Martinez | 511 Contra Costa

Summer Bike Challenge 2020: Thanks & Announcement of Grand Prize Winners

Despite COVID, 2020 Summer Bike Challenge was a big success! We’d like to thank everyone who helped make that possible.

While so many other recreational programs, activities, and summer vacations were canceled due to COVID, we received great photos and heartwarming comments from hundreds of participants. Riders were happy and grateful for a healthy and fun program that got them outside, active, and doing something fun during these otherwise strange times.

If you didn’t get enough biking this summer, or just want to ride your bike to more places, visit our Biking page for resources and tips on how to get going. You can also find lots of bike rides and bike-related events on our Bike Events page.

All registered participants were entered in a random drawing for an iPad, with one winner per city. Read about each of the eight winners and what inspired them to get on their bikes this summer.

What Is the Summer Bike Challenge?

The Summer Bike Challenge is an annual event that encourages people of all ages to get out on their bikes to enjoy healthy, no-cost summer recreation while experiencing pollution-free transportation.

The Challenge provides participants with destination ‘bingo cards’ full of interesting places to ride with special ‘Free Stuff’ prize opportunities along the way. While COVID prevented us from hosting our usual in-person prize events, we still found a way to keep the fun going by exchanging prizes for biking selfies.

Summer Bike Challenge 2019: Grand Prize Winners

Thanks to everyone who made this year’s Summer Bike Challenge a big success!

Walnut Creek Challenge CardThe Summer Bike Challenge is an annual event that encourages people of all ages to get out on their bikes to enjoy healthy, no-cost summer recreation while experiencing pollution-free transportation.

Not only does the Challenge provide participants with destination ‘bingo cards’ full of interesting places to ride, it also offers special ‘Free Stuff’ events throughout the summer where anyone who arrives by bike gets something for free. This year’s bike-in rewards included gift cards, ice cream, free swimming, and free admission to Lindsay Wildlife Experience, the Ruth Bancroft Garden, and Small World Park.

The 2019 Summer Bike Challenge was bigger than ever – spanning seven cities and recording its highest level of participation. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make this year’s event such a success.

Everyone who registered as a participant in this year’s Challenge was entered in a random drawing for an iPad – with one winner per city. Read about each of the seven lucky winners below. Their experiences reflect many of the great stories we heard all summer long about why people love to bike and why they enjoyed being part of the Summer Bike Challenge.

If you didn’t get enough biking this summer, or just want to ride your bike to more places, visit our Biking page for resources and tips on how to get going. You can also find lots of bike rides and bike-related events on our Bike Events page.

Summer Bike Challenge Grand Prize Winners

Brentwood: Camellia Pylant

There is no better way to get to know a place than by riding bikes, and as SoCal transplants, Camellia’s family appreciated the opportunity to explore. “Since living in Brentwood we’ve really enjoyed riding our bikes on the trails and around town. The Summer Bike Challenge was really awesome!”

As a parent of children with special needs, she especially values the many separated bikeways in Brentwood that allow her family, and others with disabilities, to ride bikes safely away from vehicle traffic.

Concord: Becka Machado

A teacher at Sequoia Middle, a magnet school in Pleasant Hill, Becka encouraged her students who live throughout the District to participate in the Summer Bike Challenge in their own home cities.

“My kids and I had such a great time being part of this all summer!”

Martinez: Michelle Noriega and David Collins

Avid cyclists who enjoy mountain biking as well as bike commuting, Michelle and David were thrilled to win the Grand Prize. After participating in 2018 on her own, Michelle convinced her husband David to do it with her this year. (Lucky you, David, enjoy the iPad!)

Oakley: The Bonson Family

When David and Amee’s daughter brought home a Summer Bike Challenge flyer from the library, their reaction was, “A challenge? Oh, it’s ON!” This active family of five happily biked all over town to reach each destination. Mission Complete. Stay tuned for Summer Bike Challenge 2020! #FamilyFun

Pleasant Hill: Zach Lecky

11 years old and a student at Sequoia Middle School, Zach was thrilled to win the Summer Bike Challenge Grand Prize. Inspired by his grandfather who bike-commuted for 35 years, Zach and his family not only use bikes to get around town, but they also enjoy exploring the East Bay’s regional trails as well.

Zach appreciates biking for the independence it provides, and his mom Shannon is focused on teaching her two sons how to ride safely both on trails and when crossing streets. Biking for this Pleasant Hill family is a healthy way to get exercise and have fun on the daily.

