Last Saturday the residents of El Monte,
California, celebrated their city's fantastic
location in the middle of the Emerald Necklace network of
trails with a community bike ride for all ages on the Rio Hondo bike path.
More than 220 riders came out to enjoy the easy trails and
get some exercise as they toured the path to Peck
Park and the Whittier Narrows.
The community bike ride capped off a season spent raising the
profile of local trails through an 'Rx for Health' program. 'Rx for Health' worked with
doctors and schools to encourage walking and riding as an easy and fun way to
get regular exercise.
Typical of many urban areas, El Monte is battling public health issues like obesity and
diabetes, which stem from the increasingly sedentary lifestyles of many Americans. Raising physical activity levels is seen as a
key to improving health.
Alice Strong of the West
San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition helped organize ride leaders for the
"I sure saw a lot of smiling faces - lots of smiles per
mile on the bikes!" she said.
The ride was organized by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and
the City of El Monte,
with funding by the California Community Foundation and other sponsors.
Bike mechanics from the Bike
Oven and RB Bike Shop helped get participant's bikes in tip top shape
before the ride. There was even a roaming mechanic on hand who helped fix several
flats and a broken pedal, to keep the youngsters happy and pedaling.
Photos by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Ct., NW
Washington, DC 20037