Team Swift’s successful Cycle with Champions event concluded on the eve of the Santa Rosa fire storm. We are calling upon unaffected community members to help us get displaced cyclists back on the road.
We held our annual “Cycle with Champions” event on October 8 and it was well attended by many supporters of the team, current team members and a large number of the team’s former riders and families. The riding, festivities, and benefit auction were all successes. We deeply thank our many supporters, donors, sponsors and families for such a beautiful day in Sonoma County.
During the night following the event, severe fires struck Sonoma County and outlying areas. Many members of Team Swift and its community of families and supporters lost homes, some barely escaping the flames with their lives. Over 5,000 homes in Santa Rosa were completely incinerated. The following week was a difficult and stressful period for all of us in the Santa Rosa area. Those who were only required to evacuate, but without losses, were the lucky ones.
It becomes clear at times such as these what a privilege our opportunity to ride our bicycles in beautiful Sonoma County is. For those who hold this privilege dear, the loss of bicycles and riding gear has immediate significance. Riding is more than a diversion or hobby to us. It allows us to commute to work without taking up our limited energy resources, to stay fit and healthy and not tax our overburdened health care system, and to find calm in stressful times.
Most of us have been riding for years and have collected a bunch of gear (or bikes) that we hang on to but deep down know we’ll never actually use again. Sometimes it’s fit, sometimes it’s taste, sometimes it’s schwag. Let’s get that stuff to people who are going to spend years focused on rebuilding all the necessities of their lives such as a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and furniture to sit and sleep on.
Team Swift is collaborating with Bici Sport bike shop in Petaluma to help get fire victims back on the road as quickly as possible.
Specifically, we have organized a donation drive for cycling materials that will be made available to fire victims. If you have new or gently used bicycles, helmets, riding clothing, or riding shoes that are no longer in use, please consider donating to this drive. Small parts and accessories of most categories are also useful. Please be respectful and donate what you think is will truly be used and appreciated. Donations to this drive through Team Swift, an IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, are tax deductible.
How to help:
Step 1: Call or email Bici Sport to let them know what you are planning to donate.
Step 2: Include an itemized list of your donation including sizes along with your name, phone, address and email.
Step 3: Materials can be shipped or dropped off at Bici Sport, 143 Kentucky St., Petaluma, CA 94952 during the following times:
M – F 12:00PM to 5:00PM
S – S 11:00PM to 4:00PM
Cyclists who have lost their cycling equipment in the fire are invited to email Bici Sport at firstname.lastname@example.org for a request form to fill out. Afterwards you will receive a pick up time if any items are available.
Team Swift wishes all who have suffered losses, and especially those involved with our organization, a speedy recovery from this tragic event. We look forward to riding with you again soon.
Items needed include:
- Computers (Garmin, etc.)
- Saddle Bags
- Frame Pumps
- CO2 Valves and Cylinders
- Arm Warmers
- Knee/leg Warmers
- Bottle Cages
- Front and Rear Lights