I’ve used my Brompton during the pandemic as a safe and secure means of transportation and another form of cardio exercise.

Jan AlejadoNew Yorker, Cyclist

During the COVID Pandemic my work and life spaces collapsed into one. Finding “balance” or a way to leave my house safely became a challenge. I’ve used  my Brompton during the pandemic as a safe and secure means of transportation and  another form of cardio exercise. It also gave me a new way of seeing the city I call home and gave me a purpose to bring community into my life and that of others.

My bike didn’t arrive on time over the Summer so, out of boredom, I Googled biking activities that would allow me to connect with other riders. As a speech therapist, I also looked into community groups for populations whom I service. I found a biking fundraiser program called “Bike to the Beach.” This organization raises money for Autism research as well as valuable and essential programs for individuals and their communities throughout the country.

While I waited for my bike to arrive in New York City, I did some more digging and came across “Yes She Can Inc.” It is a program that provides social and work goal-oriented services for young women and adults with Autism or other disabilities to ensure access and equitable employment. I contacted the president of “Yes She Can Inc.” and volunteered as a rider and fundraiser. With less than a month to prepare, I trained with my Brompton all throughout Brooklyn and Governor’s Island. Within a month I was able to raise over $1300! Then on September 26, 2020 I took  part in my first 25 mile biking marathon-socially distanced and all- in Long Island.

Funding has been slashed in federal, state, city and private programs everywhere. Ironically, due to the shortcomings of funds, various community organizers and everyday people have stepped up to the challenge to raise awareness for such fund gaps. It gives me hope that there is a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.

Jan Alejado

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