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October 1, 2023

Gilroy pedals to the top in Bay Area biking competition

When it comes to its residents biking around town, Gilroy has some bragging rights in the Bay Area.

As National Bike Month comes to a close, bicyclists in Gilroy powered the city to the top spot in the Pedal Power Challenge.

In April, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) invited cities across Santa Clara and San Mateo counties to the competition, urging community leaders and others to sign up residents to pledge to ride at least once during Bike to Wherever Days from May 18-20.

To better the odds for small cities to compete with larger cities, the coalition counted riders in relation to population.

As a result, Gilroy had nearly 780 pledges per 100,000 residents, taking a sizable lead over second-place Menlo Park with its 628 pledges.

“The more people who ride, whether child or adult, whether first-time, returning or experienced, the better we all can support the goal of building healthier and more just communities by making bicycling safer and more accessible for everyone,” the SVBC wrote on its website.

Gilroy City Councilmember Zach Hilton promoted the Pedal Power Challenge throughout the month to gather pledges.

”It’s been years in the making to get to this point of being able to win a regional bike challenge, and now we have shown the region why we are a nationally recognized Bicycle Friendly Community,” he said.

A number of events were held throughout Gilroy for Bike Month, including “Energizer Stations” on May 18, where bicyclists could receive free swag at various locations in the city, and the third annual Ride the Gardens at Gilroy Gardens.

Eugene Bernosky, organizer of Ride the Gardens, thanked the volunteers, elected officials and City of Gilroy and Gilroy Gardens staff for making the event possible, which drew hundreds of cyclists.

“Gilroy should be proud to be recognized for its efforts to get more people on bicycles for transportation and recreation,” he said. “Cycling enthusiasts all over the Bay Area know Gilroy as a destination for riding its scenic and quiet country roads and parks. By winning the Pledge to Ride challenge sponsored by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Gilroy now gets a lot of recognition for being a community that rides within its borders, too.  

“The city continues to improve its cycling infrastructure for getting around by bicycle. It’s good for our health, our environment and the community. Gilroy is indeed a bicycle-friendly community.”

Erik Chalhoub
Erik Chalhoub joined Weeklys as an editor in 2019. Prior to his current position, Chalhoub worked at The Pajaronian in Watsonville for seven years, serving as managing editor from 2014-2019.

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