United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay’s held their follow-up camp today at Sonoma State University. It was a wonderful success with young bicyclists expanding their skills and confidence. Several students began to enjoyed the true freedom of riding their own bicycles without any assistance.
I can take things for granted, like being able to just jump on my bicycle and go for a wonderful ride in Sonoma County. This is something that others aren’t able to do. The United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay provided a four day instructional program that teaches children with disabilities how to ride two-wheel bicycle without the use of training wheels. There is a one day follow-up camp at Sonoma State University’s Field House on February 9th for these students and even a summer camp later this year. Thank you for this incredible program that is provided with dedicated staff and supportive volunteers. http://ucpnb.org/services/recreation-2/cycle-without-limits-bike-camp/
Some people will try to spend New Year’s Eve painting the town. Others will volunteer and paint maybe one room at the Catholic Charities Family Support Center in Santa Rosa. Thank you to my grandson, Sawyer, for investing some of his vacation time to help others. Next week we’ll be working together setting up new beds in another room with his 93 year young great-grandpa (Paul DeBolt). All of us can do something to help others and many continue to volunteer making our community better. Thank You and Happy New Year.
Many of us celebrated Christmas Holidays with family and friends in our warm homes. There are some in our community without these benefits and they face challenges that most of us will never experience. Sam Jones Hall Homeless Shelter is home for over 200 of the nearly 3,000 people in our community who are homeless. It is a warm shelter that provides food, beds, showers . . . it is operated by an amazing and caring staff. Thank you to Catholic Charities staff and the volunteers who continue to provide critical services for so many in our community.
We live close to the snow, but far enough away from the snow that we don’t have to shovel it from our driveways. Many of us are fortunate to enjoy the company of family and friends during these coming days. I hope we will consider sharing some of what we have with people we don’t know and may never see. There are people in our community that can use a helping hand. Not all of us know how to provide a helping hand, but there are many organizations in our community that can benefit from volunteering and donations. If you’re not sure who to give to, consider Catholic Charities Family Support Center; they accept coats, sleeping bags, socks, tarps . . . Yes, they accept cash donations too.
Today many of us enjoyed a wonderful turkey dinner with family and friends. Some people in our community were unable to enjoy this day. There are approximately 3,000 homeless people in our community. Please consider supporting organizations that are working every day to help address homelessness in Sonoma County. There are many ways to participate including: volunteering, donating useful items like sleeping bags, tents, socks, jackets, working bicycles or writing a check. If you have items to donate but unable to deliver, please send an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can arrange a pickup time. Your contribution and participation is critical in making positive changes in our community.
Ride to be seen and ride as if you’re not seen. Bicycling is most often an enjoyable adventure. To help ensure your bicycle experience remains enjoyable and safe, wear bright colors, use flashing lights (tail and head lights) and ride defensively while wearing your helmet. Better to be safe instead of becoming a victim involved with a vehicle.
There have been several recent bicycle and vehicle collisions in our community. On October 15th. Joschka Homann a German tourist was the victim of hit and run on Highway 1. On October 30th. Sidney Falbo a local Santa Rosa Junior College Student was killed on the corner of Stony Point and Highway 12. In November, Ian Borden was struck by a vehicle.
By taking precautions you can enjoy a safe bicycle ride.
One day, one vote and with that there is a change. Time to be thankful for many things, including our right to vote, to be counted and to be heard. Looks like two years of check in balances are in place. Also time to start thinking about the next bicycle adventure … Northern Tier, France, Cotati… No matter what you are planning, it doesn’t count unless you participate. Just like voting, it doesn’t count unless you do it.
Levi GranFondo is rated the best GranFondo in North America. This weekend, there were over 4,000 bicyclists enjoying breathtaking views along many miles of beautiful Sonoma County roads. This event was another success, in large part, because of the Bike Monkey’s staff supported by a large number of volunteers. I am fortunate to live here and appreciate our incredible community. However, there are many in our community not able to enjoy or have time to appreciate our community. There are an estimated 3,000 homeless people in our community. Please consider helping others less fortunate this year. Each of us could do something to help others from donating, volunteering and providing other support.