Caught off guard by the early sunset? Brighten your evenings. Be a part of SBBIKE’s new way of getting lights to those who’ve fallen back to a dark commute with the end of daylight savings time.
Over the past eight years, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition’s Iluminando la Noche (Light Up the Night) campaign has given lights to those riding in the dark. This year, Iluminando is transforming—a targeted distribution method will help get environmentally friendly lights to the right hands (or handlebars). And you can too—individuals, local business owners, and schoolteachers or administrators welcome!
At SB Bike Moves last week, SBBIKE tested a sliding-scale donation ($5–$15) distribution of the rechargeable lights sold at the 3 Bici Centros, our beloved DIY shops. Participants were stoked about lights charged with USBs and donated what they could (some giving more to keep the program running).
Throughout the winter (until the lights run out), SBBIKE angels will continue lighting up the night. Here are three ways you can get involved:
- Be a bike light angel. Bike light angels will ride at sunset to heavy traffic spots, like the Obern Trail, the beach, or State Street to distribute lights as needed and get out the word about affordable DIY repair at the three Bici Centros.
- If you’re a business owner or schoolteacher or administrator, make your business or school a bike light angel. Ensure employees or students are safely lit while riding—avoiding tickets and fines and making our streets safer for everyone. Carpinteria Family School got a grant for 20 sets of lights.
- Contribute to 805 Chromies’ clothing drive. The group has teamed up with SBBIKE to be bike light angels. And just before Thanksgiving, they’ll deliver (on their cruiser bikes) gloves, socks, hats—and lights—to people who are currently without homes.
Bourgeois notes that, the past eight years (when single-use lights were distributed for free over a week at street corners in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria) made a marked difference. Volunteers spread the word about the need for lights (for both safety and the law). But it was becoming cost prohibitive, and the coalition didn’t want to keep using throwaway lights. Enter the targeted season-long distribution and lights made to last!
What’s next? Bourgeois’s long-term goal is to get law enforcement on board. “We’d like them to collaborate with us,” she says, “and instead of giving tickets, give lights.”
Become a bike light angel, either as an individual or at your business or school. Contact Christine Bourgeois at email@example.com or call Bici Centro in SB at 805-617-3255.