Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez sent me an invite – there would be a meeting to discuss bike safety. It was a meeting I wanted to attend.
For starters, it would be a great ride. San Clemente bicycle advocate Brenda Miller suggested riding together from the Newport Beach Civic Center where the monthly rides have started. That would make it a 30-mile round trip ride.
I got busy planning the route. Since I’d never biked to downtown Santa Ana and because route planning is the key to safe riding; I got to work on Google Earth.
Mapping bike routes has become a hobby for me. I enjoy the tedium of drawing the routes, click, click, clicking the waypoints from point A to B. Over the past few months I’ve remapped all the rides here on the site; check them out here.
For this trip I have a new toy – a Garmin Edge Touring trip computer. Like all bike computers, it tracks speed and distance, but this unit has built-in maps and I can trace my route and download it to the gadget for turn-by-turn directions. Since I knew the way along half the route, but not the downtown Santa Ana streets, this would be just the thing to get us there.
The GPS device did as I hoped it would; call it beginner’s luck – drawing the map and downloading it into the gadget – it all worked great.
As we arrive the room is filling up. It’s a youthful, diverse audience. Gerardo Mouet, Executive Director Parks, Recreation and Community Services Agency leads us through a discussion of the issues. There’s been a fatality, just 2 nights ago, which underscores the importance. Everyone in the room has a challenge navigating the city streets. The highlight of the session was the small group discussions around the easel to get everyone’s input on topics like safety, bike lanes, bike trails and riding on sidewalks. A lot of good feedback is shared.
The City will convene a Bicycle Task Force and it looks like there are several willing participants.
Before I leave I tell Michele: she’s got everything she needs – all this youthful enthusiasm will make the process a success.