Eleven-year-old De’Ronn Marbury sat on his new, slightly-used mountain bike and looked it over with a smile and a glint in his eye. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition gave him the Giant brand bike during their “Bike Match” giveaway event in Hollywood on Friday, Aug. 5. “I’m happy I got it (bike) for free, and it’s sweet, this is my ride,” Marbury said with a grin. “I’m excited to ride it to school and other places.”

Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman helps Joshua Gregorio, 13-years old, Reseda, with his new bike during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman helps Joshua Gregorio, 13-years old, Reseda, with his new bike during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is a membership-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to make all communities in L.A. County healthy, safe, and fun places to ride a bike through advocacy, education and outreach.

Donated bikes wait to be taken home during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Donated bikes wait to be taken home during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

People lined up outside The Center in Hollywood, a homeless services nonprofit, to get a bike. About 100 bikes were ready for new riders to ride. The Bike Match program was developed during the pandemic to get donated bikes into the hands of people that need them, according to Executive Director Eli Akira Kaufman. “The design of the program is to get bicycles into the hands of essential workers and people in need, such as the under-housed. To help people kinda unload those bikes they weren’t using, that were stuck in closets or garages and match them up with people in need.”

People recive free bikes during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
People receive free bikes during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

The bicycles being given away on Friday were donated by Wheels to Africa, a group that collects bikes in the United States and then ships them to countries in Africa. Wheels to Africa could not send the bikes to Africa due to the current high cost of fuel and shipping. Each bike was checked out by an LACBC bike mechanic to make sure it was road-worthy before it was given to a rider.

People were also given bike safety lessons, helmets and bike locks.

Joshua Gregorio, 13-years old, Reseda, with his new bike during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Joshua Gregorio, 13-years old, Reseda, with his new bike during a Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition bicycle giveaway at The Center in Hollywood Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Joshua Gregorio, 13, from Reseda, had his bike stolen, and was happy about his new ride. “I’m happy I got a bike; I feel really good.” When asked if he would ride his bike to school, he was unsure. He may not want to take his eyes off his new two-wheeled treasure, at least not for a while.

California

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