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SACRAMENTO, Cal. - FEBRUARY 9, 2009 - A local group of bicycle advocates launch the 1st Annual Bikeramento Week from Feb. 9-14, culminating on Valentine’s Day with a race day watch party at 18th and L on the patio of the Buckhorn Grill during the Amgen Tour of California, the largest bicycle race in the United States.
Each day this week, the team offers a different bicycle-friendly event to highlight Sacramento’s potential as a bikeable community to both visitors and locals alike.
By attending events, participants can win a pair of tickets to the Bikeramento Patio during the Amgen prologue on Saturday. The group wishes to raise awareness of bicycles as a transportation norm. “This is a great way to connect to the average Sacramentan about harnessing bicycle culture to create a strong and green Sacramento economy during this difficult downturn,” says co-founder Lorena Beightler.
From Monday’s Bicycle Safety Night at the Bicycle Kitchen in Midtown to Tuesday’s Bike Crawl to 5 different night spots on the grid, Bikeramento invites active participation to show people how easy it is use the bicycle as core transportation for everyday life.
“Our goal is to educate by connecting bikeability to having fun,” remarks co-founder, Brian Fischer of midtowngrid.com. “However, the larger intention is to introduce two core ideas, Sac Sunday Streets and the Velobahn.”
“It’s all about making the change that we can and Sac Sunday Streets would create community among pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, and other alternatives to the car,” insists Beightler.
Bikeramento proposes to shut down a major Central City street from spring through summer similar to the efforts of San Francisco, Portland, Montreal, and New York. Beightler continues, “It would be a place for everyone to be active and safe on a Sunday morning and help people understand that streets can be used for more than driving.”
What the heck’s a Velobahn? It is Sacramento’s modern and eco-friendly answer to the Autobahn, so coined by Ricardo Robles of Bikeramento. “It embodies Sacramento’s goal to be a green city by proposing a realistic investment in infrastructure when the city’s budget is in a crunch,” comments Robles.
The Velobahn would become a national emblem of bicycle tourism at a time when it’s necessary for the small businesses to attract new business to the Central City’s still vibrant core.
“Sacramento Press had to jump in as a sponsor of this event, because we’re asking people to think outside the box and that’s how our economy can become more dynamic and creative,” proposes Nicholas Walsh. “We’re already a bike-driven workforce and office space.”
Another sponsor, Capsity Offices, will become the city’s 2nd installment of “The Sac Rack,” a signature bicycle rack and piece of functional urban art offered by the City of Sacramento.
“Ultimately, this a great way to involve people in imagining Sacramento’s possibilities while most cities are just trying to survive,” pontificates the group’s webmaster, Dan Fisher. “Why stand still when you can keep the wheels turning?”
The week climaxes with Friday’s 1,000 Spokes of Light, a community ride through Midtown and a fundraiser to purchase bicycles for children who otherwise cannot afford one starting with Oak Park, since it’s adjacent to Midtown.
“A green economy should stimulate health and fitness, affordable transportation, environmental justice, and great economic development,” summarizes Fischer.
For more information on the week’s events, visit the group’s web site, www.bikeramento.org.
Lorena Beightler, email@example.com, 916-606-5010
Jeff Louie, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-849-7871