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CicLAvia route preview opens roads to bikers

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Crystian Mendoza
Sports Editor

The city of San Dimas Parks and Recreation Department and Bike San Gabriel Valley hosted a free community bike ride Saturday in front of the San Dimas city hall which previewed the new CicLAvia route.

CicLAvia is a non-profit organization that focuses on promoting safe, active transportation through the creation of protected pathways and car-free streets.

The event temporarily closed streets to car traffic and opened up for pedestrians, which ultimately creates a safe environment for people to walk, run, bike, and skate through the city of San Dimas.

The family-friendly bike ride brought together the surrounding cities of San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona and Claremont to encourage healthy, active transportation.

“The purpose is to promote family, fun and fitness through various activities,” said Jeff Freeth, recreation coordinator.

The activities started off with a 5k run and a 5k community bike ride. Next was a toddler trot for children ages 3 to 5 who completed a miniature course. At 9:30 a.m. participants lined up for the 1 mile walk, which featured over 200 walkers.

“We also have ‘The School Challenge’ which challenges the different elementary schools to get as many participants that they can to come together with their family, friends, classmates, administrators and teachers to just bring everybody together and have fun with a fitness event throughout the day,” Freeth said.

Catherine Rojas, a second grade teacher at Ekstrand Elementary School, said this was their third year winning a trophy at the event.

“We think it’s really important and we like to get our families out to stay fit, so our whole school rallies to come out to this event every year,” Rojas said.

Rojas said that although some of students are a little nervous to see their teachers over the weekend, she was thrilled to see how committed Ekstrand Elementary is to encouraging fitness.

The event also gave residents of local communities a chance to volunteer by counting walkers, runners and participants on bicycles as well as handing out water and fresh oranges to keep everyone hydrated.

“It’s a great experience to get out and help, seeing people socialize and spend time with their family and friends makes me feel happy,” volunteer Soje Libero said. “It’s a great opportunity to be involved with the community.”

BikeSGV launched the San Gabriel Valley Greenway Network 2025 back in 2014 and has a goal of setting up 50 miles of new greenway within the next decade.

The event had a turn out of more than 200 participants from all age groups. Many were happy to win medals and trophies for placing in the various running competitions.

“I was happy to win, I’ve won this race a few times before and this year although I didn’t have my fastest time ever, for my age it was pretty good,” said geography professor at El Camino College, Matt Ebiner, 56.

Ebiner added that most of the participants he saw were from San Dimas and surrounding cities, but feels that the fact that it was a “low key” event came as a benefit to those who came, because there was plenty of free parking available.

Overall, the city of San Dimas and BikeSGV put together a family-friendly community event that brought together a sizable crowd by promoting overall fitness with protected pathways for safe recreation as well as healthy, active transportation.

Crystian Mendoza can be reached at crystian.mendoza@laverne.edu.

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