By Kathryn McCoy
On Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. approximately 140 bike riders gathered together at Beach Park where they embarked on what is known as a “Full Moon Bike Ride”, one of the many events sponsored by Bike Bakersfield a non profit bicycle advocacy group.
The festivities began with a barbecue at 6 p.m. allowing the participants to get to know one another individually – cash donations were encouraged. Riders were also encouraged to become a member of Bike Bakersfield.
“We had a barbecue in effort to increase membership in our organization,” said Brad Swanlund, communications coordinator for Bike Bakersfield.
After the barbecue, the ride began from Beach Park where the riders followed the Kern River Parkway bike path to California State University, Bakersfield. The riders then traveled a few blocks on Haggin Oaks and Ming Avenue where they ended their ride at The Marketplace.
“It’s a very casual ride which brings in all different types of riders. The goal is really to offer a ride that is fun for all and intimidating to none,” said Swanlund.
Once the ride ended in the midst of the Marketplace riders enjoyed visiting the shopping centers and some rode back to the park while others rode home.
“We loved it. The weather was perfect. We met an assortment of people that we hope to keep in contact with and most of all we got to take part in this event as a family which for me and my family is rare,” said Olivia Prescott, 24, discussing the aftermath of the event and the reason why she took part in it.
Participants from all throughout Bakersfield took part in the event.
“I live alongside Calloway and when my husband and I got word of the event I automatically signed us up. Not only do you get the chance to meet new people but you also get the chance to exercise and enjoy the scenery – something we hardly get to do,” said Julie Donavin, 33, who was one of the participants in the event.
Avid bikers also participated in the ride and gave their opinion on the event.
“I am an avid biker and live in Oildale. I always participate in a number of events throughout Bakersfield and this one in particular really stood out to me. I hope that there will be many more events like this and I hope many more people will participate in it. It’s definitely worth it,” said Julianne Venegas, 26.
For information on Bike Bakersfield events, visit bikebakersfield.org or contact Brad Swanlund at (661) 321-9247.