Connecting Communities: Operation Illumination

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Making our streets safer by providing lights to lightless riders

Our pop-up bike light giveaway program, Operation Illumination, provides lights to lightless bike riders in Pittsburgh. Our goal is to make our streets safer for everyone. Light recipient, Eileen Angulo, spoke about her experience with our program:

At the age of 25, I learned how to ride a bike in the back alley of my house. It involved three grown adults holding the fork of my bike as I pedaled, them running side-by-side in an awkward fashion until I was able to gain balance on my own. I think I finally felt old enough at that point to able to deal with my shame of not knowing how to ride a bike but also mature enough to address it. Now, I’m a confident city-cyclist and use my bike as my primary mode of transportation.

This past September, I was commuting home through my neighborhood when I had a group of people flag me down. I realized those are friends waving at me: that’s Bike Pittsburgh. They not only wanted to say “Hi” they wanted to say “Hey, you need lights!” and “We want to keep you safe.”

I stopped by at their table, which was already full of friendly faces of community members at a wide variety of ages. There were a lot of kids there, and a handful of adults all ecstatic about receiving a set of lights. It was a great experience to see this gathering, unifying bordering neighborhoods and residents for the common goal of safety.

Bike Pittsburgh made riding my bike at night safe for me and I am grateful for that. Join me in giving back to them for making our city a better place to live and ride.

Sincerely,

Eileen Angulo

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In 2016, BikePGH hosted four bike light giveaways and gave out nearly 150 sets of lights (and even some helmets) to unsuspecting bicyclists. Cyclists received new lights, a spoke card with information on how to replace the batteries, our 6th Edition Pittsburgh Bike Map, and a copy of our cycling education guide. We have plenty more planned for 2017, and we need your financial support to keep people safe.

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