The Seventh Annual Ride & Walk 4 Art on March 19, 2023 offers a variety of fun for everyone in West Calaveras County. This popular event, organized by the Calaveras County Arts Council and managed by the Mother Lode Bicycle Coalition, has three bicycle ride choices—30, 45, and 70 miles—or a 4.5 mile walk along New Hogan Lake. It finishes with a home-cooked lunch at the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial District in Valley Springs.
A fundraiser for the Arts Council’s Arts Education fund, Ride & Walk 4 Art has grown from a neighborhood event in its first years in San Andreas to a cross-country road ride. It starts and ends at the Jenny Lind Veterans Memorial District in Valley Springs.
Ride director Rob Williams said the move to the Valley Springs site has been a great choice. “There is parking for over 200 cars. There are indoor bathrooms. And it starts and ends the ride at a safe neighborhood location.”
The cycling routes are designed to offer cyclists a choice for their fitness level.Out-and-back rides branch from a central route; riders can add the mileage that is just right for their fitness level. Williams cautioned that riders should honestly assess their abilities. Some of the hill climbs are intense.
For those who are less sure about pedaling up a hill, Pedego Electric Bikes Elk Grove are offering a 25% discount to participants who want to experience the ride on a pedal-assist bike. Contact Lisa or Dave at 916/829-2813 to rent an e-bike.
Safe and secure
One of the benefits of joining an organized ride is the safety that comes from a well-run ride. The event relies on volunteers to keep the wheels spinning. “The volunteers that manage the event have been together for 5 years,” Williams said. “The radio operators, the rest stop crew and the support crew all work together to make sure it’s a safe, fun ride.”
“We’re really proud of our safety record, and of making sure cyclists feel comfortable on the road.” He emphasized that road safety control will be available from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the day of the event, and the American Legion Ambulance service will be on site.
If you get stuck with a flat tire, or you just run out of air, volunteers with the Calaveras Amateur Radio Association are stationed at key points along the ride to call a sag wagon. Three local bike shops will provide mechanical assistance along the route: Mountain Pedaler Bicycles from Angels Camp, Bear Valley Bicycles from Arnold, and Jackson Bike and Board.
All rest stops will be fully stocked. “I’d like to thank Moke Hill Nuts & Candies for leading off with a donation,” Williams said. He gave a nod to the volunteers who will be stationed at the rest stops. “They’ll take every health precaution to keep riders safe.”
Take a walk
If cycling isn’t your jam, you can enjoy a sedate walk along the Cameron Trail starting at the New Hogan Lake Over Look near the Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters. Hike as much of the 4.5-mile trail as you wish, then head over at noon to the veterans hall for lunch.
Eat some lunch
As she has for the last 6 years, Cynthia Pryzbyla will lead her team of volunteers as they serve a chicken-in-a-barrel lunch with “all the fixins” in the comfort of the veterans hall. Their volunteer service goes beyond this event. “The cooking crew has been together since the Cajun
Fete,” Williams said, “so they’ve been together for close to 30 years. They are really experienced and do a great job with the chicken-in-a-barrel.”
This year local vendor Cowabunga Ice Cream truck will be on hand to sell ice cream treats, Powerade frozen pops, and pickle pops. They pledged to donate a portion of their proceeds to the Arts in Education fund.
Past participants say that this event is one of the nicest local bike-and-walk events, with plenty of volunteers and a friendly non-competitive community atmosphere. And the proceeds go to a worthy cause.
Ride & Walk 4 Art Supports Arts in Education
Ride & Walk 4 Art supports the Calaveras County Arts Council’s mission to support arts education in Calaveras public schools. Every year the fundraising event Ride & Walk 4 Art raises between $4000 and $6000 for the Arts in Education program.
“The Calaveras Arts Council is committed to supporting the arts of every medium in our local schools,” said Executive Director Kathy Mazzaferro. “We are delighted to sponsor such programs as the Fine Arts Day in Jenny Lind, performances by "B Street" theater in San Andreas, as well as lessons with visiting artists in the classrooms.”
But most importantly, this fundraiser provides resources for schools to help students make sense of their lives as they learn critical real-world skills like creative thinking, resilience, problem solving, and project management. “There are any number of studies that prove that the arts help students in everything from math to science, language and social skills,” Mazzaferro said. “And it's fun!”
Just by having fun riding a bike, participants give the gift of art to Calaveras County students. That’s a pretty good time for all.
Register at www.rideandwalk4art.com
For more information: