Last night was the City of Riverside's Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting. The BAC is a great organization that acts as the voice of the cycling community in the City's Public Works department. Aside from the advocacy that happens there, the committee is also a great source for cycling news in and around the city, and that's the reason for this post. Here's what's happening in Riverside on two wheels.
Santa Ana River Trail Closures
At an indeterminate date in the near future, the Santa Ana River Trail will be torn up so that crews can replace the 100-year-old sewer pipe that runs below it. The trail will be entirely closed on weekdays, and will be "rideable, but not nice and pretty" on weekends. The sewer replacement project will occur in two phases, each covering about half of the trail's mileage in the City and taking 4-6 months each. The first phase will cover from Van Buren Blvd to Rubidoux Ave (about a mile north of Martha Mclean Park). The Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority's web site should have construction updates in the near future.
Bike Parking Soon Mandatory
City officials note that the new California Green Code will mandate bicycle parking for both visitors and employees at essentially all new development in the state, beginning on January 1st, 2011. Some details of interpretation are still under discussion, but it looks like bicycle parking will need to be provided at a rate of 5% of automobile parking, with a minimum of 1 2-bike rack per business. I'll post more as I learn more.
Riverside Citrus Classic
Though "Classic" is probably not the best word to use for a bike ride that is happening for the first time ever this year, the Riverside Citrus Classic will run this Sunday. Riders may choose from a Century, Half-Century, Quarter-Century, or 7-mile Family Ride, all of which start and end at the Riverside Plaza. Registration is still open online, but not for much longer. Proceeds benefit local schools.
A Bike Collective for Riverside
Cities across the country with strong bicycle cultures support "community bicycle organizations" or "bike collectives"- places staffed by volunteer mechanics that provide tools, workspace and know-how to people who want to fix their own bikes, usually for free or a small fee. My readers may be familiar with the Times Up! in New York, or LA's trifecta of the Bike Kitchen, Bike Oven and Bikerowave. San Francisco, Sacramento and Davis all boast bike collectives of their own. Most of my readers would join me in thinking that Riverside could not support such an organization.
We'd be wrong. The Bicycle Lounge has apparently been operating at the First Thursday Art Walks for the last two years, and is now moving in to more permanent spaces. First, they'll be at the UCR-Culver Centre for the Arts from 12-4 every Saturday through December, starting tomorrow. Second, their web site says they'll be opening a location on campus at UCR in the near future. Stop by and learn to maintain and repair your bicycle. There is something uniquely satisfying about knowing that you can repair your own vehicle when it breaks, and most of us will never get that with a car. A bike, however, is simple enough that you CAN learn to fix nearly everything on it.
Culver Centre Bike Exhibit
The newly-opened UCR-Culver Centre for the Arts is running, as their first-ever exhibit, "Re:Cycle- Bicycle Culture in Southern California." Artists explore both local bicycle culture and what the bicycle means to the human experience. Local bicycle advocates will recognize a lot of what's going on, especially with the section devoted to the Midnight Ridazz. Also, tomorrow they'll be screening "The Bicycle Thief" and "To Live And Ride in LA" back-to-back. Admission to the screening is $10 for adults, and advance reservations are recommended. Admission to the exhibition appears to be free, but visitors would be well-served by taking along either UCR ID cards or a nominal amount of cash, just to be safe.