News And Politics

No potholes, plenty of bike lanes for weekend community ride

June 28, 2012, 2:15 p.m.

This weekend's bike ride may see at least 1,000 people. (Photo credit: Kim Bui)

This Sunday at Manchester Square, the Real Rydaz along with We Are Responsible People (WARP), are hosting a family bike ride and community fair in South L.A. to promote healthy, active living.

Shuntain J. Thomas, CEO of WARP and a member of Real Rydaz, said the 10-mile bike ride begins in Exposition Park and will travel a route that's entirely covered with bike lanes and has no open potholes. For those looking for a shorter trip, there's a 5-mile option that meets up with the group at a half-way point.

The ride is free but people must register either online on the event's Facebook page or the day of the event.

After the ride there will be a community fair that includes a live performance by rapper King Tee as well as one by the Watts Theater group. There will be a food demonstration, health screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes and information booths for organizations like Green Dot Charter Schools. The bike share group Bike Nation, which is bringing their kiosks to Los Angeles, will also be raffling off two new cruisers, Thomas said.

Tafarai Bayne of T.R.U.S.T. is involved in the South L.A. biking community and has helped organize group bike trips before. He said that often times South L.A. neighborhoods have less resources allotted to them, so putting on a group cycling trip takes a lot of coordination between city and public agencies to ensure the ride is safe and successful.

This weekend's route will travel up Vermont Avenue and highlight some of the challenges the community faces, Bayne said. One example is a median park that was planned for Vermont, which was supposed to bring a large green space to the major street. But the project, spearheaded by the CRA, may not happen after the organization lost its resources, said Bayne.

While many South L.A. bike events are small in scale, typically with only 100 to 200 people, Bayne said this weekend's event may see a much larger turnout.

"Their goal is to pull together as many bike riders as possible and to really make this one of the larger showings in recent years," he said.

Thomas said it's difficult to predict, but that they're expecting about 1,000 people at the ride and fair -- "and I'm probably being modest," he said.

Registration for the bike ride begins at 8:30 a.m. and the bike ride starts at 10:15 a.m.

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