Charlottesville Community Bikes, Recipient

When you don’t have a vehicle and there’s a bus driver shortage, how do you get around? One Charlottesville resident, working to reenter society after being incarcerated, found the answer through Charlottesville Community Bikes. With a refurbished, donated bike, this person was able to commute to a local community college and earn a CDL license. Today, they have full-time work as a truck driver. For countless other people in need, bicycles save the day—and promotional bike water bottles keep them hydrated as they ride. Building a strong cycleA branded tent and booth at an outdoor community fair. “Technically we’re a bike shop, but we’re really a community organization. Bikes are just a tool we use to address issues of equity, access and inclusion,” said Lauren Riegl, executive director. In addition to giving bicycles to people who need them most, Charlottesville Community Bikes is an accessible full-service bike shop serving underrepresented people in the cycling world. The organization has children, youth and adult programs. And underrepresented teens can intern at the bike shop to gain valuable experience and skills that can serve them later in life. Last year, Charlottesville Community Bikes gave over 700 bicycles to children in need. This year, it’s blown those results out of the water with 800 bikes donated to date. What’s more, when a community member’s bike breaks, they can get free repairs at the shop. Spread the word using promotional bike water bottles “We work with about 25 local nonprofits to get referrals for adults who could benefit from a bike or who just need a helmet. Also, recipients have asked us for years for a water bottle so they can stay hydrated during their commute,” Riegl said. Using a one by one grant, Riegl ordered promotional bike water bottles to quench recipients’ thirst and pedal the Charlottesville Community Bikes brand all over town. “Not only do we now have water bottles to give our recipients, we also have an additional promo tool. The water bottle gives us an opportunity to share our mission with more people,” Riegl continued.

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