Bicycle / Pedestrian Advisory Committee
For a Bikeable, Walkable Richmond
Contra Costa’s 2022 Bike Champion of the Year: Najari Smith
Photo: Shots From Richmond
If the definition of “bicycle champion” is ever inducted into the dictionary, then there will be a picture of Najari Smith right next to it. If something bicycle related exists, Najari has done it.
He started off by joining the Richmond Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, which advises the city on bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects. Soon after he began organizing regular, frequent community bike rides, which he dubbed Rich City Rides and officially established it as a fiscally sponsored non-profit in 2012. The rides are extremely popular in the community (over 300 rides with over 20,000 participants) and often incorporate an educational aspect and/or community clean-up activities. Rich City Rides also regularly hosts bicycle clinics and repair workshops from the bike hub at Unity Park, a park located on the Richmond Greenway that they proudly helped design and build.
The non-profit hub at Unity Park serves as not only a space to refurbish bikes, but also as an educational hub, where local residents, primarily youth, can learn bicycle maintenance and take classes on bicycling. After spending enough hours learning, they can earn a bicycle for themselves.
Two years after founding the non-profit, Najari, along with his partners Taye McGee, Mykee Ramen, Rafael Fernandez, and Josue Hernandez co-founded the for-profit, worker-owned cooperative Rich City Rides Bike Skate Shop in downtown Richmond. The Bike Shop serves as a community pillar, welcoming youth and families to get everything they need to ride for health, endurance, and commuting while supporting the local economy. The bike shop is proud to provide these services that help people explore and enjoy bicycle commuting with a low carbon footprint and a high return on health and wellness. Now, Rich City is continuing to expand, recently moving into an old motorcycle repair shop to create a larger community space, the Rich City Gallery, that will be used for community events, classes, gatherings, and as an art gallery.
In just a little over a decade, Najari has changed the bicycle landscape in Richmond and beyond.
Richmond BPAC meetings are open to the public. We meet on the second Monday of every month, except August and December.
Time: 5:30-7:30 pm
Online via zoom - https://zoom.us/j/92331744095
Or dial 669 900 6833 and use meeting ID: 923 3174 4095
No password needed
Help us bring about positive change in Richmond, and make our city a better and safer place for everyone to walk and bike in!