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Bike event a day of safety and education

Bike Bakersfield will host a fun community bike ride in Wasco on Saturday, Oct. 15, for family and friends to enjoy.

It is open to all ages and skill levels and will take place at Barker Park. Registration starts at 9 a.m, and there is no cost to participate.

Community bike rides are a way to bring people together to engage and bring excitement around cycling.

City leaders, including Mayor Gilberto Reyna, will attend to support the day of bike safety and bike riding education.

Mayor Reyna reached out to Tony Renteria, education and outreach coordinator with Bike Bakersfield, to plan a free bike ride that would be open to all Wasco residents to help Wasco become a healthier community.

"We all know that our health improves when we move," Reyna said.

Educating the public about safety is also important, he said. "A couple of recent incidents where two cyclists collided with two different motor vehicles resulted in one rider's death; this is a significant concern."

"Many local cyclists do not use hand signals while riding and lack essential safety equipment such as a helmet. Those riding at night also need a headlight and a rear light."

Chris Serna, the WRPD district manager, enthusiastically agreed to host the bike ride and provide refreshments. Oscar Luna from the WUESD administration is promoting the event among the student body and will be attending himself.

The City of Wasco is also participating and will provide free bicycle helmets while they last. They are required for all those under the age of 18.

The ride will follow a 2-mile route and end up back at Barker Park.

Bike Bakersfield's cyclists and instructors will review proper bike and helmet fit, traffic skills and cyclist's rights on the roadways.

The event is more than just a bike ride.

"We are here to bring more awareness to cycling within Wasco because cycling is not just about physical health it's about mental wellness, too," Renteria said.

After the ride, there will be music and a question and answer session with Bike Bakersfield staff.

The bike ride is made available to the City of Wasco by the Active Transportation program, which the Kern Council of Governments funds. Reyna is a member of this council.

The goal of the program is to help people feel more secure about getting on a bike, to create a mindset that bikes are treated as a vehicle and to ensure that people on bikes know how to ride safely and legally.

"I thank Tony, Chris and her staff, the City of Wasco staff and Oscar for their support of this event. Join us. Learn about safe bicycle riding and have some fun," Reyna said.

For more information, email [email protected].


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