Pittsburg: Anarely Garcia

Her ten-year-old son, a student at Rio Vista Elementary, loves to ride and inspired the family to participate in Pittsburg’s first ever Summer Bike Challenge. Anarely enjoyed riding bikes with her children all summer, visiting the pool and several parks.

Walnut Creek: Yelena Katkova

A self-described explorer by nature, Yelena has enjoyed discovering new places on her bike through the Summer Bike Challenge. “Thank you very much for creating this program! What a joy it was to explore beloved Walnut Creek! This year I didn’t get to places at the times goodies were offered, yet I went to most places on the flyer and places I haven’t been before, and it made me happy.”

She appreciates our local bike trails where she can ride next to trees, experience nature, and stay away from car traffic: “It feels almost like a meditative experience!” Yelena is already looking forward to SBC 2020.

Enter the Summer Bike Challenge 2019 Grand Prize Drawing by Sept. 3

Click here to enter the grand prize drawing!

 

Looking for free summer activities that are fun for the whole family? Check out 511CC’s Summer Bike Challenge!

Available in Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, Oakley, and Brentwood, the Challenge offers healthy fun for all ages, and the best part: it’s completely free.

Participating is easy: Download a printable Challenge Card, hop on a bike, and start exploring your hometown. Bike to each destination, cross off squares as you go, and pick up Free Stuff on select dates throughout summer. Free Stuff events are planned June 1–August 6. Mark your calendar today!

Ready to roll? Get started here.

 

2019 Earth Day Events

Earth Day is Monday, April 22! We’ve pulled together a list of Earth Day celebrations in Contra Costa, happening through Sunday, April 28.

If you see a ☀ next to an event listing, it means 511 Contra Costa staff will have a table at the event. Say hello, pick up some 511CC swag & get info on bonuses for trying an alternative (and environmentally friendly) commute.

Click any link below for additional information

Earth Day Events

Saturday, April 20

  • AntiochUpper Sand Creek Basin – Spend the morning in the beautiful Upper Sand Creek watershed, exploring an area that is usually closed to the public. Volunteer activities include trash pickup, invasive species removal, and planting native flora. Upper Sand Creek Basin, 6600 Deer Valley Rd, 9am-12pm.
  • Clayton: Clayton Cleans Up – Community clean-up day; volunteers check in at Clayton City Hall. Various locations. 9am-12pm (Must complete registration form; for more info call the Pioneer at (925) 672-0500.
  • Crockett: Crockett Shoreline Cleanup – Join the Carquinez Watershed Council in a celebration of Earth Day. The Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center will be hosting a free planting party for the whole family; volunteers will be cleaning up trash and doing a trash assessment at the site. Crockett Shoreline, 10am-2pm.
  • Martinez ☀: John Muir Birthday–Earth Day Celebration511CC staff will be giving each person who bikes to the event a $5 Jamba Juice gift card. Celebrate pioneering naturalist John Muir’s 181st birthday at his former home while learning practical ways to help the planet thrive. There will be live music, activities for the kids and other entertainment. John Muir National Historic Site, 10am-4pm. 511CC giving people who bike to the event $5 Jamba Juice gift cards
  • Port CostaPort Costa Earth Day Cleanup – Meet at the café in Port Costa for coffee and snacks in the morning, followed by an Earth Day cleanup of the Port Costa Shoreline! 2 Canyon Lake Dr, Port Costa, 9am-12pm.
  • RichmondNorth Richmond Earth Day Cleanup & Celebration – Help clean up Wildcat Creek at Verde Elementary School. After the creek cleanup, enjoy the North Richmond Earth Day Celebration at Shields-Reid Park and Community Center including food, live performances, kids activities, and more! The Watershed Project will be hosting fun and educational watershed activities for kids of all ages. Cleanup 9-11am, festival 11am-2pm.

Sunday, April 21

Monday, April 22

  • Pleasant Hill ☀: Diablo Valley College Earth Day – Meet the experts, ask questions, and learn what you can do to be more sustainable. Live entertainment, giveaways, and free food. 511CC staff will have prizes and information on how students can earn rewards for everyday transportation with the Miles appAll are welcome. Commons at DVC, 321 Golf Club Rd, 11am-2pm. 

Tuesday, April 23

  • Pleasant Hill ☀: Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Earth Day CelebrationA day of ecologically oriented fun including a recycling contest! All ages welcome. Kaiser Permanente Medical Center – Main Courtyard, 1425 S Main St, Walnut Creek, 11:30am-1:30pm.

