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Update on advocacy and giving

We’re stepping up our giving and pro bono work more than ever before. Below is a rundown of what we’ve been up to lately. Thank you to all our customers; your purchases stabilize our operation and make this kind of direct social impact possible.

Paul and the BooLander recently rode the Climate Ride Death Valley, and used his network of friends, fans, and RTB fans to raise over $3600 for Climate orgs. Paul pitched in $1400 of that, covering the ride costs. Fundraising is still open!

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A perfect match between our products and a great movement appeared in the fall: Thanks to our longstanding relationships with devoted climate activists, including Mike Cobb, a bike-focused, direct-action-instigating, emergency-preparedness-loving, cargo-bike-modifying visionary, and our engineer Jake Watters, two of our bike generators made it to the main protest camp at Standing Rock. Our friends Adley Penner and Carolyn Herlehy of Bicicletas por la Paz (who we sponsored this year as part of the Pleasant Revolution tour) also went to Standing Rock and pedaled and made connections for us there.

Mike already had his Roll-Up Direct (a new RTB product, soon to be in the RTB online store), a gift for his Big Dummy from Paul coming out of a longtime friendship that predated Rock The Bike. “I knew he would do something cool with it,” says Paul, “and he told me he was going to Standing Rock with this thing — the next thing I knew, people were calling or emailing Rock The Bike saying they had seen it there, and then CNN did a piece on it.” Jake had friends going to Standing Rock, so we donated one through him as well. Both generators were set up in the main protest camp, Mike’s with a Recharge Station that could charge up to 20 cellphones at a time, and Jake’s made to connect directly to any 12V car battery so that pedalers could easily recharge these common sources of power at the camp. The Roll-Ups were meant to demonstrate that alternative energy is here and now — we need to transition to alternative energy now instead of protecting the moneyed interests of the fossil fuel empire.

“Thank you so much for getting those Roll-Ups out there – they were so positive! Especially on the colder days, people would gather around just to pedal and talk to each other.”

Steve Cook, audio engineer from Iowa City who saw the Roll-Ups in use at Standing Rock and got excited about using them in Iowa City

We donated a One Bike, One Speaker rental (with bike delivery, which we take pride in offering to local customers whether or not they pay) to Bicis del Pueblo, a community-based organization in San Francisco’s Excelsior District working to provide that district’s low-income youth and families with the knowledge, tools, and resources to incorporate bicycling into their everyday lives. They give people in the Excelsior access to quality used bikes and community riding events, and teach bike safety and repair. They used the OBOS to bring DJ music to their recent celebration of affordable housing victories. They’re interested in partnering with us to do some Pedal Power in San Francisco’s public schools.

Bike East Bay, which promotes healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, fun, and accessible, also got a free rental. We donated a FB Pro rental with free local bike delivery to be auctioned off at their Biketopia annual fundraiser; it raised them $90.

We gave a Fender Blender Universale to our friends at the Pleasant Revolution, a group that leads self-supported bike music tours featuring live Pedal Powered music at tour stops (see interview recap of 2016 tour). They used it as a perk for their crowdfunding campaign.

We showed up with pro bono bikes and blenders and plenty of fruit at a STEAM fair put on by the Bayside STEM Academy at Bayside Middle School in San Mateo.

We said yes to giving away smoothies at an event at Aspire Berkley Maynard Academy, right across the street from Rock The Bike.

We did a discounted performance for Love Our Neighborhood Day here on San Pablo Avenue.

We brought our best Live on Bike rig up the hill to Nevada City in support of the Yuba River Bicycle Music Festival, where we got to roll with the Polish ambassador!

We always discount our event services for the climate justice movement, which in 2016 included several rallies with 350 Bay Area, part of the international 350 movement, and the Richmond event Our Power, put on by the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

And to Rich City Rides, a Richmond bike advocacy group building community with at-risk kids, we donated a Yuba Mundo cargo bike and compatible bike blender.

If you are part of a nonprofit yourself, please note that we do a certain number of discounted and pro-bono appearances each year, and always like to hear about new initiatives that we’ve never encountered before. We also love to meet the people behind our old favorites, so don’t be shy if you’re looking for a fundraising partner, a conference activity, event services, or whatever. Just drop us a line and let us know the details.