Bikers ‘Hit the Trail,’ provide input for bicycle master plan

Itzi Cori, left, has her tires inflated by Mike Grace before the start of her bike ride at the annual Hit the Trail Community Bike ride event held at Valencia Heritage Park in Santa Clarita on Saturday. Dan Watson/The Signal

Bicyclists, from enthusiasts to families with children, rode along the nearby paseos at Valencia Heritage Park for Hit the Trail Community Bike Ride 2019 on Saturday.

“It’s a fun, family ride, exploring the trails of Santa Clarita, trails throughout the valley,” said Pat Downing, arts and events supervisor for the City of Santa Clarita.

This year marks the sixth Hit the Trail, Downing said, and the event coincides with National Bike Month. Around 150 riders made their way along either a 9-mile stretch, or a 4-mile route for those with younger children, which began and ended at Valencia Heritage Park. There was no competitive aspect to the bike ride, though children “will want to race anyways,” Downing said.

Younger children took part in tricycle races separate from the bike ride, and visitors could stop by a tent a grab free sandwiches provided by Jersey Mike’s. The Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition and other biking sponsors offered to help make improvements and fixes to bikes that passed by.

“It’s good, I wish it was more often,” said resident Marcelo Cairo. “We’ve lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for 25 years and we love the paseos.”

The bike ride also brought out people who would rather incorporate more biking into their daily activities rather than using a car, Downing added.

“We have a very active bike (community) in Santa Clarita advocating for (bikers’) interests,” he said. “Lots of great ideas, lots of volunteers. They’re pretty much putting Santa Clarita on the map as far as the bike community goes. We’re doing a lot of work here.”

Part of the bike ride incorporated receiving feedback from bikers about how to improve mobility across the city. This was done by filling out surveys for the Santa Clarita Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. So far, the city has received over 300 surveys over the past three weeks, according to Tom Reilly, Trails and Bikeways Planning Administrator.

“Ultimately, by the end of this fiscal year – November, December – we would have a final draft plan that has all the routes we’ve evaluated that people have brought to us,” Reilly said. “Not all of them will be included for various reasons, but we’ll analyze everything that we see. Then it will have a project list for the next five years and a priority to those projects.”

Santa Clarita residents have until July to fill out the online survey. To do so, visit  

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