An Azusa Bicycle Story

Since June, C.I.C.L.E. has partnered with Healthy Azusa to get more people riding bikes in the city and surrounding areas.  This project is part of the County Cycling Collaborative (CCC), which brings free bicycles, workshops, and rides to Los Angeles County neighborhoods to encourage physical activity and improve the public health.

Our work in Azusa is a great example of how the collaborative is helping to grow new bicycling communities.  In June, the Bici Libre bicycle co-op delivered twelve refurbished bicycles to Azusa to be distributed during C.I.C.L.E. organized rides and workshops.  These bicycle are being housed at the Azusa Recreation Center and are lent out upon request.

The CCC is hosting bicycle maintenance clinics to help the community get their dusty bikes out of the garage and spruced up for our community rides.  Mechanics are demonstrating flat tire repair, break and derailleur adjustments, safety checks, and preventative maintenance.  On Nov. 12,  we held a maintenance clinic to get people’s bikes ready for the following day’s Historic Azusa Ride.

On, Nov. 13th, a crystal-clear Sunday afternoon, about 40 residents gathered at the Veterans Freedom Park for a 6.5 mile bike ride.  Loaner bicycles were distributed and a last minute safety check was done.  We received a talk about Azusa’s rich history at the Historical Museum and then we were off!  Parents, children and teens grouped together and took a lane as we biked through the city’s streets.

Our route took us off of busy roads and led us through scenic neighborhoods.  We had to climb a few hills, but everyone made it with the help of music from the bike boombox and the supportive atmosphere.  We stopped at Citrus College and passed the Old Monrovia Nursery.  C.I.C.L.E. trained Ride Leaders (members selected from the community), lead their peers during the bike tour.  They protected the group from car traffic, kept us on route perfectly, and ushered us through intersections with smiles.

As we rolled back into Veterans Freedom park, participants gave themselves a round of applause for their great 6.5 mile achievement!  Community members and neighborhood Ride Leaders are energized about the bicycle and are dreaming up new events!  They have even caught the Mayor’s attention.  The next community rides will be an Industrial Tour (12/11) and Hidden Gardens Ride (1/15).  Keep riding Azusa and way to go!

The County Cycling Collaborative consists of the city’s bicycle maintenance co-ops, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Collation, and C.I.C.L.E.  It is a project of RENEW LA County  and made possible by funding from the Department of Health and Human Services through the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Healthy Azusa is a partnership between the city, educational institutions, health care services, businesses, community organizations, and residents to promote health and wellness for those who live, work, and play in the city of Azusa, CA.