SBBIKE, and our 3 Bici Centro locations (Santa Barbara, SBCC and Santa Maria), have been closed since last Saturday in the name of “social distancing,” to help slow the pace of new COVID-19 virus infections. Rain was predicted for every day of this week, so we hoped our shutting down wouldn’t cause too much inconvenience for our members and customers. We have already cancelled our May 17th fundraiser at the Burke’s beautiful home, and all the exciting CycleMAYnia and Open Streets events we were looking forward to are now tentatively rescheduled for Fall. But that’s just the beginning.
It is becoming frighteningly clear that this crisis will not abate next week, or even next month. Our terrific bike education program is now halted because all schools are closed, and there is increasing doubt that regular sessions will resume before September. But the Education team is brainstorming ideas to help and mentor families interested in riding bicycles around their community.
Clearly, repairing and selling bikes at our DIY bike shops isn’t a vital human service that must remain open. But it is important. We know that our customers are likely to use their bikes more than usual to avoid mass transportation, carpools, etc. Many of us will use our bikes as a safe and sane way to escape to the outdoors, and get the exercise and exhilaration we thrive on. And many will just continue using their bike as their principal mode of transportation. We know that you rely on our Bici shops to help with bicycle repairs and other needs. And we still need to pay our mortgage, rent, insurance, and a variety of other “fixed costs” of being in business, whether or not we are operating. Plus, we have committed, at least for now, to continue paying all our employees so they can hold their lives together despite this disaster.
Our management team will be meeting (remotely) again on Friday morning. I do not expect that we will decide to open for regular business before next month, at the very earliest. Maybe we can do some bike and parts sales on the web. Maybe we can find ways to help you with bike repairs under strict safety controls. Our team is anxious to get back to work, but reality is harsh right now. We will update you regularly with our plans and capabilities.
First, let me know by email if you have a need that you wish we could address. We will try.
Second, take this opportunity to show how important the survival of SBBIKE is to you by making a contribution online, so we can keep paying our staff and other obligations.
Third, please take care of yourself. Use your bike to escape this crisis. I went for an amazing ride yesterday that brought back my optimism and enthusiasm about life, despite all the bad news. And then I washed my hands ... again.
David Landecker (email@example.com)
Interim Executive Director SBBIKE