Vandals take sledgehammer to ride share bikes along Riverside

TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa bike share group “This Machine” says about 10% of their electric bike supply is out of commission thanks to vandals this past weekend.

“Took a sledgehammer to our locks. We had a bike thrown off an overpass and smashed,” This Machine Executive Director, Katie Sawicki says.

She says they have an average of one bike stolen a month but over the span of just two days, 15 bukes were destroyed or stolen, some are still missing.

“The entire team is feeling a little defeated,” she says. “We work really hard all year and just to have a weekend to wipe you out.”

This Machine is operated by Tulsa Bike Share which is a registered nonprofit. It started operating in Tulsa in 2018 and upgraded to electric bikes in 2020 which allowed the service to extend to Cherry Street, Greenwood, The Gathering Place and more. The idea is to offer a cheap and healthy way for people to get around and be involved in the community.

Paul Brawley spends hours along Riverside near 41st preaching his faith from the sidewalk. He says he sees how often people borrow these bikes and says its a shame that someone would try to ruin that.

“It’s a wonderful thing, when I was growing up you couldn’t do stuff like that,” he says.

Sawicki says it may take up to a year to make up for the unexpected loss. If you would like to help you can make a donation here.