TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Capt. Dalston Spencer, assistant chief of training and Lt.Col. Sean Morgan, assistant chief pilot, both assigned to the 70th ARS and Victoria Byerly, 60th AMW Airman and Family Readiness Center relocation assistance coordinator, hold children's' bicycles donated to the Travis Bike Barn by Dynacraft Inc. The company originally donated 75 new bicycles with two year warranties due to the coordination from Morgan and volunteering from Spencer and other volunteers from their unit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Amn. Cindy Alejandrez)
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Capt. Dalston Spencer, assistant chief of training and Lt.Col. Sean Morgan, assistant chief pilot, both assigned to the 70th ARS, and Victoria Byerly, 60th AMW Airman and Family Readiness Center relocation assistance coordinator, stand next to the remaining children's bicycles, part of a donation to the Travis Bike Barn from Dynacraft Inc. Seventy-five bicycles were originally donated by the company to the Travis Bike Barn at the A&FRC, to support Airmen and family members without other means of transportation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Amn. Cindy Alejandrez)
by Senior Airman Cindy Alejandrez
349th Public Affairs
9/5/2012 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airmen arriving to their first duty station are ready to work on expensive aircraft and protect valuable assets. However, many are not equipped with appropriate transportation to head to their work areas.
Hoping to change that, Victoria Byerly launched the Travis Bike Barn, a collection space on base to gather and repair abandoned or donated bicycles. Despite the name, there is still a need for a permanent barn for the bikes, according to Byerly, the 60th Air Mobility Wing Airmen and Family Readiness Center relocation assistance coordinator.
Her goal is to donate the collected bicycles to Airmen or families with no other means of transportation. The Travis Bike Barn would also serve as a resource for bike programs, help with repair and storage, and promote alternative commuting options.
Recently, the program was given a boost by a local bicycle import and distribution company, Dynacraft Inc., when they donated 75 new bikes with two year warranties. The company coordinated with Lt. Col. Sean Morgan, 70th Aerial Refueling Squadron, assistant chief pilot. Morgan said he saw the need for transportation in talking with his active duty counterparts. Many can't afford a vehicle when they arrive at their first duty station.
He was able to bring the bikes on base with the help of several other volunteers from his unit, including Capt. Dalston Spencer, assistant chief of training, Master Sgt. A. J. Baxter, boom operator, Maj. Travis Kroll, KC-10 pilot and Staff Sgt. Tim Hiott, flight engineer.
"I was an Airman at one time and I showed up (on base) with just one bag of clothes. To get to work I needed to hitch a ride or walk around base," said Spencer. "If I had a bike then, perhaps I wouldn't have had to buy a car. I would have made do with a bike for three years."
Baxter explained that he helped with the project because, although the work was minimal, the impact was great in comparison. Not only are the bicycles needed but they also serve as an effective way to travel on-base. "For people who live on Travis, everything is within biking distance," said Baxter.
Biking may also be beneficial in reducing environmental impact on the surrounding Solano communities.
"That was one of the things on my mind," said Morgan. "When you take into account the size of the work force on Travis, if you equipped more of those people with bikes, it's a win - win for the environment."
When the bicycles arrived, Byerly was in awe with not only the number, but the quality. She began to spread the word about the donation and within two weeks, 20 adult-sized and a few children's bicycles, had gone to happy new owners.
To continue to make the program possible, the Bike Barn needs more volunteers to help fix bikes. Additionally, volunteers may also help by applying for grants and programs that will pay for bike lanes and other safe transportation initiatives on Travis, according to Byerly.
"(Volunteering) was just a good feeling," said Spencer. "and when you tell the other guys in the squadron about it, they want to help. Hopefully it spreads like wildfire."