On the Ground Work Update: Wild River Ride Bike Tour

For her Leadership Academy project, recent graduate Dorothy Wong partnered with Bike San Gabriel Valley’s Women on Wheels to host an educational bike tour of the San Gabriel River in September. The Wild River Ride bike tour started at the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area and ended at Cogswell Dam. Along the way,  she educated the 30-plus female riders on our watershed areas and highlighted the four dam systems along the San Gabriel River.

Organization Spotlight: BikeSGV

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Organization Name

BikeSGV

Staff members who work with us

Andrew Yip, Program Coordinator; Wes Reutimann, Project Director

What does your organization do — and how does it relate to our work?

Our mission is to support a more bicycle-, pedestrian- and transit-friendly San Gabriel Valley. This focus is driven by our founders and staff’s shared passion for creating more sustainable, healthy, and resilient communities. Given BikeSGV’s geographic and professional focus, it was an easy decision to become an active member of San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition — to share our expertise in the realm of active transportation and to support it via our local roots (almost all of our staff were born, raised, still live and have family in the San Gabriel Valley).

How do you make life better for Angelenos?

BikeSGV’s work helps lower barriers to leading more active lifestyles by driving less and integrating physical activity into one’s everyday life. We do so by working with communities to improve the safety of streets for all modes of transportation and providing direct educational and encouragement services, such as free City Cycling, Basic Bike Repair, and Learn-to-Bike classes to empower people of all ages and abilities to ride a bike for transportation, recreation, and fun!

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your work and what would make things easier?

The biggest challenge working in the San Gabriel Valley is the sheer number of small communities and municipalities that are contained within the region. Each has distinct politics, city staff, and community makeup, which is constantly shifting. Since residents of the region regularly cross multiple communities in the course of their everyday lives, coordination and cooperation among communities is critical if the Valley is to ever develop a safe, comfortable and convenient regional network of biking, walking and transit infrastructure. One thing that might help facilitate this process would be if the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments or a similar entity would create bike and pedestrian coordinator positions to foster more collaboration between neighboring communities.

Best thing you’ve done as a coalition member?

This is a tough one, but one of SGMF projects BikeSGV is most proud of supporting is the development of a new generation of environmental stewards and champions via the Leadership Academy. In addition to having many of our volunteers and most of our staff graduate through the program, we have successfully recruited many other young residents of the San Gabriel Valley to the program.

Think ahead ten years in the future: What will you be proud of your organization for accomplishing?

We’re hopeful one of our legacy projects will be the development of a San Gabriel Valley Regional Greenway Network along the over 100 miles of County storm channels, washes and creeks that feed into the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo watershed. The region is incredibly fortunate to have existing rights-of-way along the watershed, which can be transformed into safe, off-street biking and walking paths. Over the past five years we’ve made great strides in moving a simple but ambitious staff-selected “Priority Project” into a full-fledged campaign with broad community and City support; in 2015 the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments officially included the creation of a regional greenway system into its strategic plan in 2015, and helped earmark over $231 million in Measure M transportation funding towards greenway development.

More: BikeSGV on Facebook; on Twitter; on Instagram. Plus, check out the cyclists of the SGV on Tumblr.

Golden Streets Success!

Fire postponed the original date and rain came for the rescheduled date — but it didn’t stop the crowds from filling the streets for the 626 Golden Streets event, hosted by member organization BikeSGV. SGMF was proud to be a partner and to engage with community members at three hubs along the route.

More: Video from LA County (below); short video on our Facebook; more photos on BikeSGV’s Facebook page.

From Sasquatch to Star Wars: check out the human-powered, car-free fun at 626 Golden Streets from Los Angeles County Newsroom on Vimeo.

Now Open: The San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center

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Congratulations to BikeSGV, one of SGMF’s member organizations, for opening the San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Education Center  in El Monte. It’s located at the Jeff Seymour Family Center (​10900 Mulhall Street, El Monte, CA 91731), a few blocks from the Rio Hondo Bike Path, and we’re hoping it will encourage more people to explore the region on bikes.

Media coverage:
ABC 7 Coverage

SGV Tribune Coverage