Everyday is a good day to choose riding a bike, but May is special because people want to get outside and enjoy our wonderful city in warmer weather. It's a time when everyone in the region celebrates bicycling, which is good for your health, and good for our environment. Every May, cyclists in the region pledge to ride their bikes and log miles and trips and have been doing so since 1956!

May is Bike Month 2021 will mostly be virtual, but we are planning on hosting a few rides in small groups. There are plenty of activities and events scheduled all around town and you can find them on this calendar, which is hosted by SACOG.

SABA is holding RIY (Ride it Yourself) activities and is hosting pop-up energizers in all around town. We are partnering with friends to help highlight what's going on, and we hope that you'll join us for many of our activities, which you can find here. Plus, there's swag to be had!

We will post up rides and activities for you to enjoy with directions so that you can earn SABA and MiBM swag. Look for the latest information in our bi-monthly Gear’d Up, on our Facebook page and Instagram. Get out there and learn about our city, visit interesting new places and enjoy riding around our region. Don’t forget to tag pictures with #mayisbikemonth, #sacbikesmay2021, and #sacbike.

Week 1 UPDATE: We had a blast out at Success Academy on Saturday and on the ARBT & Chase Dr. on Sunday. Riders stopped by to win swag, answer simple questions and if needed, get their bike fixed. We'll be out at Discovery Park on Sunday, May 16, from 10:00-12:00. Stop by, say hello, and win SWAG!

Happy riders on the ARBT!

May is Bike Month ACTivities!

Ride it Yourself (RiY) - Sac Mural tour

SABA Mural Tour. We created this last year, but it's a great one. Ride to a variety of the murals around town. Take a selfie at each mural you ride to. Tag #sacbike, #sacbikesmay2021, #mayisbikemonth, & #wow.

When you've completed your mural tour, taken selfies and have uploaded them to @sacbike, or have tagged #sacbike, then go here to earn swag!

RiY - Bike Route Sacramento - West Sacramento

RIY West Sacramento. We've partnered again with Peter Hansell, creator of the Bike Route Sacramento board game. His routes are inspired by the Board game. Ride any and all of the RIY routes during MiBM and you'll be entered into a drawing to win a copy of the Board Game!

When you've completed the ride, and taken selfies, send everything to Angela@alectestsstuff.com with your proof of riding, OR go here to earn swag! That's your entry into the Board game drawing. Enjoy!

RIY - West Sacramento Gravel! Once again Peter Hansell came up with the goods for another fun quick ride. You don't need a fancy gravel bike to have fun on this, but if ya DO happen to have one, shred with it! Same deal as above to win swag or a copy of Peter's game Bike Route Sacramento. Take selfies and send them to Angela@alectestsstuff.com.

RiY - Gina Rossi Bike Rack Challenge!

Gina Rossi is an amazing artist who has created bike racks and works of art all over Sacramento. Her nickname? Bike Rack Gurl, of course! The Bike Rack Challenge challenges you to ride around town finding the racks on this map. Take a selfie with you and the bike rack and submit your info here.

This amazing woman was recently diagnosed with leukemia. This May, she'll undergo a bone marrow transplant from her Haplo sister. Because she is mixed with Pacific Islander, Gina could not find a full match from “Be The Match”, an organization that matches donors with people in need.

SABA invites you to join us in sending Gina our positive thoughts and prayers for a successful transfusion and a speedy recovery. We support Gina in bringing awareness to the importance of the Be The Match organization. She hopes that by sharing her experiences she can help others facing similar difficulties. Be The Match needs more Pacific Islanders and African-Americans donors to save lives. 

See this short KCRA clip on Gina's incredible work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-DxwcmwsvQ&feature=youtu.be

To our Community,

We know that Sacramento is not immune to unsafe streets. We can and should do better. Streets should be safe for all people, period. Yet what constitutes a “safe street” is different for many people. 
Streets are not safe until people of color can walk and bike on roads, on sidewalks, in parks, and in any community without fear of being attacked based on their race. 

We stand in solidarity with the Black community and their allies, many who have taken to the streets in communities across the country, demanding justice and calling for an end to systemic racism and oppression. 

SABA recognizes that improvements to our own work are needed to achieve equitable and just investments in communities of color throughout Sacramento, too many which are underserved and underrepresented. We need to do better. There’s a long road ahead. As a starting point, we will engage with local communities of color, to listen. We will share your ideas and feedback on how we can improve with our members, our allied advocates, and to local leaders. We are committed to doing the work imperative to arrive at a just and equitable Sacramento. Black Lives Matter.

