At 7 p.m. next Wednesday, May 9, on the patio of Whole Foods Market, 3761 State St. in Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition will be honoring three inspirational Santa Barbara women with the first‐ever Velo Wings Award for making cycling safer and more of an option for the community.
The three awardees are Anne Chen for her steadfast commitment to coaching and inspiring women and making cycling fun and accessible to women of all levels in Santa Barbara; Carmen Lozano for her spirited outreach efforts to make education on bicycle safety available to Santa Barbara’s Latino community; and Kim Stanley‐Zimmerman for her ongoing commitment to keep Santa Barbara’s elementary school children safe while walking and biking to school.
Chen coaches a no‐drop road ride for women of all levels every Wednesday evening from April through September. During those sessions, women learn how to safely ride in groups and how to be faster, stronger and more efficient bike riders. She is an inspiring coach and mentor, making cycling welcoming to all women and instilling confidence in riders. Chen is a bicycle racer and the women’s representative for the local cycling club Echelon Santa Barbara. By day, Chen works at Santa Barbara Middle School.
Seeing needs in the Spanish-speaking community, Lozano has successfully written grants to organize bicycle light distributions and to build a bilingual Mobile Bike Shop program. Mounted on the back on an Xtracycle, the Mobile Bike Shop rolls into the Westside or Eastside neighborhoods on weekends to provide free repairs and educational resources to residents. The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition’s bilingual staff helps riders fix their bikes used mainly for transportation and teaches them the importance of having a well‐maintained bicycle.
Lozano has taught bicycling safety tips to Spanish-speaking neighborhoods and workplaces. Her next goal is to become a certified league cycling instructor. These volunteer efforts are outside Lozano’s full-time employment as the community collaborative specialist for First 5 Santa Barbara County.
Stanley-Zimmerman, as the Safe Routes to School coordinator for the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation, has been working with Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria city and law enforcement officials to create safe routes for children to get to school.
She has been organizing low‐cost helmet distributions in the schools and at community events, leading bike rodeos for fourth-graders and teaching classes for children and parents on riding and walking to and from school safely. She has also been active encouraging participation in the annual Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day. In November 2011, she became a certified league cycling instructor and she is looking forward to teaching a June cycling camp for incoming seventh-graders offered by the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.
These efforts are increasing the health and safety of members of our community by empowerment, confidence building, providing access to safety equipment, and by reducing pollution.
“These women are incredible,” said Christine Bourgeois, education coordinator for the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition. “Each one commits countless hours to our community combining their passions for cycling with a desire to make cycling more accessible to others. They are an inspiration to all of us. I am thrilled to see that the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition is honoring them.”
Women on Wheels
Just before the award ceremony, as part of CycleMAYnia, there will be a free Women on Wheels (WOW) no‐drop ride open to women of all cycling abilities. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market, 3761 State St.. Riders from Team B4T9 will be in charge of smaller groups. The goal is to introduce group riding etiquette and safety. Click here to sign up or for more information.
CycleMAYnia is a monthlong celebration reaching thousands of Santa Barbara cyclists and community members with wide‐ranging bike events for all created by a collaboration of community members and organizations joining together to organize awesome bike events throughout the county. CycleMAYnia is a partnership between Traffic Solutions and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition. Click here for more information and more events.
For more information on the Velo Wings Award and the Women on Wheels ride, contact Bourgeois at 805.699.6301 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on CycleMAYnia, contact Lori La Riva, project coordinator for Traffic Solutions, at 805.961.8919 or email@example.com.
— Edward France is executive director of Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition/Bici Centro.