COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Cities across the country have felt trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a nationwide rise in violence over the past two years.
One Columbus community is working to build resilience to these traumas through a fun summer activity. The Columbus CARES Coalition held its first-ever South Side Resilience Community Bike ride.
“Health, strength, unity, community, supportiveness for our South Side,” are the qualities longtime South Side Resident Debera Diggs is hoping to see come from these bike rides.
But creating resilience within the community isn’t the only goal for these rides.
Doctor Beth Whitted said creating a bond through the community is essential for support. “It’s community, if people have a sense of community, they have people they can rely on when they have a need, or you just want to cry on someone’s shoulder,” said Whitted.
The two-mile bike ride goes beyond united community members. The group makes stops at local social service offices in their community with the goal of showing people where these resources are located and how they can help.
“Get involved in your community, wherever your community is,” said Diggs. “Go out, put a hand, help somebody, lift someone up, pick someone up and love someone.”
Community bike rides like this were started in Linden and because they are so successful the CARES Coalition decided to bring them to the South Side.
The first ride was supposed to be at the beginning of July, but because of the weather, they had to cancel two weeks in a row.
There are still two upcoming rides the community can get involved in: Aug. 6 and Aug. 13 at 11:30 a.m.
The group meets at Barack Community Center. If you don’t have a bike, CoGo provides a limited number of bikes for these rides. The Coalition is asking you to come early if you need a CoGo bike.