Volunteer Bicycle Messenger Teams
The Bike Scouts Project operate the only Volunteer Bicycle Messenger service for disaster response and social good in the world. These are teams of volunteer riders that provide an alternative means of communication and access to critical emergency supplies in the aftermath of natural disasters. The value of these teams was proven in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Bike Scouts teams on the ground in Tacloban City, Leyte, and Samar provided access for people and places isolated by the historic category 5 typhoon. The Bike Scouts continue to deploy every year for all major natural disasters in the Philippines where Volunteer Bicycle Messenger teams are needed because of road closures, absence of motorized transport, and the destruction of communications infrastructure. In the off season, Bike Scouts deliver help and opportunity for people that have little or no access to opportunity for education, nutrition, and other basic needs. The Bike Scouts Volunteer Bicycle Messengers are based in the places where they serve, it is the only genuinely localized and fully-engaged response to natural disasters, the climate crisis, and for social good.
Hero School Workshops
The Bike Scouts regularly visit schools, universities, communities, and organizations to share the value of our work and our community. These events are called Hero School Workshops because they are essentially a course on how to become a Bike Scout community member or volunteer. We share our experience working in large-scale natural disaster areas and also our experiences doing good in our own communities. These workshops also include an introduction to essential things like Basic Life Saving skills, CPR, AED operation, drone operations for aerial mapping and photography, bicycle handling and maintenance, road safety for cyclists, and also the different kinds of mobile and browser-based applications that can be very useful for community-based disaster preparedness and response. Hero School Workshops are free to join, these events are funded by Bike Scouts sponsors and partners.
The Greenways Project
The Bike Scouts manage an integrated bicycle-access, food sustainability initiative (Bike Scouts community gardens), bicycle mobile library, and city-wide adoption of bicycle mobility with bicycle-priority routes and bicycle pathway parks partnered with city government and local businesses. The Bike Scouts Greenways Project is designed to create a 36-degree adoption of bicycle mobility that ensures value for the public, government, transport and local business partners. This approach assures the long-term sustainability of the project and a good chance of acceptance by local communities. The concept is very simple: Build the infrastructure for bicycle mobility around tangible value that all stakeholders can maximize to their advantage. The public gets access to climate-friendly and healthy form of mobility, the city gets to beautify its surroundings with parks along the pathways to assure that they will actually be appreciated and used by the public, and partnering with local transport groups guarantee road safety and local businesses provide incentives to users while improving the volume of their business through safe bicycle access to their locations. The Greenways Project is now being piloted in the City of San Pedro but will also be rolled out very soon in the City of Naga and the City of Borongan in Eastern Samar. The Greenways Project is the first and only true community-led bicycle mobility initiative on a city-wide scale.
The Greenways Project is also partnered with the Bike Scouts’ community gardens and mobile library initiatives.
The Thousand Kilometer Ride
Every year, the Bike Scouts cycling team ride from Manila in Luzon Island to the Visayas region of the Philippines covering a minimum distance of 1,000 kilometers. The ride was originally meant to commemorate the landfall of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines and to promote public awareness about the continuing need for support in many communities within the Philippines’ typhoon corridor in regard to disaster preparedness. Six years on, The ride has also become a platform for engagement with schools along the ride route. The Bike Scouts team stop to talk to students and teachers in selected schools along the way about how they can serve as Bike Scouts in their own communities. These talks also include some aspects of the Bike Scouts Hero School Workshop such as a basic skills training for bicycle-riding, maintenance, life-saving, and an introduction to new technology such as drones, mobile apps, and browser-based platforms for communication, preparedness, and education.
The Midnight Ride
At midnight on Christmas Eve, teams of Bike Scouts around the Philippines ride out to deliver Christmas presents to homeless children. The presents are small items that might include food, school supplies, clothes, and toys wrapped in Christmas wrapper and with a short note attached wishing the children love and hope for the year. The Midnight Ride is not meant to be a religious-themed event, it’s just that in the Philippines it’s very hard not to notice the celebration of the Christmas season – especially so for homeless children that often wait for handouts outside shopping malls where they would see families passing them by with shopping bags full of gifts and things they can never afford. The Midnight Ride is a way for the Bike Scouts to give back to their own respective communities, by simply wrapping whatever they have available at home and riding out to deliver some joy to kids in their area. A special aspect of the delivery of the gifts is that if the children that receive them are with their parents we ask the parents to be the one to hand the presents to their children. We do this so that the the children will have a memory of receiving a Christmas gift from their parents rather than from strangers. This simple act makes a big difference in the mind of the kids and the way they will remember their parents in the future.
This page is still being updated, check back again soon! – The Bike Scouts Team