Chair Nathan Fletcher, San Diego Gas & Electric Join Pedal Ahead Community Electric Bicycle Program to Celebrate Launch of SANDAG’s Bike Anywhere Week
Event Celebrates Growing Trend of Electric Bicycles in San Diego to Promote Healthy Active Lifestyles, Sustainability, Building Communities and Workforce Development
SAN DIEGO — (May 17, 2021) — San Diego County Supervisor Chair Nathan Fletcher and San Diego Gas & Electric joined with the Pedal Ahead community electric bicycle program to celebrate the launch of SANDAG’s Bike Anywhere Week with a special e-bike demonstration and showcase promoting ridership and workforce development in the burgeoning San Diego County bicycling industry.
Launched in September 2020, the Pedal Ahead program is designed to provide electric bicycles for socially conscious residents of the 4th Supervisorial District. Since its inception, Pedal Ahead e-bike riders have logged over 87,000 miles, burned nearly 5.5 million calories and reduced GHGs by nearly 35,000kg through e-bike use. Pedal Ahead is deploying 400 electric bicycles under a unique “loan-to-own” program, with participants required to ride an average of five miles per day over the course of the two-year period, show proof of insurance that covers the liability, loss, theft and damage to their e-bike, and use a GPS technology app to track and report mileage and trip patterns to the non-profit Rider Safety Visibility for an e-bike study.
Through a grant by The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund — in large part due to funding support from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Rider Safety Visibility has worked with a number of community partners like San Diego Workforce Partnership, Just in Time Foster Youth and Outdoor Outreach to provide skills training and workforce development for young adults age 18-26 in the burgeoning bicycling industry. Pedal Ahead participants have improved their socio-economic status due to program interaction, with members offered classes and a training curriculum with hands-on experiences of bicycle maintenance and small business operations through attending monthly (live digital, recorded, in-person) meetings over the agreement term.
“The Pedal Ahead electric bicycle program is changing lives, and our community,” said Chair Fletcher. “The workforce development program is giving young adults knowledge and skills that will help them connect to opportunities in our growing bicycle industry. The program is good for the environment and is a catalyst for an industry that will lead to great careers for our participants.”
“As a company that’s deeply committed to advancing sustainability and bettering our community, SDG&E is proud to support the Pedal Ahead program not just for its environmental benefits but also for its social and public health benefits,” said Jeni Reynolds, SDG&E’s director of clean transportation. “Partnerships with groups like Rider Safety Visibility to transform transportation are important as our region seeks to reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from tailpipes.”
“Under the Pedal Ahead program, we have seen the dramatic impact of electric bike transportation in District 4 communities,” said Kim Merrill, co-founder of Rider Safety Visibility 501c3. “Those results are impressive in terms of enhancing our participants’ lives through electric bicycle riding as well as improving sustainability through CO2 emission reduction and building communities of riders throughout District 4.”
Other presenters at today’s launch included Mr. Clancy, and Pedal Ahead electric bicycle riders and students involved in the organization’s Young Education program.
The Pedal Ahead program is being funded by a County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program grant distributed by Chair Fletcher’s Office, The Left Coast Fund and The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund.
Pedal Ahead is a proud sponsor of SANDAG’s Bike Anywhere Week, May 16-22. Riders can take the pledge and pick up their free t-shirt, find a self-guided activity or join a virtual event. They can GO by BIKE to work, school, the store, the beach or just around their neighborhood, and win prizes along the way. For more information visit, https://www.icommutesd.com/events/bike-month
Pedal Ahead partners and supporters also include Uptown Bicycles, Electra Bicycles, NiteRider Technical Lighting, ArroWhere Equipment, Pinhead Locks, Kali Protectives, California Bicycles, Rocky Mounts, Lot204 Marketing, Adams Avenue Business Association, Broadway Heights Community Council, Hammond Climate Solutions, Just in Time for Foster Youth, Outdoor Outreach, San Diego MTS, El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District, San Diego Workforce Partnership and the YMCA of San Diego County.
