Bicycle Advocates Tout Victories at Saturday Affair

Sunday, September 29, 2013 | 5:49 am

Wesley Reutimann, Melissa Preciado-Hernandez, alongside honorees Katherine Ramirez, Marlen Garcia, Henry Coronado, Joseph Gonzales and Javier Hernandez. (Photo by Michael Floch)

 

Cyclists from around the area dined, danced and celebrated three and a half years of promoting bike safety and initiating the infrastructure that creates safer streets as BikeSGV held its annual awards ceremony and fundraiser Saturday  in the San Gabriel Mission District at the spectacular Grapevine Arbor.

The night was spent honoring local leaders and bike-friendly advocates for their commitment, and to acknowledge and celebrate the small group of local people who make a positive impact on the safety of bicyclists throughout the entire San Gabriel Valley and beyond.

“Bicycling will not catch on with the public until we stop making it not just a hobby, but a way of transportation,” said keynote speaker Steve Scauzillo. “I can ride my two hundred and fifty dollar bike to the train station and not be looked down upon.”

Scauzillo is an environmental journalist with the Los Angeles News Group, which owns the Pasadena Star-News.

Recipient of the Bike-friendly Business award was Jose Jimenez, manager of Pasadena-based Performance Bicycle.

Javier Hernandez, Emcee and Program Director. (Photo: Michael Floch)

Recipient of the Bike-Friendly Business award was Jose Jimenez, manager of Performance Bicycle right here in Pasadena, 323 S. Arroyo Pkwy.

Hernandez praised Jimenez’s countless hours of mechanical repair and donating equipment. “We ask him for a few helmets, and he gives us twenty — he is always willing to help,” said Chairwoman Melissa Preciado-Hernandez.

BikeSGV’s mission “is to make the San Gabriel Valley a safer, healthier, and more enjoyable place for cycling.” part of this mission includes the SGV Regional Bike Master Plan.

The group recently received a $475,000 grant from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s PLACE Program. It will use those funds over the course of the next three and half years to promote bicycling as a means to decrease childhood and adult obesity resulting from lack of physical activity.

Educating the public about bike safety is one of the clubs main objectives. Recently, LA Metro partnered with Bike SGV to create 30 courses in 30 communities across the Eastern region of Los Angeles County.

“These workshops help adults and children learn how to safely navigate their bikes in the city streets,” said Program Director Javier Hernandez.

Pasadena resident and Secretary Wesley Reutimann points to Pasadena’s Bicycle Transportation — now back with city staff for major overhauls after it was kicked back on July 15 by a city committee — and said that he would like to “see the ball get rolling starting with the actual process design.”

In addition to his duties with Bike SGV, Reutimann has a decade of experience in the non-profit and education sector. In his free time he can be found volunteering with the Downtown Pasadena Neighborhood Association and the Pasadena Athletic Association, and herding his two rescue cats.

The grounds of the Grapevine Arbor were decorated in a very festive manner, with a light breeze blowing and a general feeling of light-hardheartedness.  The buffet style dinner was enjoyed by the patrons while emcee and Program Director Javier Hernandez entertained the crowd with his high energy introductions and genuine enthusiasm for the contributions made by all of the night’s honorees.

 

 

 

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