Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition is partnering with the city to put on events for National Bike Month.
“We would encourage everyone to get out and participate with the different programs and get out and be healthy, have fun and be safe,” said Coalition Chair Nina Moskol.
First on the docket is Hit The Trail on May 12, where bikers can explore the city’s trail system with a guided non-competitive bicycle ride that begins at 10 a.m. in Valencia Heritage Park. Bikers will be able to go a full 9-mile route or a shorter 4-mile route for those with younger children, ending at the same location.
The ride is free and open to the public. There will also be a family fun fair, giveaways and tricycle races at the park. Jersey Mike’s has partnered with the city on the event, offering free sandwiches to those who ride, while supplies last.
Bike To Work Day will be held on May 17 and is a friendly competition between businesses to see which employer can get the most employees to bike to work. Five bicycle pit stops will be available for the cyclists, Moskol said, and Santa Clarita Transit and Metrolink are offering free rides for anyone commuting on local routes with their bike and helmet.
“We encourage people to get out for both transportation and recreation, and in doing so we also support and want to emphasize the city’s safety programs,” she said.
On May 18, the City Council invites the community to attend the Santa Clarita Cycling bear unveiling dedication at 10 a.m. on the Chuck Pontius Commuter-Rail Trail adjacent to Valencia Boulevard (near the AMPM station on 23106 Valencia Boulevard).
The Santa Clarita Cycling Bear was painted by artist Frank Rock and inspired by the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC), a cycling event which the City has hosted 13 times. The public art piece is part of the California Bear Project, a project developed in August 2004 by the City of Santa Clarita to install-life-size grizzly bear sculptures throughout the community. Each bear replica measures over 10 feet in length and is over five feet tall, and represents different Santa Clarita themes.
The Santa Clarita Cycling Bear is the sixth bear sculpture to be displayed in the community.
To RSVP for the unveiling dedication, please contact Christy Hawn at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 14.
Motorists and trail users traveling along Valencia Boulevard may have also noticed the city’s bike counter. Located just west of Bouquet Junction on the Chuck Pontius Commuter Trail, the bike counter has been counting bicyclists as they ride by since October 2017.
Residents can log onto www.Eco-Compteur.com to view the city’s year to date bicycle traffic and compare it with hundreds of locations throughout the world.
In honor of the month, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also released statistics on bicycle injuries, warning people to take precautions and wear their helmets.
The office reported that California witnessed 147 bicyclist deaths in 2016, accounting for over four percent of all traffic fatalities, much higher than the national average of over two percent. Nationally, 70 percent of all bicyclists who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 died in urban area crashes. Over a 10-year period (2006 to 2015), the average age of cyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes has steadily increased from 41 to 45, it reported.
The department suggested that cyclists should increase their visibility to drivers by wearing fluorescent or brightly colored clothing during the day, and at dawn and dusk.
Moskul said the coalition is working with the city on infrastructure changes and developments to promote bike use.
“We are excited for the community to get our and experience our miles of beautiful bike trails,” said City Communications Manager Carrie Lujan. “Bike to Work day provides people a chance to see cycling as an alternative mode of transportation to get to and from work. It is better for the environment, great exercise and saves you money on gas.”