Making cycling fun, safe and accessible
Founded back in 1972 in Northern California, Bike East Bay works to promote bicycling as an everyday means of transport and recreation, within the eastern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area, in order to create “healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, fun and accessible.”
Under this umbrella goal, the non-profit organisation lobbies to cultivate street designs that integrate cycling and liveable spaces, increase funding for the ongoing development of a cycling network, offer free bicycle education across the area, build partnerships with schools and businesses, and help create a strong and vibrant cycling community – to name just a few of Bike East Bay’s initiatives.
As a longtime grassroots advocacy group, Bike East Bay has campaigned for bicycle access to streets, roads and trails for over four decades. Notably, they lobbied successfully in 2013 to allow bikes access to the region’s BART transit system throughout the day – responsible for shuttling commuters between the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. Other recent achievements include the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Bike Path, bridging the area for both commuting and scenic riding.
A number of campaigns strive to improve cycling conditions across the East Bay’s cities, by way of introducing new bikeways and protected lanes, as well as extending the Bay Area Bikeshare System.
The organisation also runs a number of free programs. To help acquaint new riders with commuting, the Bike Buddy Program matches experienced riders with newbies, providing both an introduction to the bike community and all manner of practical advice, from route planning to choosing the right gear for urban riding. There’s also family cycling workshops across the area, adult learn-to-ride classes, and an Urban Cycling 101. A series of one hour classes geared for newcomers focuses on topics such as bike theft and bikes on transit.
Finally, to help usher in a new generation of cyclists, Kids Bike Rodeos introduce children across the East Bay to the joy of two wheels, by providing a mock city course to navigate, skills training, and education on safe walking and cycling.
All images copyright Robert Prinz, unless otherwise stated.