Wednesday, April 24

  • Concord ☀: ASI Earth Week Festival – Celebrate sustainability and Mother Earth on the CSUEB Concord campus! Talk with featured organizations and enjoy music, food, and giveaways. In front of CSUEB Concord University Union, 4700 Ygnacio Valley Rd, 11am-2pm.
  • Moraga: Saint Mary’s Earth Day Festival – Enjoy over 20 booths, including an electric vehicle car show, the Global Gael food truck, yoga, music, art, and more. Celebrate the Earth and learn about environmental issues and solutions. St. Mary’s College, De La Salle Hall, 1928 St. Mary’s Road, 12:30pm-3pm.
  • Pittsburg ☀: Los Medanos College Earth Day Fair – An opportunity to learn about environmental organizations, their work, and how to live in an environmentally friendly way. The Sierra Club will be hosting a table to share information about the work they do and outings they sponsor. Los Medanos College Campus Quad, 2700 E Leland Rd, 10am-1pm.

Saturday, April 27

  • Orinda: Orinda Action Day – A day of community service by residents and friends. Volunteers check in at the Orinda Library Plaza. Orinda Library Plaza, 26 Orinda Way, 10am-12pm.

Sunday, April 28

  • Lafayette: Lafayette Earth Day Festival – Discover opportunities to make environmentally friendly choices at the festival. Several organizations will host informative and educational booths including the Girl Scouts, the Climate Reality Project, and Wheel Kids Bicycle Club. Lucia’s, a popular Berkeley pizzeria, will offer regular, vegan and gluten-free pizzas for purchase. Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd, 11am-2pm.
  • Orinda: Wagner Ranch Wildlife Festival – Enjoy free admission to the beautiful historic ranch and 18-acre nature preserve, rarely open to the public. Join a variety of activities for all ages: wildlife fun at the Frog Pond, animals to visit in the garden, tours of the meadows, and live music. You’re also welcome to bring a picnic lunch or visit one of four food trucks. Wagner Ranch Nature Area, 350 Camino Pablo, 11:30am-4:30pm.
  • Walnut Creek: Lindsay Wildlife Experience Eco Fest – Meet wild animals – like falcons and porcupines, check out an electric car showcase, learn about sustainable food choices, and more! Lindsay Wildlife Experience, 1931 First Ave, 10am-5pm.

Monday, April 22 – Saturday, April 27: Cal State East Bay Earth Week

  • Concord: Earth Week is free & open to the public, with events including talks, tree planting days, free lunch (bring your own utensils), a scavenger hunt & more. Check the schedule for times & locations.

 

 

North Concord to Antioch BART Access Study – Feedback Wanted (2017)


Do you use the North Concord/Martinez or Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station? Live or work in East County? BART wants your input!
With plans to expand East Contra Costa service in 2018, BART is conducting a study to identify projects to improve access to stations for pedestrians, bikes, vehicles and transit. They’ve drafted a preliminary document identifying barriers and proposing improvements, and now they want to hear from you!
For more information or to submit feedback, visit the North Concord to Antioch BART Study webpage.

Summer Bike Challenge 2016: Free Stuff for Adults & Kids

Summer Bike Challenge logoAfter a successful first year, the Summer Bike Challenge is back! This time around it’s open to both adults & children, so everyone can enjoy free stuff while exploring their town by bike.
Participation is easy: ride your bike to a destination on the square and check it off. Check off 12 squares by September 3 and you’re eligible to enter a drawing for an iPad Mini. Each city will have its own winner!
The Summer Bike Challenge is fun, healthy, no-cost summer recreation you can do with friends or as a family. However you do it, get out there and ride!
For more information, visit the Summer Bike Challenge page.

Contra Costa CHP – National Night Out Celebration: August 4, 2015 (Martinez)

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The California Highway Patrol – Contra Costa invites you to celebrate National Night Out with them on Tuesday, August 4 from 3-6pm!

National Night Out 2015 flyer
Click to enlarge image

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign promoting police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our communities safer.
On August 4, CHP – Contra Costa will be hosting a National Night Out gathering at their Martinez headquarters, featuring:

  • Free child safety seat inspections/installations
  • Free bicycle helmet giveaways
  • Additional free gifts for the kids, and
  • A police utility vehicle on display for the children to check out

Everyone is invited!  The celebration will be held on August 4 from 3-6pm at 5001 Blum Road in Martinez. For more information, visit CHP-ContraCosta.Eventbrite.com.
 

