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Family Biking Day to Start with Multilingual Cycling Safety Class at Family Day and Health Fair

Santa Barbara youngsters and their families are in for a treat Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, with a cycling event geared toward multilingual families to kick off two great events — the fourth annual collaborative Family Day and Health Fair and Santa Barbara’s third annual Open Streets, also known as ¡Calles Vivas!

As part of the Family Day and Health Fair’s screening fair at Franklin Elementary School (1111 E. Mason Street), the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition (SBBIKE), with the help of many other local organizations, will host one of its much-loved Bici Familia events.

Students and families will learn bike safety skills and practice those skills on the blacktop. The event is first come, first served, starting at 10 a.m., and families from all over Santa Barbara are welcome.

Participants should bring bikes and helmets or borrow a bike for the day. A fleet of adult and kids’ loaner bikes will be available to the first 30 who need them. Bici Centro experts will offer free bike tune-ups at Franklin School starting at 9 am.

Families will have a chance to win a bike, thanks to the Family Day and Health Fair Collaborative, which purchased 10 bikes from SBBIKE’s Bici Centro for the event. 

Families can also purchase helmets for $5 each, half off the already low price at Bici Familia events, thanks to the group’s contribution.

At noon, an all-group ride will head to another fun family event, Open Streets. Those who ride together will get a free lunch coupon at Open Streets, ¡Calles Vivas!, which transforms two miles of Cabrillo Boulevard into Santa Barbara’s longest park.

Open Streets features nine free community activity zones, including SBBIKE/Bici Centro’s booth, where anyone can go for bike repairs (the DIY shop on Haley will be closed for the day) and the Family Day and Health Fair zone near Chase Palm Park, joining the two events for the first time.

Open Streets is a celebration of people power to promote better health, flexibility and fun. 

First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal initiated the first Family Day and Health Fair collaborative event four years ago, along with the City of Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Unified School District and other major community partners to ensure a fun and successful day of extending access to healthcare and wellness resources to those who need it most.

Lisa Valencia Sherratt of Carbajal’s office notes that even with the Affordable Care Act, many families still fall under a category referred to as “basically uninsured,” those who are unable to afford copays, making the fair as important to community health as ever.

SBBIKE’s Bici Centro came on board during the fair’s first year, offering bike valet and repairs. Bici Familia made its debut during the second year, 2013, offering cycling instruction and affordable helmets in collaboration with the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST).  

“Everyone had such a fun time and learned a lot about staying safe while riding bikes for transportation and for fun,” says Valencia Sherratt. “It’s been an amazing addition to the event.”

This year’s Family Day and Health Fair is made possible through collaboration of a host of organizations led by American Indian Health & Services, including Cottage Hospital, the Santa Barbara Unified School District, the County and City of Santa Barbara, the Public Health Department, SBCEO’s Health Linkages, Promotores Network de Salud, CenCal Health, MarBorg, United Way of SB, First 5, Santa Barbara Foundation, Union Bank, County Supervisor Salud Carbajal’s office and SBBIKE.

— Holly Starley represents Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition.


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