Bike Match Cleveland

Bike Match, first created by Transportation Alternatives in New York City, is a platform that connects people who need bikes with people who have a bike they are no longer using and can part with permanently. This tool will give those needing to make necessary trips the freedom to move around the city autonomously, without relying on public transportation and avoiding the impact of reduced transit services around the city.

Do you have a bike or need a bike? Fill out our #BikeMatch Cleveland form (also found below the FAQ’s on this page).

For people considering donating a bike to a person in need, we ask that your bike be in ready-to-ride condition. If it needs more than some air in the tires, then it is not considered ready to ride. If you’re uncertain about the condition, you can do the “ABC Quick Check” to test some key safety functions. But a good benchmark is: “Would I give this to my or someone else’s mom or grandma to ride?” If you can enthusiastically say yes, then we highly encourage you to donate your bike. This selfless act is a great way to benefit the city during this time!

We hope this program has a positive impact on Clevelanders even after we’re no longer social distancing. And we hope to see an increase in people choosing to get around by bike long after this period is over.

If you are interested in donating to support our #BikeMatch Cleveland program you can make a donation to Bike Cleveland.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bike Match?

Bike Match is a program that connects people who have bikes they’re no longer using with people who are in need of a bike. The first Bike Match program was started by Transportation Alternatives in New York, and the idea has since expanded across the globe.

How does Bike Match work?

  • You have a bike you’d like to donate:
If you have a bike you’d like to give away (permanently) to someone who might be in need now due to feeling unsafe on public transportation or being seriously impacted by the reduction in service, you’d click fill out our Bike Match form and pick “I have an extra bike,” then follow the guidelines and fill in each part of the form. Based on your description we will match your bike to a request we have received. At that time you and the recipient will be contacted and asked to arrange a public exchange of the bike.
  • You need a bike:
If you’d like to request a bike fill out the Bike Match form and pick “I need a bike” then follow the guidelines and fill in each part of the form. Once matched with a bike, you and the donor will be contacted and asked to arrange a public exchange of the bike.

Where do the bikes come from?

Bikes come from the homes of generous folks around the city who are ready to part with their bike to give someone in need the chance to make their own transportation choices. They may be new but they’ve probably been loved and used.

Who can request a bike?

Anyone who needs to get around during the coronavirus outbreak. This might include traveling to work, running crucial errands, or participating in mutual aid for vulnerable people who cannot leave their homes. If you need reliable transportation you can request a bike.

Is this a loan or a permanent exchange?

This is permanent. When you are matched with someone and a bike is exchanged, there is no turning back.

I’ve been matched with someone/a bike. Where do we make the exchange?

Congratulations! We recommend both parties pick a neutral public place where you can both feel secure while maintaining officially-recommended six feet of distance from each other.

How do I prepare a donated bike for a sanitary hand-off, or how do I make sure the bike I receive is sanitary?

Program guidelines instruct donors to sanitize bikes prior to hand-off, by washing with soap and water, wiping it down with isopropyl alcohol (at least 70% solution), or using some other CDC-recommended disinfectant. Bike recipients should feel free to bring along disinfectant wipes or some other cleaning agent to the hand-off, if they’d like extra assurance of safety.

I don’t live in your city/state, can I still request a bike?

While Bike Cleveland is unlikely to meet your needs if you live outside Greater Cleveland, there is a growing network of Bike Match programs using similar platforms. Try a Google search for “Bike Match [YOUR CITY].”

What kind of bikes are you looking for?

Bikes in good, rideable condition that someone can hop on immediately after the exchange is made and get to work or make a necessary trip somewhere.

What is rideable condition?

If you’re uncertain if your bike is good to be ridden right now, you can do the ABC Quick Check to get a better sense of the condition. Here is a quick video that explains how to do that.

How are matches made?

Matches are made firstly based on inventory which is supplied by the public. If we don’t get offered any donations, we have no bikes to match with recipients. When we have inventory we have to take into account each recipient’s height and needs (not preferences) provided on the Bike Match form. That is why it is important to be open and honest.

How long do I have to wait to be matched with someone/a bike?

We can’t say for certain. We can’t guarantee that you will be matched with someone/a bike. It depends on inventory and needs. If a request is made but we have no bikes or a bike is donated but we don’t have any requests from someone that would be a good fit for that bike, we wait until we do have those things. Remember, we don’t have control over inventory.

I haven’t ridden a bike in a long time. How do I use my bike to get around safely?

We highly recommend attending our virtual Bike Smarts classes where we’ll go over everything you need to know before riding around. You can find a list of those here. You can also check out these videos from the League of American Bicyclists to learn more about some basic skills you’ll need to know like where you should rideshifting gears, and signaling a turn or lane change.

I’m worried the bike I received might need some maintenance. Where can I get it inspected?

You can take your bike to a local bike shop to have it looked over and find out if it has any maintenance needs. Check out our map of local bike shops and find the one closest to you. Most bike shops will assess your bike for free to determine if there are any maintenance needs.

#BikeMatch Cleveland Form

If you’re on a mobile phone click here for the form.