Eco-Tip for 5-12-19
Bike to Work Week Offers Entertainment, Opportunities and Prizes
By Susana Andres and David Goldstein
An inspiring bicycling event is coming to Ventura County in the middle of Bike to Work Week. This Thursday, May 16, from approximately 1 PM to 5 PM, some of the world’s best bicycle racers will complete Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California, riding from Pismo, through Ojai, to Ventura. After summiting the hill at Serra Cross, they will finish next to the fairgrounds. Come on your bike to see the fun and use a free bicycle valet at the Expo Center by the fairgrounds, at the end of the boardwalk promenade, hosted by BikeVentura, a non-profit promoter of bicycling.
At the end of Bike to Work Week, on Saturday, May 18, from 9 AM to to 1 PM, Kids & Families Together, Bike Ventura, and Crosspointe Church are hosting a bicycle rodeo for foster/resource, kinship and adoptive families at Crosspointe Church, 5415 Ralston St., Ventura. Some of the racers from the Amgen tour will join BikeVentura staff and volunteers in coordinating events, providing free bicycle repairs, helmet safety checks, and bike riding instruction, including taking kids out on a ride around the neighborhood. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 805/643-1446, extension 202.
These events will be fun and entertaining, but if you leave bicycling to children and top athletes, you are missing out on the best opportunities. The benefits are not just better health for you and the environment, but also any person pledging to ride a bike during Bike to Work Week, May 13-17, will be entered to win one of nine $100 gift cards. You can submit your pledge by visiting goventura.org or through your employer’s transportation coordinator. You can pledge now, or record your bicycling achievement on the same page through May 24. Bike to Work Week is coordinated locally by the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC), which has resources to help you plan a safe bicycle route. At goventura.org you will find an interactive bicycle map showing the bike lanes throughout Ventura County in four classifications. The safest are Class I, which has lanes separate from car traffic, and Class II, which has on-street bike lanes. Goventura.org also shows bike locker locations available to the public, bike air pumps provided by the Ventura County Fire Department, a list of the County public transportation providers offering bike racks on their buses, and other helpful tips.
Alternatively, Google Maps provides transit and bike lane options for your trip, which can help make planning a longer route a little easier. Also, for more scenic routes, Cyclecalcoast.com has bicycle routes with details and amenities that will take you through some of the most scenic paths in Ventura County, offering paths for all skill levels and a calendar for group rides.
If you need a bicycle, or just need to get yours into better condition so you can bike to work, visit the non-profit BikeVentura, with HUBs – an acronym for “helping urban bicyclists” – in Ventura, and Oxnard and a mobile shop on a regular event basis in Fillmore. They are a community bike shop and second-hand bike store, with repair assistance offered by master mechanics and trained volunteers. Stand time – or workshop time – is five dollars per hour and includes access to tools and parts for sale. Contact them at https://bikeventura.org/the-bike-hubs/ or call (805) 641-2665.
“Bike to Work Week is a great opportunity for Ventura County residents to give bicycling a try,” said Darren Kettle, Executive Director of VCTC. “The health and environmental benefits of riding a bike at least once a week improves the quality of life of the rider and the community.”
A few safety tips: Wear a helmet; ride in the same direction as traffic; convoy single file; use hand signals; ride to the right; take a car lane only when the road is too narrow or has hazards; stop at all stop signs and red lights; and at night, use front and back lights a well as side reflectors.
For more information about Bike to Work Week and for tips to ride, visit goventura.org or follow VCTC (@goVCTC) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and VCAPCD (@VCAPCD) on Twitter.
Susana Andres is a professional writer for Celtis Ventures, under contract to the Ventura County Transportation Commission. David Goldstein is an Environmental Resource Analyst with Ventura County Public Works Agency.