SLO Bike Coalition

San Luis Obispo is one of the best cities in the state to ride a bike and the county as a whole provides a multitude of trails and bike related activities.

The San Luis Obispo Bike Coalition serves as a hub for this as Executive Director Dan Rivoire explains, “The mission of the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition is to improve the quality of life in the Central Coast through bicycle advocacy, education, and inspiration. Our goal is to make the roads on the Central Coast so safe that everyone feels safe enough to choose to ride a bike more often. We serve those that ride while working to attract more people to try biking and walking for everyday transportation and recreation. Day to day, our efforts focus on advocating to local government for safe bike friendly infrastructure and providing direct support to people riding bikes through our Bike Valet, Bike Kitchen, Bike Education, and Kidical Mass programs. Each program is designed to help people develop the skills that will make them feel safe riding a bike for transportation.”

The programs offered through the Coalition reach varied audiences and present something for everyone. The Bike Valet is a fantastic, innovative service that puts riders at ease when attending events like Thursday’s Farmer’s Market and the Summer Concerts in the Plaza. The service is also available for private parties and other assorted events. The Bike Valet allows you to leave your bike lock at home and provide safety for your unattended bicycle as you enjoy your activity.
The Bike Kitchen is a space in downtown San Luis Obispo at 860 Pacific Street that serves as an outlet to help you learn as well as gives you the tools and equipment to maintain and repair your bike at a minimal cost. With a knowledgeable staff, your experience at the Bike Kitchen allows you to get hands on skills that aid you in proper bicycle preservation. The Bike Kitchen is the perfect spot to rehabilitate a low cost, otherwise out of commission bike.

Bike Education Workshops are available for schools, organizations and other interested parties and are also held at the Bike Kitchen. The lessons range from road safety to bike maintenance to the proper laws of the road.
Kidical Mass is an amazing event scheduled roughly once a month that brings together families and supports youth bicycle culture. Kidical Mass’s themes invite creativity and boast themes such as superheroes, fancy pants, rainbows and unicorns. Beginning at Mitchell Park with a fun finale in the Mission Plaza, the ride emulates the nationwide phenomenon of Critical Mass rides with a younger audience.

These programs help advocate for biking and alleviate many of the misconceptions associated with bicycle culture and Dan points out, “Many people seem to think that riding a bike is some sort of extremely serious endeavor. They believe that you need specialty padded shorts, gloves, jerseys, helmets, or a $1000 bike. Riding a bike is a simple, easy, happy choice; no specialty equipment is required whatsoever. Nearly every single American has ridden a bike at some point in their life, there is no need to consider yourself a ‘cyclist’ in order to ride more often or support the Bicycle Coalition. We fight for safe streets where people have the personal freedom to choose the form of transportation they want to.”

The events the Coalition puts together are nothing short of cool and upbeat. Rivoire talks about the goals of the events, “Riding a bike is a purely positive activity. The Bicycle Coalition draws people together around the common goal of making the central coast an incredible place to live. Our gatherings are designed to focus on our positive contributions and the happiness we feel rolling around our amazing communities. Our programs help more people that realize how easy it is to weave healthy, financially savvy behavior into their day-to-day transportation. People like the feeling of freedom and independence they gain when riding a bike. We’re proud to help more people access that feeling. We’re proud to contribute to our community the way we do because we absolutely love the central coast.”

Within the City of San Luis Obispo, bikes are a transportation option that provides lack of restrictions compared to a car. Rivoire adds, “Riding a bike is an incredible way to get around. Most people ride because it’s fun, but the fact that riding a bike helps you save money, get healthy, reduce traffic, preserve the environment, and interact directly with your community makes the choice even easier. While the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition recognizes that bikes are not the best form of transportation depending on distance, cargo, or weather, we strongly believe that riding a bike will help more people respond to the challenges of traffic congestion, fuel costs, and personal health. In the central coast, riding a bike is even easier because our weather is great and our roads tend not to be filled with gridlock traffic.”

A bike-centric lifestyle provides a positive way of living and the same time supplies many advantages over car-centric transportation systems and riding a bike is flat out fun. SLO County, always on the cutting edge of healthy and happy living, is the quintessential home for a progressive, helpful organization that is the SLO Bicycle Coalition.

Visit their website for more informaiton,

Brandi Stansbury - local writer and photographer