Free Teen Driving Safety Classes: Concord, San Ramon, Antioch (Apr. 2015)

Bring your teen to one of the CHP’s Start Smart classes! Spending just two hours with them can make them a safer driver. This program is for new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. All are invited to attend!
There are three classes happening soon:

Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Streets Smarts Diablo and Street Smarts San Ramon Valley the events are free but registration is requested. Click any of the class listings above to register or get details.
If you can’t attend any of the listed events, the CHP offers the Start Smart class twice a month at their Martinez offices. For more information, call 925-646-4980.

Free Teen Driving Safety Program: September 17, 2014 (Martinez)

If you’ve got a teenage driver in the house, or a teen who’ll be driving soon, a great way to help them stay safer behind the wheel is to bring them to the CHP Smart Start Driving Safety Program. This two-hour driver safety class targets new and future licensed teenage drivers and their parents. On the evening of Wednesday, September 17th, all are invited to attend the Smart Start class at Alhambra High School.
Presented by the California Highway Patrol, Streets Smarts Diablo and Alhambra High School, the event is free and open to all students and parents, but registration is requested. Click here to register.startsmart
The class will be held in the Performing Arts Building of Alhambra High School (at 150 E Street) in
Martinez from 6-8pm. For more information, call Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Student Art Contest Winning Bag Revealed (2014)

Alexandria Rickli

CONGRATULATIONS to Alexandria Rickli, a 6th grader from J. Douglas Adams Middle School in Brentwood.

The Central/East office of 511 Contra Costa conducted a student artwork contest among middle schools in Central and Eastern Contra Costa County for the 2014 511 Contra Costa market bag design.  The winning artwork of Alexandria Rickli was chosen among 12 entries.  The theme of the artwork contest was Explore New Ways to Get Around: carpool, transit, bike, skateboard and walk and was to depict how these environmentally-friendly ways of getting around help reduce pollution and promote clean air.  Required elements included the incorporation of the funding partner logos.  The contest winner won a $50 gift certificate to a local cinema.

Contra Costa Green just Art

The bags will be given away to the public at the John Muir Birthday – Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 26th at the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, and the Pittsburg’s Green Footprint Festival on June 12th, and other community events.

From Country Road to Bay Trail – Carquinez Scenic Drive Restoration (2013)

Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline
A beautiful view from Carquinez Scenic Drive, overlooking the Carquinez Strait Photo credit: renedrivers

Next fall, Central and West Contra Costa County will be better connected for travel by foot and bicycle as the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) will complete work on converting 1.7 mile of the neglected, and outdated, Carquinez Scenic Drive country road, between Martinez and Port Costa, into the latest scenic addition to the regional San Francisco Bay Trail. This portion of Carquinez Scenic Drive has already been closed to motor vehicles for decades and is currently used informally for recreational jogging and hiking, however the EBRPD will be making improvements over the next year to ensure the trail is structurally safe and sound.
Converting less than two miles of old road into a bike and pedestrian path will take over a year because as reported by the Contra Costa Times, the task is not as straightforward as it may seem. The Contra Costa Times reports:

During a recent tour of the trail west of Martinez, only about three feet of the road clung to the hillside in one spot. Not much more of the road remains in some other areas.
To develop the trail, contractors will rebuild hill sections and protect them against slides by driving tall pilings into the ground in nine locations and pouring concrete around them.

The Carquinez Scenic Drive is  falling apart and eroding, requiring extensive excavation to make the trail safe  for the next several decades and as a consequence the trail will be fenced off for the work preventing the current informal use.
When the trail is restored, Bay Trail users will have a smooth 10-foot wide path with shoulders on each side to safely enjoy. The projected year of completion is 2014, which will mark the 100th anniversary of Carquinez Scenic Drive, originally built in 1914. What better way to celebrate the value of the old road by giving it new life as one of the most beautiful additions to the San Francisco Bay Trail?
 For additional details, head over to Contra Costa Times.

Carquinez Scenic Drive Closes for Repairs (2013)

The section of Carquinez Scenic Drive between Martinez and the old Brickyard in Port Costa was closed by the County in 1983.  In December 2012, the East Bay Regional Park District acquired the right-of-way from Contra Costa County and in June 2013, the Park District will begin a $5 million project to repair the landslides, reconstruct the drainage structures and repurpose the corridor as a paved, Class 1 segment of the Bay Trail. The project will take two construction seasons to complete, with completion projected to be in August of 2014.  During the construction and due to the activities involving heavy equipment, the East Bay Regional Parks District will be enforcing a “hard closure” of the corridor and will be actively citing violators.  The East Bay Regional Park District is asking for the cooperation from the public during the closure.
Edit [5/24/2013]: The road has been technically closed for years. In mid-June/early-July, the trail/road will be blocked off by fencing to start construction. The road will be inaccessible through the winter and construction should be complete in the fall of 2014.
CarquinezScenicDr.Rd.Advisry1.600

Homemade bicycle trailers

Have you seen this week’s picture of the week in the Contra Costa Times?

