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Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry

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Now, more than ever, we need our essential workers. Doctors, nurses, EMS, fire services, police, transportation workers, public works, food and grocery employees, and countless others are helping us all to get through this. To help them get through this, Specialized is stepping up with some free bikes to ensure they’re able to get where they need to go.

Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry

Calling it Essential Rides for Essential Workers, Specialized will be donating bikes to qualified applicants on a first-come-first-served basis. They’re collecting submissions until April 22nd – either from the individuals themselves, or from people who wish to refer something they think is deserving of a safe, reliable, and efficient means of transportation to get them to the front lines and back.

In addition to the bicycle donations, Specialized has partnered with Transportation Alternatives in NYC to provide additional bikes to those in need. Transportation Alternatives is accepting donations of used bicycles for this purpose, and you can also donate directly to the program or start your own bike match program where you live.


Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry

Along those same lines, Brompton has partnered up with Spinlister to allow cyclists to share their bikes directly with healthcare workers who need a ride. If you have an unused bike that you can provide for a loan during the Covid-19 crisis, you can list your bike on Spinlister for free, and their #wheelsforheroes program will match that bike up with someone in need. Brompton points out that the service is fully insured which should cover you in case the bike is damaged or stolen, and it’s an easy way to help out.

Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry

For Orbea who just announced that they are finally able to resume some operations at their facilities in Spain, the company is also looking to support Unicef in the fight against Covid-19.

Orbea supports UNICEF in its Emergency campaign against COVID-19. Through this initiative presented by the cooperative, Orbea will contribute to fundraising for medical supplies, such as gloves, masks, sanitizing gel and detection kits through a series of charity auctions.

“For some time now, we have been designing a strategy to support one of the world’s most vulnerable groups: children. Based on this concern, we have had conversations with UNICEF. Given the circumstances, we are intensifying these contacts in order to offer our support in light with the urgency of the situation,” indicates Marketing Director Ander Olariaga.

 “We strongly believe that we are here to help change the world with what we do, what we are and how we do it,” Olariaga says. “Our corporate values motivate us to lead projects in line with this goal,” he adds.

More specifically, this initiative kicks off with the first charity auction on the charitable branch of the eBay platform. “It’s for one of the bikes we designed for the Orbea Factory Team to ride in the Cape Epic, which was supposed to be ridden in South Africa. We’re also adding a set of gear signed by our cyclists,” says Orbea Marketing Director Ander Olariaga.

The auction will end on April 13, but the manufacturer has already announced that there will be new auctions over the next few weeks.


For those who are looking for alternatives to this auction, Orbea invites you to contribute to UNICEF, using the form made available at this link.

“We’re going to use all our communications channels to give this effort all the visibility it deserves,” stresses Olariaga.

The Basque company stresses its desire to continue cooperating with UNICEF in the future. “Once this emergency is over, we will work to identify common goals. From our side, we  want to keep supporting projects that are committed to making the world a little bit better place. We feel it’s our obligation,” he concludes.

Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry

More Bike Companies Making and/or Donating PPE

We’ve already seen a number of companies in the bike industry switch over to the production of Personal Protective Equipment. But there’s still a dire need for more, so additional companies are doing what they can to support the cause.

G-Form recently announced that Polyworks, their manufacturing facility in North Smithfield RI, has begun producing ANSI/ISEA Z87 D3 PPE face shields for healthcare workers and first responders. The facility is ramping up operations to produce “several hundred thousand face shields weekly.” In this case, G-Form is able to sell many of the shields to distributors in order to keep their employees paid during this time. For more, check out this news story from ABC6 Rhode Island.

Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry

Santa Cruz Bicycles is another company that is using their manufacturing resources to produce PPE face shields for local medial staff. The Santa Cruz design is a little different and uses 3D printing to create the support frames which can be sterilized and then reused. CNC machines are used to cut the plastic sheets, and the company can produce up to 20 shield lenses every 9 minutes, and up to 1000 shields a day.

Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry

Taking a slightly different approach, Aventon Bicycles were able to track down 4,000 surgical masks and 1,000 N95 masks to donate to the Loma Linda University Medical Center and Pamona Valley Hospital Medical Center. The company also donated two of their e-bikes to the Loma Linda University Medical Center as a way for employees to get around.

“Aventon Bicycles, an Ontario, California-based E-bike manufacturer and retailer, is giving back to the community by donating thousands of surgical masks and N95 masks to two Los Angeles area hospitals in need.

Luis Razo, Manager of Operations at Aventon Bicycles,  says the community has supported the company, so now it’s time to give back – 4,000 surgical masks and 1,000 thousand N95 masks — to Loma Linda University Medical Center and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where supplies are running short. 

 The company also donated 2 E-bikes to Loma Linda University Medical Center. It’s a personal mission for Luis Razo. His wife Gracie is an RN at Loma Linda Hospital, on the front lines of this pandemic. 

