Posted by marilynch
Monterey Park Cycling: For South Salinas kids, “Your community is your classroom,” and you get to class by bike!
11/5/16 update: As reported 11/4/16 by Monterey Park School on Twitter – @montparkschool – the Monterey Park bike club was recently exploring the Salinas train museum.
To my knowledge, Monterey Park Cycling Club, Salinas is the first public elementary school bike club in Monterey County. Please contact me if you know of others. For more examples of Salinas youth leading the way in Monterey County bike community firsts, click here.
8/7/15 update: In 2014, Principal Ron Dillender moved from Monterey Park elementary to serve as principal at another Salinas elementary school, Lincoln Elementary. And you bet, he started a cycling club there too! In 2015, he took a new position with the district office, and he now serves as a Principal on Special Assignment. He had school cycling clubs from about 2003-2015. If you have questions for him about starting an elementary school cycling club, contact Ron at the Salinas City Elementary School district office.
Guest post by Ron Dillender
May 17, 2013
The Monterey Park Cycling Club in Salinas started three years ago when I became the school principal at Monterey Park Elementary School, a public school for grades K-6 that is one of the Salinas City Elementary Schools. I brought the bike club experience with me, part of my background at other schools where I had also worked as a school administrator.
First seeds sown
Ten years ago as assistant principal of a school in Southern California, the principal and I asked together what we could do to help the students become more active and motivated. We took our mutual love of cycling, combined it with those goals, and created a cycling club for students. A number of teachers and other staff joined us. It was incredibly successful, and I knew I wanted to make it part of whatever school I served.
Teaming up with another Salinas educator
When I moved to Salinas, I was so grateful to find another dedicated educator and cyclist, Cliff Siegel, who has helped the tradition continue by giving a great deal of time, expertise, and dedication to making our club at Monterey Park equally successful.
Learning by bike–and loving it
The goals of the club are to promote safety, a love of our community, and a love of cycling. The Monterey Park Cycling Club goes out about once a month and visits different locations and landmarks in our area.
We’ve biked to a variety of places. We’ve visited various schools, city hall, the county courthouse, parks, local businesses, and even a local cemetery to see the burial place of John Steinbeck! We have biked to the National Steinbeck Center, the Salinas City Elementary School district office, and Hartnell College. Monterey Park Cycling has biked with the Salinas High School Mountain Bike Team too.
We are still going strong and look forward to even more rides in the future. If anyone has any suggestions for future destinations or rides, feel free to contact me at:
· Thanks to Ron Dillender for responding to Bicycling Monterey’s request for this guest post, after some children wearing Monterey Park Cycling t-shirts [see comment on this post] came to the 2013 Intergenerational Ride celebrating Bike Week. (Want to write a guest post too? Click here!)
· To my knowledge, Monterey Park Cycling Club, Salinas is the first public elementary school bike club in Monterey County. Please contact Mari if you know of others. For more examples of Salinas youth leading the way in Monterey County bike community firsts, click here.
· Occasionally people hear “Monterey Park” and think of the city by the same name in Los Angeles County. In Monterey County, Monterey Park is a South Salinas neighborhood, and school.
Children cannot wait
Why bike with children? Click on that “Why bike” link to see lots of reasons. Perhaps this quote, shared by Ron Dillender, will inspire you to invite a child to bike with you today!
“Many things can wait. Children cannot. Today their bones are being formed, their blood is being made, their senses are being developed. To them we cannot say ‘tomorrow.’ Their name is today.” -Gabriela Mistral
Some related posts on this site
- Bike to School: In Monterey County and elsewhere
- Bike Salinas (includes the first 30 places in Salinas that give HER Helmet Thursdays discounts–for children, teens, and adults who bike)
- Bicycle culture and youth
- Bicycling Carmel–Children growing up streetwise
- Safe Routes to School–and elsewhere: Complete Streets Act
- Safe Routes to School resources in Spanish
- Bike maps and related help
- California bike laws and personal safety–with tips for kids
- Teaching Children Well: Bike safety and bike tech education
- Salinas youth and others for bikes: Bikes make life better
- Children Celebrate Cycling at the Sea Otter Classic
- Bike Parking, Security, and Storage
- Bicycle security
- Seaside’s PAL Bike Fair
- South County Health & Safety Fair
- “Children and Teens section of this site (access it above the banner anytime).
- Besides biking info, you’ll also find a few other youth-related resources such as Barbara Coloroso’s visit to Monterey County–Kids Are Worth it! Includes teen and Spanish/English free materials on the Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander.
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Below, a May 2014 update:
“When people say, ‘tip of the helmet,’ do they mean: tip it back like this when you get your picture taken, so your face can be seen?”
These delightful girls from the cycling club of Monterey Park, South Salinas were the youngest riders of approximately 40 people who braved the wind and savored the sun on the 2014 Intergenerational Ride for Bike Month. (See that post for more pictures of these girls.)
In 2013, they attended the Intergenerational Ride too, and biked five miles round-trip. In 2014, they made it eight miles. Way to go!
This post was first published on May 17, 2013.