Sincerely,
Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates

The Sacramento Bee recently published an article[1] about opening up sidewalks and streets for dining. Mayor Darrell Steinberg dubbed it, “Farm to Fork Al Fresco,” a catchy name capturing the essence of the food scene here in Sacramento. The idea is to open up space for diners and maintain social distancing, while helping restaurant owners fill seats to more than 50% capacity, which is, on average how much seating space is lost if all tables are distanced at six feet.[2]

Where does the extra space come from? In cities such as Paris, which has had outdoor seating at cafes and bistros for decades, the extra seating is on the sidewalk, either abutted to the restaurant or out farther adjacent to the street edge, with a wide space for pedestrians to pass through on the sidewalk. Few of our sidewalks in Sacramento are wide enough for that, and adding tables to the area would likely force pedestrians out into the street to maintain social distance as they navigate the corridor.

Instead, we could follow many other cities worldwide whose streets are being partially or fully closed to cars and businesses. They are able to add more space with a “parklet,” borrowing the parking spaces in front of their establishments.[3]

Parklet designed in SF. Photo: Rebar

Tampa, FL is allowing businesses to establish parklets on the sidewalk immediately adjacent to their establishment or in their parking spaces.[4] Applying for a city permit is suspended during their pilot program; however, property manager approval remains a requirement. The city will work with the business owner to temporarily disable parking meters so the parking spaces can be repurposed for use by the business. Some cities have been leaving one side of the road open to parking and the other to pedestrians. Restaurants may set up tables and chairs in these parklets as long as they are adhering to health and safety standards. Diners are seated through a reservation system to avoid gathering while waiting for a table.

Long Beach is moving in the same direction. The need for the extra space is what could make or break a business. One restaurant owner shared the math: 50% occupancy simply means 50% of the profits, which doesn’t add up when rent, utilities, wages and insurance are all at 100%.[5] The extra space is crucial to the equation of whether or not it’s a viable business model. Likewise, research has shown that places built for people but are less car-centric are more likely to be economically viable.[6]

The coronavirus is pushing us to think differently when it comes to the safety of our citizens and jumpstarting the economy, and using space in a different way is emerging as a key factor.[7] Following the lead of other cities around the world, Sacramento should close down streets typically reserved for driving and parking and open them up to accommodate diners at a safe distance, boosting much needed economic growth. The city is already working on a plan to close a few streets so that more people can get outside and enjoy some fresh air while maintaining social distance. 

Cinco de Mayo in Tampa. Photo by Jason Fernandez

Closing streets to vehicular traffic isn’t new or radical. In the 1970s, roads were closed off to create downtown walking malls, and these days major thoroughfares are closed to cars a few times a year for large events, such as the Sacramento International Marathon, or the Amgen Tour of California. Sacramento has already toyed with Open Street or Ciclovia projects, where the roads are closed for a set amount of time, like Bogota, Columbia does every Sunday, and Los Angeles has been doing now for years.

The list is long of cities who have taken steps to change their streets into places where people can move about free from concern of being too close. London, Paris, Barcelona, Bogota, Lima, Berlin, Vilnius, Santa Monica, Long Beach, Tampa, Charleston, Cincinnati, and Oakland have all embraced making changes to their streets.[8]

A prominent New York chef summed it up this way: “[What’s] the best dish on the menu? Safety. Restaurateurs will serve this one dish as they try to re-open. What’s true is that to safely serve this up, space is the key ingredient.”[9] So we urge you, our City leaders, to open our streets to people, extend sidewalks, create parklets and ease permitting so that businesses may serve us safely. Let's enjoy it, "al fresco".


[1] https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article242712226.html?utm_source=pushly&intcid=%7B__explicit:pushly_531639%7D  

[2] https://lbpost.com/hi-lo/addison-coronavirus-commentary-restaurants-close-off-roads?fbclid=IwAR0hEsm9PnEQrnAmcUwIirDzpIwi1_VmlI937fv_63iBjSD5bDDgDLhL5MY

[3] https://sf.streetsblog.org/2020/05/12/for-small-biz-to-survive-sidewalks-must-thrive/

[4] https://patch.com/florida/southtampa/tampa-expands-outdoor-restaurant-seating-sidewalks-roads

[5] https://lbpost.com/hi-lo/addison-coronavirus-commentary-restaurants-close-off-roads?fbclid=IwAR0hEsm9PnEQrnAmcUwIirDzpIwi1_VmlI937fv_63iBjSD5bDDgDLhL5MY

[6] https://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/app/legacy/documents/cs/factsheets/cs-economic.pdf,  https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/downtowneconomics/files/2012/07/economic-benefits-of-a-walkable-community.pdf

[7] https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/pandemic-shows-what-cities-have-surrendered-cars/610423/

[8] https://medium.com/@TransAlt/14-cities-getting-it-right-4ba7b78c920b

[9] https://www.scribd.com/document/461056931/Henry-Rinehart-Safe-Space-Open-Streets-And-Vibrant-Retail#download

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