table at Rosewood Walkways were a particularly important part of the event, for making it both fun and educational. Bikes for Humanity was one of these organizations, and we set up our booth near the Rosewood Initiative building.
P:ear Bike Works just opened up a shop in the back of the Rosewood Initiative, and their entrance on the alley south of the building was open. They also had scoot bikes available for kids to use for the event, lined up outside on the side we were tabling on. With their set up, our table and the NW Bicycle Safety Council’s helmet-fitting station, we created a bike corridor, ideal for educating anyone who came by about bicycle safety and access to bikes.
Bikes for Humanity had a special event planned at our table too. We had three kids bikes, restored by our mechanics, to be raffled off to Rosewood Walkways participants entirely for free. It was a way to give to the community and inspire youth to get into cycling. All three bikes, two of which I named Arizona and Bumblebee, and a third Andrew named Major, went to a group of local Rosewood siblings. We were able to give them and other riders free helmets too, thanks to the donations of the NW Bicycle Safety Council. Seeing those three kids ride off together after winning was the highlight of my day and put a big smile on my face.
It’s just the beginning of my time at Bikes for Humanity, and I know I still have a lot to learn. But I’m looking forward to more experiences like Rosewood Walkways.