Saturday September 16th was Coastal Clean Up Day, an international event where people around the world volunteer to help clean up litter in our communities and creeks that end up in the ocean. We teamed up with Trips for Kids (from Marin) and YES Nature to Neighborhoods to volunteer and help get local Richmond area youth on mountain bikes for the first time to learn some skills, ride the Richmond Greenway and of course pitch in for Coastal Clean Up.
After a great introduction students got on their bikes and Trips for Kids led a fun orientation to the bikes--how they brake, shift, how to check the air in the tires--and we were on our way weaving through an orange cone skills course laid out on the grass at Nicholl Park.
After mastering the skills course we hit the Richmond Greenway, having to hike our bikes up and over the BART tracks on a tall staircase. Students were getting the best of urban riding right out of the gate including learning how to navigate city obstacles like huge concrete stairs and learning how to carry a bike safely.
Once we hit the greenway, we were off! We wound our way down the paved path until meeting up with other volunteers from the community for a clean up. Over the next hour we spread out in teams on foot and proceeded to clean up the area around the Richmond Greenway next to Dirt World. When we were finished we celebrated the dozens of bags of trash we'd picked up and marveled at the many strange findings--fake tree with christmas lights, stripped bicycle with a santa hat seat cover, Rick James LP album cover--wondering where they are came from and how we could each take action to reduce our consumption moving forward.
After the clean up we made our way to the western edge of the greenway before turning around and making our way back, stopping at a number of sites along the way to take in some of the beauty, mystery and challenges that make up Richmond. We ended with high fives and Clif Bars back where we started. Students shared something they were going to take away from the day. I can't remember all the words, but the general feeling was of gratitude, responsibility and a high level of stoke to ride bikes together in their community.
We've got some fun announcements very soon that came from this great day out. Stay tuned!