Are you interested in getting involved with Bike Index but don’t know how? Have you thought about volunteering but don’t know where to start?
Bike Index is launching a new program that could help you out if you are interested in Bike Index endeavors. This week marks the beginning of the Bike Index Ambassadors program. We welcome anyone and everyone to bring Bike Index to the place they live.
“The single most effective force when it comes to protecting and recovering bikes is simple: it’s just ID’ing the cyclists and people in the community who actually want to do something about bike theft, instead of waiting for someone else. We can’t be everywhere at once, but we can certainly give people tools and share our knowledge. Five people in the same city who care about bikes can affect a lot of positive change, with minimal effort, and we’ll support that any way we can,” says Bike Index cofounder, Bryan Hance.
How does the Ambassadors Program work?
In its simplest form, the Ambassador program connects us at Bike Index (the people who need help), with you out there in the world (the people who want to help, but also who need help to help). We at Bike Index are a small team and can’t be everywhere at once. Even if we could be, it would take time to learn what the cycling culture is like in any one place: what kind of bikes people ride, whether bikes are important to people, whether an organized, city-supported registry is something your town needs.
That’s where you come in. You know your town better than anyone else. You have connections to law enforcement, friends at bike shops, neighbors in bike advocacy and overall know where to go and who to talk to about Bike Index.
Becoming a Bike Index Ambassador is easy. All you have to do is email us with a couple of paragraphs about who you are and why you want to be an ambassador. If you become an ambassador, we’ll feature you on the Bike Index site. This shows our thanks, but also gives you an official designation to show to people when discussing the implementation of Bike Index where you live.
Of course, you need materials and help to get started at any level. The Ambassador program includes packages of materials you can order to begin sharing Bike Index information. We have three package options: Small, Medium, and Large because well, one is small(er), one is large(r), and one is in the middle. But fear not, even the Small box has the necessary materials for promoting Bike Index. The Medium and Large boxes offer materials for more experienced Bike Index proponents to use their relative expertise to expand their reach wherever they live.
And doubly fear not: we have a scholarship program. If you need some financial help to purchase a materials package, write a few sentences explaining and include that in your introductory paragraphs of your email to me :)
Some materials in the Ambassador packages include a Bike Index cycling cap (cool!!!!), stickers, tips on talking to different kinds of bike orgs, registration cards, and flyers to hand out at shops or donation drives. You can see more details at our new Ambassadors page. And no matter which package you choose, we offer the same amount of support. Anytime you have questions, ideas, or need some form of help, we’ll offer quick support via email and phone.
Bike Index has had a number of people on the ground in municipalities such as Boulder, CO, Seattle, WA, and Rochester, NY, talking to city officials and cycling organizations for a long time. These folks have done this without us asking them to. We would like to think this is because these guys think we’re great, but it’s more because they’re really great, and they want to see everyone’s bikes registered and returned as much as we do. Bike Batman (aka, Dirk DeGroot) in Seattle for example has returned around 40 bikes by using Bike Index.
"I found BikeIndex after hunting for data on a sketchy bike I found for sale on Craigslist. I thought it was great that I was able to contact the owner, and get the police report, and find specific photos etc. immediately. After a couple of recoveries, I got hooked. It was so nice to be able to return some of these bikes to people who really love them," says DeGroot.
The Ambassador Program is our way of saying thanks to everyone who is supporting Bike Index on their own, and our way of getting other potential Bike Index proponents off the ground. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.