Event Celebrates Growing Trend of Electric Bicycles in San Diego to Promote Healthy Active Lifestyles, Sustainability, Building Communities and Workforce Development
San Diego County Supervisor Chair Nathan Fletcher and San Diego Gas & Electric joined with the Pedal Ahead community electric bicycle program to celebrate the launch of SANDAG’s Bike Anywhere Week with a special e-bike demonstration and showcase promoting ridership and workforce development in the burgeoning San Diego County bicycling industry.
Launched in September 2020, the Pedal Ahead program is designed to provide electric bicycles for socially conscious residents of the 4th Supervisorial District. Since its inception, Pedal Ahead e-bike riders have logged over 87,000 miles, burned nearly 5.5 million calories and reduced GHGs by nearly 35,000kg through e-bike use. Pedal Ahead is deploying 400 electric bicycles under a unique “loan-to-own” program, with participants required to ride an average of five miles per day over the course of the two-year period, show proof of insurance that covers the liability, loss, theft and damage to their e-bike, and use a GPS technology app to track and report mileage and trip patterns to the non-profit Rider Safety Visibility for an e-bike study.
Through a grant by The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund — in large part due to funding support from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Rider Safety Visibility has worked with a number of community partners like San Diego Workforce Partnership, Just in Time Foster Youth and Outdoor Outreach to provide skills training and workforce development for young adults age 18-26 in the burgeoning bicycling industry. Pedal Ahead participants have improved their socio-economic status due to program interaction, with members offered classes and a training curriculum with hands-on experiences of bicycle maintenance and small business operations through attending monthly (live digital, recorded, in-person) meetings over the agreement term.
“The Pedal Ahead electric bicycle program is changing lives, and our community,” said Chair Fletcher. “The workforce development program is giving young adults knowledge and skills that will help them connect to opportunities in our growing bicycle industry. The program is good for the environment and is a catalyst for an industry that will lead to great careers for our participants.”
“As a company that’s deeply committed to advancing sustainability and bettering our community, SDG&E is proud to support the Pedal Ahead program not just for its environmental benefits but also for its social and public health benefits,” said Jeni Reynolds, SDG&E’s director of clean transportation. “Partnerships with groups like Rider Safety Visibility to transform transportation are important as our region seeks to reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes.”
“Under the Pedal Ahead program, we have seen the dramatic impact of electric bike transportation in District 4 communities,” said Ed Clancy, co-founder of Rider Safety Visibility 501c3. “Those results are impressive in terms of the improving quality of life and promoting active healthy lifestyles as well as promoting sustainability, building communities and workforce development.”
Other presenters at today’s launch included Mr. Clancy, and Pedal Ahead electric bicycle riders and students involved in the organization’s Young Education program.
The Pedal Ahead program is being funded by a County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program grant distributed by Chair Fletcher’s Office, The Left Coast Fund and The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
Pedal Ahead is a proud sponsor of SANDAG’s Bike Anywhere Week, May 16-22. Riders can take the pledge and pick up their free t-shirt, find a self-guided activity or join a virtual event. They can GO by BIKE to work, school, the store, the beach or just around their neighborhood, and win prizes along the way. For more information visit, https://www.icommutesd.com/events/bike-month
Pedal Ahead partners and supporters also include Uptown Bicycles, Electra Bicycles, NiteRider Technical Lighting, ArroWhere Equipment, Pinhead Locks, Kali Protectives, California Bicycles, Rocky Mounts, Lot204 Marketing, Adams Avenue Business Association, Broadway Heights Community Council, Hammond Climate Solutions, Just in Time for Foster Youth, Outdoor Outreach, San Diego MTS, El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District, San Diego Workforce Partnership and the YMCA of San Diego County.