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Base's free bike program gains traction

Children's bikes are displayed inside the Travis Bike Barn at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., June 20, 2016. The bike is one of more than 40 available for Travis Airmen, civilian employees and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

Children's bikes are displayed inside the Travis Bike Barn at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., June 20, 2016. The bike is one of more than 40 available for Travis Airmen, civilian employees and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

An 18-speed mountain bike is on display outside the Travis Bike Barn at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., June 20, 2016. The bike is one of more than 40 available for Travis Airmen, civilian employees and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

An 18-speed mountain bike is on display outside the Travis Bike Barn at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., June 20, 2016. The bike is one of more than 40 available for Travis Airmen, civilian employees and their families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - The Travis Bike Barn program provides Airmen, civilians and children who live or work on Travis Air Force Base, California, with a free bike.

The goal of the Bike Barn is to provide people who don’t have a car with a means of transportation at no cost.

“Bikes are available to the entire base,” said Senior Airman Sulivong Vorachack, 60th AMXS communication and navigation warfare specialist and the manager of the bike program. “However, we don’t have enough inventory to give a bike to everyone on base, so each request is considered and a decision is made based on need.

“The program’s mission is to provide people with a means of transportation and save them some money,” Vorachack said. “With a bike they can get to work, the commissary and to appointments much easier.”

According to Bike Barn records, approximately 300 bikes, including mountain and speed bikes valued at up to $200, have been given out through the program.

“The majority of the program’s recipients are Airmen and it feels good knowing with the bikes we provide, they won’t have to walk everywhere,” said Vorachack. “Travis is a big base and nobody wants to spend an hour walking from one side of the base to the other. With every bike we give out, we help another Airman.”

Vorachack said he enjoys helping people in need.  

 “Seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they receive a bike has been the best part of the Bike Barn,” he said. “They’re not expecting to receive a brand new bike for free and once they do and realize they can keep it, it’s literally like seeing a kid on Christmas morning.”

The Bike Barn is available to Travis through donations as vendors and generous people donate every bike, Vorachack said.

While the Bike Barn has been successful, the program needs help.

“We are looking for a permanent location we can use to store the bikes,” said Vorachack. “Right now, we’re using a temporary facility. Having a location where we could keep and display the bikes would be great.”

The program also needs volunteers.

“A majority of the bikes are still in boxes and require assembly. We need volunteers to come in and help us assemble and care for the bikes,” said Vorachak. “This is an excellent program and it will be even better if we can get people to help out.”

To request a bike, Airmen are encouraged to work requests through their unit first sergeants. To volunteer for the Bike Barn, contact Vorachack at 707-424-0771 or via email sulivong.vorachack@us.af.mil.

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