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Homeless connect with free bike repair, safety tips

Posted by on February 27th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Project Homeless Connect-2.jpg

Tony watches as Ian Stude from
the PSU Bike Co-op adjusts
the brakes on his bike.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Community groups and local bike shops came together yesterday to keep Portland’s homeless population rolling smooth on two wheels.

Thousands of families and individuals in need of basic health and social services came to the Memorial Coliseum in Portland yesterday for the annual Project Homeless Connect event. Among the many stations offering services was a transportation area that offered free bike helmets, lights, maps, and tune-ups.

Ian Stude from the PSU Bike Co-op and Alex Criss from River City Bicycles worked non-stop throughout the day to tighten, clean, repair and replace parts on numerous bikes. One bike makeover recipient was a man named Tony (he didn’t want to share his last name).

Project Homeless Connect-3.jpg

Tony said he paid only $19.99 for his bike and that he’s always been, “hesitant to spend $60-70 on a repair.” He was concerned about “mushy” feeling brakes. “It was taking me half a block to stop, a whole block in the rain,” he said as he pointed out a pair of newly-installed brake pads.

Tony was extremely grateful for the assistance and said, “Helping out some homeless guy with a bicycle, come on, you can’t beat that.”

In addition to free bike repair, trauma nurses from Legacy Emanuel Hospital fitted attendees with new helmets and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) hosted bike safety clinics.

The BTA’s Michelle Poyourow said they decided to ask each participant to attend a five-minute clinic before receiving the free services. She was initially worried that people would shy away from the clinic, but she soon realized people were eager to learn, especially if it meant they could get a free helmet, a set of lights, or a tune-up.

“We filled up the classes all day,” she said, “We had about 160 people go through…much more than last year.”

Read more about the event on the BTA’s blog.

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  • Qwendolyn February 27, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    cool beans.

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  • janis February 27, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I just want to give a shout out to Ian and Alex. When they got there we already had 5-6 bikes lined up and bikes kept coming in all day.

    They worked really hard and were very upbeat about it all. Thanks guys!

    Transportation Options

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  • Dabby February 27, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I personally think Ian is a great guy. No matter what they say! (just kidding!)

    Good job!

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  • bahueh February 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    nice work, everybody.

    interesting…trauma nurses putting on helmets…maybe they know something a lot of folks on this website don\’t..

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  • Ashley February 27, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Totally awesome!

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  • Austin Ramsland February 27, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    What a fantastic and generous thing. Nice work Ian and Alex.

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  • Bryan February 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Oh man… free helmets, lights, and tune-ups for the homeless – what an awesome idea! Three cheers for Ian, Alex, all the trauma nurses, and everybody else involved!

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  • Jean Reinhardt February 28, 2008 at 7:14 am

    The bicycle business\’ pay scale keeps bike business employees very aware of every working person\’s potential for homelessness; this is likely the source of their empathy.

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  • anomalily February 28, 2008 at 10:50 am

    As much as I dislike it when Jean R trolls here, she\’s so right this time around.

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  • Lisa February 28, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I hate to say this, but I\’m sure that not all of the homeless paid for their bikes like Tony did. I was wondering if anyone was checking the stolen bike registry?

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  • \\\'jefe February 28, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Right on Ian, Alex, RCB, PSU, and BTA!

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