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Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

‘A rite of passage’: Davis kicks off National Bike Month with 12th annual Loopalooza

Davis holds it’s 12th annual Loopalooza, a 12 mile bike loop ride throughout the city 


By CHRIS PONCE — city@theaggie.org 


National Bike Month began this May 1 with Davis’ 12th annual Loopalooza. The Loopalooza is a 12-mile bike ride that is hosted by Bike Davis, the city of Davis, The Bike Campaign/Bike Garage and Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District. This celebrated community event was on hiatus in 2020 and has returned for its second year since the start of the pandemic. 

Nico Fauchier-Magnan, the President of the Board of Bike Davis, talked about the small hiatus that the Loopalooza faced early in the pandemic. 

“We took one year off, the first year of Covid, so 2020,” Fauchier-Magnan said. “We decided not to do the event. It was just as Covid was starting, and nobody really knew much of what was going on.”

The Loopalooza is a large event that brings the community together according to Fauchier-Magnan. Before the event he talked about how it is a great way to kick off National Bike Month.

“May’s bike month is coming up,” Fauchier-Magnan said. “And Loopalooza is a really good kick off to that event. I mean I’m looking forward to Loopalooza itself. You know, it’s just a really fun ride. We have every year about 500 people coming out over those 4 hours of the event to just ride the bike loop. People really like all the stations along the way.“ 

Maria Contreras Tebbutt, the founder and director of The Bike Campaign/Bike Garage, discussed the sentimental significance to completing the Loopalooza. Tebbutt has a long list of experience in regards to biking. Tebbutt is a Nationally Certified Cycling Instructor and is the Outreach Director for the Davis Bike Club. 

Tebbutt described the bike loop as “A rite of passage for many bike riders is to find the entire Davis Bike Loop, approximately 12 miles of designated bike path that goes around the entire city, crossing over the freeway three times.”

Daniela Tavares, the safe routes to school coordinator for the city of Davis, made a statement via email that discussed the history associated with the Loopalooza. According to Tavares, the city of Davis saw a decrease in bikers in 2010. Tavares said that in 2010 a committee worked to understand the decrease in biking.

“The Schools Committee identified the need for community wide education on navigating the existing infrastructure around bike friendly Davis,” Tavares said via email. 

Tavares referenced that this need to educate Davis citizens of bike infrastructure was what led to the creation of the Loopalooza in 2010.

“Parents were unfamiliar with the safe bike paths and routes that lead directly to Davis schools,” Tavares said via email. “The realization of this gap [led] to the creation of the much loved Loopalooza, a yearly event that directs families and community members around the 12 mile Davis bike loop with fun activities set up along the way.”

However, Tavares mentioned that the Loopalooza has only increased the bike culture in Davis. 

“For many residents it is this event that solidifies their understanding of how easy it is to get around our community without a car,” Tavares said via email. “Loopalooza is now in its [12]th year and has conservatively introduced 5000 people to the joys and practicality of the Davis Bike loop. This event is now run in partnership with Bike Davis and Bike Campaign.”

Fauchier-Magnan talked about the work he has done for Bike Davis and the advocacy Bike Davis continues to fight for. Fauchier-Magnan said he has been serving as president of the board for 3 and a half years. According to Fauchier-Magnan, Bike Davis has been advocating for safe biking in Davis for 15 years. The group has been closely working with the city to foster better bike infrastructure and other biking related issues.

Fauchier-Magnan mentioned the array of events at this year’s Loopalooza. 

“This year we have e-bike test ride with a local shop,” Fauchier-Magnan said. “We have improv with a group from campus. We have a band that’s going to play. We have bike mechanics who are going to be along, posted at several stations around the bike loop. It’s just a really fun way to see everyone come out, [to] see people seeing their neighbors and saying hi to everybody. “

Bike Davis is continuing to advocate for biking in the community throughout the month according to Fauchier-Magnan. He gave a roadmap of the group’s upcoming ambitious plans. 

“After that, we also, our next big thing [is that] we do have the big day of giving coming up in early May so we’re excited for that too,” Fauchier-Magnan said. “Then we have a lot ambitious projects for this year that [lean] more on the advocacy realm of things. We’re working to finalize to reduce bike theft in the city. We’re working with City Staff and other organizations on that. We want also continue to improve infrastructure in several key segments. [To] make riding bikes more comfortable and safe for everybody.”


Written by: Chris Ponce — city@theaggie.org 



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