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Davis, California

Monday, May 20, 2024

Davis Pedalfest: A celebration of bicycles

Davis bike advocacy groups host bike festival to encourage bicycle use 

The Davis Pedalfest on Nov. 3 exhibited around 20 different types of bicycles for participants to learn about and experience at the Veterans Theater and Community Park. It was a joint effort of the Bike Campaign and Bike Garage, the City’s Safe Routes to School program, the Bike-Pedestrian program and Bike Davis.

Maria Contreras Tebbutt, a director of the Pedalfest and the founder of Bike Campaign and Bike Garage, said the event aimed to encourage more people to use bikes as daily transportation. 

        “We show a variety of bicycles at the Pedalfest so that people can see and experience them and begin to think about how they could enjoy life more using these bicycles as a way to be outside, in nature, with other people and a part of the community,” Tebbutt said.

        The Pedalfest consisted of two main activities: a bicycle film festival and a fun zone for test rides. The event showed assorted cargo bikes, e-bikes, trishaws and WhymCycles. Peter Wagner created the WhymCycles in Davis, which are taller bikes. 

The Pedalfest also introduced a side-by-side trike, specially designed for physically disabled people to ride. Tebbutt said there is always a right kind of bicycle for any needs.

        David Hickman, a participant at the Pedalfest, tried out a cargo bike with his children and described it as a unique experience.

“We have a bike trailer, so this is similar, but it is an interesting design,” Hickman said. “It takes a while to get used to it because the steering is a little bit different.”

        Hickman also said he bikes to work every day and will encourage his children to bike when they are old enough. 

        Leonardo Martinez, a fourth-year sustainable environmental design major and a volunteer for Cool Davis, which had a booth at the Pedalfest, advocated for sustainability and renewable energy use. 

 “We encourage the community to bike more than they do,” Martinez said. “Davis is really bike-friendly, but not everybody — or not as many people as you think — bikes to school or work.”

 Martinez also emphasized the need for collaboration in terms of making changes in society.

 “If you have access to a bike, then you should definitely take advantage of it and ride as much as you can to contribute to the shift of behavioral norms of society,” Martinez said. “It takes a large movement to get people to think differently.”

 Nico Fauchier-Magnan, one of the hosts at the Pedalfest, as well as the President of Bike Davis, introduced “Motherload,” a featured movie at the event. He also expressed his passion for bicycles.

 “The thing I love about ‘Motherload’ is that it isn’t just about transportation,” Magnan said. “But it really also speaks to something bigger: trying to connect with nature, with our neighbors and with our community.”

 Magnan also addressed the overarching goal which most bicycle advocacy groups strive for.

“What we are really asking for is a city that has vibrant streets, people walking and biking, neighbors chatting,” Magnan said. “We want our streets to be a public space that connects us and makes us feel like a community rather than just a feeling of transportation that isolates us.”

       While the Pedalfest advocated for more bicycle use, it also provided mechanical aids for participants’ bikes. 

        “Most people don’t know how to maintain their bicycles,” Tebbutt said. “Bicycles are kind of like a big dog or a small horse, and [they have] to be maintained.”        

        The bicycle is the official symbol of the City of Davis, and the Pedalfest brought the community together to celebrate this tradition, promoting biking as a healthy and pleasant lifestyle.   

        “We love bikes,” Tebbutt said. “We love people on bikes.” 

Written by: Rui Ding — city@theaggie.org


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