By Raiza Giorgi
Dunn Middle School student Aria Riley decided to do her eighth-grade project on raising awareness of the conditions and lack of bicycle transportation in the Santa Ynez Valley. She organized her school, including students and faculty members, to ride the two miles from Dunn to Solvang City Hall, joining in the city’s Two Wheel Town Hall Bike Ride on May 2.
“I have noticed that the valley’s bike trails are poorly maintained, with potholes in the bike lanes, and there’s places without bike lanes at all,” she said.
Aria has grown up in the valley and is excited to get involved with creating more bicycle riding opportunities. She also wants her fellow students to be aware that the Santa Ynez Valley Bicycle Master Plan is being put together.
The plan is a coordinated effort by the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), the cities of Buellton and Solvang, and the county.
About 200 cyclists joined in the Two Wheel Town Hall with Solvang Mayor Ryan Toussaint, Buellton Mayor Holly Sierra and Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann. The ride was coordinated with SBBIKE, a nonprofit that works toward building healthy and vibrant communities with safe and accessible bike trails for transportation and recreation.