play / 2020

The Urban Cyclists Collective

The Urban Cyclists Collective

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by East Side Rider's Bike Club

The Urban Cycling Collective is a project that aims to increase urban cycling ridership in South LA through bike/trike & equipment giveaways, bike safety training, marshaling rides, and establishing new bicycle clubs in surrounding neighborhoods. Based in Watts, ESRBC has been cultivating bike culture and steering youth & their families away from drugs and gang activity for over 10+ years. We intend to scale our program in Watts in addition to 4 communities surrounding our neighborhoods: Compton, Lynwood, Florence-Firestone, and Willowbrook.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

The Urban Cyclists Collective project was created in response to the poor physical & mental health and low ridership plaguing South LA. In LA County’s Service Planning Area 6, which houses our project area, physical & mental health is in poor condition. Several stressful triggers leave little room for residents to cope with depression and anxiety in a healthy way. Also, with few options to exercise, residents find it difficult to manage health indicators like weight, BMI, heart rate, and blood pressure. Even though a lot of work has been done to bring healthier food choices into our area, lack of exercise still remains a problem for youth & their families. ESRBC believes group bike rides is the solution to these issues. Riding helps lower the chance of depression & anxiety; encourages weight loss & decreases BMI; and positively manages heart rate, blood pressure, and other health indicators. Increasing ridership in our area by 250 people will ignite a change in lifestyle and health.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

East Side Riders Bicycle Club has been leading bicycle rides in the Watts and surrounding community since 2008. Birthed from the need for alternative social & community engagement among heavy gang violence and substance abuse, the organization has become a fixture in creating positive ways for residents within the community to build the type of community they want to have. Our organization is a change agent. It is fueled by connectedness in an area that is historically divisive. It is sustained by the hope of a safer community for families to live and grow together. We believe it is healthy to stay connected to each other and our community as we ride. Our goal is to expand what we currently do to the neighborhoods and cities surrounding Watts. Expanding our love for cycling and deepening our connections with our neighbors builds stronger relationships as we serve each other and our section of Los Angeles County.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

The Urban Cycling Collective is designed to create exercise options for residents. We know from our 10+ years of experience that bike riding keeps individuals healthy & happy, strengthens our connections to neighbors, and deepens our roots in our community. Our intention is to attract all ages, all race, and all cultures to this cycling program. We also aim to train residents to incorporate exercise into their daily lives: school, grocery store, paying bills at local utility, senior center, etc. Our hope is that these 250 people will influence their social circle. A 2018 article in the Financial Times stated humans devote two-thirds of our deepest connections and social time with 15 people. We are hoping to influence 250x15= 3,750 people.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

We envision our neighborhoods and the surrounding communities as interconnected places where youth and their families can live healthy lives biking. The goals to get there are:

  1. Recruit 250 participants ages 10 to 80 from the 5 communities.
  2. Give 50 bikes/trikes and equipment to participants in each community: Watts, Compton, Lynwood, Willowbrook, and Florence-Firestone.
  3. Hold month bike-related workshops, including bike safety, how to marshal a ride, and establishing a successful bicycle club.
  4. Collected the initial and subsequent physical health data: weight, BMI, blood pressure, resting rate and chest, waist, & hip circumference. Surveys regarding miles traveled and ride destinations, in addition to questions regarding mental health. We are aiming for the following project outcomes: A. 250 new urban bi-/tricyclists in our part of South LA County. B. 4 new active bicycle clubs in South LA C. A riding average of 7 miles/week per person. D. An average of 10 lbs weight loss per person E. An average decrease of 2 BMI points F. Decrease in 5 inches of chests, hips, and waists G. All participants’ blood pressure in a healthy range H. 25% decrease in chronic depression, anxiety, and feelings of isolation I. 50% increase of daily ridership.

Which of the play metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Walking and biking
  • Obesity

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to CONNECT
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Host public events or gatherings
  • Communications support
  • Capacity, including staff
  • Strategy assistance and implementation