Ready to roll into summer with good friends, great scenery and a cool breeze blowing? Walk ‘n Rollers presents Walk-Bike Ballona, a series of free, family-friendly activities this summer to highlight the recreational and ecological value of Ballona Creek. Activities include Fun Rides, Group Walks and Walk ‘n Roll Festivals – bicycle-pedestrian safety and skills festivals.
Ballona Creek is one of the greatest natural resources in the Los Angeles area. Draining 130 square miles of a vital watershed, stretching nine miles form Baldwin Hills to the Pacific Ocean. The Ballona Creek Bike Path runs from Syd Kronenthal Park in the east end of Culver City to the Marvin Broad Bike Path in Marina del Rey. Along the way, the path connects various schools, parks and recreation centers.
Walk-Bike Ballona is made possible by a grant from the Rails to Trails Conservancy. The primary goal is to highlight Ballona Creek as a viable transit corridor that provides easy and safe access to six elementary schools and two middle schools. The Group Fun Rides focus on routes that connect the school’s neighborhoods to the path and include docent-lead talks by Ballona Creek Renaissance on the ecological value of Ballona Creek and Group Walks lead by Walk with a Doc.
“Ballona Creek is used every day by hundreds of people,“ states Walk ‘n Rollers founder Jim Shanman. “Families, commuters, students and fitness enthusiasts take advantage of Ballona Creek Bike Path all year long to connect with communities and schools from Playa del Rey to Culver City. It’s a safe and beautiful resource that in many ways remains under utilized. We hope to highlight it’s accessibility to encourage parents, students and faculty to drive a little less and walk or bike a little more to and from school”.
Three rides are scheduled, each exploring a different section of the Bike Path. The first (June 28) ride and walk touches on the middle, from Duquesne to Centinella connecting Culver City’s Farragut Elementary and Culver City Middle and High schools. The second ride (July 13) explores the West end of the path from Centinella to Marina del Rey and connects Marina del Rey Middle School, Short Elementary and Braddock Elementary Schools to the path. The third ride (August 16) focuses on the East end from National to Overland connecting Echo Horizon and Turning Point schools to the path, including the Expo Bike Path.
The festivals focus on bicycle and pedestrian safety for both children and adults. Participants receive guidance on how to properly fit their helmets and check their bikes before each ride. Riders progress through a series of skills stations and then put their knowledge to use on instructor-lead on-street group rides. To make the event as accessible as possible, Walk ‘n Rollers brings a fleet of bicycles and demo helmets, so even kids without bikes are able to participate. For the children with their own bikes, local bicycle co-op, Bikerowave, will be on-site to provide safety checks and minor repairs on the kids’ bikes.
In addition to the skills stations and bike repair, a separate obstacle course will be available to the children along with fun bicycle crafts where children can make their own spoke card, race plate, custom button and work on engaging activity pages.
For more information on the Walk-Bike Ballona Project, please visit www.walknrollers.org/walk-bike-balllona