Rider Safety Visibility Receives Grant for Young Adult Workforce Development Program in Bicycle Industry
Job training is part of an innovative community electric bicycle incubator program
SAN DIEGO — (September 22, 2020) — Rider Safety Visibility (RSV), a San Diego-based nonprofit, has received a $200,000 grant to support workforce development training for young adults ages 18-26 in the burgeoning bicycle industry, which has seen significant sales growth amid the pandemic. The training and education component will be part of RSV’s innovative Pedal Ahead program, a community electric bicycle initiative that launched on September 22 for participants in San Diego County Supervisorial District 4.
RSV was awarded the grant by The San Diego Foundation COVID-19 Community Response Fund – in large part due to funding support from San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). To date, SDG&E has donated $2 million to the Fund with plans to donate an additional million in 2021.
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund awards grants to local nonprofits that support low-income workers, families, and vulnerable communities most affected by the coronavirus crisis, as well as support efforts to spur economic recovery. To date, the fund has raised $27.6 million and distributed $26.5 million in grants.
“Amid the COVID-19 economic crisis, one of the bright spots is the surge in bike sales and people riding their bikes. The launch of the RSV program could not come at a better time,” said Eugene “Mitch” Mitchell, SDG&E’s vice president of state governmental and external affairs. “We are excited by its potential to help create new career pathways, inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in the bike industry, and encourage a greener and healthier way to get around.
RSV will support workforce development in these communities by providing an opportunity to the targeted age group to participate in internships, mentorships and education classes through a Community Center partnership with Uptown Bicycles. RSV has worked with leaders in the bicycle industry to develop a curriculum to include small business entrepreneurship, marketing and sales and mechanical bicycle maintenance. Through a network of partners in both the local and national bicycling industries, the program will also allow additional opportunities for young adults to gain real-world work experiences, which include learning maintenance on traditional and electric bicycles, group rides, and participating in events that support the electric bicycle incubator program.
The RSV program is being launched at a time when the bicycle industry is experiencing dramatic growth amid the coronavirus pandemic, with sales in all retail channels growing 75 percent in April to a total of $1 billion. According to the NPD Group, traditional bicycles at lower price points for family use and neighborhood riding has shown the strongest ever year-over-year sales gains. In addition, e-bike growth has continued at historic levels with sales up 84 percent in March, 92 percent in April and 137 percent in May.
“The bicycle industry, with an emphasis on e-bikes, is affording many opportunities for workers, and job seekers, in all aspects of our neighborhoods, including mechanics, sales and marketing and brand representatives,” said Ed Clancy, co-founder of Rider Safety Visibility.
“The opportunity to learn the ins and outs of electric bicycles is paramount, as they remain an ideal transportation solution during the COVID-19 pandemic as consumers are looking to avoid public transportation, and in the post-corona era as e-bikes are proven as a viable and credible solution. The industry will need professionals who understand this growing category of bicycles.”
“We are at the beginning of what will be a long process of recovery in our region,” shared Mark Stuart, President & CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “Since launching the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, we have witnessed incredible acts of generosity and it will continue to take an unprecedented philanthropic response to help all the San Diegans in need over the coming months and years.”
About The San Diego Foundation
The San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve quality of life in our region. For more than 45 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1.2 billion to support nonprofit organizations and strengthen our San Diego community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org, and consider a donation to the San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund, helping nonprofits and San Diegans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
About San Diego Gas & Electric
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook
About Rider Safety Visibility
Rider Safety Visibility 501 c3 is an official charitable organization and grant recipient of the San Diego County’s Community Enhancement Program, The Left Coast Fund, and The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund. The Pedal Ahead program supports e-bike ridership opportunities to address environmental challenges, promote healthy living and create communities in vibrant and bikeable District 4 as well as providing young adult workforce development through internships, mentorships and education classes in the bicycling industry in partnership with Uptown Bicycles, 3426 Adams Avenue, San Diego. For more information, visit www.pedalahead.com and www.ridersafetyvisibility.com.