 “When we told the hospital about the mask donation, they explained they needed help transporting them and that’s when we decided to donate the two E-bikes as well,” says Razo. “I feel fortunate to work for Aventon Bicycles which cares about its community and supports a cause that is so near and dear to my heart. Aventon donating these E-bikes and masks to Loma Linda Hospital, where my wife works as an RN, reinforces its commitment to people and shows how much they care. In this crisis, everyone must do their part because it’s the right thing to do.”

 E-bike sales are surging right now during the pandemic, as germ-free and proper social distancing exercise and transportation.  Aventon Bicycles reports a surge in online U.S. bike sales because so many bike shops nationwide are closed. Sales are up 266% from March 2019 to March 2020.”

Specialized to gift bikes to essential workers, plus more good news from the bike industry
Bill Walton bike ride on August 25, 2019. Bruce Ely / Trail Blazers

Bike For Humanity with Bill Walton (Virtually)

If you’re looking for something that you can do, Bill Walton and Friends are hosting an “Inter-Galactic Bike for Humanity Event to Benefit Victims of Coronavirus and Healthcare Workers” next Saturday, April 25th. While the event is virtual in the sense that you won’t actually be riding with Bill Walton, those who can ride outside safely and practice proper social distancing are encouraged to do so. This is not a group ride. Bike For Humanity recommends at least 6’11” of social distancing in honor of Bill’s height, but there have been a number of sources recently quoting a study that indicates that far more distance (up to 20m) is required when moving on a bike. Just to be safe, it’s probably best to do this one solo.

For more details including how the fundraising will work, check out the press release below.

“Basketball Hall of Famer and San Diego native Bill Walton is teaming up with community leaders and Events.com to host an inter-galactic initiative, Bike for Humanity, on from 9-11 a.m. PT on Saturday, April 25.

One 100 percent of all net proceeds from the event will benefit victims of the Coronavirus pandemic, along with healthcare professionals who have so valiantly treated them during this devastating crisis. Those proceeds will be distributed among four participating nonprofits, Feeding America (feedingamerica.org), the leading organization in the fight against hunger in the United States; Father Joe’s Villages (my.neighbor.org), one of the largest homeless services providers in San Diego; #GetUsPPE (getusppe.org), an organization that shares information and connects the community to help healthcare providers receive Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); and Champions for Health (championsforhealth.org), a San Diego-based organization whose mission is to improve community health and wellness, access to care for all and support for physicians through engaged volunteerism.

Individuals are encouraged to get out and ride their bikes for up to two hours in an area where they can practice social distancing at a minimum of 6’ 11” in honor of Walton’s true height. Current CDC guidelines recommend a minimum of six feet of social distancing in an effort to stem the pandemic. It is CRITICAL to note that Bike for Humanity is NOT a group ride and riding clusters are PROHIBITED due to Coronavirus. Interested participants can ride anywhere in the galaxy as long as they are in a location where they can practice social distancing.

“I love my bike and I love being alive,” said Walton, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, of his reasons for helping to create this one-of-a-kind event. “These seemingly inseparable aspects of my life are great privileges, privileges that not everybody has, even in the best of times. However, with that privilege comes responsibility, obligation and duty. And with the global health Coronavirus crisis changing everything for everybody these days, we are doing something about and for the exacerbated challenges that so many of our communities now face, not the least of which are food and medical care.”

There is no charge to sign-up or participate in Bike for Humanity. However, there are multiple opportunities to donate and become more involved.

Participants who make a $25 contribution will receive a Bike for Humanity medal through the mail. Those who make a $50 contribution will receive a medal and a T-shirt. Participants who pledge $250 will receive the medal and T-shirt, along with a personally-signed “Thank You” photograph card from Bill, and they’ll be entered into an opportunity drawing for exclusive prizes, including Electra bicycles and an all-expenses paid trip to San Diego to ride with Bill. And for $5,000, riders will receive a medal and T-shirt, along with an all-expenses paid trip to San Diego to ride with Bill. Details on all the packages are available HERE. And it’s important to note that for people who are unable to participate on April 25, Bike for Humanity is an ongoing initiative and outdoor enthusiasts should be proud to don their Bike for Humanity T-shirts and medals and get out and safely ride their bicycles when conditions allow.

Events.com is planning a live-stream of the event featuring Walton and other interesting people, however it will air on a delay from 1-3 p.m. PT giving participants plenty of time to get home following the ride to watch.

For more information or to register for Bike for Humanity, visit the event’s official website, www.bikeforhumanity.com.”


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3 years ago

Fantastic, The power of the bicycle.

3 years ago

I’m one of those “hidden” essential workers. I work for city government in a finance capacity and we still need to process payroll for our front line workers (police, public works, etc) and vendors still need to be paid, invoices sent, budgets passed, etc. I work remotely 1 day a week but my job duties are significantly easier to accomplish if I am in the office. Hopefully I am considered eligible. I have been riding 17 miles each way to work instead of taking public transit.

Micheal Jacobson
3 years ago

And still NOT ONE mention of the bike shop employees on the front line getting our asses handed to us each and every day by Non-essential customers. NO mention of the Employees who are bringing SBC’s record sales. Shame on the bike industry as a whole for not even acknowledging their front line workers. All the companies promoting sales and service can get bent.

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