Cal Poly Pomona will host the annual Town & Gown Bike Ride on Friday, March 25 that will allow cyclists to enjoy the outdoors, explore Pomona and be the first to pedal in the city’s new protected bike lanes.
The ride is open to students, faculty, staff and campus community members who are 18 years and older. Filling out the registration form in advance is not necessary. Check-in and registration will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the front of the Student Services Building (SSB) near the bus turnaround area. Riders will need to sign a waiver and should have a bike in good working order and a helmet.
History Professor John Lloyd, the co-chair of the Alternative Transportation Committee that is organizing the event, said students and faculty can learn and experience the bike-friendly routes between the campus and the surrounding community.
“The purpose of this ride is to encourage biking as a form of transportation at Cal Poly Pomona and to build a strong relationship between the City of Pomona (Town) and the university (Gown),” Lloyd said. “Biking is an excellent way to promote health, sustainability and a strong community. Biking is also an affordable form of transportation that saves students money on gas, parking and other expenses.”
There are a limited number of electric bikes available for riders who do not have a bike, courtesy of community partners at Active San Gabriel Valley and a bikeshare company called Spin Bikes. (To reserve an electric bike, email Lloyd at email@example.com.). Vic’s Bike Shop will be on hand to provide bike support.
Participants will start biking from the SSB to Valley Boulevard, where Mayor Tim Sandoval and Pomona City officials will formally open the new protected bike lanes. This new two-way bike route, or Cycle Track, was a partnership between the university and the city that will significantly improve bicycle access and safety for riders and motorists.
“I will be participating in this year’s Town and Gown Bike Ride because I am excited to celebrate Pomona’s new protected bike lanes,” said fifth-year electromechanical systems engineering technology student Guillermo Nila, who is also the ASI Officer of Sustainability and Transportation. “As someone who occasionally uses their bike to get to campus, I am glad to know these lanes will help keep our student riders safe.”
After commemorating the opening of the new lanes, cyclists will head to Casa Primera, a historic museum that preserves Pomona’s important records and artifacts. The Pomona Historical Association will meet the riders and talk about the site’s historic significance. Cal Poly Pomona’s Mariachi band will be play at this stop. After visiting the museum, bikers will return to the SSB by 2 p.m.
“I think this is a wonderful event that highlights Cal Poly Pomona’s climate commitment, its commitment to health and wellness, and togetherness,” Lloyd said. “The ride brings us closer to the community and has a positive impact on the city and the university. Each year, it grows in popularity because word gets out about how much fun it is.”
Other attractions include a display of Foothill Transit’s all electric double-decker bus at the SSB bus turnaround area and a demonstration of the Southern California Association of Government’s Go Human traffic calming measures near Arroyo Elementary School.
“With most pandemic restrictions lifted, the Town & Gown Bike Ride is a great way for cyclists to come out and enjoy the outdoors and see the sights of Pomona,” said Danny Wu, executive director of the CPP Office of Campus Planning, Transportation & Sustainability. “The annual Town & Gown event highlights the strong relationship the campus shares with its host city and the community.”
The Office of Campus Planning, Transportation and Sustainability in Facilities Planning & Management and the university’s Alternative Transportation Committee are sponsoring the event.
The Town and Gown Ride has been an annual event since 2016, but it was suspended in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-19. The first ride in 2016 was proposed and organized by the Transportation Advisory Committee of ASI, an ad-hoc committee that was the forerunner of the current ATC.