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Bend meal program now on two wheels | Local&State

Bend meal program now on two wheels | Local&State 2020-10-07Leave a comment

electrical bike Bend meal program now on two wheels | Native&State

Stephen Miller, a Meals on Wheels volunteer in Bend, has discovered a extra environment friendly strategy to make deliveries to seniors on his Monday route.

Moderately than drive his automobile to every cease on the route in northeast Bend, Miller rides a lightweight blue electrical bike by means of the neighborhood and is ready to park proper in entrance of every home.

“It really works out nicely,” Miller mentioned. “I can do the route and it saves one other volunteer from having to drive it.”

Miller, a 66-year-old Bend resident who’s retired from a profession in truck manufacturing, is the primary Meals on Wheels volunteer to make use of the electrical bike. For the previous month, Miller has been driving the bike each Monday as he delivers meals to seniors in six households. The seniors depend on the every day meals since they’re unable to buy meals or prepare dinner for themselves.

The Council on Getting old of Central Oregon, which runs the meal program in Bend, bought the bike final yr with a $5,000 grant from Tern Bicycles, a nationwide electrical bike firm. The grant additionally lined security gear and racks to hold the meals. As well as, Miller was educated the right way to use the bicycle, which has 4 gears, together with the very best gear, labeled “turbo.”

Denise LaBuda, director of strategic initiatives and communications for the Council on Getting old, mentioned the council hopes to broaden this system it’s calling, Meals on Two Wheels. Finally, the council desires so as to add extra electrical bikes and volunteers, LaBuda mentioned.

“Our imaginative and prescient is that we do extra of this,” LaBuda mentioned, “and that we’ve got a chance to successfully scale back our automobile footprint.”

The council’s Meals on Wheels program serves almost 500 seniors in Deschutes, Jefferson and Criminal counties. In Bend, volunteers drive their vehicles on 9 routes a day, Monday by means of Friday.

“Our purpose is to drive much less of it,” LaBuda mentioned.

Tere MacNaughton, the council’s Bend meal website coordinator, mentioned she is already listening to from different volunteers who’re excited by driving an electrical bike on their routes. MacNaughton expects extra volunteers to point out curiosity now that this system is up and working.

“Subsequent spring, I actually see an enlargement of this,” she mentioned. “We’ll in all probability do it each single day of the week. Will probably be a five-day-a-week program.”

To begin, the council drew a route in northeast Bend that retains Miller off important roads like Greenwood Avenue and Third Road. As an alternative, Miller is ready to trip a couple of half-mile between every home on residential roads.

“It’s only a tremendous straightforward strategy to get round city, and the route may be very secure,” MacNaughton mentioned.

On his route Monday, Miller arrived at every home a lot faster than if he drove. Miller considers himself an skilled bike rider and finds the electrical bike straightforward to trip, particularly because it doesn’t require peddling.

“For round city, it’s good,” he mentioned.

Miller, who wore a helmet and reflective jacket Monday, carried the hen, rice and vegetable meals in two packs hooked up to the bicycle. The bike route has grow to be his Monday routine.

Even in his free time all through the week, he prefers to trip his bicycle than his automobile.

“It’s one much less automobile on the street,” he mentioned. “Let’s face it, that’s what it’s all about. My automobile sits within the storage extra occasions than I take it.”

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