[KHTS] – Cycling enthusiasts in the Santa Clarita Valley recently formed a local chapter of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition in an effort to better communicate the needs of the SCV biking community to city and county governments.
Nina Moskol, who is chair of the SCV Bicycle Coalition, said that the catalyst for the formation of the group back in March was a February accident involving a cyclist.
An amateur competitive cyclist was training in the SCV when he was struck from behind by a vehicle.
Many cyclists were outraged by the incident, Moskol said, calling it a testament to the unsafe riding conditions that they encounter in the city.
Since then, the coalition has corresponded with the city on a number of different topics, while supporting biking events already in place in the SCV.
The coalition currently has 20 official members, but about 200 members on their Facebook group, Moskol said.
They encourage residents to participate in the city’s 11th annual Bike to Work Day Challenge on Thursday, a friendly competition for businesses that encourages a “no pollute commute.”
Businesses with the highest percentage employees biking to work on Thursday will be eligible for individual and group prizes, including a new bike, cycling equipment and gift certificates.
Businesses are broken down into three categories: small businesses with 2-25 active employees, medium businesses with 26-100 active employees, and large businesses with 100 or more active employees.
There will be an number of pit stops throughout the city, listed below, offering free refreshments, giveaways and cyclings tips to those biking to work.
- City Hall, 23920 Valencia Boulevard
- Bouquet Junction, at the corner of Valencia Boulevard and Bouquet Canyon Road
- South Fork Trail access, at the corner of Newhall Avenue and 16th Street
- Santa Clara River Trail access, at the corner of Camp Plenty and Soledad Canyon Road
- City Public Works yard, 25663 Avenue Stanford
Schooners Patio Grille will also host a Handlebar Happy Hour from 3 to 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Businesses interested in Bike to Work Day should designate a “lead rider” who will act as a point of contact and be responsible for registering their business by calling 661-286-4098.
Lead riders must submit a list of their company’s participating bicyclists by 1:00 p.m. on May 15 to Laura Jardine, city event coordinator for Bike to Work Day, at 661-255-4376 or email@example.com.
Other upcoming biking events include stages six and seven of the Amgen Tour of California on Friday and Saturday and the Kids Biking and Walking Festival at Fair Oaks Community School on Saturday, May 31.
The festival is free and open to the public and is the culmination of the city’s Safe Routes to School program.
The SCV Bicycle Coalition’s goal is to improve biking conditions in the valley, but Moskol said that conditions are already better than many other places in the county.
“We are very, very luck that our city has been such a proactive city to create this bike path system,” she said in an on-air interview with George Cummings Wednesday morning. “Next to the beach, I want to say that we have probably the best system in L.A. County, to come and ride.”
To learn more about the Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, visit them on Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.