Keen observers have probably noticed by now that the sidebar has changed a bit in recent weeks. A new “Friends” section highlights organizations that embody or promote the positive aspects of riding a bike that we here at The Prudent Cyclist are so fond of. They’re not officially affiliated with us, but we like what they do.
21st Avenue Bicycles started the program with the belief that riding a bike “is to be part of a community, to share a common experience, as much as it is about good health and helping environment.” The 21 Ambassadors are a group of people from around the Portland Metro area who carry bright green tool kits equipped with all the essential tools needed for common roadside bike repair needs.
When the program was first announced, some people thought this was a clever marketing ploy to persuade bike commuters needing a repair to drop their current favorite shop and come to 21st Avenue Bicycles. That was never the goal, according to Kyle, who orientated the newly minted Ambassadors to their tool kits last week.
Far from trying to steal business from other shops, and even further from replacing the full service available at any bike shop including his own, Kyle explained that the 21 Ambassadors program is about getting people and their slightly damaged bicycles home safely. His hope is that other shops take inspiration from the program and decide to create their own teams of goodwill ambassadors, ready to solve cyclists’ roadside conundrums.
So as you’re riding home from work, off to the grocery store, or just around a neighborhood park, keep any eye out for the bright green tool kits. Make sure to wave ‘hello’ and feel free to flag them down if you’ve got a flat.