People Power plans to host a series of bicycle commuting workshops to be held March through July of 2014. These workshops will available free of charge to community members and cover laws affecting cyclists, riding skills, gear and basic maintenance. Classes will take place in workplaces throughout the County as well as in our office in downtown Santa Cruz. We will be working in partnership with IDEASS students, who will assist with outreach, coordination and course instruction. The program will have two components; 10 workplace-sponsored classes and 5 regularly scheduled community classes, for a total of 15 courses. Community classes will take place one evening per month at the People Power office, which is centrally located in downtown Santa Cruz.
The workplace-sponsored classes will be held at businesses throughout the County, averaging two classes per month. Staff time will be spent reaching out to employers, who will provide space for a free lunch hour class for their employees. Employers will also assist with outreach, with a goal of ten minimum participants in each class. Employers will be asked if the class can be open to the public, in which case it will also be promoted on the People Power website and event calendar.
All classes will follow a basic 1-hour outline covering the following;
• California traffic laws that relate to cyclists
• Basic bike skills (hand signals, road courtesy, selecting a route)
• Gear (choosing a bike, bags, clothing, carrying kids, riding in wet weather)
• Maintenance (resources, tools to carry with you)
Participants will be given a ‘Recipe for Commuting’ handout with a checklist of commuting basics. Time will be spent answering any questions participants may have and helping them select a route and connect with riding buddies. We will also direct participants to other resources available in the County, such as maintenance classes, the Regional Transportation Commission’s Commute Solutions program, and local group rides and events. All participants will be asked to complete a survey about their riding habits at the beginning of the course, and will receive an additional survey via email one and three months after the
course to see if their commuting habits have changed. We will also solicit course feedback, and make adjustments to course material as needed. Classes will be publicized through the People Power email list and newsletter, as well as other bike-related email lists in the County. Posters promoting the workshops will be distributed throughout the County, and other free local advertising opportunities (local calendar listings, public radio announcements) will be sought. Grant funds will be used primarily for staff time to design, publicize and implement the workshops, with an estimated five hours spent on each workshop. Funds will also be used for the design and printing of promotional materials.
The long-term goal is to demonstrate a successful program and secure sponsors for future implementation. Program fundraising will be an aspect of outreach to employers who sponsor workplace events, as well as our general fundraising efforts, to ensure program continuity.