‘Bike To Wherever Day’ with the RBPAC on the Richmond Greenway!
Success! RBPACs first official ‘Greenway Day’, held on May 21, 2021, was a lively event, proving that Richmond residents love our Greenway. The inaugural ‘Greenway Day’ gave cyclists the opportunity to participate in ‘Bike To Wherever Day’ (formally Bike to Work Day’), while exploring all that Richmond’s central bike-and-pedestrian thoroughfare has to offer.
While riders were invited to participate by simply visiting the Greenway at any time on the 21st, ten riders gathered for a mid-morning group ride, which highlighted what an asset the Richmond Greenway is for exploring our city.
Assembling on the verdant grounds at the Richmond Museum of History, cyclists showed off some celebratory bike décor! In the small time allotted, the docents directed riders to see the restored Victor Arnautoff mural that was installed last year, a significant piece of Richmond history that celebrates the city’s landmarks – harkening back to a time when the Greenway was still a rail line!
RBPAC member Daniel Lanis led the ride – the second stop on the tour was local bike shop, Rich City Rides. Owner and founder Najari Smith met our contingent to distribute the first tote bags of the day, and pose for group photos outside the shop with the RCR team.
The group rode along the Greenway stopping to learn a bit about the Urban Tilth community gardens and Unity Park - these spaces are absolutely blooming this month, providing us a colorful display of flora, and a habitat for bees and butterflies. Jim Zahradka jumped his bike over the hills at Dirt World before telling the group some of the history behind a volunteer-lead effort to create and maintain the park.
Finally, Lanis directed the group to the end of the western-stretch of the Greenway – the infamous gap at Carlson Blvd. that makes a continuous journey through Richmond via the Greenway tricky and potentially unsafe. Many of RBPACs members, including Lanis, have dedicated themselves to addressing this issue so that one day the Greenway is a wholly connected path.
The group ride concluded in Point Richmond at the newest café to come to town – Roma – where the patio is ideal for leaning bikes and enjoying a coffee. Some riders continued to the Richmond Bridge – where the conditions were ideal to take in sweeping views of the bay and East Brother Light Station.
In the evening a second group ride for young cyclists departed from Lulu’s Cyclery in Point Richmond. Participants from ages one to five joined, with the 5-year-olds getting their first experience cycling in bike lanes, guided by Lanis and Alexander Peter of Rich City Rides. The 1.8 mile journey from town to Unity Park allowed the kids to learn about cycling safety and group-ride etiquette – and experience the sheer joy of riding behind an industrial-grade bubble machine. At Unity Park masked kids darted between swings, play structures, bikes and bubbles – enjoying music, community and exuberance that comes from biking and being outside among friends.
Thanks to everyone who supported and/or participated. The RBPAC plans to organize more Greenway Days in the future, and events for very young riders at Unity Park. We welcome all community members to join us or get involved.
We also want to acknowledge that this land was first home to the Ohlone people – it was and is indigenous land.