IMPERIAL VALLEY – May is National Bike Month, and in celebration, the Imperial Valley participated in National Bike to Work/School Day on the morning of May 18, as cyclists had the opportunity to stop at various locations to receive goodie-bags in encouragement for using this form of transportation.
The county Public Health Department organized the different booths along with various affiliates of the bicyclists’ community. One of the locations for the booths was Brawley’s Transit Center on the Plaza. The goal of the booths was to provide economic statistics of how biking to work or school can cut down on air pollution in the Valley.
One of the other booths was held at the familiar location of Bucklin park in El Centro. Bicyclists who dropped by that location also received helmets with the goodie-bags if they were needed. The public health department informed these passersby on the importance of safety when riding in traffic.
Not only was it important for the public health department to promote safety, but the group also pointed out the benefits cycling can have on a person’s health.
Avid bicyclist and booth volunteer Alberto Acosta said, “We are out here trying to promote a healthy lifestyle while being safe at the same time.”
Organizers noted the importance for local cyclist groups to reach out and connect with a younger generation, to promote a healthy lifestyle that is affordable, enjoyable and good for the environment.
Booth volunteers were also handing out informative pamphlets for parents on tips of how children can ride safely.
“Some of the other information we want to provide cyclists are the safety tips that they can give to children to help them make smart decisions when riding around town,” said Acosta.
By knowing the rules of cycling, children can be educated on how to keep themselves safe on the streets, he said.
The recognition of Valley cyclists even reached Calexico, with a booth at the Starbucks coffee shop in that city. With the celebration stretching all the way to the border, Mexicali residents also took part in National Bike Day, event planners said.
“The area we have covered has been able to reach a good number of cyclists in more places than just the Imperial Valley, to educate cyclists,” said Acosta. “And we do plan to continue celebrating this day to continue this growing lifestyle.”