Cycles’ Statement on COVID-19 and the Shelter-in-Place Order
Oakland, CA- March 24, 2020
Cycles of Change strongly affirms the concern and strong response to combat the COVID-19 virus. We have ended programming that we had scheduled at all Alameda County schools, including our Bike Clubs, and our Drive Your Bike programs. We have also temporarily closed The Bikery, our community bike shop. In order to keep people safe - especially people with compromised immune systems - everyone needs to act with caution and minimize all risks of spreading the virus, and that means ceasing business as usual. This has put Cycles of Change in a deeply challenging place with our finances and our ability to support all of our staff, and we also recognize the necessity of this unprecedented response.
The virus is not the only factor that spreads harm in our communities. We strongly support calls for an end to all evictions, support a rent freeze, the sheltering of all unhoused people and families, financial assistance for all people in need who are living in the Bay Area, robust support systems for disabled people, and immediate, no-cost testing being made available. The crises experienced by poor, working class, and communities of color in the Bay Area will only be exasperated by a failure to respond to these persistent and growing needs of our communities.
We believe that access to mobility and transportation is an essential human right, and also support the directive of the Alameda County Public Health Department that trips should be reduced to only core essentials, and also to the need for fresh air and exercise. Bicycles are a key resource for this situation.
Bikes are a safe transportation alternative to using public transportation.
Bikes are an excellent way of getting exercise, and broaden the amount of available public space for fresh-air activities (notice the unwise crowding of Lake Merritt by people getting fresh-air).
Bikes will continue to be a solution to the Climate Crisis, which continues even through the coronavirus crisis.
Bike shops are essential services and many will remain open, like Laurel Cyclery and Lakeview Bicycle. We support efforts made by Bike East Bay to get official designation of bike shops as essential services.
We encourage more people to ride bikes in this moment, and ask that people also adopt the following strategies to reduce the risk of spreading the virus:
- Only ride alone or with your intimate family-unit.
- Respect each others’ space and maintain at least 6-feet distance.
- Do not go outside if you are feeling sick.
- Do not go to crowded spaces and instead take less-frequently traveled routes.
- Wash hands as much as possible, and take extreme caution about spreading saliva and mucus.
Cycles of Change will be seeking solutions to continue to provide bicycle education and access to low-cost and free bikes to the community. Please consider donating at https://www.cyclesofchange.org/donate and please stay tuned to hear about more ways to support our work.
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