Shift’s “Get Lit” program gets helmet grant

The successful “Get Lit” program, which gives out lights to Portland cyclists, is expanding into helmets. Community activist and Shift volunteer Jeff Bernards is spear-heading the program with his usual, “take it to the streets” style. Jeff, working with Shift to Bikes, has received a grant of $3380 through the ODOT funded, Community Cycling Center bike safety grant program.

Jeff has tried to provide free helmets to cyclists before, but previous grants allowed him only to pass out coupons which could be redeemed at local bike shops for $10 off a helmet. Unfortunately, only 10% of riders actually redeemed the coupons. This new grant will allow Jeff to bring about 400 helmets directly to those in need, on a custom-made trailer he plans to pick up this weekend.

Jeff hopes his helmet program echoes the success of his light program:

“I found that peer pressure (everyone has a light, but me) regarding light use has really increased their presence on the streets. Those who use lights now are the majority, I’m hoping that happens with the helmets too.”

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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17 years ago

I’ve started a personal program called Mirror Ya? whereby I purchase a mirror for a friend on the pretense that if they find it improves their (admittedly percieved) safety/security, they will purchase a mirror and pass it on to someone who might use one. I’ve said this before, but it irks me to see so much stress placed on injury reduction rather than injury prevention. Making peace with the motoristas starts with knowing where they’s at–at all times relevant to one’s safe maneuvering within a given traffic space. Admittedly, where traffic speed is reduced (hi couriers!), rear views are less relevant (though not irrelevant). Yet, on countless occassions I have avoided [potential] conflict by being able to read a driver’s “body language” before deciding to “share” a lane with them. If they are going to try to “rub” me, I’ll jump out and take the lane that is legally mine (or, yes, remove myself from the roadway for a short breather).

You wouldn’t drive a car without a mirror (or two). Put one on ya noggin an respek de visualimation in yo’s propellization. Knowledge is Powder. Actions speak louder than birds.

Jeremiah LongBear
17 years ago

The Oversat Rap Group is out to keep kids safe with their Rap PSA “Keep Your Helmet On”