Bike Clark County is on a mission to make the world safe for cycling. Everyone is invited to meet its volunteers at the downtown Vancouver bike shop on Friday evening, then come back for a group ride Sunday morning.
The homegrown nonprofit agency was launched by Eric Giacchino, a local firefighter and cycling dad who hates rushing to scenes of bike accidents on city streets — especially when those accidents involve kids. What he started years ago as a safety-training course for student cyclists has grown into a multifaceted co-op repair and sales shop driven entirely by volunteers. In addition to offering repairs and new and used bikes for sale, Bike Clark County continues to offer safety courses at local schools, as well as an after-school mechanics-and-leadership program that sees students earn for themselves the bikes they learn to work on.
Meanwhile, Bike Clark County had to borrow space — first from the Hough Foundation, which donated its empty swimming pool for a few years, then from Burgerville, which offered rent-free warehouse space.
That’s where Bike Clark County has set up shop: the Community Hub at 1604 Main St. From 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, stop by to meet volunteers and tour the shop; then, at 11 a.m. Sunday, return and choose a round-trip group ride: a family-friendly jaunt to the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, or an intermediate journey to Frenchman’s Bar Park.
Serious-minded cyclists also may want to reserve 7 p.m. May 16 for the annual Ride of Silence. That’s a short group ride — done in complete silence, as the name says — honoring cyclists killed while riding in traffic.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/BikeClarkCounty.