A person ponders a home-made bicycle trailer

We happen to know it’s just one of many homemade trailers built by Richard Anderson of Martinez. You can check it out at his Richard’s BTWD Energizer Station: he’ll be at the Martinez Amtrak Station between 5:15-9:30 AM or at the foot of the Martinez/Benicia Bridge (on the Martinez side) from 3:30-6:30 PM .
Photo credit: Contra Costa Times

You asked, 511CC answers

Two weeks ago, we asked you to share your hottest transportation questions.
Our trusty readers didn’t hold back! Let’s see what they said (and how we can help them find answers). Keep these questions coming, either in the comments below, Facebook, or Twitter.
Is it possible to add a bike lane from Pinole to Martinez and back? I try to commute on Alhambra Valley Rd as much as possible but it’s very narrow and vehicles drive a little too close. Another alternative would be to pave a single bike lane from Periera Rd to Franklin Canyon. It’ll allow bicycles to travel away from the main road and not have to worry about slowing down commuting vehicles. – Joe
The  Countywide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan  indicates the following:

  • Pinole Valley Road from I-80 to Castro Ranch Road – Class II bike lanes
  • Alhambra Valley Road from Castro Ranch Road to Reliez Valley Road- Class II bike lanes
  • The Plan didn’t indicate a route from Periera Rd to Franklin Canyon.

Continue reading “You asked, 511CC answers”

Antioch carpoolers find friendship through shared commute


Think your commute is a drag? If you’re traveling solo, ridesharing just might make your morning. As three Contra Costa County employees discovered, carpooling isn’t just for saving money, breezing through traffic, and reducing CO2 emissions–it can also be a great way to form meaningful friendships.
In late 2007, the story began when two commuters decided to share the drive from their homes in Antioch to work in downtown Martinez. After the addition of a third carpooler in 2008, what begin as a practical arrangement has since evolved into a fantastic friendship between the three carpoolers.
Continue reading “Antioch carpoolers find friendship through shared commute”

Sunday, June 6 2010: "Bike the Bridges" to benefit Special Olympics Northern California

This Sunday, bike a 25-mile course starting at Waterfront Park in Martinez, cross the Carquinez Bridge, ride through Benecia, and cross the Benicia-Martinez Bridge. For a more challenging 50-mile ride, participants may complete the course twice.
The event is called “Bike the Bridges” and is sponsored by local police departments. The event is a fundraiser benefitting Special Olympics Northern California.
Registration is $40 and begins at 8:30 am in Waterfront Park in Martinez. A post-ride lunch is included in the registration.
Collect $150 in pledges to earn a free lunch and commemorative coin, or $250 to earn an additional bike jersey.
For more information, visit http://bikethebridges.kintera.org.
Source: Contra Costa Times

This Week's Headlines in Transportation & Transit: Apr. 10-16, 2010

Upcoming Events & Meetings

Local News (Contra Costa County & East Bay)

Bay Area & California News

City of Martinez Becomes 5th Bay Area City to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Three ChargePoint Stations Located in Downtown Martinez to be Unveiled on Earth Day, 4/22/10, 11:00 am at City Hall
Martinez, CA – The City of Martinez is proud to announce that it will become the fifth Bay Area city to install ChargePoint® Networked Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles (EV). The three 120V stations, manufactured by Coulomb Technologies, a leader in EV charging station infrastructure, are located in and around downtown Martinez, including one at City Hall; one at Main and Court streets; and one at the Amtrak Station.
The official unveiling takes place during a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 at Martinez City Hall, located at 525 Henrietta Street. City officials including Mayor Robert Schroder and representatives from Coulomb Technologies will be on hand for the ceremony, which will include a demonstration of the station in use with a Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Continue reading “City of Martinez Becomes 5th Bay Area City to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations”

511 Contra Costa to Work With City of Martinez on New Climate Action Plan

The Martinez city council has recently adopted a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve energy. 511 Contra Costa will be working with the City of Martinez in order to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Martinez hopes steer more of its residents toward greener transportation forms such as biking, walking and transit. This is something we here at 511 Contra Costa excel at. We look forward to working with the City of Martinez to achieve its goals.
Read more about the City of Martinez Climate Action Plan in the Contra Costa Times.
Get additional info on the City of Martinez on their Website.