Zach Hilton
music in the park san jose

Whose town has the true Pedal Power? Meaning, the most people with wind in their hair, and with wheels turning. With young people and adults rolling in the open air. 

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition invited cities across San Mateo and Santa Clara counties to a friendly competition. And the winner is…Gilroy! 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. 

I’ve got several reasons to celebrate this time of year in Gilroy. The first being the early morning sunrises. The crisp Pacific Ocean fog rolls in from Santa Cruz most evenings, cools off the hills and valleys around us, which allows you to enjoy your ride early. This is a great time of year to try biking to work and school. April-October, I switch up my commute by driving part-way to the firehouse in Oakland and riding my bike the rest. 

Have you taken the Gilroy Bike Pledge? Across Gilroy, there is a renewed interest in cycling for recreation and transportation! Whether you’ve been cycling for years or just started recently, you’re invited to sign the Gilroy Bike Pledge and declare your dedication to cycling. Ride Gilroy encourages Gilroy residents of all ages and abilities to ride their bikes often. The many benefits of cycling for individuals and communities are well documented, including: Improved physical, mental and emotional health. Cleaner air and reduced noise pollution. More vibrant and welcoming communities. 

Here’s the pledge: “I hereby take the Gilroy Bike Pledge as a promise to ride my bike often and do my part to keep our roads and trails safe for all. By taking this pledge, I agree to: Bike to destinations whenever possible, especially those close to home. Abide by traffic laws when cycling on roads. Obey trail etiquette guidelines when cycling on trails. Respect pedestrians, motorists, other trail users and fellow cyclists. Bike Safety Tips to increase my safety and the safety of others. I willingly make this commitment to promote the many benefits of cycling within my community and to encourage friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to ride their bikes often for both recreation and transportation.” 

The #GilroyBPAC gives away monthly prizes to everyone that takes the pledge at

Have you ever found yourself in this situation? It’s a Saturday afternoon in Gilroy and the family is looking for something to do. You decide to stay local and get the bikes ready for a ride. You call up the neighbors and meet on the Levee Bike/Pedestrian Trail, which is referred to as the recreation spine of the City. You ride up the trail along Uvas Creek and take in the views of the year-round green hills. You stop off at Hecker Pass Park and let the kids run wild for a bit. More local neighbors join you at the park. You realize time has passed quickly and it’s time for some dinner. No need to stress because you can get free front row bicycle parking at the new Brew City Burgers just one mile away, along the protected Bike/Pedestrian Trail. Your stomach by now is rumbling for some fresh Brew City Burgers. You lock the bike up and can already smell the authentic burgers and fries that the family is about to devour.

We showed the region we are actively advancing ideas and projects that promote the concept of free-range people in the City of Gilroy. We advocate for building and planning that considers future generations as well as current residents who don’t own cars. Advancing mobility options reflects what we are teaching the youth in our community through Safe Routes to School and why we are nationally recognized as a Bronze Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists, as well as recognized by the World Health Organization as an Age-Friendly Community. The City of Gilroy is a Complete Streets and Recreation Destination community by resolution. 

Congratulations to Garrison “Ziggy” Gemar on being Gilroy Councilmember Zach Hilton’s Bike Person of the Year. 

Zach Hilton is a Gilroy City Councilmember.

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