Monday, May 18, 2020

BIKE TO WORK WEEK 2020 TAKES ON A NEW MEANING

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail
Photo by Dennis Jones 

Celebrating Bike to Work week each May is something I look forward to every year. However, riding my bike to work is different this year because like so many others, I am working from home, so this year’s commute is especially short and private.  Just because I am working from home does not exclude me from the joy of celebrating Bike Month.  This year my solo ride is in sharp contrast to previous Bike Week rides with our colleagues at Caltrans, who celebrated by riding their bikes to work.  For the staff that wanted to participate but did not own a bike, Cyclery USA in Redlands generously loaned a truck full of bikes to borrow that morning.  Ride marshals joined in for safety and the 3-mile early morning ride in downtown San Bernardino was a blast. 
  
Photo by Dennis Jones
To get in the swing of this year’s Bike to Work Week, we jumped on the PE Trail and enjoyed the cool morning temperature as we headed for Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga.  The Trail was brimming with walkers, runners and yes of course cyclists.  I look forward to riding my bike on the PE trail for physical exercise and as a mental health stress reliever. The City installed safety technology at the street crossings that detect when a cyclist is present.   We rode on and met up with Bob who is an avid cyclist and regularly invites his niece from Ontario to join him for a ride on the PE Trail.  We continued to meet up with so many residents who enjoy running and walking with their dogs.  Dogs and their owners are a familiar sight on the Trail, and it is always a treat to stop to say hello.  More people are adopting pets for companionship especially during the current shelter in place mandate.  Animal shelters are empty as the number of lost dogs has diminished because we are home with our pets to keep them company. 


Photo by Dennis Jones
Here are a few of the folks we met on the Trail this week. We rode past the Prison City Roller Derby Team, ladies who roll down the PE Trail together having way too much fun.  We also met Chase and his dog “Bailey”, Bob and his dog “Ringo Star”, Katy, Vera and their pet “Abigale”, Dario and his dog “Nala”, Jack and his pooch “Roxy”, Enrique, Mason and their puppies “Bella” and “Cash”, Vincent, Fiera and their dog “Nia”, Christina and Lee and their pooches “Pepper” and “Indy”.  We are looking forward to boarding our two favorite four legged friends, “Lady” and her companion and playmate, “Myrtle” next week and taking them for a walk on the Trail.


Photo by Victoria Jones
Half of the folks we stopped to talk with raved about how much they appreciate the Trail and how many want the open space to remain open at Central Park in lieu of being developed.  They shared that the open space is natural, quiet, and home for many hummingbirds, rabbits, butterflies, etc.  Some natural fauna in the open space include Russian thistle (future tumbleweeds), varieties of cactus, buckwheat, mug wart, and some wild growth grapevines that could be descendants of plantings by Segundo Guasti.  Taking in nature while you are enjoying your regular bike ride is like getting two for one.







Photo by Dennis Jones

If you are working from home, you can enjoy the simple pleasures of a neighborhood bike ride. Your ride does not have to be mapped out, just explore streets that you may never have ridden before and enjoy yourself.  Every block opens a door to new adventure. What you may have driven numerous times becomes entirely different when slowed down and viewed from two wheels. Riding around your neighborhood, even just around the block, can provide what a lot of us need right now — a much-needed break. Simultaneously keeping our bodies and minds healthy and active, you might be surprised at how much a short ride can improve your day.  

2020 will go down in the history books as the year we held our breath waiting for testing for the COVID-19 virus and a proven vaccine to help save lives.  2020 also marks the thousands of students who did not get to celebrate together in graduation ceremonies.  This year forced us to re-examine our numerous blessings and tested our endurance for patience and understanding with each other.  I am hoping that Bike Month 2021 will be bigger and better than ever.  If you have a story to share about how you navigated sheltering in place, or what you learned from this shared experience, please use #MYTRAILSTORY, until then, “See you on the Trail”. Some people we met on the trail this weekend were on bikes, and some were walking their dogs. Who is your trail buddy? Let us know in the comment section  below.
Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail
 - Victoria Jones Friend of the Pacific Electric Trail
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